The Golf Foundation’s GolfSixes League 2019 will tee off in glorious style this Sunday (May 5), at Goodwood in Sussex: this junior inter-club, six-hole team format was a big hit with kids, families and golf clubs in its first season last year and is set to be bigger, brighter and even more inclusive this summer.
Picture courtesy of Ladies European Tour/Tristan Jones
Rising Ladies European Tour (LET) star Meghan MacLaren will be guest of honour to help launch GolfSixes League. Meghan’s opening tee-shot will herald a season in which more than 50 inter-club GolfSixes Leagues featuring over 250 golf clubs will take place in England, Scotland and Wales, benefiting more than 3,000 boys and girls and their families; effectively doubling the scope of the first successful year of the project in 2018.
GolfSixes League, inspired by the European Tour shorter team-golf model, will once again help golf to reach fresh new family audiences and show their children that golf can be a great game, while helping golf clubs to create and maintain stronger junior sections and widen their community links. GolfSixes League means quicker six-hole matches against other clubs. Squads of 12 boys and girls practise together with their PGA coaches before the weekend fixtures, all played wearing coloured team shirts with GolfSixes League branding. Every child taking part in GolfSixes League receives three Titleist golf balls: Titleist, the #1 Ball in Golf, is a key supporter of the Golf Foundation.
The growing initiative has become a key part of national charity the Golf Foundation’s ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ philosophy that helps more young people from all backgrounds and abilities to enjoy the benefits of the sport. A short video, which sums up the value of GolfSixes League can be viewed here.
GolfSixes League reached 102 golf clubs in 2018, in 24 regional leagues, involving 1,160 juniors. There was a 34% increase in membership at the clubs involved. For 2019, of the now 56 Leagues, 38 will be in England, three pilot leagues will be staged in Wales and 15 in Scotland. Last year, some 25% of players were girls and the aim is to increase this ratio as the Foundation urges all golf clubs to include at least two girls in each team of six players.
The number of scheduled Leagues in Scotland has also grown quickly, partly through the enthusiasm to include more girls in matches in the build-up to September’s Solheim Cup, and a GolfSixes League Grand Final is planned to take place at Gleneagles at the time of the historic match.
The support of Meghan MacLaren for the Golf Foundation, fresh from her recent win in the Women’s NSW Open in March, will also take on another dimension this Sunday, and this will be announced on the day.
Golf Foundation Chief Executive Brendon Pyle said: “We are thrilled that Meghan MacLaren has agreed to support the opening of our GolfSixes League 2019. Meghan’s positive attitude both on and off the course will certainly help to inspire all our GolfSixes League players, including of course more girls. Our team has seen that GolfSixes League is proving very popular with girls and their families. As an early signatory of The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter, the Golf Foundation has a key focus in encouraging more girls into the sport, and supporting girls to become young leaders and role models for other girls in the future.”