Inaugural and revolutionary GolfSixes launched by European Tour
Last Updated: 11/02/17 9:33pm
The European Tour have announced a revolutionary new short-form tournament will be added to their schedule this summer.
The inaugural GolfSixes will feature two-man teams from 16 countries competing for a prize fund of 1million euros at the Centurion Club near St Albans over the weekend of May 6-7.
The leading European Tour member from each nation will select his partner for the event, which will use the greensomes match play format, and both days will be screened live on Sky Sports.
A European Tour statement read: "The European Tour is delighted to unveil GolfSixes, a revolutionary and novel short form of the game which further illustrates the Tour's desire to embrace innovation and originality in professional golf.
"The first day's play will see the teams split into four groups of four - similar to the UEFA Champions League football group stages - before the top two teams from each group progress to the knockout stages - the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, a third/fourth place play-off match and the final - all of which will be contested on Sunday May 7.
"In the group stages, three points will be given for winning a match with one point given for a draw while the matches themselves will be played in a greensomes match play format.
"As well as innovation inside the ropes, there will be an abundance of originality for the fans to enjoy outside the ropes as the six holes wend their way around the centrally located fan zone at the Hertfordshire venue.
"In addition to amphitheatre-style stands around the tees and greens, there will be music and pyrotechnics on the first tee and at various points around the course, with all players miked up to help bring fans closer to the action.
"Players will also be encouraged to interact with the fans during play and in the intervals between their matches, including taking part in Q&A sessions in the fan zone, while live streaming on social media will further enhance the spectators' experience and maximise reach.
"The interactive digital fan experience will feature polls, user generated content and unique social media content while the innovative broadcast items will include POV cameras, caddie cams, unique camera angles and on-course player interviews."
Keith Pelley, the chief executive of the European Tour, said: "We have said for some time that golf needs to modernise 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.
"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.
"We are also delighted to have brought a country versus country element to the fore. There is no question that the greatest atmosphere in golf comes every two years at The Ryder Cup and we are keen to try and emulate that national fervour in this format.
"We are in the entertainment content business with golf as our platform and GolfSixes is the perfect illustration of that. I encourage everyone, whether they are a golf fan or not, to come along to the Centurion Club in May and immerse yourself in an occasion which will be unlike anything else you have experienced on a golf course before."