GolfSixes kids in a League of their own

Feb 8, 2019   //   by growthegame   //   golf industry, Latest News  //  No Comments

After encouraging more young people into the sport last year, the ‘GolfSixes League’ is set to expand significantly in 2019. The Golf Foundation initiative reached 102 golf clubs in 2018 and will be enjoyed by more than 200 this year, as GolfSixes League proves highly popular with club management, PGA professionals, parents and – most of all – the kids.

GolfSixes League was inspired by the European Tour’s GolfSixes model, the shorter-form, team competition held at Centurion Club for its first two years (to be held in Portugal this summer).

GolfSixes League means quicker six-hole matches against other clubs in a fun ‘Texas Scramble’ format – a great way of building confidence among new players. The matches are designed to create a sense of belonging in junior sections, while also forging a respect for practice among young players. In 2018, squads of 12 boys and girls represented their golf clubs playing weekly team golf wearing coloured team shirts with GolfSixes branding.

National charity the Golf Foundation is “delighted” with the 2018 results, which have now been collated in an impact report to be shared with golf’s key stakeholders, including many golf clubs. Since last May, 24 leagues were staged across 22 UK regions, involving 102 golf clubs and 1,160 juniors playing 161 fixtures. Some 25% of players were girls, and there was a 34% increase in membership at the clubs involved (42% in England). Six county leagues in England were so popular they decided to stage their own extra winter leagues in the build-up to the 2019 season.

PGA professionals, junior organisers and families have all responded to this fun, competitive team league against other clubs, with youngsters practising together before the key weekend matches, which are supported by regular high numbers of watching parents. According to Foundation club monitoring, 65% of all the participating children’s parents actively volunteered in the GolfSixes League, helping with scoring, caddying, managing teams, supporting the play and even catering (cake provision being a popular trend!).

Some 58% of PGA coaches provided additional practice sessions for GolfSixes League squad members. The average number of sessions attended by each player was 5.6, and 82% of children involved said they would like to play more golf as a result of GolfSixes League. Iain Fulton, PGA Head Teaching Professional at Belton Woods GC in Lincolnshire, said: “The GolfSixes League has been a fantastic project and opportunity for the young golfers to play a different format, new courses and meet other young players. Everyone at the club has thoroughly enjoyed every game.”