Arthur Blank is now the owner of a third professional sports franchise — this time, a golf team.
Blank will become owner of the Atlanta franchise of the TGL, a new golf league started in part by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. TGL will be comprise professionals playing on a golf simulator along with a separate area for short-game play in Palm Beach, Florida. It begins in January.
Teams comprise three players, and events in the televised league will take place over two hours on Monday nights during prime time. It will run during the PGA Tour season and, working in conjunction with the tour, there will be a total of 15 head-to-head regular-season matches before the semifinals and finals.
Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Matt Fitzpatrick, Rickie Fowler and Max Homa are committed to the league, along with Woods and McIlroy. Blank said ownership groups won’t be able to select the players on their teams, but they can suggest players.
Blank, who owns the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL and Atlanta United of MLS, also owns the PGA Tour Superstore chain across the country.
“We’re into golf significantly now with PGA Tour Superstore, so that’s the prime motivation,” Blank told ESPN. “We have a great relationship with the tour itself. They would probably tell you we’re one of the best partners and we would say they are a great partner to us as well. So, this is a way to extend the game of golf.”
This is also another way for Blank to bring professional sports to Atlanta, although the team with will not play any matches in Georgia.
Blank said he approached TGL to become involved, and he is an investor in Tomorrow Sports, the parent company of the league.
“We believe in what Tomorrow Sports is going to do in the world of golf,” Blank said.
Atlanta becomes the third of six teams planned for the TGL. The Los Angeles Golf Club, a venture owned by Serena Williams and Venus Williams, among others, will own a Los Angeles club, and the Fenway Sports Group owns a Boston franchise.