Thursday, 06 June 2019
Nacho Elvira of Spain  (Getty Images)
Nacho Elvira of Spain (Getty Images)

The European Tour’s drive for innovation in golf will continue apace this week when GolfSixes Cascais heralds a new era on continental European soil for the fast and fun six hole knockout format, which proved such a success in its first two editions in England.

Team Ireland’s Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan will defend their title at Oitavos Dunes when the two day event tees off on Friday, and the field also includes Ryder Cup winners Jamie Donaldson of Wales, Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher and Edoardo Molinari of Italy.

With 16 teams taking part - 12 qualifying teams of European Tour players and four wildcard teams, two of them all-female - the opening day will feature a round-robin format with four groups of four, before the top two teams in each group progress to Saturday’s knockout stages.

Matches will be played in a modified Greensomes format, with all four players teeing off on every hole. Each duo will choose their team ball for the second shot and will play alternate shots thereafter.

Innovations this week include:

- Players are allowed to wear shorts in competitive play for the first time in European Tour history

- Players are permitted to use measuring devices for the first time in European Tour history - as long as the slope settings are turned off. The slope setting measures the elevation change from where a player's ball lies

- To reduce plastic waste, players will be provided with water bottles which they can fill at various stops around the course

- Drone footage will be used during tournament play for the first time

- The fourth hole will utilise a Shot Clock, with all strokes to be played within 30 seconds

- The sixth and final hole will tee off from a platform located on top of a swimming pool, surrounded by fans, VIPs and a live DJ.

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