GolfSixes: Piloting success in junior golf
Junior golf participation in Europe has received a boost thanks to a successful pilot of GolfSixes, short-format golf leagues for young people.
More than 500 golf clubs, from countries including Belgium, Germany, Holland, Poland, Spain and Switzerland took part in a 2022 GolfSixes pilot season, enabling young people to compete in 25 leagues.
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.”
GolfSixes will now be rolled out to 750 clubs this year, with young people in Czech Republic, Finland, Malta and Slovakia participating for the first time.
The accessible team format helps young people progress from using driving ranges or practice facilities, to playing golf in teams of six over six holes, using a scramble format and courses adapted to skill levels.
The new GolfSixes countries will also benefit from a pilot of developmental mini leagues to drive interest and boost participation.
Designed to give a positive first experience of golf, mini leagues use soft equipment and are played on portable six-hole courses, ideally suited to schools and recreational settings.
A version of GolfSixes was first trialled on The European Tour in 2017 as an engaging, fan-friendly format before being adapted for the development of junior golf.
The leagues are administered by a coalition of golf’s leading bodies and are 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.