GolfSixes: Breaking down the European Tour’s new format

Chris Wood. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Wood. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports /

Will the European Tour’s innovative GolfSixes format be a boom or bust?

This week’s GolfSixes format takes a left turn from stroke play, then continues to carom off the road – or the cart path – with reckless abandon.

Not only the format but the environment in which it’s played has the European Tour‘s GolfSixes organizers touting it as “Golf . . . but not as you know it.”

Any format that deviates from the traditional 72 holes of stroke play is usually warmly accepted. The Perth Super Six and last week’s two-man team event at the PGA TOUR’s Zurich Classic enjoyed positive fan and player reception..

However, GolfSixes seems to be taking things one step beyond: here’s Fyre Festival-like hype but with a better chance of actually executing the plan.

There’s a lot to digest on what’s happening this week, so let’s start with an overhead view and work from there.


There are 16 teams of 32 players, each team representing a different country. Players were selected factoring World Golf Ranking, European Tour membership and willingness to play.

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These 16 teams are divided into four groups on day one. Did I mention that the tournament starts on Saturday instead of Thursday?

Each team will play three six-hole greensome match play matches against their group opponents. Greensome, for those unaccustomed, has both team members hitting tee balls with the choice of which ball to use for alternate shot the rest of the hole.

Three points are awarded for a match win, one for a draw and zero for a loss.

Saturday’s play will advance the top two teams per group to Sunday’s knockout stages using the same format to determine the winners.

A prize fund of €1 million is on the line, though breakdown of the prize money is not immediately clear.

SuperSix Quirks

There’s a lot more that is unique to this event, which is held at Centurion Club in St. Albon’s, England.

Here’s a list of some of the quirks and different ways the European Tour aims to entertain its fans this week:

  • Music and pyrotechnics at the first tee and at various points around the course.
  • Players are encouraged to interact with fans inside and outside of the ropes and will wear microphones.
  • There is a fan zone in the middle of the venue where players can take part in Q&A sessions and interact with fans in person and on social media.
  • On-course interviews, POV cameras, caddie cameras and other different angles will supplement the broadcast.
  • Fans are encouraged to make noise, be raucous. A lot of the European Tour’s press releases indicate they’re hoping for an energetic, loud crowd akin to a professional soccer game or the Ryder Cup.
  • English television personality Vernon Clark will co-host the GolfSixes.

The Field

Alexander Levy. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

Event organizers will surely hope for more elite fields if this event continues but this isn’t a bad start. A pair of European Ryder Cup members, world No. 61 Chris Wood and No. 62 Andy Sullivan from England are the favorites to win and highest-ranked players in the field.

Last week’s winner at the Volvo China Open, Frenchman Alexander Lévy is the fourth-highest ranked player at No. 74 and is paired with five-time career winner Grégory Bourdy.

In total, there are 11 top-100 players in the field.

Other players with big-time team golf experience are Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee (2015 President’s Cup) and Nicolas Colsaerts (2012 Ryder Cup). Three players in the field have World Cup wins: Bradley Dredge (2005), Marc Warren (2007) and Thorbjørn Olesen (2016).

England — Chris Wood and Andy Sullivan

Italy — Matteo Manassero and Renato Paratore

Thailand — Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnat

India — S.S.P. Chawrasia and Chikkarangappa S

Australia — Sam Brazel and Scott Hend

Denmark — Thorbjørn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard

France — Alexander Levy and Grégory Bourdy

Netherlands — Joost Luiten and Reinier Saxton

Sweden — Kristoffer Broberg and Joakim Lagergren

Spain — Pabloa Larrazábal and Alejandro Cañizares

Scotland — Richie Ramsay and Marc Warren

South Africa — Darren Fichardt and Brandon Stone

USA — Paul Peterson and David Lipsky

Wales — Bradley Dredge and Jamie Donaldson

Belgium — Nicolas Colsaerts and Thomas Detry

Portugal — Ricardo Gouveia and José-Filipe Lima


  1. Chile — Felipe Aguilar and Mark Tullo
  2. Germany — Maximilian Kieffer and Marcel Siem
  3. Ireland — Paul Dunne and Gareth Maybin
  4. New Zealand — Ryan Fox and Mathew Perry

Next: Wells Fargo Championship Power Rankings

Should more tournaments be like GolfSixes? What tweaks would you make? Leave a comment or continue the conversation with us @ProGolfNow on Twitter.