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Monday
Feb132017

Perth Super 6 And Other Bold Formats: Too Much Too Soon?

Given the conservative nature of golf, I'm slightly concerned about the European Tour's effort to spice things up might a lot for the golf world to take in, as I explained to Damon Hack today on Morning Drive. Will it all just be a bit too much out of the chute?

That said, it's exciting to see outside-the-box thinking with events like the Perth Super 6 this week and May's just-announced GolfSixes outside London. But I'm thinking we could save the pyrotechnics for year...four. Or never.

Alex Noren and Louis Oosthuizen headline the Perth event this week. Here is the format:

After two days of strokeplay qualifying, the leading 65 players and ties qualify for the third round which is typical of most tournament structures. However, it is from that point on things begin to change.

Those players who have made the initial cut on Friday evening are all playing for a place in the final 24 who advance to a knock out match play contest on Sunday.

The leading eight players at the completion of 54 holes earn the right to sit out the opening round on Sunday with the winner of those first round matches advancing to face them in round two in what effectively becomes the round of 16.

Each match is played over six holes with a specially constructed playoff hole to decide tied contests.

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Reader Comments (27)

So is the specifically constructed playoff hole an extra big hole and played with a soccer ball? #footgolf
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn C
You talk of growing the game over there-we'd be delighted to halt the decline over here. Youngsters are turning off the game in droves. I quite like the idea of 6 or 9 hole events every now and then but agree that music and pyro might be going a stage too far. In other games-cricket, football etc there are natural breaks in the game where these things can work but thats not the case in golf. Dont blame them for trying though and I dont mind one bit if they prove me wrong.
02.14.2017 | Unregistered Commenterchico
Gimmicks don't create long term customers. How long until Italy announces they are cancelling the Ryder Cup deal?
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterXFL
The format is pretty much what I've been hoping to see for fifteen years, so I'm really curious to see how it works!

As for a "specific play-off hole", I'm hoping for a real game-changer here since sudden death playoffs in regular tour events are most often mind-numbingly boring. It's usually three mundane pars on a long Par 4, followed by an anti-climactic chip-two-putt loss for the player who most wants to go home. Skip the time-wasting drives and cart rides - just designate an area in the 18th fairway, large enough for the players to place their balls at their preferred distance from the hole, and go from there. It would be much more exciting for everyone involved.
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
The Euro Tour is on life support. This move is like Spinal Tap bringing in the Stonehenge monuments to boost their declining attendance. The results will be just as funny.
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterScott
Chico-apart from Rory, we Brit's need another Seve-Faldo-Lyle-Woosnam-Langer type era that inspired a generation. Rory can't do it on his own. I also feel the lack of tournaments in Britain compared to the '80's has only made it worse.
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
I enjoy watching the GC coverage of European Tour events but really do not have good insight or feel for the operations or general 'health' of that tour and it's collaboration with the governing bodies and events in AUS, Asia, ME, SA...am aware of the change in the management of the Tour....but can anyone provide a brief update or comment with their view of the status of the business of the European Tour ? Are things looking bad as Scott post above suggests ?...are sponsors losing interest?.....crowds and viewers dwindling?...becoming more of the World Tour with only limited events on the Euro continent?...new management's strategy questionable? Thanks for any feedback.
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKeith - NYC
Keith-NYC-I'd say Chico has a good view on this, but I wouldn't take notice of Scott's glee at the prospect of any tour excet the PGA tour going through some difficult times. Players from every corner of the globe is good for golf, something the European tour has done a good job bringing along the last 40 years.
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
Thanks Easing.....no doubt that the European Tour gives an American TV viewer the feel of a true global experience...the diversity of players and venues.....the affable manner of presentation by the broadcast teams that manage to show a lot of golf while still educating us about the local culture/region and imparting some great humor by sharing their own anecdotes.....it's all good in my book and I hope things go well for the European Tour.
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKeith - NYC
Keith, wouldn't it be awful if there were just one continent where pro golf is played ? We can all learn from other tours and cultures, no one tour has all the answers IMO.

Cheers
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
"Keith, wouldn't it be awful if there were just one continent where pro golf is played ?"

