Pelley: European Tour wants to explore 6-hole golf
Heavens they’ll be wearing shorts and tackling slow play next. Hang on, they already are.
Now it seems six-hole golf tournaments, or speed golf, as some like to call it, may be introduced on the second-biggest golf tour in the world, the European Tour.
European Tour CEO Keith Pelley
And according to the Tour chief executive Keith Pelley, they might even try it as early as next year…seriously.
And just so you know, Pelley does now permit players on his Tour to wear shorts during the pro-ams just before their main events each week.
“Golf and tennis has to be a little more open to letting the youth participate,” Pelley told the BBC in a recent radio interview.
“There’s no question that is something we believe in as well.”
“You look at some of the new formats that have been created…when you look at adventure golf, or the brand Top Golf, and there is one 15 minutes from where I live in Virginia Water (UK).”
“It’s really geared towards millennials, so the way that people are participating in the game is completely different.”
“Let’s be honest – and scientific data proves this – attention spans are decreasing as opposed to increasing and it’s completely different when the choice people have to consume content now is so different than it was 35-40 years ago.”
“So you have to change, people’s time is so precious that golf — I think every golf course being built needs to be six holes, six holes, six holes – so that people can go at the beginning before they go to work.”
Pelley definitely has a point and he illustrated that by highlighting the success of Twenty20 cricket in boosting attendances as a reason for change.
“From our perspective, as the gatekeepers of the professional game, we are looking to create a format that would be six holes,” he said.
“That could be an hour, an hour-and-a-half content program which would be very entertaining.”
While he is certainly on the right track, the wheels of motion tend to move a little too slowly in golf – like a lot of the people who play it.
So it might just take a little longer than Pelley anticipates for the six-hole game to “take off”.