Cricket hero Sir Ian Botham this week launched the first PowerPlay Golf British Championship – a competition to find the nation’s best exponent of the new game described as ‘Twenty20 cricket for golf‘.
More than 2,500 golf clubs in Britain have been invited to take part in championship, which is endorsed by Botham and former football star Les Ferdinand and will culminate in a grand final at The Belfry this autumn.
Any golf club can stage a qualifying event, with its winner going through to play in one of nine regional finals. The top three golfers from each of those will fight to become the first ever PowerPlay Golf British Champion on the Belfry’s famous Brabazon Course on October 14-15.
Botham agreed to become the face of the championship after discussions with Peter McEvoy, the co-creator of PowerPlay Golf – the 9-hole game which uses two flags on each green. In the innovative format, golfers earn bonus points for successfully taking on the more difficult black flag pin positions.
Said keen golfer Botham, “I was immediately taken with the exciting risk and reward element of PowerPlay Golf. Throughout my cricketing career I faced numerous occasions when I had to decide whether to defend or attack and in PowerPlay Golf players are faced with that choice on every hole.
“It brings whole new dimension to competitive golf and is pure sport. I hope clubs respond and stage qualifying events to help me find the first ever PowerPlay Golf British Champion.”
Since launching in 2007, PowerPlay Golf has become a worldwide hit, with courses around the world – including South Africa, Australia, Ireland and Denmark – setting up for golfers to experience the innovative format.
Peter McEvoy OBE, the distinguished amateur golfer and the driving force behind the event, said today, “I am delighted we have launched the British PowerPlay Golf Championship.
“The eventual winner will not only have exhibited good golf skills, but they will have shown they have great mental toughness – because the format of the game means they have to perform under self-imposed pressure three times in their round.
“Golfers have told us that the added pressure and excitement they feel when they go for the black PowerPlay flag is something they don‘t really experience in a normal game of golf. This edge is what makes the competition unique – without straying too far from the traditional game.”
In PowerPlay Golf there are two flags on each green – one white, one the black PowerPlay flag. Golfers must take three ‘PowerPlays‘ in their first eight holes and score double Stableford points for net birdies or better.
They have an optional fourth ‘PowerPlay‘ on the final hole, but face a two-point penalty for net bogey or worse, so decision-making plays a crucial role in the enjoyment of the game.
McEvoy expects around 500 golf clubs will join the 145 existing Official Venues in the British Isles in staging a PowerPlay Golf British Championship qualifier between May 1 and 29 August this year.
The nine regional qualifiers will then take place throughout September at Hampton Court Palace GC (London); Abbotsley Hotel, Golf and Country Club (East Anglia), The Westerwood Hotel and GC (Scotland), The Hertfordshire GC (South East), The Bristol GC (South West and Wales), St Anne’s Old Links GC (North west), Aldwark Manor GC (North east), Cotgrave Place GC (East Midlands) and Shirley GC (West Midlands).
PowerPlay Golf www.powerplay-golf.com