This picture sums up the joy of GolfSixes League – the six-a-side, six-hole inter-club matches all in team shirts is enjoying a great season at nearly 400 of our golf clubs in England, Scotland and Wales.
Image courtesy of Matt Greaves
This is due to the fun of the inclusive format which sees boys and girls meeting from other clubs, enjoying pairs golf, in Texas scramble to take the pressure off.
Bigger, brighter and better in 2021 thanks to investment from The R&A, GolfSixes League could be one of golf’s major national success stories of the year.
The above picture was from a recent fixture at Lingdale Golf Club, Loughborough, where there was some great feedback from all taking part, including lots of parents who came along to watch.
In England, just during the last week or so, we have seen League finals (where four or five teams complete their fixtures) in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cheshire, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Worcestershire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire and West Yorkshire, all supported by England Golf as well as a great many individual PGA Professional coaches.
Golf Foundation Chief Executive Brendon Pyle visited one of the Suffolk county finals recently at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club. Brendon said: “This was an inspiring visit in every sense, to see just how much the young players were enjoying competing together in GolfSixes League. There was some fantastic support from parents: amazing to see so many families having fun together on their Sunday afternoon on the golf course.
“It was also great to see so many girls competing – the team of six I watched had two pairs of girls playing together, something we all want to see more of in junior golf.
“We designed GolfSixes League to emulate the excitement of the Solheim and Ryder Cups, where youngsters new to golf can play in fun and friendly team formats at a grass roots level. We’re highly grateful to The R&A and England Golf for their support plus, in my case here in Suffolk, a big thanks also to Suffolk Golf Union for their additional investment to generate two extra leagues in the area.”
GolfSixes League is being shown to support the development of young players in both the technical and life skills side of the game.
Erin, from Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club, told us last year: “GolfSixes League gave me so much confidence to trust my shot and to not worry about anything. Six holes, paired with a fellow junior against others who enjoy the game just as much as me; it’s wonderful. I have met lots of friends as a result of it.”
GolfSixes League gave Erin the first confidence to ‘go for it’ with her golf. Later that summer Erin won a club foursomes tournament with her father and was soon playing off a handicap of 28. She hasn’t looked back. Fast forward to October, 2021, and Erin is playing off 14, is an active volunteer at Felixstowe Ferry GC, plays for the club team, and was recently appointed as the club’s Junior Captain. Erin has gained further experience by caddying for the men’s Stenson Team in competition and on the day our CEO was watching the Suffolk GolfSixes League final recently, Erin reached her first Suffolk Ladies County Golf Association Final, after the team won through four matchplay rounds to get there. Erin has become a brilliant young ambassador for her club and the Golf Foundation team is delighted that GolfSixes League played a significant role in her finding her way in the sport.
Erin’s father David said: “Erin will never forget what the GolfSixes League provided her, and now as Junior Captain she will support those who themselves are benefiting from what Erin did only a few years ago.”
With more of our GolfSixes League finals taking place in the next week or so we wish all taking part the best of luck. If your club has similar examples of young players gaining confidence in this way contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us in on social media: @golffoundation on Twitter, @golf_foundation_org on Instagram, The Golf Foundation on Facebook.
For clubs not currently playing GolfSixes League learn more at https://www.golf-foundation.org/clubs/golfsixes-league/, or contact your Regional Development Officer.