Cricket and Hockey got it a decade ago. Badminton, Wrestling & Kabaddi are new entrants with Golf as a new kid on the block with faster, colorful and shorter version of sport. Christened as GolfSixes, 16 countries are battling it out in St.Albans, England for a Million Euros prize money over this weekend.
Back in 1754, the Society of St Andrews Golfers was formed. It became the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in 1834. In 1764, the Old Course at St Andrews was reduced from 22 holes to 18 holes. This became the recognized format of the game around the world.
Cut to 2017 – GolfSixes arrives!
GolfSixesis a team competition among 16 countries with each team consisting of two players. All the participating countries are represented by its two leading ranked and available European Tour members from the 2017 Exemption Category List as at Monday March 13.
From India, two-time Indian Open winner SSP Chawrasia is leading the charge with Chikkarangappa. SSP Chawrasia is four-time winner on the European Tour, a feat which is matched only by Indian golf legend Jeev Milha Singh.
Chawrasia, currently ranked 172nd in the world, became only the second Indian to defend the National Open in the capital two months ago while Chikkarangappa, ranked 411th, is a two time winner on the Asian Development Tour.
Format of Play
The traditional 72 holestroke play format takes a backseat as the 16 nation event will adopt the Greensomes match play format of play, where the teams select their best tee shot and then play alternate shot thereafter.
The teams will be pitted against each other in six holes matches. One point to be awarded for each hole won. The team with maximum points after six holes wins. Teams will be awarded 3 points for win, one point for a drawn tie and zero for a loss.
On day one, the teams will be split into four groups of fours, similar to the UEFA Champions League group stage.
The top two teams from each group progress to the knockout stages – the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, a 3rd/4th place play-off match and the final – all of which will be contested on Sunday May 7.
With the new ‘tadka’ to the Golfing format GolfSixesis set to bring in a lot of activities to engage fans. Celebrity guest commentators including legendary cricketer Kevin Petersen and actress, singer and presenter, Denise van Outen, will keep fans at the venue and at home up to date with the action. Q&A Sessions with celebrities, live music, pyrotechnics, putting challenge, golf simulators, big screens on tees and greens are few other innovations that the new format would bring along. For the purists, ‘It is golf, but not as you know it’, has avatar-ised itself with the new fun filled avatar keeping the pitch upbeat with trending swags of the gentleman’s game.