Tiger Woods-Created Golf League Unveils First Team Owned By The Williams Sisters, But How Will It Work Now That The PGA Is Backed By The Saudis?

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy announced the first team in their new TGL team golf venture this past week, the Los Angeles Golf Club. The club is owned by tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams, along with Serena’s husband Alexis Ohanian. But how will the TGL, which is operated in partnership with the PGA Tour, deal with this new team format now that the Tour has merged with LIV Golf and is backed by the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund?

It Has Been A Confusing Week In The World Of Pro Golf

Last Monday, the PGA Tour agreed to merge with Saudi-backed rival LIV Golf to create a new entity. The deal also includes the PGA European Tour aka DP World Tour.

What this means is that the Saudi Arabian Sovereign Wealth Fund aka Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, which is controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, essentially owns professional golf.

Before the LIV PGA merger, PGA commissioner Jay Monahan was an outspoken critic of LIV and its Saudi backer. Woods and McIlroy’s TMRW Sports golf venture was seen as the PGA Tour’s answer to the team golf element that LIV was promoting.

Now that all of golf is under one umbrella, what does that mean for Woods and McIlroy’s tech golf venture?

The TGL seems to be placing a heavy emphasis on building identities with specific cities, separating it from the franchises of LIV Golf. How is this all going to work without confusing golf fans?

What Is TMRW Sports And TGL?

TMRW Sports, a business venture formed by Woods, McIlroy and Mike McCarley, is betting big on the power of technology to revolutionize the game of golf and make the sport more accessible to younger fans.

The Sports Business Journal reports TGL “will pit three-person teams of current PGA Tour players against each other in prime-time televised Monday night broadcasts. The contests will be hosted within an arena seating 1,500 to 2,000 ticketed fans that is being built on 10 leased acres at Palm Beach State College’s campus in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.”

“We’re honored to welcome Alexis, Serena, and Venus as one of TGL’s original six team ownership groups,” said McCarley in a statement last week. “Alexis and Serena have been a part of the TMRW Sports family as investors and their enthusiasm, along with Venus, for what we’re building with TGL has been infectious. Serena and Venus represent an important part of not just TMRW Sports and TGL’s mission of access to sports for kids and families, but also an important part of the spirit and purpose of LA Golf Club.”

So many questions remain unanswered. Will Woods and McIlroy’s TGL accept money from the Saudi’s? How do the Williams sisters and Ohanian feel about the presence of the Saudi’s?

“We see tremendous opportunities to leverage technology to bring golf closer to its fans and to provide an immersive and interactive experience that will captivate both seasoned golf enthusiasts and new fans,” said Ohanian in a press release. “To wit, my wife Serena and I are delighted that Olympia has taken a liking to golf, so I’m proud to announce that they’re both owners in this club as well – as is the little one on the way! This is another piece of the legacy I’m building with my family, and I hope LAGC can become a part of many other families’ lives too.”

For now all of this remains unclear but at some point there needs to be a clear explanation of what these entities are and how they’re related.

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