Reasons to be (very) cheerfulIf you are looking for one reason why GolfSixes League can make a significant and lasting impact at your club… we can actually give you SIX! They all make great sense, leading to an increase in club revenue, a whole new buzz around the club and lots of smiling faces among youngsters, PGA Coaches, parents and your staff…
Have you missed out on GolfSixes League so far? This fun and competitive six-hole (six-a-side) team format where beginner golfers play in a league with neighbouring golf clubs is providing a major increase in the number of regular junior members at the venues taking part.
The 2022 GolfSixes League is to be launched in the weeks ahead. This year, 600 golf clubs across the four home nations featuring 7,560 young golfers, will be competing. If you are currently not involved, don’t worry. Plan ahead now to join a league in 2023 (this move could start your fresh new drive for junior golf!) or talk to our Golf Foundation team and trial the GolfSixes League format within your club. Either is a great start.
Six reasons why GolfSixes League works so well, include:
- A sense of belonging and wellbeing: With the PGA Professional at the heart of the squad, the youngsters wear matching team golf caps, and share fixtures with three or four other local golf venues. In 2021, 78% of the players were 8-11 years old and 30% were girls. Inclusive, weekly practice sessions with the coach develop these brand new players.
They then celebrate each fixture with a prize presentation including a ‘Skills for Life’ medal (given for positive attitude) – a hit with families while promoting the Golf Foundation’s wider message about improving confidence and wellbeing among young people.
One youngster’s comment summed up the fun: “It’s like a mini Ryder Cup, I love it!”
- Just great for the profile of your club: Last year, 5,000 youngsters took part across 74 leagues from 296 golf venues. The leagues created a great atmosphere and a warm welcome for watching families (many new to golf). It was reported that club staff have been delighted with the vibe this has created, and the new group of customers this is finding in the local community. Clubs benefited from this approach with an increase in revenue from food, beverage and clothing sales.
- All-important increase in membership: In 2021, GolfSixes League enjoyed a 35% increase in affiliated junior membership across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland among clubs taking part. For any club looking to the future, this has to be a key consideration.
- Reaching a brand new audience: Excellent parental engagement: 67% of parents volunteered at events – chaperone/caddy, scorers, team captains (many expert cake makers!). Parents and players were most likely to describe the format as ‘fun, friendly, organised and inclusive’. A third of parents involved were non-golfers which demonstrates an appeal beyond the traditional profile.
- Preparing brand new, confident golfers: From those first nervous sessions to establishing themselves on the ‘big course’, GolfSixes League could not be a more inclusive format for children of all abilities. We ask squads of 12 players to be mixed so girls get equal opportunity, and the PGA Pro offers regular coaching ahead of the weekend fixture. In the matches, playing in pairs using Texas Scramble, everything is designed to encourage novice golfers. Some 81% of juniors listed playing different courses as a top 5 element of the leagues, which underlines emerging confidence.
We are very grateful to Titleist for supplying each player with three Titleist golf balls. It is then great to hear how receiving the golf balls makes the youngster feel like a proper golfer, and that’s now exactly what they are!
- The PGA Professional at the heart of everything: The all-round benefits really do stack up… 60% of children said they “love golf” following the GolfSixes League, while again with the support of PGA Professionals, 21% have progressed into some form of County programme. PGA Pro’s buy into the coaching side of preparing a team of new players and they clearly get a real kick out of leading a team and fostering Skills for Life learning as youngsters get ready to take on the big course for the first time.
One PGA Coach said: “A great fun initiative with very good resources provided to encourage children to develop their golf play as a team against others.”
We are highly grateful to The R&A and the four Home Nations for their backing in GolfSixes League. Their support is crucial.
Given the pleasure, confidence and wellbeing it is promoting in our young players, we would love more clubs to be involved. You can join our GolfSixes League to start in a local league in 2023 or you can talk to our team and trial the format within your club. Just get in touch!
(Image courtesy of Matt Greaves)