A Quiet Revolution is Brewing in Golf
The Super 6 event in Perth is set to ditch convention by deciding winner in a final day matchplay shootout
Golf has clung slavishly to its centuries-old traditions and long ignored growing calls for reform but the ancient sport will be nudged gently towards modernity at the inaugural World Super 6 tournament in Australia this week.
The European Tour co-sanctioned event at Perth’s Lake Karrinyup Country Club will ditch convention by deciding Sunday’s winner in a final day matchplay shootout after three rounds of regular strokeplay. The innovation will promise a more “punchy” finish for spectators and television audiences, organisers hope, as a full field whittled down to 24 players compete in pairs in six-hole playoffs until only one remains.
While more evolution than revolution, it’s a tweak unprecedented on any of the world’s major professional tours.
It also counted as a necessary experiment for a game that was struggling to lure a new generation of participants and fans in golf’s mature markets, according to the Australian PGA Tour. “The challenge for a lot of sport, and particularly for golf, is the demographic of the average golfer and golf fan is a bit older,” PGA Australia’s chief commercial officer Steve Ayles told Reuters on Wednesday.
“We’re basically the number one sport for over-45s.
“This form of event certainly appeals to a younger demographic and certainly appeals to people who are time-poor.
“And we believe that this will be a great spectacle.”
The Scottish city of Perth is renowned for its rich golf heritage, with King James IV having made the first recorded purchase of golf clubs from a local bowmaker there in 1502, but its Australian namesake is an unlikely launch-pad for reform. With most of the world’s top golfers competing at the $7 million Genesis Open on the PGA Tour, a modest field headlined by Swedish world number 11 Alex Noren and former British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen
Australia has battled to attract sponsors and fans to its marquee events in recent years
Theinnovationwillpromiseamore “punchy” finish for spectators and televisionaudiences—GettyImages