McIlroy lends his voice to Tomorrow's Golf League

Five-time Race to Dubai champion also wants to see golf investments routed back into the game to support grass roots programmes


Leslie Wilson Jr

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Rory McIlroy. — AP
Rory McIlroy. — AP

Published: Wed 15 Nov 2023, 9:46 PM

Fresh from being crowned Race to Dubai champion for the fifth time, Europe’s No 1 golf player Rory McIlroy has lent his voice to initiatives that get kids more acutely involved in the game that has been such a big part of his life.

The Northern Irishman, who is in Dubai to bid for a third DP World Tour Championship title following wins in 2012 and 2015, was happy to discuss the future of golf and the potential game changer gaining round the America - the TGL (Tomorrow's Golf League).

“Young people, hopefully, are the future of the game,” said McIlroy, who turned professional at age 18 in 2007 and has partnered with American golfing great Tiger Woods in the initiative that hopes to attract a new audience to golf with their novel indoor venture.

“It’s just a different demographic,” he said. “Trying to put golf on a slightly different platform (and see) if we can increase the interest in the game for a younger demographic.

“(We’re) trying to get the younger generations involved and trying to have them somehow relate to our game in some way.”

“Hopefully golf doesn't look like what we are doing in TGL 50 years from now because it is a game to be played outdoors and on golf courses and in the fresh air,” added McIlroy with a touch of concern.

“But I think there's a place for it to. Maybe get people excited about watching a different version of the game that they can relate to, and I guess if that gets their foot in the door in some way, that's a really good thing.”

McIlroy, who together with NBC Sports made a milestone contribution to the Youth on Course Scholarship Program in 2021 when he donated $ 1million to create access to golf for kids, has also spoken up about how the substantial investment coming to can be redirected to the governing bodies and by that back into the game.

“I think the professional game has never been stronger or healthier or from a financial standpoint, there's never been a better time to be a professional golfer,” said McIlroy, who has been on the professional tour for 16 years.

“But that's just five percent of what golf is. It's the golf that you play, it's the golf that my dad plays. It's not just about us. It's about the overall health of the game.

“We are all talking about this investment coming into the top level of golf, but I think that investment also needs to go into the R&A and the USGA and for them to try to increase participation,” he added.

“All this stuff is going on but I hope some of that money that is going to be invested back into the game of golf in terms of grass roots programs and again trying to drive the game forward for the next generation.”

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