In line with its forward thinking approach to golf, High Legh Park Golf Club in Knutsford has announced that it will be holding all three of its scheduled Open tournaments for 2011 incorporating a trial of the new ‘Powerplay’ format.
Sponsored globally by Saab, the PowerPlay format was professionally launched at Celtic Manor last Monday when Swedish Lady Golfer Caroline Hedwall triumphed over a competitive mixed gender field including seniors’ legend Gary Player, US Open Champions Graeme McDowell and Paula Creamer, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and previous Major Champions Helen Alfredsson, John Daly and Ian Woosnam.
Hailed by some as a major move forward for golf, the exciting new format is sure to ruffle a few feathers in the traditional golfing world but that hasn’t put off High Legh Park which is fully committed to taking golf to a wider audience.
“PowerPlay is potentially one of the most exciting things to happen to golfing competitions for the last 50 years,” said High Legh Park Club Director Martin Cooper. “Not since the introduction of Stableford has a new idea caught the imagination like this. Like ‘Twenty 20’ in cricket, PowerPlay encourages attacking golf and that is great for club as well as professional golfers.”
Traditionally a 9-hole format, PowerPlay allows golfers a choice to aim for one of two flags on the green – a White Flag and a Black (‘PowerPlay’) Flag. Players have limited PowerPlays, and score extra points for net birdies or better when playing to the Black (or ‘PowerPlay’) Flag, thereby creating extra pressure.
Now registered as an official PowerPlay course, High Legh Park is trialing the format in three of its Open competitions this year. For the ladies, seniors and mixed opens, 3 holes will have designated PowerPlay greens and the black PowerPlay flags will be placed in particularly difficult positions. Players electing to go for the PowerPlay pin will in High Legh’s format receive double stableford points for a PAR or better on the hole. Before teeing off players will need to think long and hard about making their decision to go for extra Stableford points.
“It’s a highly tactical game with a big risk and reward element. When it pays off it’s glorious but when it doesn’t it can be pretty disheartening. We believe that range of emotions will excite a lot of people and the trial will give us a good idea on how best we should progress with the format. The three competitions will also give members from other clubs the chance to experience the new format first hand as well as some of our own members who can’t wait to try this new golfing experience.”
The three competitions are the Mixed Open on 10th July, the Ladies Open on the 19th July and the Seniors Open on the 4th August.
High Legh Park Golf Club www.highleghpark.com
Powerplay Golf www.powerplay-golf.com
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