From night events to first-tee entrance music, Keith Pelley has not been shy to shake things up as CEO of the European Tour. This innovative approach has bore its latest creation: a six-hole tournament.
On Sunday the European Tour unveiled “GolfSixes.” The event will feature two-man teams from 16 countries, vying for a $1.06 million prize. GolfSixes will debut on May 6 at the Centurion Club, just outside of London. “Greensomes” will be the playing format: both players in each team hit tee shots on each hole. The best tee shot is selected, then the team alternates play of all subsequent shots required to complete the hole. 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.
“We have said for some time that golf needs to modernize and introducing innovative new formats is a major part of achieving that aim, which is why I am delighted to announce the launch of GolfSixes today,” Pelley said in a statement. “We want to broaden the appeal of our sport to the millennial demographic and I think this format will do that, not only through the quick and exiting style of play, but also with the interactive digital experience fans will enjoy on site and the innovative television coverage people will enjoy at home.”
Besides reduction in playing time, Pelley is hoping to create a Ryder Cup environment. GolfSixes will have amphitheater-style seating around tees and greens, music and pyrotechnics on the first tee and at various points around the course, and have players miked up.
“We are also delighted to have brought a country versus country element to the fore,” Pelley said. “We are in the entertainment content business with golf as our platform and GolfSixes is the perfect illustration of that.”