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. Each child was presented with a coloured team shirt with GolfSixes branding and a sleeve of Titleist golf balls, as the #1 ball in golf supports all Golf Foundation initiatives.
34% INCREASE IN MEMBERSHIP
National charity the Golf Foundation is delighted with the 2018 results. Since last May, 24 county leagues were staged, 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). Thanks to support from Wales Golf and Scottish Golf, GolfSixes League also expanded into these nations for the first time in 2018, through a pilot league in Wales and two in Scotland.
A new short video, which sums up the value of GolfSixes League, can be viewed on our homepage.
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.
The leagues are supported by all 10 of the Golf Foundation’s committed team of Regional Development Officers, plus the RDOs from Scottish Golf and Wales Golf. The Foundation team was recently buoyed by news that The R&A is to provide £2m to the charity over the next four years to support its drive to inspire more youngsters into playing golf and to increase the retention of juniors within clubs, with a focus on increasing participation among girls.
SOLHEIM CUP INNOVATION
This backing, plus the support of the European Tour, HSBC, Sport England and the Home Golf Nations, will enable GolfSixes League to be staged across more than 40 leagues in 2019, involving more than 200 golf clubs, with more than 2,000 young people taking part. England will see an expected 36 leagues, including six that will be funded by County Golf Unions from Suffolk, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Gloucestershire.
Three special area leagues will run in Wales while in Scotland the Solheim Cup Development Group has just confirmed match-funding to double the number of leagues in Scotland from a planned seven to 14, for both 2019 and 2020. The 2019 league series will culminate in a grand final as part of the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.
Source: Golf Foundation