The GolfSixes League international expansion gained momentum over the past 12 months with 20 countries now running the programme designed to encourage young people into playing, enjoying and remaining in the sport.

Six nations joined Great Britain & Ireland in 2022 and another eight nations started GolfSixes League pilots in 2023. With Iceland and the United Arab Emirates joining in 2024, a total of 20 countries now offer GolfSixes League to young people.

Golf Sixes League is a development initiative, supported by The R&A and the Emirates Golf Federation – The R&A

GolfSixes initially started in 2017 as a six-hole team match-play event on the DP World Tour. It then evolved into the GolfSixes League, a development project designed to enable participants who are new to golf to learn, play and progress through short-form team golf. It is a collaborative initiative driven by the DP World Tour, The R&A, Ryder Cup European Development Trust [RCEDT], Confederation of Professional Golf [CPG], Ladies European Tour [LET], and national partners. The expansion of GolfSixes League is backed by the Golf Foundation, the charity that created and developed the initiative across GB&I.

With innovation as a guiding light for GolfSixes League, the first International Indoor GolfSixes League Championship was launched in the winter of 2023/24. Played on simulators, teams from six nations participated, with Dutch team Sluispolder winning ahead of the Swiss team from Links Leuk Golf resort and the Czech team from Golf Club Horehledy. Following this successful launch, the Icelandic Golf Union is piloting indoor leagues this year, also played on simulators, to attract and engage young golfers during their long off-season.

The Golf Foundation recently announced that in GB&I there will be more than 8,000 players from over 600 clubs participating in GolfSixes League. In other nations, where activity is still in the development phase, a further 270 clubs and over 4,000 players will participate in 2024.

Adding further excitement for participants, GolfSixes League activities will be held at a number of DP World Tour and LET events during the season.

GolfSixes League continues to deliver positive results with a 2023 survey of participants outside of GB&I showing that 39% of participants are girls and over half of the participants who were not already members of a golf club, became members during the year.

Abu Dhabi City Golf Club – Golf Sixes Champions

Maria Grandinetti-Milton, Head of Sustainability at the DP World Tour, said: “GolfSixes was born as a shorter tournament format on our 2017 season schedule that could engage new audiences with the game. Since then, it has taken on a life of its own and spread across the globe as an ideal way to get young people into golf. It has been fantastic to witness the collaboration between so many of golf’s key bodies and local grass-roots organisations to roll-out this expansion and we look forward to seeing this momentum continue in the years ahead.”

Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A said, “We are delighted to see GolfSixes League expanding across the globe, this growth is a testament to the fast-paced format which makes golf accessible for players and their parents. It is more important than ever to provide young people with healthy leisure time options, so we are entirely supportive of initiatives like the GolfSixes League which introduces golf in a fun and fast environment that inspires lifelong enjoyment of the sport.”

Ian Randell, Chief Executive of CPG, the project manager of the international roll-out of GolfSixes League and sole member of the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, added: “The growth of this exciting initiative shows the value of, and enjoyment gained from, short-form team golf, especially for juniors and beginners. The rapid expansion is a testament to what can be achieved when leading international bodies truly collaborate and work together to provide opportunities to national organisations, golf facilities and coaches across the globe. Together with the other partners, we look forward to continuing to grow participation and adding further new nations over the coming years.”

Main Image: The R&A