The popular GolfSixes format is continuing to expand and introduce even more young people to a shorter format of the sport following a successful pilot season in continental Europe.
Young people from 75 golf clubs participated in the 25 GolfSixes Leagues during the 2022 pilot season in Belgium, Germany, Holland, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the initiative is being developed further so that young people in Czech Republic, Finland, Malta and Slovakia can also participate in 2023.
In addition, a pilot of the GolfSixes Mini League will also take place in these participating countries. The Mini League is designed to bring GolfSixes into schools and other recreational settings without the need for a golf course.
Using soft equipment, GolfSixes Mini League is played across a temporary course comprising of six holes which can fit into the dimensions of a football pitch, making it perfect for non-golf facilities short on space or as an indoor activity during cold weather months. Children practice and play in teams which creates a fun and relaxed environment for them to enjoy their first experience of golf.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A said, “GolfSixes is a fun and accessible short-form of golf and we are pleased to see that the pilot in Europe attracted young people in good numbers last year. We want to build on that momentum by expanding its reach into new countries so that more young people have opportunities to enjoy golf and its health benefits with family and friends.”
Ian Randell, CEO of the Confederation of Professional Golf [CPG] added, “The success of the pilot activations in Europe has shown that GolfSixes League provides the perfect solution for young people to be able to progress on to the golf course in a fun and engaging way whilst enjoying the social and competitive enjoyment of playing as part of a team. We are extremely pleased that the collaboration internationally has worked so well, whilst national activities have also proven to show how great work can be done when PGAs and PGA Members, Federations/Unions, clubs, etc. all work towards the same goals.”
First launched in Great Britain and Ireland, GolfSixes League is a development initiative which introduces young people to golf in a fun and inclusive environment as they practice and play in teams, along with an added competitive element.
It enables young people to progress from using driving ranges or practice facilities as beginners to playing golf in teams of six over six holes using a two-person scramble format on courses adapted to their skill levels.
Along with the positive results seen in continental Europe last year, GolfSixes League continues to prove popular in Great Britain and Ireland under the administration of the Golf Foundation, England Golf, Golf Ireland, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf.
In 2022, more than 500 golf clubs participated in a GolfSixes League which resulted in a 47% increase in affiliated membership. Plans are in place to expand to more than 750 golf clubs in 2023.
Golf Sixes expansion into Continental Europe has been supported by The R&A, the Confederation of Professional Golf [CPG], the Ryder Cup European Development Trust (RCEDT), DP World Tour and Ladies European Tour – the leading bodies aligning in support of a development initiative for the first time.