• "Golf is undergoing an image change," said Cae Menai-Davis
• American Golf recently crowned their 9 Hole champions
ENGLAND GOLF | 9 HOLE CHAMPIONSHIP
England Golf will throw its support behind the continued emergence of nine-hole golf when the first London 9 Hole Championship gets underway at the West London Golf Centre next week.
On October 23, golfers of all ages will compete for the title at London’s newest nine-hole course in Northolt, with the proceeds from the all-day event, which has a maximum entry fee of £10, being donated to charity with half going to Breast Cancer Care and the other half to the charity of the winner’s choice.
“Is nine holes the new 18? I think it might be,” said West London Golf Centre’s Cae Menai-Davis. “People certainly seem to be busier than ever, and maybe that’s why we have seen so many play here in the year since we opened our golf course.
“We devised the event in discussions with England Golf, who share our belief that golf is currently undergoing an image change for the better, and we hope that it will become a regular fundraiser for Breast Cancer Care and other charities.”
“This is the first event of its kind in the area,” said England Golf’s Jason Mitchell, the county development officer for golf in Middlesex. “We are breaking down the stereotype that golf is a segregated sport – it simply isn’t, any more. This new tournament is for anyone who can swing a golf club, and it will showcase how diverse golf has become.”
As well as a free year’s membership at the West London Golf Centre, the winner will also receive a £100 voucher to spend at American Golf, a company who themselves have strongly pushed the nine-hole format with their own inaugural 9 Hole Championship concluding at the Belfry last weekend.
Also endorsed by England Golf, the event saw 20 pairs complete over two rounds of nine-hole golf using better ball stableford scoring, with the four highest scoring pairs over the two rounds progressing to the semi-finals.
In the end, it was a victory for Selby GC duo Luke Eustace and Mark Kelly – who along with the prestigious title have won a holiday in the Bahamas and a round of golf with Paul McGinley – with Eustace saying: “I hope this doesn’t show that I’ve had a dull life, but it’s easily up there with the best weeks I’ve ever had.
“Normally over 18 holes you have to plan and study where to pick your shots, whereas it’s a bit more fast and furious over nine. We’ll definitely be spreading the word about the event for next year.”
American Golf’s head of marketing Daniel Gathercole (far left, above) was very impressed with how the inaugural event panned out and believes that the nine-hole format will continue to grow in the years ahead.
“It’s been exciting to see our ideas come to life and to realise that there is a real opportunity for us to grow the game by introducing new formats and reaching out to different types of golfers,” he said. “We’re already making plans for 2016 which will appeal to an even wider range of people.”
Nine-hole golf :: The way forward?
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