We may not know exactly what Tiger Woods’ forthcoming tech-infused, arena golf league will look or feel like. Right now, it’s all been communicated via renderings and hype from the people involved. We do, however, know what it will be called — TGL — and who will be putting up the money behind it. That list continues to grow in the most diverse fashion.
Witness the league’s newest financiers: NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo and his three brothers, who have officially joined the ownership group of LA Golf Club, which was the first official franchise announced months ago. The Antetokounmpo brothers join the initial owners Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Serena’s husband, Alexis Ohanian.
The news was first shared Tuesday over Twitter, where Giannis posted, “We want to make golf our own and for everybody,” adding, “We couldn’t be more excited to shape the future of this sport.”
Pessimists might say, Big deal. An optimistic response would be similar: This is a big deal! What it is, more than anything is further integration between plans for the mixed-reality golf league and high-ranking sports stars. The list of big-name investors is about as splashy as you can get: Shohei Otani, Sidney Crosby, Stephen Curry, Diana Tourasi, Lewis Hamilton…among many others.
As you can see in the golf swings from Giannis and his brother Thanasis, there’s plenty left to be desired. But that’s hardly the point. They’re interested in investing a product they’ve never seen before. They’ve invested in the Milwaukee Brewers and Nashville Soccer Club from the MLS. They’re interested in bringing golf to a bigger audience. How wide will that audience be? We don’t know. We do know that it all gets going in January, which means plenty more announcements are set to come over the next four months.
To this point, there are three franchises named: LA Golf Club, TGL Boston and a to-be-named franchise based in Atlanta, backed by the same ownership group as the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United Football Club. Three more franchises are expected to be announced in the coming months.
The renderings of the arena are futuristic and big, but the arena itself — in Palm Beach, Fla. — remains under construction. The league will have 18 players in its inaugural season, with these 12 already committed:
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Matt Fitzpatrick, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Collin Morikawa, Billy Horschel and Adam Scott.
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