That is a bizarre statement. What are you even talking about? Is there something you are afraid of that the rest of us don't know about?
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterL. Lane
Easingwold,

Fitzpatrick, Wood, Willett, Sullivan, Rose, Rory is a start.

Half the Top Ten in last year's US Masters were Brits.

The current UK super era might not be quite as good as past eras, but it is a start.
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatthewM
Follow the money.

The EPGAT has set themselves up for this over the last 15-20 years by paying appearance money to select layers to draw them from the PGAT in the US.

If that money had been used in PRIZE MONEY for the players, the great Euro players, and there are many, would not have migrated to the US and the big money here- they would have large enough purses to support the continuation of the events in Europe without having to take the ''European Tour'' to Asia, and Africa.

what do you think EW, Chico, Sari, Pro, Hawk, ADG? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

dig
02.14.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Management of the European Tour have a fundamental misunderstanding of two key issues, they don't know who the customer is, and they don't know the value of the talent. As such they are destined to fail.
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSinoGlo
I thought the Vic Open was fun again, speaking of unique formats.

The ladies are only at Royal Adelaide this week if anybody still likes alister mackenzie courses when played by women.
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDon
Geoff - scanning through the Golf Channel listings and it looks like they aren't showing this? Any idea why?
02.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
Seve made this tour, his addiction to appearance fees may have structurally flawed it to succeed long-term.
02.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
" and imparting some great humor by sharing their own anecdotes."

Forget the anecdotes, when you hear Ken Brown describe a lie "like yesterday's salad" you can't help but laugh.

But it's true, much like Doc Emrick in the US vs Hockey Night in Canada here, the US announcers act a lot more as though they are in church when broadcasting golf, whereas the Euro tour guys have fun with it, which ultimately is what it all is, no?
02.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
It's airing on GC. 6a-10a on TD each day.
02.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHoosier
Pat...I think the European Tour broadcast teams are great....knowledgeable and easy listening while almost 100% camera time is on the play itself....not so in the US broadcasts where the the commentators want to take center stage, be on camera as often as possible, and seem to work to becoming the story instead of the story tellers....more and more the mute button has become my friend....some of the stuff is just brutal on the ears.
02.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKeith - NYC
@PABoy, you might have a very good point there. But I don't think the alternative would have been much better - the prize money went up by several hundred percent during the 80s, so the appearance money was well spent.
02.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
@ PABoy, Hawkeye, Digs

Reading Faldo's book "Life Swings" he described appearence money back in the late'70's-'80's was used to stop Seve, Faldo, Langer and co going over to the States, or the sponsors ( Volvo I'd guess ) wouldn't back the European tour at the time. Seve wanted to play more in the States, but Deane Beman the then commissioner set the minimum events Stateside too high for seve to play both tours. The big 5 at the time, including Woosenam and Lyle recieved appearence money, much to the resentment of players like Mark James, but James and others also won more prize money as a result of the big 5 playing in Europe full time more or less. It was the only way to keep pace with the PGA tour at that time.

On the topic of just one pro tour, it was a senario if the European tour folded as we know it, as in Australia. Everyone would flock even more to the PGA tour and that isn't good for world golf IMO.

MathewM, agree it is a start. Rory is the only superstar right now. To inspire new golfers we could do with a few more geniune ones. I don't feel the current crop, good as they are quite have that.
02.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
"On the topic of just one pro tour, it was a senario if the European tour folded as we know it, as in Australia."

Did that scenario come to you in a dream or something? Surely you don't believe it is a reality?
02.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterL. Lane
Golf needs a healthy European tour. Simple as that. All I'm saying is it can't be allowed to decline
02.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
@Easingwold in the opinion of some the presence of walk up music and fireworks and gimmick formats are the definition of being in "decline". Gimmicks are a band-aid, they are not a viable long-term strategy. How long until a clown's mouth is part of the on-course offering?
02.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterXFL
XFL- I'm not a fan of gimmicks either. But youth today is hard to capture for a sport like golf when they are glued to PS4's. Tough problem.
02.16.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
Not tough at all. The proper course of action is to price your product appropriately remunerate the talent accordingly. Current Euro Tour management have tried to flip the equation and it will not work.
02.16.2017 | Unregistered CommenterXFL

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