The recent North-East final round of ‘GolfSixes’ at Close House demonstrated the encouraging potential of the national league golf pilot project involving 32 clubs across seven regions of England.

Run by the Golf Foundation, the project mirrors much of the new European Tour GolfSixes format (as seen at Centurion Club in May).

Many of the league matches have taken place at weekends and the support from parents has impressed the Golf Foundation team as the nationally recognised charity continues to look at new, innovative ways to create an exciting golf offer for families and aid the retention of juniors in golf clubs in support of England Golf. The GolfSixes Academy series has been supported enthusiastically by the European Tour (including using its GolfSixes branding), with funding from Sport England.

In this recent example at Close House in Northumberland, the club’s home team welcomed Morpeth GC, Bedlingtonshire GC and Ponteland GC to play the final matches in their league series, and a dramatic finish saw a tie between Ponteland and Morpeth, with Ponteland securing victory having won the final round’s match.

One youngster, Samara from Bedlingtonshire Golf Club, raised the loudest cheer of the day with a hole-in-one on the 65-yard 5th on Close House’s Yearling Course. More than 40 parents came along to support the youngsters on the day.

The North-East final held extra significance because Close House is the chosen venue for the European Tour’s British Masters supported by Sky Sports, which takes place from September 28-October 1.

The winning squad of 12 players from Ponteland Golf Club has now been invited along to the British Masters as guests of the European Tour, where they will be able to watch some of the world’s best golfers in action, meet top players and compare their new swings with those of the likes of tournament host Lee Westwood and his Ryder Cup teammates Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy.

The GolfSixes Academy project sees boys and girls playing inter-club matches taking aspects of the GolfSixes format as seen on TV on the European Tour; six players are in each team, playing six holes in a Texas Scramble against neighbouring clubs. Many children are playing on golf courses for the very first time.

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