Darren Clarke’s Rest of the World team beat Lee Westwood’s England team in the first 6teesix event launched at Vilamoura earlier this week. Following the incredible success of cricket’s 20Twenty World Cup it is golf’s turn to create a format for the 21st century.
Slow play is still a burning issue on the Tour and continues to contribute to the ‘time pressure’ problems associated with golf as a modern day past time. In 6teesix the players are encouraged to play 6 holes in an hour, which at 10 minutes a hole equates to a three hour 18 hole round – a much more attractive proposition compared to the 5 hour plus rounds that are becoming the norm. 6teesix sees teams of 6 players compete in a unique ‘pairs scramble’ modified matchplay format designed to foster team spirit and encourage a faster pace of play.
William Anderson, one of the creators of 6teesix explains, “It is very difficult for golfers to find 5-6 hours every week to play a full round. 6teesix is a great way to keep your eye in more regularly and the team format ensures a competitive edge is maintained in the shortened version.”
The launch event, backed by Oce®nico Group, the owners of Oce®nico Golf who play hosts to the inaugural Portugal Masters European Tour event from 18th to 21st October, saw England, captained by Lee Westwood, take on a ‘Rest of the World’ team captained by Darren Clarke. Darren Clarke’s team of Retief Goosen, Paul McGinley and 3 amateur players won the event 11 -7 and picked up a cheque for €10,000, which will be donated to the Darren Clarke Foundation.
“It was great to take victory today and I am delighted to take the winner’s cheque for the Darren Clarke Foundation. I thoroughly enjoyed playing Oceanico’s Millennium course and the 6teesix format was a lot of fun. We need to find ways to increase regular golf participation and I am confident that many golfers out there will enjoy this style of play,” commented Darren.
Lee Westwood whose England team consisted of David Howell and Paul Broadhurst plus three amateurs also enjoyed the 6teesix concept. “The Millennium course was a great location to launch the Oce®nico 6teesix format,” he said. “Unfortunately my team didn’t perform, but we had a lot of fun. Speed of play is obviously a concern in both the professional and amateur games as no-one wants a 5-hour round and this format really highlighted that it is possible to play at a pace of 10 minutes per hole.”
The 6teesix concept was piloted earlier this year at a handful of golf clubs in the UK and will roll out across the country in 2008. Oce®nico’s Simon Burgess was delighted to host the event. “We love the 6teesix format. Everyone involved in golf will benefit from both faster and more regular play so it is fantastic for us to be able to showcase this format on one of our famous five Vilamoura courses and welcome some world class players who I know love Vilamoura as a golf and holiday destination.”