So the European Tour tried out a new format this weekend with Golf Sixes but was it a success?
Six holes, Greensomes, Champions League format and matchplay for points. Do you know what? I reckon the tour got all of this absolutely bang on.
Every hole meant something and a couple of missed putts and you could throw match. Plenty of birdies and eagles and in the group stages there weren't too many dead matches.
For all the talk of a weak field the guys that were there seemed to be class on the whole. Their willingness to engage with the fans and have a laugh was quality to be fair.
When T20 cricket starter it was county cricketers and not the absolute superstars and it still worked. This did too.
Given the chance to not be so serious and closed all the time loads of the tour players have great personalities. Something like this definitely lets them show it, as well as their talents on the course.
They talked this up a lot when I watched it back on TV and you noticed a few tricks of the camera making it look like there were more people than there actually was there. In reality I'd say the atmosphere was similar to most golf tournaments. Polite ripples of applause more than craziness.
Fair play to the tour for giving out cheap tickets but it may have been tough to sell out an event that would be unknown to many.
In reality you'd want this event at night time under lights and to create a party atmosphere much like the cricket where people get a bit boozy (Maybe have a Jameson truck on every hole, not just the fifth!)
That's not to say it can't be a family event which was something Golf Sixes did quite well, with the kids on the tees and mascots etc.
It was a little mixed to be honest. As predicted the likes of Nick Dougherty and Radar were top quality and very passionate about the event but the likes of Boxall and Coltart kind of bring the vibe back down to a normal tour event again... it begged out for enthusiasm.
The on course interview is great insight but it's only really Radar that has any real banter with the players. The others are a bit weak.
As ever Sky are decent for getting pro tracer involved, camera work and graphics, you just wish they'd ditch some of the old guard commentators!
I've never really got golf's apparent need to involve celebs in everything they do. Vernon Kay is probably a nice enough bloke but as the very good Guardian article said it's a bit naff.
Add in Vinnie Jones who you'd say would be more fun in a pub and Denise Van Outen who is doing the rounds at the moment it's all just a bit odd. Actually the pub comedians with microphones on each hole trying to chat to the crowd were the worst... shocking and actually annoying.
The biggest surprise to us though was Kevin Pietersen who was actually pretty decent in commentary. Spoke with genuine passion and with proper enthusiasm for the game.
Fair play again for trying. Went for a few things, almost experimentally. The shot clock was a no brainer and you'd like to see that for every shot... especially putts where players stalk the hole forever. 25 seconds should do a job... with maybe one extension or time out.
I'd go one extra by having extra caddies up the fairway getting the yardages for when the players arrive at the ball.
You'd have to say it's a decent first effort and there is plenty of room to improve. Fair play to European Tour boss Keith Pelley for putting his balls on the line and going for it. Guys in his position can normally keep their job by sticking to the status quo.
Let's get 4-6 of these at different cities around the world, under floodlights and with a genuine party atmosphere.
And 100% mic the players and caddies up, do it at night time and spend Vernon Kay's appearance fee on promoting the event and some decent walk on tunes or DJs.
Let us know what you made of Golf Sixes. Did you like it? What else could they do for next time? What could be better?
But not before checking out this quick (and slick!) video of us playing in the Pro-Am with Jameson. Was great fun!!!
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.