- TGL, backed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, is securing top-tier PGA players, intensifying the competition.
- LIV Golf, while different in format, remains optimistic about attracting talent and expanding its roster.
- Both leagues are enhancing their venues and formats, promising a dynamic golfing landscape in 2024.
The golfing world is abuzz with two nascent leagues that are aggressively carving their niches while subtly vying for dominance. On one end, you have the Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy-backed TGL (The Golf League), and on the other, Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf. Both are making strides in different directions, and interestingly, both claim they aren’t directly competing for players. However, the moves they’re making suggest otherwise.
The TGL Phenomenon
Patrick Cantlay and Wyndham Clark recently finalized the TGL roster, which boasts 24 PGA Tour players of high caliber. These signings showcase the league’s ambition to attract top talent, especially as it gears up for its January launch. TGL events will be staged on the Palm Beach State College campus, in a specially designed SoFi Center, nearly 250,000 square feet in size.
TGL’s distinct format will involve six teams each comprising four PGA Tour players. These teams will compete head-to-head in 18-hole match play with each match capped at two hours. The lineup for TGL is shaping up to be a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of golf, including names like Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and Collin Morikawa among others.
The LIV Perspective
Contrary to TGL, LIV Golf has just wrapped its season with Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers clinching the team championship. LIV seems flexible with their player commitments, aiming for an open-door policy of sorts. Gary Davidson, LIV’s former acting COO, stated that they were “very open to players participating in other tour events.”
LIV aims to expand by tweaking its format and roster through a transfer window and promotions event. Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, among other players, are optimistic about the league’s future, and there’s purported external interest in team ownership.
The Unnamed Critics
While TGL is making waves with its high-profile endorsements and partnerships, it has also faced anonymous criticism. One player took issue with the ‘guaranteed money’ aspect, calling it a “blatant fop to Tiger and Rory.” Regardless of the criticism, the interest in team sports and league ownership has been soaring across different sports, not just golf, for years now.
An Evolving Landscape
Both TGL and LIV Golf have plans for high-capacity, tech-forward venues. TGL’s SoFi Center is a custom-built air-supported dome, while details on LIV’s future venues are still under wraps. Both leagues are promising a transformative golfing experience for both players and fans.
As both leagues put the finishing touches on their plans, rosters, and venues, the 2024 golfing landscape is set to undergo a significant evolution. While the PGA Tour remains the revered platform it has always been, TGL and LIV are giving us a glimpse into what the future of professional golf might look like.