TGL will involve six teams of four players in team-based events
ESPN was to broadcast all events on Tuesday nights
TMRW Sports, the tech-focused sports venture backed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, has postponed the inaugural season of its TGL golf competition until 2025 following damage to its planned venue.
The opening event of the tech-powered, team-based circuit was due to be staged in January at a purpose-built facility under construction in Florida. However, a failure of a temporary power system and backup systems caused the dome-based roof to deflate and exposed the structure to weather damage.
While most of the underlying technology at the venue was not affected, the damage adds further stress to an already ambitious schedule.
The inaugural season had been scheduled around participating players’ PGA Tour calendars and broadcast partner ESPN’s programming slate, meaning that even a short delay would have caused chaos. The Masters, the first major event of the season, is held in April while ESPN has the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs among other commitments.
With primetime coverage in the US and the involvement of the world’s best players a precondition for TGL’s success, the decision has been made by all parties, including team owners, to delay the first event by a year.
“We are disappointed with the delay but thankful that no one was injured and grateful for the overwhelming support from our athletes, teams, Palm Beach State College and business partners,” said TMRW Sports chief executive Mike McCarley.
“Their steadfast belief in the success of TGL and their alignment with the decision to postpone the inaugural season will allow us to regroup and return with the best product possible at our preferred time on the sports calendar.”
“We are partners with TGL and fully support their decision,” added Rosalyn Durant, executive vice president of programming and acquisitions at ESPN. “We have believed in them and their vision from the beginning, and that has not changed. The additional time to plan, test and rehearse will only make it better. We look forward to launching the inaugural season on ESPN.”