Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy’s TGL league to feature shot clock; full rules released

The TGL indoor golf league continues to take shape.

On Oct. 31, the league unveiled its ‘Modern Match Play’ format, which will see teams compete in 15-hole matches in front of a live audience.

The first nine holes—dubbed the first session—will feature a 3-on-3 format. The second session, or the remaining six holes, will be a rotating 1-v-1 style of play.

It is an unprecedented style of golf, as it will commence on Tuesday, Jan. 9, on ESPN.

But before the first shot is struck, fans will need to have a better understanding of the rules, which were released on Monday by TGL.

First, the 2024 TGL season will feature a shot clock.

Each player will have 40 seconds to hit their shot, similar to the 40-second play clock utilized in NFL football games. Should a player fail to hit their shot within that 40-second timeframe, then his team will be assessed one penalty stroke.

A referee will also be present for matches, and he will serve as the arbitrator for any shot-clock issues or infractions. The referee will enforce the rules, predicated on the PGA Tour’s traditional rules of golf and the unique regulations set forth at the SoFi Center.

Additionally, a booth official—an expert on the rules of golf—will be present, assisting the referee with any calls or incidents that may transpire.

The referee will be the point of contact for timeouts, as each team will have four at their disposal.

During the first session, teams will receive two timeouts. Then, two more are allotted to the second session. There are no carryovers, like football.

Timeouts can be called by any team member who verbally signals or gestures to the referee. They can be called at any point before the 40-second shot clock expires.

But timeouts cannot be called consecutively, meaning a player cannot call two timeouts during one turn. Should a team call a timeout, they must wait for the shot to be played before calling the next one.

Perhaps a strategy of utilizing timeouts in TGL will draw parallels to icing the kicker in football games. With the game on the line, football coaches tend to call a timeout to make the kicker think about their upcoming kick a little bit more. Sometimes, it leads to an errant strike, but often, it does not.

Nevertheless, this strategy could be employed when a player has a big putt for the win at the end of the second session. Or maybe before someone has a tough shot on a par-3. Who knows—the possibilities are endless.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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