Football Football
Horse Racing Horse Racing
Cricket Cricket
Basketball Basketball
Golf Golf

European Tour chief is misguided if he really thinks six-hole golf can emulate T20 success

28 Jul | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
European Tour chief is misguided if he really thinks six-hole golf can emulate T20 success

Keith Pelley's proposal should be the game's answer to five-a-side football - a recreational version of the sport that would not necessarily fit in at the top level

Golf has an age problem.

The best players might be young – three of the world’s top four are in their 20s – but the game’s audience is ageing and shrinking.

Aware of this, the European Tour have decided that professional six-hole events, which are likely to start as early as next year, are the solution.

Keith Pelley, the Tour’s chief executive, says the proposed shorter format – with its shot clock, music, PA announcements and relaxed attire for the players – will entice younger viewers with short attention spans.

The success of Twenty20 cricket has been cited as the inspiration for the move, but the likelihood it having anywhere near the same impact in golf is improbable.

It is hard enough for the European Tour to persuade their players who also compete in the US to compete in their most prestigious events.

The only reason the big names would pitch up at a glorified exhibition would be if they received an enticing appearance fee.

Money talks in golf, but it is unlikely Rory McIlroy, say, would take it seriously considering the lure of winning an Olympic gold medal did nothing for him.

Major championships and the order of merit are his – and every other player’s – priority.

And while the improvisation and expansiveness of T20 has bled into Test cricket for the better, six-hole golf would do nothing to address golf’s most pressing issue: slow play.

Players like Sergio Garcia or Louis Oosthuizen are not going to rush their putts at the US PGA Championship because they wore shorts and played some shots for the crowd the week before.

The importance of winning the majors means they will always take their time.

That is not to say that elements of Pelley’s proposal do not make sense.

A six-hole format at club and junior level would make the game more accessible.

Life is busy and most adults cannot afford to write off the five hours it takes to play 18 holes every weekend.

A shorter version of the game, meanwhile, also represents a gentler introduction to the game for kids.

It can effectively be golf’s answer to five-a-side football – a recreational version of the sport that would not necessarily fit in at the top level.

The only real benefit of introducing the abridged version to the professional game is that it would fit easier into television schedules.

One suspects that it is this element of T20 cricket that the European Tour are so keen to emulate.

That is fine if it is their intention. They just should have said so in the first place.

TAGS
Betway

Betway

Betway

Betway