Last summer ought to have been host to the inaugural ‘Scandinavian Mixed’ event. The first European Tour event of its kind, men and women were set to go head-to-head on the same course for one prize fund and trophy. However, it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
One year on, the co-sanctioned mixed event, hosted by former major champions Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam, is expected to go ahead from June 10-12th at Vallda Golf & Country Club in Kungsbacka, 30km south of Gothenburg.
“I like the idea of the two European Tours coming together for a joint event – that would be fantastic and would get more people watching the women as well. Something like GolfSixes, but bigger,” explained Women’s British Open Champion, Georgia Hall, in an interview for Today’s Golfer.
GolfSixes, a 16-team six-hole knockout tournament, has led the way in recent years for greater crossover between the men’s and women’s game. It was also hailed as a “game-changer” by the Golf Foundation, as GolfSixes Leagues attracted new young players and families to the game.
Such competitions and experimentations of format open up huge potential to capture both the male and female market.
“I’m pretty optimistic about golf. I think they have turned a corner in terms of realising they are in the entertainment business,” said Roger Mitchell, co-host of Are You Not Entertained? podcast.
Whilst full of tradition, golf is showing an openness to innovation – from the Scandanavian Mixed, to rapper Macklemore launching his own golf clothing line that he hopes will help expand what it means to “look like a golfer” – that should stand it in good stead for the future.