Golf’s European Tour has released statistics which highlight the success of the new Golf Sixes format it trialled in 2017 and will be returning to the calendar as part of a Festival of Golf in May.
The data shows that there was a 42 percent increase in new golf fans at the event compared to standard European Tour tournaments and that those attendees were also 14 percent 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 percent, delivering over 20 million social impressions.
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 in cricket, World Rugby’s Sevens Series, Nitro Athletics and Tie Break Tens in tennis.
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 just North of London.
“GolfSixes combines the camaraderie and intrigue of team golf with the drama and intensity of a shorter format,” said Nathan Homer, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer of the European Tour.
“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.
“The Ryder Cup transcends all sport and is one of the most prestigious sporting events on the planet,” added Homer.”
“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.”
“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.”
Nathan Homer will be joining us at an exclusive European Tour ‘Inside the Ropes’ event at the Dean Hotel in Dublin on Thursday, January 11th where Rob Hartnett of Sport for Business will be chatting with Paul McGinley and AP McCoy before an invited audience of leading business people.
Image Credit: Morgan Treacy, Inpho Photography