BOSTON, Mass. – In case you haven’t heard there’s a new sports team in Boston called Boston Common Golf.
More accurately, it’s a four-man team of PGA Tour golfers who are friend’s of Tiger Woods and who are using the Boston name to participate in TGL’s new, tech-forward golf league that blends technology and live action with teams of PGA Tour players competing in matches scheduled to start in January 2024.
The so-called Boston Common Golf team features Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott and Tyrrell Hatton who will play in five regular season matches against the other TGL teams, followed by a four-team postseason, with a semi-final and finals series.
The golf matches will be played under a dome called SoFi Center, a custom-built venue in Palm Beach, Florida, that will combine a data-rich virtual course with a state-of-the-art short game complex creating an odd experience for fans in the stands as well as those watching on TV.
Other than from the mainstream golf media who fawn over anything Tiger Woods-related, there is zero interest or enthusiasm from golfers. This for-profit business concept appears to be the wrong product at the wrong time even though the matches will be televised on ESPN. Also, the TGL business plan took a major dive toward extinction when the SoFI Center in Palm Beach County, where the matches will be played under an indoor dome, collapsed Saturday Nov. 11, raising questions about when, where and how the virtual golf league moves forward. So far, few details are offered at the business website. https://www.tglgolf.com/
Probably worth mentioning the four-man Boston team have no Massachusetts or New England connection, other than Keegan Bradley, who was born in Woodstock, Vermont and moved to Hopkinton, Massachusetts prior to his senior year at Hopkinton High School, where he won the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Division 2 individual state championship in 2004. Adam Scott won the first Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston in 2003 and Rory McIlroy won twice in 2012 and 2016.
Fenway Sports Group is the primary owner/investor of Boston Common Golf. Fenway Sports Group is a global sports, marketing, media, entertainment, and real estate company anchored by three clubs, the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. FSG’s portfolio includes two of the world’s most historic venues, Fenway Park and Anfield Stadium, NASCAR’s RFK Racing, NESN, Fenway Sports Management and Fenway Sports Group Real Estate.
Last week the four players particpated in a splashy media availability display at Fenway Park to promote the team & TGL concept. Even though the players will never hit a golf ball in the Boston area and golf enthusiasts will only be able to watch on TV, a bizarre press release boldly proclaims Boston Common Golf will be “bringing the joy of golf to fans in the heart of Boston.”
“We’re excited to embark on this amazing journey with Fenway Sports Group, joining forces to help build and create a successful future for Boston Common Golf,” said Symphony Ventures Partner Sean O’Flaherty. “Our partnership reflects our shared passion for this reimagined version of the sport. Together, we are committed to fostering a culture of excellence and bringing the joy of golf to fans in the heart of Boston and across New England.”
By the way, the logo of Boston Common Golf displays an ugly bullfrog with dimples of a golf ball lodged in its throat. How appealing?
Apparently some high-powered, well financed media are “all-in” on the TGL Gof League. NBC Sports Next announced a multi-year partnership between its GolfNow business and Boston Common Golf, which includes plans to produce a digital reality docuseries to create a national following for the team.
“We’re thrilled about establishing this foundational relationship with Boston Common Golf for GolfNow,” said Will McIntosh, President, NBC Sports Next. “Making big events bigger through innovation is our mission at NBC Sports Next and we’re excited to continue the great partnership we have with Rory to help showcase the stories of Boston Common Golf’s entry into TGL.”
Another goobly-gook, puff-piece press release reads:
“This partnership with Boston Common is another innovative step in Rory’s relationship with NBC Sports Next and its GolfNow and GolfPass businesses,” said Sean O’Flaherty, Managing Director, Rory McIlroy Inc. “He’s looking forward to joining his teammates and providing fans with an inside-the-ropes look along their TGL journey and doing their best to uphold the great traditions of one of the best sports cities in the world.”
Wow. How’s that for a fake news promise? Does the dope that wrote that really believe that virtual golf will get the juices flowing in hardcore Boston sports fans?
Exactly, what is there to like about watching talented, privileged, multi-millionaire golfers hit balls in a domed environment? And please, who cares about a digital docuseries capturing the real-life development of the Boston Common Golf team from its beginnings through its first competition in TGL’s SoFi Center competition arena? “The Making of a Boston Sports Team” is scheduled to premiere on NBC Sports Next’s GolfPass streaming channel in early 2024, available via online, mobile and connected devices.
Yes, I’ll tune in but this is one business venture led by Tiger Woods that is destined to turn into dust, not gold. Let’s not forget Tiger’s golf career is over and we haven’t seen him hit a shot since he missed the cut in the Masters in April.
On the web: BostonCommonGolf.com