VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — The European Tour has added a new six-hole team event to the schedule as part of its aggressive move to introduce innovative formats and broaden the appeal of the sport.
GolfSixes will make its debut at the Centurion Club north of London on May 6-7, featuring two-man teams from 16 different countries competing for a prize fund of 1 million euros ($1.06 million).
The teams will be split into four groups of four teams on Day 1, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout stages. The quarterfinals, semifinals and final will take place on Day 2.
Teams will comprise the leading available player from each competing country and a chosen teammate.
Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, said he wants to “emulate the national fervor” of the Ryder Cup in GolfSixes, which will feature amphitheater-style stands around the tees and greens, music and pyrotechnics on the first tee and at various points around the course, and all players miked up.
“We have said for some time that golf needs to modernize and introducing innovative new formats is a major part of achieving that aim,” Pelley said.
“We want to broaden the appeal of our sport to the millennial demographic and I think this format will do that.”
Pelley s establishing a reputation as something of a visionary in golf.
Since becoming CEO in 2015, Pelley has overseen the implementation of a policy that allows players to wear shorts during practice rounds and pro-ams. He has also introduced measures designed to speed up the pace of play, and added to the schedule an event in Australia – taking place next week – that will conclude with a six-hole shootout on the final day.