A shortened version of the typical 9-hole game has recently been introduced over in England as a means of apparently marketing the sport to a broader audience.
According to BBC Sport, Golf Sixes made its debut at St. Albans’ Centurions Club in early May, taking its inspiration -and many of its ideas- from the likes of Twenty20 cricket and Rugby Sevens, the latter of which was introduced as an Olympic Sport for the first time at last year’s Rio Games.
A Chance to Win new Fans
The idea, so says the BBC’s golf correspondent Iain Carter, is win back old fans and introduce many more new ones who were originally put off by the fact that the standard game takes a long time to play, and seemingly even longer to watch.
The article concludes that this is exactly what the sport needs right now, but is it really?
It’s a question that is certainly up for debate among some purists.
On the one hand, yes, anything that introduces more people to the sport can only be a good thing, especially with the potential to use Golf Sixes as something of a gateway to longer-form games.
That said, there are those who would argue that the suggestion that golf is currently suffering from some sort of image crisis is more than a little misguided.
Look no further than the world of sports betting.
Odds on Success
In an age where everything is online, today’s online sports betting sites are using a wealth of tactics to attract new customers. This is particularly true back in England, where Golf Sixes has been introduced.
There exists a wealth of free bets offers UK fans can use to wager on just about any sport imaginable, but increasing numbers of them are doing so to bet on the Masters and the ongoing European Tour.
Elsewhere, for those interesting in enjoying the game without much of a vested financial interest, events at St. Andrews, Muirfield, and Hoylake remain popular.
Then again, maybe the sport is in dire need of an image make-over.
Falling TV Audience Numbers
Last summer, it was reported that viewing figures for The Open plummeted by as much as 75%.
In Europe, this can at least be partially attributed to the event’s move from the free-to-view, license fee funded BBC, to the premium subscription service, Sky Sports. This is evidenced by the fact that BBc’s highlight show of the same event drew higher viewing figures than Sky’s actual live coverage.
Still, if a reduction in viewing figures is likely to be the norm from now on, then there’s undoubtedly a case to be made for Golf Sixes.
The game works by using a shot clock that gave each player forty seconds to take their shots. The time was then cut to 30 seconds for the second day knockout rounds.
The idea, according to Iain Carter, is that by doing so, fans and players alike can skip right to the engrossing shots “down the stretch,” eliminating all the long, drawn out early shots and getting right down into the exhilarating parts of the game.
With only one Golf Sixes competition in the record books, it is too early to tell whether this fast-paced form of the game is exactly what golf needs to revitalise itself, if indeed it needs to revitalise itself at all.
Happy Cinco De Mayo today.
Post dedicated to Eat Golf.
I’m thrilled and proud to announce that my Utah Golf Courses mobile app is now available on the Apple iTunes Store.
Tablet view of a course page
This project is one of love and learning. The challenge for me was to learn some programming techniques and libraries. During that process it became apparent that I could use those techniques to port my Utah Golf Guru site and it’s data to an app.
Utah Golf Courses App
The Utah Golf Courses app is simply a listing of every course in the state of Utah. Each course features a photo, most taken by me and some via drone. There is some great, detailed information about each course such as yardage, par, slope, rating, range ball quality, amenities, and even what types of grass the fairways and greens are. I even include some playing tips and opinions on courses. Some make the grade and some don’t.
Utah Golf Courses mobile app
To find courses one can use a standard search, or use the search filters to fine tune the type of course (public, private, military, resort), and geographic location.
It’s not perfect and I’m sure to make some improvements and tweaks. But I wanted to have all the Utah courses and phone numbers in one place on my phone. Now I have it.
Because of the skills I’ve learned through the process of making Utah Golf Courses, I now know I have the ability to make a HOG app for iOS and Android. I’ve begun work on that. I’m stoked to be able to deliver this blog and the massive amount of content here directly to mobile platforms.
Utah Golf Courses Android App
Pop quiz: What’s the only document more complicated than the USA’s IRS tax code? You guessed it, the Rules of Golf!
