The 2018 GolfSixes, an innovative event launched by the European Tour in 2017, is set to return to Centurion Club in St Albans this weekend, but with a difference!
This year, the event will have men’s, women’s and mixed teams for the first time, as Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn will partner his Solheim Cup counterpart, the 2019 European skipper Catriona Matthew, in the Captain’s Team (#GolfSixesCAP). There will also be an England Women’s Team featuring Charley Hull and Georgia Hall (#GolfSixesENGWomen) and a European Women’s Team of Mel Reid and Carlota Ciganda (#GolfSixesEURWomen).
The second edition of the fast and fun six-hole match play event has plenty of talking points. Each hole will have its own personality to enhance fan engagement and bring something unique to the spectator experience to include pyrotechnics, charity engagement, spectator prizes, longest drive, shot clock, nearest the pin, music, host engagement, grandstands and lots of colour!
The 16 teams of two players will compete over six holes in a group stage from 10.52am on Saturday, with teams split into four groups of four. In the group stage, three points will be given for victory with one point awarded for a draw and zero for a loss, and the matches will be played in a greensomes match play format, when both players hit their tee shot and the players hit alternate shots thereafter.
With six rounds of six-hole matches, the top two teams from each group progress to the knockout stages on Sunday, including the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, a third/fourth place play-off match and the final.
On Sunday, any tied matches go to a specially constructed play-off hole. If the match is still tied, it will be settled by a closest to the pin challenge on the same hole.
England Women’s Team members Charley Hull and Georgia Hall are looking forward to the fast and fun event, which features a prize fund of €1 million. Hall said: “I think it’s great to play six-holes, it’s different.” Hull is also in a confident mood and added: “I think it’s going to be good fun, because the fans get to see the men and the women play together.”
Defending champion Lucas Bjerregaard, from Team Denmark, who won alongside Thorbjørn Olesen last year, said: “I can’t remember men and ladies’ playing against each other in matches like these before, so I think it’s going to be very interesting and we’re going to have a tough time beating them.”
Holders Denmark have come up against three strong opponents in Teams USA, Thailand and the European Women’s Teams.
England Men will come up against England Women as well as South Africa and Sweden.
The Captains team of Bjørn and Matthew were drawn alongside Australia, Spain and South Korea.
The final Wildcard team, Ireland, will play France, Italy and Scotland.
All eyes will be on Centurion Club this weekend to see who will prevail.