• Plans to have a six-hole international matchplay competition
• Hopes that golf can follow the lead of likes of Twenty20 cricket
European Tour chief Keith Pelley has given a glimpse into the latest plans by the body to revolutionise the game.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5Live, Pelley – who has been in the role since late last year – hopes the a new six-hole format featuring time limits for shots, music and ‘different’ clothing can follow the lead of other new versions of sports such as Twenty20 cricket.
Pelley mentioned the new format could be an international matchplay competition, the style of which is only usually seen in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup – and could even pit Scotland against England!
“It would probably be a country competition,” said Pelley, who plans to experiment with the format in 2017 before rolling it out on the European Tour in 2018. “So you could see England playing Scotland in a six-hole matchplay.
“If you're not prepared to change, you're not prepared to be innovative, if you're not prepared to actually take chances, then sports will fall behind. There’d be a shot clock, there'd be music and players would probably be dressed a bit differently. Maybe they'd only play with five or seven clubs.”
Since being in the role, the Canadian has made it his sole purpose to shake up golf and make it appeal to a wider audience, with a real emphasis on improving crowd interaction and getting more young people involved in watching and playing golf.
In the KLM Open in September, the European Tour will break new ground by hosting a unique Beat the Pro competition, when amateurs will have a chance to challenge the superstars during tournament play by hitting a shot to the green at the par-3 14th hole, with prizes on offer if they can get the ball closest to the pin.
“This will be an absolute highlight for the players and the fans,” said home favourite Joost Luiten. “I think it’s great to have something going on around the hole.
“I don’t think players will be distracted. On the contrary, I think they will love it. In the end we all want to play for as many fans as possible. Being challenged by an amateur makes it extra spectacular.”
European Tour shake-up :: Your thoughts
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