This article originally appeared on dpworldtour.com
Wil Besseling and Lars van Meijel were on hand to support the running of a GolfSixes League event taking place in advance of the KLM Open as the popular format continues to be introduced to more and more young people.
Ahead of the 103rd edition of the Netherlands’ national open this week at Bernardus Golf, the two home stars joined a local coach on Tuesday in organising playing opportunities for youngsters with little golfing experience.
GolfSixes League started as a grassroots version of the short-form GolfSixes professional team event, which the DP World Tour created in 2017.
It has seen great success across Great Britain and Ireland where it is administered by the Golf Foundation, England Golf, Golf Ireland, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf.
Since last year, GolfSixes League, and its off-course version GolfSixes Mini League, has expanded to also run across a host of other European countries, including the Netherlands.
“This is a great way with the KLM Open to get [children] involved in golf,” said Besseling, who is among those flying the home flag this week.
“Hopefully it is a good start and can help to get them to play golf and have some fun together with other kids.”
Since its inception, the number of participants in Great Britain & Ireland alone has grown to over 6,000, from 524 clubs forming part of 117 leagues in 2023.
GolfSixes League pilots were run in the Netherlands in 2018 and 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic put a pause to them.
Reflecting on the interest of the short format, European Challenge Tour winner Van Meijel added: “18 holes is almost five hours these days and for kids it is not really appealing.
“But it is always really good to play with friends and have a group of kids that you grow up together with and play together. That is the reason I started playing golf.”
The programme is led by the PGA and supported by the Dutch Golf Federation in Holland ensuring the project has become a great success.
In 2022, GolfSixes was played in 5 regions in Holland with 25 teams, involving 170 children, with the aim of increasing that to 250 kids this year.