PowerPlay Golf has been unveiled as the ?exciting? alternative to the traditional game and hailed as the ?shorter, more vibrant form of golf? by David Piggins, the chief executive of Playgolf – the company founded to promote the new version of the sport.
Having seen the huge impact enjoyed by Twenty20 cricket, former Walker Cup captain Peter McEvoy decided to create golf?s answer to Twenty20 cricket and Rugby Sevens because he could see the ?enormous TV potential? the game holds. The new version of the sport was presented to the media on Wednesday at Northwick Park Golf Club in Middlesex (pictured).
PowerPlay Golf is played over 9 holes with 2 flags on each green ? one white, one black ? with a black flag representing the tougher option, for which players are able to use a ?powerplay? to attempt to double their points.
Players must use their three allotted powerplays but their points are only doubled if they manage to score a gross/nett birdie ? or better.
The final hole provides a bonus ?powerplay? opportunity, although it also features an extra twist in the tale. A 30ft diameter circle is placed around the black flag and a player can elect to aim to hit their approach inside the circle for extra points.
The circle acts as a small green, so as long as the player?s ball is within the circle in regulation ? having declared their intent to do so on the tee – they are awarded three points. However if they miss, they are deducted two points so there is a chance for a dramatic late turnaround in any match.
A pilot competition, involving clubs in Middlesex, will take place throughout 2007 before a final battle at Playgolf Northwick Park, Middlesex. While purists may argue that the game goes against the history and traditions of the game, Playgolf believe they have captured a niche in the golfing market.
Peter McEvoy, now a Playgolf Director said: ?We are in discussions about creating a Professional PowerPlay Golf event and believe it has enormous TV potential. Twenty20 cricket created a huge buzz in cricket from a standing start and we hope PowerPlay Golf will have the same impact in golf.?
?Anything that makes golf more fun and provides a genuine alternative to a nine hole knockabout is a great idea,? says Golf Monthly editor Michael Harris, who attended yesterday?s launch at Northwick Park.
?New versions of sports have worked for rugby with sevens and cricket with Twenty20. Golf can certainly benefit from such innovations. You wouldn?t want to play this format every week, but golfers will certainly find it exciting ? it?s a real game of risk and reward.?