I’ve just read through, ok glossed through the new and immediate rules decisions by the USGA and R&A regarding video evidence, disputes, and decisions. Golf has had such a bad reputation because of things like the recent Lexi incident the governing bodies obviously felt it immediately necessary to do something. In regular fashion, they added more language to the rules which doesn’t address the main problem.
If the committee concludes that such facts could not reasonably have been seen with the naked eye and the player was not otherwise aware of the potential breach, the player will be deemed not to have breached the Rules.
The above line is the key to the new changes, and I completely agree with the sentiment. If it isn’t humanly possible to conclude there’s a breach in the rules, then there are no rules broken. That’s the good part, but not the elephant in the room.
What’s completely missing from the new rules is the way that rules infractions are discovered, reported, and the timing in which these notifications happen. I’m talking mainly about the viewer call-ins, emails, or social networking of rules infractions. In the case of Lexi Thompson, she was notified and penalized an entire day later, and during her final round. In my opinion, any possible infractions and related penalties should have an expiration date. Perhaps once the next day’s tournament tees off, all possible issues from the previous round become invalid. If there isn’t an upcoming round, perhaps one hour after each player finishes the tournament is the point at which any questions about rules violations become moot.
That time limit can apply to any source of the possible infraction, whether another player, a spectator, a rules official, or some fat dude sitting on his couch eating Cool Ranch Doritos who has nothing better to do than shuttle his DVR back and forth 12,000 times to see if Segio’s ball moved on the 13th at Augusta in the final round of the Masters. That has to be the worst run-on sentence I’ve ever typed, but it sure rolls off the tongue nicely.
In my opinion (yes I realize nobody is asking for it) there should be NO call-ins. No emails. No tweets of rules infractions. There’s no other sport on the planet who allows such a thing and it’s one more way the golf industry makes itself look more dumb in the eyes of the general public.
My friend and I go back to the early-mid 80’s. Cee Clone is what he calls himself. Back in the day CC and I played football together and he was one crazy bastard, and really tough. He sent the football coach to the hospital, but that’s a story for another day. Then there was the day Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast album came out. The Utah Highway patrol couldn’t even handle CC. One more story for yet another day.
During the Masters I couldn’t help noticing CC’s social posts about his cat. She was glued to the action on TV. “My cat can’t stop watching the playoff!” he said.
Once I’d gotten wind of the cat (I think she had 9-Lives Turkey & Giblets for lunch) I had to do an interview. You know, find out the real story. And here the story is. 10 questions with CC about Kira, the Masters cat:
What is your cat’s name?
Is this the first year the cat has watched The Master’s, or does she watch it every year?
This is the first year but she watches a lot of tv.
Who was your cat’s prediction to win this year’s Master’s?
Sergio of course after his first round.
Does your cat think the birds chirping in the TV broadcast audio are real, or piped in by the TV production crew?
She doesn’t care. She’s more interested in the game.
What is your cat’s favorite hole at Augusta National Golf Club?
Duh, 13th. Same as Phil’s.
What did your cat think of Matt Kuchar’s ace on hole #16 in the final round?
Too little too late. Too bad he didn’t win a car.
Did your cat think Sergio was toast when he blocked his approach right on #10, then pulled his tee shot into the trees left of 11 fairway?
Of course. Who didn’t think it was another Sergio meltdown?
Was your cat surprised that neither Sergio Garcia or Justin Rose could make a winning birdie putt on the final hole of regulation?
She says we all saw that double choke coming.
Kira watches Justin Rose on the 18th hole in the playoff against Sergio Garcia
What did your cat think of the one playoff hole (pictured above)?
Don’t three putt Sergio!
Does your cat stick around after the tournament is over and watch the green jacket ceremony?
No. We watched Street Outlaws. Love the 405!
There it is. Kira loves the Masters. A cat like no other. A cat for the ages. In your life have you seen a cat like this? Yes