GolfSixes League will expand across Europe in 2022 in a continuing drive to encourage young people into playing, enjoying and remaining in the sport.
The expansion is a collaboration between 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.
GolfSixes League 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.
In 2021, across GB&I, 386 golf venues offered 74 GolfSixes Leagues in which 5252 players participated with 30% of those being girls. Following on from the GolfSixes League there was a 35% increase in junior membership at participating clubs.
GolfSixes League, and its off-course version GolfSixes Mini League, will now expand in 2022 to also run in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Switzerland.
An estimated 8,000 young people will experience the sport this year thanks to GolfSixes League, which will be played across the ten countries with around 750 golf clubs participating in events this summer.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said, “We are very supportive of initiatives that encourage young people into golf and be retained within the sport and GolfSixes League has already shown itself to be a popular and enjoyable short-form activity with both young people and their parents.
“It is important to build on the early momentum gained in Great Britain and Ireland and introduce the initiative to more countries throughout Europe so that more opportunities to enjoy playing golf in this format are offered to young people and they can experience the health and social benefits that we know it can provide to them.”
Ian Randell, Chief Executive of the CPG, said, “This Project between international organisations with local delivery via PGAs and National Federations is a great example of the collaboration that is possible within our sport.
“We have long been advocates of short-form team golf, in both an on-and off-course environment, as a fantastic vehicle to promote both the values and enjoyment of the sport and encourage participation in a quick, fun format, particularly amongst juniors and beginners. We are excited to be able to drive this project forward internationally and demonstrate the success that can be achieved when national and international organisations work together.”
Ben Cowen, DP World Tour Chief Tournament Business Officer, said, “One of the main aims of the GolfSixes League is to bring golf to new and younger audiences, and what better way to engage young people than to get them involved in playing this exciting new short format.
“Using the platform of the DP World Tour with the innovation, inclusivity, and global reach it already has within the game, the expansion of the GolfSixes League to more European countries further highlights the success of the concept and we hope to continue building on this momentum to encourage more junior golfers to enjoy our game.”
Mike Round, Director of Administration at the Ladies European Tour, added, “The development of the GolfSixes Leagues demonstrates how golf is introducing innovative and engaging formats that are reaching new audiences and attracting new participants. The positive impact of GolfSixes Leagues has already been proven and it is particularly encouraging to see how the initiative is being used to bring more girls and young women into the sport.
“As part of our commitment to the growth of GolfSixes Leagues across Europe, we’ll be encouraging our players to promote and support the initiative in their home countries.”
GolfSixes League is a development initiative which introduces young people to golf in a fun and inclusive environment, along with an added competitive element.
In a short time period, it enables young people to move from beginners on driving ranges or practice facilities to playing golf in teams of six, playing over six holes, using the two-person scramble format on courses adapted to their skill levels.
Evidence from GolfSixes League in Great Britain and Ireland has clearly demonstrated that practicing and playing in teams is a successful way to engage young people and their parents with the sport.
A GolfSixes League digital platform has been developed by Golf Genius to easily enable participating golf clubs to implement and manage their League as it is introduced to other countries this year.