England Golf and the European Tour have agreed to work in partnership to grow the game – and will start by engaging members at 1900+ clubs through GolfSixes, the innovative short form of the game.
The partnership was announced at Centurion Club in Hertfordshire, where the second edition of GolfSixes, the European Tour’s fast and fun six-hole tournament was being played out by 16 teams of male and female professionals. At stake this weekend was a €1m prize fund with the eventual winners receiving €100,000 each.
Now English club amateurs can get involved in the six-hole action – and play their way to the ultimate prize of an involvement in the European Tour’s GolfSixes tournament in 2019.
Details of a national GolfSixes competition for club members will be announced in the coming weeks. The short format game will also be showcased with an invitational event at England Golf Week at Frilford Heath Golf Club, Oxfordshire, in August.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “When we first began developing the concept of GolfSixes, we knew it had the potential to be a format that could inspire male and female players of all ages and abilities to either take up the game or play more often, and we’re delighted that England Golf share that vision.
“Through partners like the Golf Foundation, the GolfSixes League format has already been adopted across the UK and Europe and has proved immensely popular with young players across Europe with programmes up and running in Denmark, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Rolling it out to adult amateur players is the next logical step and we’re very excited to be working with England Golf to attract more people to our wonderful game.”
England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink commented: “We are very excited to be working so closely with the European Tour and forging even stronger links between the professional and amateur game.
“We love the way the European Tour is developing GolfSixes, creating an international competition which brings men and women together at the top end of the game.
“It’s a bright, modern, alternative format which will absolutely work at club level and will appeal to new audiences. In particular, we think it will be enjoyed by people who are short of time, or who are new to golf and to competition and by those who are getting back into the game after a break.
“Above all, GolfSixes is fun and it’s showing that golf is changing to suit the needs of different people and their lifestyles.”
GolfSixes has already captured the imagination of youngsters across the country who were involved in a pilot project run last year by the Golf Foundation and supported by England Golf with Sport England funding.
The charity pioneered the GolfSixes League, which will grow this year to involve youngsters from 125 clubs across the UK. More than 1500 boys and girls are expected to be coached by club PGA professionals each week in their 12-player squads before displaying their new-found skills at weekends.
The GolfSixes League format will also run in Belgium, Denmark, France and the Netherlands.
“We’ve been delighted to support the Golf Foundation and to see their success with GolfSixes. Now is the time to share the format more widely with our club members,” said Nick Pink.
European Tour www.europeantour.com
England Golf www.englandgolf.org
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