Like many professional golfers, Jon Rahm has a simulator at his house. It’s a 14-foot screen and you stand about 12 feet away when you swing. Pretty standard.
Rahm and the 11 other players signed up for TGL – a new “tech-infused league” that will partner with the PGA Tour – are in for a massive change of pace (and scenery) when the first event begins in January of 2024.
“From what I hear we’re going to be 35 yards from the screen and the screen is going to be 60 feet wide and 40-some feet tall,” said Rahm ahead of this week’s 2023 BMW Championship at Olympia Fields near Chicago. “I can’t even picture how big it’s going to be.”
“I’ve seen a virtual reality little video of it. I haven’t seen it in person. It’s different to what I expected,” he continued. “I didn’t realize how big it was going to be, which makes it a lot better.”
Six teams of three PGA Tour players will compete in 15 regular season Monday night matches, followed by semifinals and finals matches, starting next January. The matches will be played at a tech-infused, short-game complex. Fans will be able to see every shot live over a 2-hour broadcast on primetime television.
Monday Night Football will end on Christmas, Dec. 25, meaning the new league won’t be competing with the NFL when it begins in a few months.
Of the 18 players, so far 12 have been announced. The committed players include a handful of fan favorites who have combined for 28 major championships and 190 PGA Tour wins. Two of the six team ownership groups, based in Los Angeles and Boston, have also been announced.
TGL also recently announced Full Swing as an official technology partner, which shouldn’t come as a shock given that Full Swing is the PGA Tour’s official partner for golf simulators and counts TGL participants Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele among its endorsers.
The committed players don’t know many details just yet, but that hasn’t stifled Rahm’s excitement for the new league. From the type of golf that’s being played to when and where it’s being played, Rahm is optimistic the TGL will bring in a new audience of fans.
“Like many sports nowadays, I think that is going to allow for probably a lot more live gambling, which is what a lot of people are trying to do nowadays when they’re watching sports,” he explained. “I think we can appeal to a different audience, and I’m looking forward to that, as well. I’ve heard a lot of great reviews and thoughts from friends of mine looking into it before they knew I was invested in it and wanting to play.”
“I think we have the opportunity to do something very special.”