On January 9 of next year, world golf will be revolutionized by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. The two megastars lead a groundbreaking project, a league with something never seen before in the professional field of this sport: it will be virtual.
The start of TGL, the official name of the competition, is just around the corner, and more and more details are becoming known about a format that has been able to attract the main golfing references: Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa.
.. The best in the world (with the exception of Scottie Scheffler) have signed up to form a luxury squad, with 24 players who together have 224 wins on the PGA Tour, 32 majors and 886 weeks at number one in the world.
Tiger Woods, project
The great innovation of TGL is that it will not be played on a golf course, but in a stadium.
The SoFi Center in Palm Beach (Florida) will be the venue that will host the competition and the 1,600 spectators who will be able to come see it live. And it will be fully equipped: the shots will be hit against a 19.5x14 meter simulator screen, where you can see the path of the ball.
Of course, each impact will be made on a real surface, whether it is a ground that simulates that of the street, tall grass or even sand. Although things will change as you get closer, since every shot of 50 yards or less will be made to a real green in the stadium, where each hole will also be hit.
The green area will be larger than a basketball court, and will be divided into three spaces with different flags, and each of them can be modulated to generate completely different falls. The 24 players
Min Woo Lee
That is something that was already known, although there were still doubts to clear up in this league in which six teams will compete. This Tuesday, TGL published the format of the competition, baptized by themselves as 'modern match play'
In matches between two teams, each consisting of three golfers (one will not play), 15 holes will be played. Each hole won will earn one point, while if there is a tie, no one will score. Although be careful, this is not like the Ryder Cup, in which a combination will go one up or one down, since all the holes will always be played.
Each team will count its holes won, and the final result would be, for example, 6-2. It can be fundamental, because in the event of ties at the end of the season in the general classification, this statistic of holes won will be the one that breaks the tie.
The 15 holes that complete a round will be divided into two sessions. The first of them, known as 'Triples', will be in the first nine holes played. Here, the three golfers from each team will alternate hitting shots. Once you reach the 10th hole you will move on to the 'Singles', which will be played in a one-on-one format.
The players participating in each hole will rotate (for example, on the 10th hole Rahm would face Cantlay, and on the 11th it would be a Morikawa against Fleetwood), so each golfer will play two of the last six holes. In the event of a tie, an extra time of three against three would be held, competing to see who hits it closest to the flag, and it will be resolved when two of the same team get the two best hits.
Victory, in overtime or in the 15 regulation holes, will give two points to the winning team. If the defeated do so in the extra holes they will add one point, and zero if this is not the case. Once the regular season ends, the four best teams will go to the semifinals, a single match, and the final to settle the champion will be a best-of-three series.
This is the format of a groundbreaking league, which promises to last no more than two hours and thus engage those fans who find it difficult to follow live golf nowadays. Microphoned players, a hobby that makes noise and competition among the best. TGL arrives to change the panorama.