TGL, the golf simulator league started by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, announced their schedule for the first three matches of the season on consecutive Tuesdays beginning January 7, 2025. Each will be shown on ESPN and ESPN+ and the balance of the schedule is expected later this year. The simulator team events will take place in the purpose-built SoFi Center located in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. and were originally to start in Jan. 2024, but high winds and rains caused the collapse of the partially built arena. Player will all wear live microphones and play will be timed against a 40-second shot clock.

Jeff Smith wrote an informative article in, “2024 TV Ratings Plummet For Players Championship, PGA Tour… But Why?” He pointed out viewership of Scottie Scheffler’s come from behind win on Sunday was almost 20% down from when he won in 2023. Quoting from Smith, “In reality, most experts blame the bleeding of TV viewers on the fracturing of professional golf, where about half of the game’s marquee stars (Rahm, Koepka, DJ) and its most familiar names (Phil, Bubba, Sergio) now play on the Saudi-backed tour [LIV Golf].” He tells us 21 of the world’s top 50 after the 2023 Players are on the LIV roster.

Other research shows the field for the Masters includes 13 LIV golfers who qualified under various exemptions such as being former champions. In a word, men’s pro golf is a mess however some observers have the opinion Public Investment Fund’s Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the Saudi money behind LIV Golf, figures he has won the fight with the PGA Tour as evidenced by LIV’s withdrawal of application for their players to receive world ranking points. All he must do is wait a year or so for the fans and then the sponsors to desert the PGA Tour which, at that time, will be playing at best Class AAA while LIV is the only major league.

In 2023 the USGA started their U.S. National Development Program as a formal mechanism to prepare young payers for competition at the international level. This week they announced the 18 juniors, ten girls eight boys, named to the initial National Junior Team that will finalize by 2027with 30 girls and 30 boys playing.

The 18 players will participate at bi-annual camps and compete internationally with the team’s first training camp May 8-11 at Atlanta Athletic Club. The first international match is this summer against Australia. National Junior Team members will have year-round support and coaching plus sports psychology and nutritional guidance.

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