A pilot season of the successful GolfSixes League has launched in Abu Dhabi in a continuing drive to encourage young people into playing, enjoying and remaining in the sport.
Golf Sixes League is a development initiative which introduces young people to golf in a fun and inclusive environment, along with an added competitive element.
The Abu Dhabi based GolfSixes League will see seven squads of 12 players, who rotate a team of six during each round, compete in a two ball Texas scramble stroke play format across six holes. The best two scores of the three pairs will count toward the team score.
The League will take place on three dates from January to March, with team winners declared after each round and an overall champion decided at the Grand Final in April.
The pilot season is a collaboration between The R&A and the Emirates Golf Federation, which will field a team in the League alongside those from Yas Links Golf Club, Yas Acres Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Abu Dhabi City Golf Club, Abu Dhabi Golf Club and the Al Ain Equestrian Shooting and Golf Club.
Neal Graham, Regional Development Manager – Middle East & India at The R&A, said, “GolfSixes League is a proven development initiative which encourages new golfers into the sport in a fun and competitive way. It allows young people to bring their new found skills from the lesson tee onto the course in an encouraging and inclusive team environment.
“Golf in the Middle East continues to grow and we are aiming to sustain this momentum by adopting initiatives that have been successful in other regions around the world. We hope the introduction of GolfSixes League to Abu Dhabi will deliver similar results for golf participation in the state as we have seen in Great Britain and Ireland, Europe and Africa.”
General Abdulla Alhashmi, Vice Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation, said, “The Emirates Golf Federation is delighted to be working with The R&A on the GolfSixes League in Abu Dhabi. We believe golf is a healthy activity for children and we support initiatives that encourage early adoption and long-term playing of the sport. We would also like to recognize and thank the golf clubs in Abu Dhabi for embracing the GolfSixes League and we hope your teams enjoy competing.”
The first round of the GolfSixes League took place on Saturday 27 January at Yas Links Golf Club on its Academy Course where the team from Abu Dhabi City Golf Club became the first winners.
Round two takes place on Tuesday 20 February at Abu Dhabi City Golf Club before Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club host the third round on Saturday 23 March.
The Grand Final will be played at Yas Acres Golf Club on Saturday 20 April where the first overall champions will be decided.
The GolfSixes League in Abu Dhabi is open to boys and girls of any age who are beginner golfers and do not hold a Handicap Index®.
The expansion of Golf Sixes League into Abu Dhabi builds on the successful implementation of GolfSixes League in Europe by The R&A, the Confederation of Professional Golf (CPG), the Ryder Cup European Development Trust (RCEDT), DP World Tour and Ladies European Tour.
GolfSixes League has also seen successful adoption across Great Britain and Ireland where it is administered by the Golf Foundation, England Golf, Golf Ireland, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf.
The shorter GolfSixes format continued to expand and introduce even more children following a successful pilot season in continental Europe. There are now 20 nations delivering GolfSixes League and GolfSixes Mini League, a marked increase from ten nations in 2022. Over 7,800 players took part at 660 participating clubs/facilities in 2023. In total, 43% of players became junior members in GB&I whilst being part of Golf Sixes League.
GolfSixes League is a proven pathway with 88% of children who took part in Great Britain and Ireland last year indicating they would like to play more golf as a result of participating in the programme.