Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

Hideki Matsuyama Joins Boston TGL Team Owned by Fenway, McIlroy

By admin Jul3,2024

Nine-time PGA Tour winner Hideki Matsuyama will be a member of the Boston Common Golf team next year for the inaugural season of the TGL, the tech-driven team golf league founded by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. He’ll join McIlroy, Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott on the Boston squad.

Matsuyama replaces original Boston Common Golf member Tyrrell Hatton, who is no longer eligible for a spot in the PGA Tour-affiliated league, after Hatton joined LIV Golf in January. Boston Common Golf is one of the six inaugural TGL teams and owned by Fenway Sports Group and McIlroy’s investment firm, Symphony Ventures.

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The addition of Japan’s Matsuyama means Boston will have players from four continents and each one has won a major—Matsuyama won the 2021 Masters. The Japanese market, which has a rabid golf demographic, presents an opportunity for Boston Common Golf with sponsorships, which will be the main way that TGL franchises can generate revenue.

“We have experience through the ownership interests that Fenway Sports Group has with the Red Sox and Liverpool, both of whom have had Japanese athletes playing on their teams,” Mark Lev, Boston Common Golf CEO, said in a phone interview. “So, we have a bit of muscle memory on how to go about doing that. We are in early stages, but we do anticipate that there’ll be opportunities to engage with Japanese companies or multinational companies that do business in Japan.”

TGL teams will each feature four golfers hitting shots into a 3,000-square-foot golf simulator screen until they are within 50 yards of the hole and the action transfers to a 22,475-square-foot customizable short game area that transforms between holes. TGL rules also include a shot clock, and the league plans for players to be mic’d up during the action. A seating area for 1,500 has been designed around the playing zone.

TGL was slated to start play this January but delayed its inaugural season to 2025 after a power failure caused the dome of the SoFi Center in Palm Beach Gardens to deflate. The required repairs caused the delay.

The season includes 15 matches, plus playoffs. Matches will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN+.

Boston Common Golf recently added a new investor in signer Niall Horan, who first gained fame as a member of boy band One Direction. Horan and McIlroy both hail from Ireland and are longtime friends. Horan will also serve as an ambassador for Boston Common Golf, which will benefit from his massive social media following, which includes 72 million combined followers on Instagram and Twitter.

“As we think about growing the game and bringing new fans into Boston Common Golf and the TGL, having somebody like Niall with a global following and audience profile that’s not your prototypical golf fan, is really appealing to us,” Lev said.

The six location-tied teams for TGL’s inaugural season are the Atlanta Drive GC, Boston, Jupiter Links GC, Los Angeles Golf Club, New York Golf Club and the Bay Golf Club. They have attracted heavy hitters in the sports space, including Arthur Blank, Steve Cohen, Alexis Ohanian and Marc Lasry, as well as athletes Serena Williams, Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Woods partnered with David Blitzer for the Jupiter franchise.

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