There are just two weeks to go until GolfSixes, the revolutionary new short form of golf, arrives at Centurion Club in St Albans on May 6-7, with tickets available now at www.golfsixes.com/tickets
So what is GolfSixes, and what can players and fans expect to see on and around the six-hole circuit?
Two-man teams from 16 different nations will compete over six holes with six different personalities. Players from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, India, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, The Netherlands, USA and Wales will compete against each other for a prize fund of €1 million as the six-hole circuit winds around an activity-packed fan zone.
Hosts Vernon Kay, Anna Whitely, Andrew Coltart, Nick Dougherty and Henni Zuel, and celebrity guest commentators including cricketer Kevin Pietersen MBE and actress, singer and presenter, Denise van Outen, will keep fans at the venue and at home up to date with the action.
It’s show time: It’s all about the first tee experience, as players walk out to music and pyrotechnics. Fans will be gathered in grandstand seating, with big screens at both tee and green
Birdies for Good: The European Tour’s charitable initiative takes centre stage, with donations to charity and giveaways for the crowd when birdies are carded on hole two
Power: The 525 yard third hole is an opportunity for the players to demonstrate their power as the leaderboard is transformed into a long drive competition
Shot clock: Speed is of the essence with the shot clock counting down from 40 seconds for each shot. There will be a stroke penalty for any breach of time, with digital clocks displayed at the green, fairway and tee
Accuracy: This time, it’s about getting closest to the pin for the professionals, while fans can also take in the action from the Jamesons Irish Whisky Bar on hole five
Finale: The final hole on the six-hole circuit will feature post-match interviews. On Sunday, any play-offs will tee off from a special tee box, while the trophy presentation will take place on a balcony overlooking the green.
Some of the most exciting talents in golf will take part in the inaugural GolfSixes event, including Ryder Cup players Andy Sullivan and Chris Wood teaming up to represent the home nation. Reigning World Cup of Golf champion Thorbjørn Olesen will be looking to claim another title for Denmark, this time teaming up with 26 year old Lucas Bjerregaard. Take a look at what they have been saying about the new event.
1. ENGLAND: Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan
2. THAILAND: Thongchai Jaidee, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
3. AUSTRALIA: Sam Brazel, Scott Hend
4. SOUTH AFRICA: Darren Fichardt, Brandon Stone
5. DENMARK: Thorbjørn Olesen, Lucas Bjerregaard
6. FRANCE: Alexander Levy, Grégory Bourdy
7. SPAIN: Pablo Larrazábal, Alejandro Cañizares
8. WALES: Bradley Dredge, Jamie Donaldson
9. USA: Paul Peterson, David Lipsky
10. NETHERLANDS; Joost Luiten, Reinier Saxton
11. BELGIUM: Nicolas Colsaerts, Thomas Detry
12. SWEDEN: Johan Carlsson,Joakim Lagergren
13. INDIA: S.S.P Chawrasia, Chikkarangappa S
14. PORTUGAL: Ricardo Gouveia, José-Filipe Lima
15. ITALY: Matteo Manassero, Renato Paratore
16. SCOTLAND: Richie Ramsay, Marc Warren
GolfSixes follows an exciting team-focused match play format over two days, instead of the traditional four-day, 72 hole stroke play.
The Teams will play in a Greensomes format, where the teams select their best tee shot and then play alternate shot thereafter. On Saturday May 6, the teams will be split into four groups of four, similar to the UEFA Champions League football group stages.
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.
See the full format details, including the play-off hole and how tied matches are decided HERE
Around the Course
As well as amphitheatre-style stands, music and pyrotechnics, fans can enjoy the action in the fanzone, including player Q&A sessions, American Golf activity, event merchandise, and food options reflecting the competing nations
In the build-up and throughout the event, European Tour digital platforms will deliver an “access all areas” fan experience. During competition, Facebook Live and Twitter Live will be used to stream in-round interviews, Q&As with players, and country and team overviews.
The interactive at-event fan experience will feature polls and live social media content on the big screens. The live broadcast on Sky Sports and the European Tour’s world feed network will focus on bringing fans closer to the action through greater player interaction and unique camera angles.
On Friday May 5, eight celebrities will pair up with GolfSixes professionals to take on the six-hole circuit which will kick-start a thrilling weekend of golf.
Tournament co-host - and avid golf fan - Vernon Kay, will be joined by footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones, horse racing legend Sir AP McCoy, former England cricketer Darren Gough, TV presenter Gethin Jones, former England rugby players Mike Tindall MBE and Andy Gomarsall MBE, and their Scottish counterpart Rory Lawson.