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TGL Golf League: is this a solution to a problem golf doesn’t have?

TGL Golf League: is this a solution to a problem golf doesn’t have?

 

Since the inception of LIV Golf, the PGA Tour has been feverishly brainstorming ways in which to keep its product from becoming obsolete. From drastically increasing prize money and implementing a new schedule where there are no cuts, to even agreeing to partner with LIV, the powers that be at the PGA headquarters have been working overtime to make sure that the future has a place for the oldest tour in golf. Some ideas, however, have been better than others.

The emergence of the TGL Golf League

The latest creation in the fight to stay relevant is something called the TGL Golf League which is a competition played between 24 PGA Tour professionals who are split into six teams of four. The catch is that for most of the competition, the players will be playing on a simulator in an arena over a 15-hole format. 

Much like an ordinary PGA Tour event, there will still be prize money available to the winning teams but as things stand, you can’t bet on who that might be. Indeed, when you’re betting on golf you will see odds for the upcoming tournaments and four majors in 2024 starting with the Masters in April where Jon Rahm is the favourite to win at 15/2 but tellingly, you won’t see any prices listed for the TGL Golf League.

The broader takeaway of the bookmakers’ decision to watch the start of this new competition from a distance is that they and many other golf fans, aren’t yet convinced it won’t be gimmicky.

Should it prove to be a real test of skill then this will in all likelihood change. As things are though, the reality is that no one really knows how this is going to play out, and if this new way to watch golf will grow the game to the extent Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy – the major driving forces behind the idea, hope it will. 

In Woods’ opinion, the TGL Golf League will be a success in bringing new people to the sport as the laid-back environment of an arena which in effect feels like an oversized bowling alley, isn’t as intimidating as that of a traditional clubhouse. Additionally, the pair feel that the public will take to it as it is quicker than a usual round of 18 holes and doesn’t require as much physical exertion. 

A good walk spoiled 

There is an undeniable logic to these points when you consider them from purely a pragmatic point of view. However, they also simultaneously cancel out many features that make people fall in love with the game of golf.

The wide open expanses, natural vistas, and fresh air that a golf course provides have convinced millions to take up the sport.

Furthermore, not every golfer who plays the game wants it to be over as quickly as possible. Of course, there is nothing worse than slow play but spending time in nature and among good company is the backbone on which golf has been built for centuries. 

The concept of TGL Golf is taking away many of the aspects of the game that make it an enriching and rewarding experience. Yet again, it feels like the PGA Tour have come up with a solution to a problem golf doesn’t have.

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