GolfSixes, the short-format golf concept, attracted younger, new fans to the game while delivering impressive social media engagement, according to new analysis by the European Tour.
Data from the inaugural GolfSixes competition last year shows that it saw a 42% increase in new golf fans at the event compared to standard European Tour tournaments. Those attendees were also 14% younger than those seen during the rest of the golfing calendar. By virtue of attracting a younger following, social media engagement around the event also exceeded the average rate seen at other European Tour tournaments by 24%, delivering over 20 million social impressions.
In response to the positive findings, GolfSixes will return to the European Tour calendar on May 5th and 6th, 2018, as an inclusive ‘festival of golf’ that encourages even more fan engagement, as well as featuring a junior tournament. The event will once again be hosted at the prestigious Centurion Club.
The GolfSixes format was trialled in response to growing demand for shorter, more intensive competition. It replicates other successful short-form sport concepts such as the T-20 Big Bash, World Rugby Sevens Series, Nitro Athletics and Tie Break Tens.
Nathan Homer, Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer of the European Tour, said: “GolfSixes combines the camaraderie and intrigue of team golf with the drama and intensity of a shorter format. The players love it, and the fans enjoy the different, more entertaining atmosphere. Last year we tested the concept and this year we will dial up the fan engagement still further.
“Golf needs a route for younger fans, groups of adults and families to get involved. We know that GolfSixes appeals to those audiences while still offering something to our die-hard fans. We have to keep innovating in order to grow our appeal and the statistics suggest GolfSixes can have a powerful presence in the golfing calendar.”
The European Tour has also committed to running a special showcase event during The 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris in order to bring the GolfSixes concept to a global audience.
Nathan Homer added: “The Ryder Cup transcends all sport and is one of the most prestigious sporting events on the planet. It is the perfect platform to introduce a wide cross-section of sports fans to GolfSixes. Setting aside time in The Ryder Cup schedule for it demonstrates our commitment to the concept and our firm belief it has long term potential.”
The GolfSixes Festival will be played on 5th and 6th May 2018 at the Centurion Club, north of London, with the professional tournament featuring 16 nations playing in pairs. The event will see the return of the hugely successful shot clock and a fan zone in the middle of the tournament course, as well as a junior event and will also offer the opportunity for amateurs to compete alongside the professionals over the weekend.
Homer concluded: “GolfSixes is still in the early stages of its development but the combination of player feedback and tournament data suggests it is here to stay. Innovation is vital for golf to continue to grow its fan base and we look forward to seeing how the next iteration of GolfSixes will support that goal.”
Scott Evans, Managing Director, Centurion Club said: “We’re hugely excited to be part of this innovation in the game, helping to influence and shape the future of golf. As the venue last year we received terrific feedback from spectators and players alike, so building on this success is incredibly important to us. From our golf course to the facilities on offer, we’re committed to being the perfect stage for this revolutionary golf concept.”