OCEÂNICO BACKS GOLFS ANSWER TO 20TWENTY WITH LAUNCH EVENT FEATURING SOME OF THE WORLDS BEST GOLFERS
Innovative new golf format, 6teesix, designed to speed up play and increase participation to be launched with all star line-up at Vilamoura
Following the incredible success of crickets 20Twenty World Cup it is now golfs turn to create a format for the 21st Century and galvanise participation in the UK. A new format called 6teesix is to be unveiled at Vilamoura on the eve of the Portugal Masters with an all-star cast of leading tour pros taking part in the innovative golf in an hour concept.
With regular golf participation on the wane in the UK due to the time pressures of the modern 21st Century lifestyle the new 6teesix concept delivers a meaningful but fun 6-hole team format that can be played on a weekday evening in 60 minutes. As William Anderson, one of the creators of 6teesix comments, it is very difficult for golfers to find 5-6 hours every week to play a full round. 6teesix is a great way to keep your eye in more regularly and the team format ensures a competitive edge is maintained in the shortened version.
6teesix is not just shorter its quicker too. Slow play is still a burning issue on tour which undoubtedly has a knock-on effect in the amateur game and adds to the time pressure problems of golf as a modern day past time. In 6teesix the players are encouraged to play 6 holes in an hour which at 10 minutes a hole equates to a three hour 18 hole round - a much more attractive proposition to the 5 hour plus rounds that are becoming the norm.
At the launch event England, captained by Lee Westwood, will take on a Rest of the World team captained by Darren Clarke in the Oceanico 6teesix Charity Challenge on Tuesday 16th October. The event is being backed by Oceânico Group, the owners of Oceânico Golf who play hosts to the inaugural Portugal Masters European Tour event from October 18th to 21st. The winning team will pick up a cheque for €10,000 to be donated to the victorious captains chosen cause. Westwoods England team will be playing for Sheffield Childrens Hospital and he is excited about leading his country, I am really looking forward to captaining the England side and the Oceânico 6teesix format looks like it will be a lot of fun. Any new concept that encourages golfers to get out and play more regularly has got to be good for the game. Westwood will be joined by David Howell and Paul Broadhurst plus three amateurs in the England team.
Darren Clarkes Rest of the World team will be playing for the Darren Clarke Foundation and is looking forward to the event, Oceânicos Millennium course at Vilamoura is a great venue to launch 6teesix. Speed of play is obviously a concern in both the Professional and Amateur games as no-one wants a 5-hour round. This format will highlight that it is possible to play at a pace of 10 minutes a hole and hopefully I can captain my team to a victory against the English! Darrens Rest of the World team will include Retief Goosen, Paul McGinley and 3 amateur players.
Two teams of six will play in 3 pairs matchplay matches. The unique pairs scramble format encourages faster play as each time a pair hit a shot they pick the best shot of the two and play from there. They then repeat this process for every shot for the entire 6-hole round. The modified matchplay format sees one point scored for each hole won against the opposing pair and the 6 person team with the most points wins. The 6teesix concept was piloted earlier this year at a handful of golf clubs in the UK and will roll out across the country in 2008.
Oceânicos Simon Burgess is delighted to be hosting the event. We love the 6teesix format as I think every one involved in golf would benefit from both faster and more regular play. It is also fantastic for us to be able to showcase one of our famous five Vilamoura courses and welcome some world class players who I know love Vilamoura as a golf and holiday destination.
It?s hard for most of us here at Golf Monthly to envision our sport as fast paced in any sense. After all, who doesn?t enjoy the escapism that only a full day on the course with one?s mates can provide? With that said, one too many six-hour rounds can also inspire us to enter the local insane asylum. Nobody wants to play from dawn until dusk every round.
So what happens when professional golfers try to take a page from twenty20 cricket and create an event that fundamentally changes everything we know and love about the sport? We get to behold the curious idea that is ?6teesix.?
Despite the strange moniker, the concept of 6teesix is actually quite interesting. Six teams of six players compete in a matchplay on speed format that requires teams to complete at least six holes per hour. This means that teams will play a full round in three hours at most.
Before you fall out of your swivel chair cackling with laughter at this thought, it begs mention that the inaugural 6teesix Challenge was held in mid-October at Vilamoura to rave reviews from the participants involved.
Darren Clarke, who captained the ?Rest of the World? team, had this to say about the event, ? The 6teesix format was actually a lot of fun. We need to find ways to increase regular golf participation and I am confident that many golfers out there will enjoy this style of play.?
Perhaps he enjoyed the format more because his team, which also featured household names Retief Goosen and Paul McGinley, soundly defeated the Lee Westwood captained England team. However, the English skipper himself also commended the new format. Westwood even went so far as to declare that, ?no one wants a five-hour round (anymore).?
Does this mean that the future of golf has arrived to completely transform the game we all know and love? I?ll believe it when I see the entire Ryder Cup played in one afternoon. For now, consider me intrigued.