Tiger Woods/Rory McIlroy indoor golf league releases rules, format

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are at the head of a new indoor golf league. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are at the head of a new indoor golf league. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

TGL, the new Tiger Woods/Rory McIlroy-backed indoor golf league, is two months away from its debut and is now rolling out details on how its weekly gameplay will go. The league consists of six three-man teams playing on an indoor simulator in weeknight competitions for a season-long championship.

The format will be a modified match play system with a season-long compilation. Each match will have two sessions:

  • Nine holes of “triples” — a three-on-three alternate-shot format

  • Six holes of “singles” — a one-on-one match play, with each player playing two holes

  • Overtime — If necessary, a closest-to-the-pin competition with the first team to put two shots closer to the pin getting the victory.

TGL will use a hockey-style scoring system for the season-long competition. A win either in regulation or overtime will earn two points, a loss in overtime will earn one point, and a loss in regulation earns no points. The top four teams after the regular season will advance to the playoffs, which will have single-elimination semifinals and a best-of-three championship.

The venue will be a combination of actual and virtual elements, with a 64-by-46-foot simulator screen for drives and a 97-by-50-yard playing surface, roughly the size of a football field. The playing surface, where players will actually chip and putt, will have real grass and sand for approaches and bunkers. The green itself will be 15 feet by 27 feet, and will include jacks to change the slope of the putting surface. There will be room for up to 1,600 spectators within the venue.

(Courtesy TGL)

(Courtesy TGL)

Five of the six team franchises have already been sold to ownership groups in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Boston and San Francisco. TGL touts the fact that team ownership groups include NFL, MLB, NBA and NASCAR owners.

Atlanta’s team, Atlanta Drive GC, has announced the first selected player in the league: Justin Thomas, who played golf at the University of Alabama. Other players committed to play in the league include Woods, McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Rickie Fowler and Tom Kim, among others. TGL players have a combined 32 majors and 223 PGA Tour wins … with Woods, obviously, accounting for a significant percentage of both.

TGL will debut on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024 on ESPN, which will give the league an all-out push during its College Football Playoff championship and NFL wild card playoff games. Future matches will air on Tuesday nights throughout the first few months of the year, running on ESPN or ESPN2 and lasting two hours apiece.

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