Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are starting a new tech-focused venture around sports, media and entertainment, TMRW Sports, pronounced “Tomorrow Sports.” Former Golf Channel president Mike McCarley is also a founder and will serve as CEO.
“For the last few years off the course, I’ve been focused on helping to lead golf into its digital future,” McIlroy said in a press release. “Now, by joining forces with Tiger, Mike and other TMRW Sports partners, we can shape the way that media and technology improve the sports experience.”
On Wednesday, TMRW announced its first project, TGL. The new golf league will kick off in January 2024 and feature six teams of three PGA Tour pros each competing on primetime on Monday nights. The custom-built venue for the events is billed as a “data-rich, virtual course complete with a tech-infused, short-game complex.” The 15 regular season matches will be followed by semifinals and finals.
“We’re blending a sport with 600 years of history with technology on a grand stage, built specifically for a live, primetime competition,” McCarley said in a press release about TGL.
The venture has attracted a roster of initial investors with deep ties to the banking and sports business world. They include longtime NBC Sports executive Dick Ebersol, former Goldman Sachs partner and NFL EVP Eric Grubman, Dynasty Equity cofounder Don Cornwell, former NHL COO John Collins and former chairman of Goldman Sachs global equity capital markets John Daly.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan also announced sweeping changes to the season schedule and player pay, starting with the 2022-23 season. The overhaul moves 12 events to “elevated” status. The purses for almost all of these events are expected to be at least $20 million and represent an incremental increase in prize money of $46 million, according to the PGA. The Player Impact Program bonus pool will double to $100 million and pay out to 20 players, versus the current 10. The top players, based on PIP, will now be required to play 20 events, compared to 15 this year.
“Sometimes, what’s happened on the PGA Tour is we all sort of act independently and we sort of have our own schedules,” McIlroy said in a press conference ahead of the Tour Championship. “We’ve all made a commitment to get together more often and to make the product more compelling.”
Woods ($73.5 million) and McIlroy ($38.4 million) were the two highest-paid golfers in the world before LIV upended the sport’s financial structure with nine-figure bonuses to join the Saudi-backed circuit. Both golf pros have deep rosters of endorsement partners but have increasingly looked to build equity as part of their portfolios, similar to other high-profile athletes such as Tom Brady, LeBron James, Naomi Osaka and Kevin Durant.
TMRW will be part of Woods’ TGR Ventures portfolio, which also includes PopStroke, Full Swing Golf, TGR Design, The Woods Jupiter and Heard. McIlroy’s investment partnership, Symphony Ventures, has stakes in Puttery, GolfPass, GolfNow Compete, Golf Genius, Golf+, Troon Golf, Hyperice and Whoop.
“So many athletes, entertainers and people I meet from all walks of life share our passion for sports, but they also share our desire to build a better future for the next generation of sports fans,” Woods said in a statement, promising to “harness technology to bring fresh approaches” to sports.
(This story has been updated to include details about TMRW’s first project, TGL.)