Last year’s GolfSixes might have had fireworks, but this year’s event will see the women go head-to-head with the men. Whatever next eh? Well, this is exactly what the sport needs and goes a long way in promoting golf to a much wider audience.
And we cannot wait. This year’s GolfSixes features an England Women’s team of Georgia Hall and Charley Hull, a European Women’s Team of Suzann Pettersen and Mel Reid, and Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew who will lead the way in the Captains team.
You arguably couldn’t find a better group to represent women’s golf - or to smash (and totally obliterate) any outdated gender stereotypes of a female golfer either. Win or lose, these women are true ambassadors for the game and will without a doubt open up the sport to a much wider audience. The Solheim Cup proved it, these are serious match players- they’ll get pumped, they’ll interact with the crowds, and they’ll hold their nerve. In fact, when the cameras are rolling, there’s a lot more pressure on the men over those short 6 holes than they will want to admit.
Why the Concept of GolfSixes is SO Good
Don’t get us wrong, tradition is good, and a lot of the traditional elements that make golf - etiquette, history, sportsmanship- most definitely deserve a place in the game. But times are changing, and the game needs to evolve. Let’s face it, how many people have a spare four or five hours every weekend? Or how often have you heard people complain that they don’t “fit in” to the ideals of a traditional members club? Golf has to adapt, and that’s what GolfSixes is forcing it to do.
And last year’s inaugural event did actually work; the 2017 GolfSixes saw a 42% increase in first time fans compared to regular European Tour events, and the audience were 14% younger. There was loud music, fireworks, and a whole “festival” feel. It was fun, and it did what it set out to do- attract more people to the game by banishing the view that golf is boring.
Golf has traditionally (there’s that word again!) been seen as an exclusive sport, and though times are definitely changing, there’s certainly still at least an element of exclusion rather than inclusion. Continuing on last year’s momentum, the 2018 GolfSixes looks to tackle that with a seriously strong field of women competing against the men.
Group Stage Draw
The draw for this year’s GolfSixes took place at host venue Centurion Club in St Albans, near London. Georgia Hall and Charley Hull made the draw, alongside Lucas Bjerregaard, who won the inaugural event for Team Denmark with Thorbjørn Olesen last year.
Drawing themselves in Group D alongside England, South Africa, and Sweden, Hall and Hull will go head-to-head with Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace when the event kicks off from May 5-6.
Georgia Hall commented, “it should be a great match. I’ve never played with Matt or Eddie before, so we’ll see how it goes, but I just can’t wait for the week to get started.
"We play against the same players every week, so for us to play against the men is a big change but I think it will be awesome. I’m ready to give it my best against them. I can’t wait."
“I think the big thing is that this is something different, it’s only six holes so you get a result quite quickly and then the next team comes along. I think it’s great for fans.
“Me and Charlie have known each other since we were ten and played throughout England together and Solheim Cup in a match together. We have similar games, we’re quite aggressive, so I think it will be a good week.”
Charley Hull added, “I’ve played with Eddie before. He’s a really nice guy and he’s playing some good golf so it will be fun to play with him".
"It’s a good thing for golf and I think the fans will enjoy it too. It will be good fun, the home fans will get to see two sides with the women and the men playing. I think it will get all different people into the event."
Here’s the final group stage draws:
Denmark – Lucas Bjerregaard and Thorbjørn Olesen
Thailand – Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thongchai Jaidee
USA – Daniel Im and David Lipsky
European Women – Suzann Pettersen and Mel Reid
Australia – Sam Brazel and Wade Ormsby
South Korea – Jeunghun Wang and Soomin Lee
Spain – Pablo Larrazábal and Adrian Otaegui
European Captains – Thomas Bjørn and Catriona Matthew
France – Alexander Levy and Romain Wattel
Italy – Matteo Manassero and Renato Paratore
Scotland – Scott Jamieson and Richie Ramsay
Ireland – Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan
England – Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace
South Africa – George Coetzee and Haydn Porteous
Sweden – Alexander Björk and Joakim Lagergren
England Women – Georgia Hall and Charley Hull
Image: Getty Images
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