Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and TMRW Sports Group’s TGL Groundbreaking: LIV is no longer the leading disruptor in golf!

There has been a lot of talk about disruption in golf over the last 15 months. We hear the word and start repeating it like one of Pavlov’s dogs. It reminds me of people who say gas light or drops these days to sound pop culture clever. When a word goes mainstream, I’m always curious to see if it’s being used correctly. So I looked up the definition.

Disturbance /dis-rup-tion/ noun
· Radical change of an existing industry or an existing market due to technological innovations

On Tuesday, February 21st, I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a new vanguard group in sports. There were no fireworks, no rock bands and no champagne sprayed, but the event was disturbing. TMRW Sports Group was conceived by three sports executives: Mike McCarley, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. Together they have joined forces to appeal to a next generation sports fan and consumer. TMRW Sports Group believes in Leveraging technology to develop advanced approaches in sports, media and entertainment.

At Tuesday morning’s gathering, they partnered with one of Florida’s oldest state schools. Palm Beach State College was founded in 1933, and this regional higher education institution thrives on being disruptive too. President Ava Parker joined Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan on stage. Together they spearheaded TMRW in this revolutionary endeavor.

Leading sportscaster Erin Andrews orchestrated the celebrations with succinct introductions and sat with Woods and McIlroy for an insightful Q&A. The two competitors (and friends) will bring golf to the world in a way no fan has seen before. The first company of the TMRW Sports Group is called TGL. It will be an indoor golf league played in an arena in front of a live audience featuring the world’s top professional golfers.

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For over a year we have been inundated with talk of changes in golf. Whether it’s a shotgun launch or tee times, the game is played exactly the same way. More importantly, it’s also consumed by arguably the same audience. I think that’s why LIV doesn’t get viewer support – it’s just not that different. Wearing shorts over pants isn’t enough to bring the focus back to a game proud of its longstanding traditions.

This storied tale also brings significant headwinds – most of which are disrupted by the game’s brightest stars in Woods and McIlroy. The TGL is designed to be played in two hours, much less than the current watch or play commitment. By replicating the simulated golfing experience enjoyed by millions at Topgolf, the barrier to entry is lowered. Traditional golf doesn’t embrace technology, and this new innovative style of play builds on that.

I was engaged in the audience by CEO Mike McCarley, the man who built the Golf Channel. There was a paradigm shift in acceptance. This was a basic golf audience – private country club members and major industry leaders. Each of them was transfixed on the open grass field on which golf’s first sports arena was to be built. I have spent over two decades pushing the game to the green turf level as a PGA Professional. By adding technology to the Golf, TMRW has made radical changes.

What makes this company even more interesting is TMRW’s commitment to the community. PBSC is Florida’s premier community college. Located in the heart of Palm County, they have developed a tremendous opportunity for their institution through this partnership. PBSC students were visibly exalted in the audience and at the occasion. Known for graduating specialized professionals, PBSC can now build hybrid programs in sports, media and technology.

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I sense that TGL is willing to invite female professionals. They have already fully embraced the technology and there is no doubt that they will lean into the gaming world. The globally recognized athletes who have invested in TMRW are the who’s who of professional sports. They see the potential that TMRW represents and hope their respective sports will respond similarly. To be a true disruptor, you need to change the way people perceive and experience your industry.

Tiger Woods revolutionized the game before. Just when some thought his ability to inspire another generation of future golfers was over, he makes his most impressive off-course move yet. As a golf pro I appreciate everything that LIV Golf has tried to achieve in a short period of time. Unfortunately, I believe they were mislabeled as disruptors. They’re really no different than the Korn Ferry Tour with shorts and shotgun starts.

If they want staying power, they may need to be disruptors themselves and turn to technology. Leadership is the ability to turn visions into reality. We’ve all been waiting for this to happen for over a year. Unfortunately for Greg Norman’s Startup League, it took place in South Florida this week.

Read The Line is the premier golf betting information service headed by five-time PGA award winning professional Keith Stewart. Covering the LPGA and PGA Tour, Read The Line will increase your golf betting acumen week after week. Subscribe to Read The Line’s weekly newsletter and follow us on social media: TikTok, Instagram, Twitter.

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