PBSC receives $1 million gift from TMRW Sports at golf venue groundbreaking
TMRW Sports, which is focused on building progressive approaches to sports, media and entertainment, gifted $1 million to Palm Beach State College as part of its agreement to build the future home of TGL, a high-tech golf league, on the Palm Beach Gardens campus.
The gift was announced during a celebration Feb. 21 of the new partnership between PBSC and TMRW Sports, which was cofounded by Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and sports executive Mike McCarley. They were on hand for the check presentation made before an audience of 150 guests assembled for the event.
The $1 million will establish the TMRW Sports Fund through the Foundation for Palm Beach State College to benefit Palm Beach State’s students and programs, ensuring scholarships, academic program development, general project support, internships and career development opportunities for students. In addition, the partnership provides for guest lectures, academic teaching support and keynote speakers, including professional sports figures and celebrities from a variety of media. TMRW intends to introduce the opportunity to its partners to secure matching gifts.
The celebration was held on the parcel of land where construction of a 135,000-square-foot venue for the league, launched in partnership with the PGA TOUR, will begin this year. Gov. Ron DeSantis, PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan, business and community leaders, and PBSC students were among the guests for the celebration hosted by sports commentator Erin Andrews. Andrews also moderated an interview with Woods and McIlroy on the stage following the check presentation.
“As the future home of the interactive, indoor tech golf league being developed by TMWR Sports in conjunction with the PGA TOUR, we are going to become associated with this amazing brand not only for the next generation of sports but also as a go-to institution that prepares students for emerging technologies transforming every aspect of our society,’’ said PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D.
Parker discussed how the future looks bright in STEM occupations affiliated with the technology jobs being created by the TGL. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be 821,300 openings for STEM jobs over the next decade. Employment in STEM careers such as computer and information technology, is projected to grow 13% through 2030. That’s nearly two times the rate of non-STEM professions, which are expected to increase by 7.5% through 2030.
DeSantis lauded the partnership and the anticipated educational opportunities and positive economic impact.
“Palm Beach County has been one of the leaders in terms of attracting investment into the county and being able to really transform the face of the county. You had a lot of successes. It’s always been a great place to live, but this is really taking it to the next level, “he said. “To be able to do this with TMRW Sports in conjunction with Palm Beach State College just adds to the excitement about what’s going on here.”
DeSantis called Palm Beach County an “epicenter of golf” and an ideal location for the venue considering the number of champion golfers who live particularly between Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens.
“I don’t think you’ve ever had so much talent in one place in the history of modern golf,” he said. He added that when the venue is complete it will once again put Florida on the map. “People are going to say here goes Florida leading again —this time with stadium indoor golf. Buckle up. It’s going to be fun.”
So far, 11 players have committed to the TGL, who will fill out the rosters of six teams, according to TMRW Sports. The league will fuse technology and live action in a primetime, team golf competition beginning in 2024.
“TGL’s greater purpose is embracing this technology to provide more access to golf and more access to kids who may not have ever been able to step foot on a golf course before,” McCarley said. “They may never have dreamed to be Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy, but because of the use of technology they can now have that dream and that’s something we are going to do right here.”
Through the partnership, McCarley said, PBSC students will be introduced to curriculum and ultimately careers that they may never have considered. “We are really proud to help introduce new pathways in sports, media and technology and ultimately to jobs in those fields.”
The league and the venue, which is expected to seat 1,500 to 2,000 people, will evolve the golf sport.
“We are proud to partner with TGL to showcase the very best players on the PGA TOUR in this one-of-a-kind, almost unimaginable concept. It’s innovative, it’s progressive, it’s authentic and it’s technology driven,’” Monahan said. “It’s a shining example of the welcoming environment and fan-friendly environment we see every single week on the PGA TOUR. Like so many, I’m incredibly excited and proud that Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy – two transcendent stars – were in at the ground floor and committed to building a product and an experience that excites our existing fans and is going to bring in countless new ones.”
The partnership with TMRW Sports represents one of the most significant milestones in PBSC’s history and comes as the College celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
“We could not dream of a better opportunity to launch Palm Beach State into the next 90 years than with a mutually beneficial partnership with extraordinary partners,’’ said Carolyn L. Williams, chair of the PBSC District Board of Trustees. “This collaboration is sure to drive equally extraordinary impact and innovation while preparing students for future technology careers in sports and entertainment fields.”
Palm Beach State College is the top choice in Palm Beach County for students seeking to prepare for technology careers of the future. Augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality are happening today in PBSC’s classrooms and learning labs.
Five out of 10 jobs on the Best STEM jobs list for 2023 are related to computer technology and software development. One of the hottest fields is software development. Software developers are those who create the applications that simulate those virtual experiences that will bring 18 rounds of interactive golf to the TGL.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in software development, quality assurance analysis and testing are projected to grow by 25 percent through 2031 at a median wage of $121,000 a year.
The agreement with TMRW Sports also allows Palm Beach State’s use of the TGL venue, which will expand the infrastructure of the Palm Beach Gardens campus for college programming, enhanced educational experiences and community-wide events.
“This public-private partnership is a true collaboration that serves not only Palm Beach State College but also Palm Beach County in tremendous ways. The initial benefits are countless, and the potential impact for students and the community is extraordinary,” said David Rutherford, CEO of the Foundation for Palm Beach State College and vice president of Institutional Advancement.
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