Keith Pelley says Tour could trial six hole events in 2017

The shortened format would feature music, fewer clubs and a shot clock

Keith Pelley
Keith Pelley
(Image credit: Getty Images)

European Tour CEO Keith Pelley has said that a shorter form of golf with music and limited clubs might have a place on the European Tour’s calendar for 2017.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live’s Wake up to Money: Sport’s edition programme on Sunday 24th July, European Tour CEO Keith Pelley said that a shorter form of golf featuring six hole events could be trialled on the European Tour next year, with a view to its full incorporation on the circuit from 2018.

"We are looking to create a format that would be six holes that could be an hour or or an hour-and-a-half content programme," he said. "Yes, there'd be a shot clock. Yes, there'd be music being played and PA announcers and players would probably be dressed a little bit differently. And maybe they'd only play with five or seven clubs."

Mr Pelley also said that the shorter game could well see players representing their nations.

“We probably would have, based on the fact that we play in so many different countries and our leaderboard is always filled with a bunch of different flags, it would probably be a country competition. So you could see England playing Scotland in a six-hole matchplay," he said.

The European Tour chief went on to explain the reasons behind such a potential move and the need to make changes in order for golf to be appealing to a younger generation.

In recent years, other sports have introduced shorter, adapted versions – 20-20 cricket being the most obvious example - with great success in reaching a wider audience. Mr Pelley believes golf has to innovate too.

"If you're not prepared to change, you're not prepared to be innovative, if you're not prepared to actually take chances, then I do believe that the sports that aren't will fall behind," he said.

In terms of a timings, Mr Pelley thinks we might see the new format as soon as next year.

"We'd like to experiment with some of them as early as 2017 and maybe roll it out in 2018," he said.


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Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?