Imagine Golf Blogs

PowerPlay Golf Looks Like A Hit

Golf's Twenty20 cricket could take off

Posted May 31, 2011 by Chris White

Celtic Manor hosted the first PowerPlay tournament

Rising star of women’s golf Caroline Hedwall showed her established male counterparts how it’s done at the first PowerPlay Golf driven by Saab: IGNITION event at Celtic Manor.

The young Swede held off the likes of Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Graeme McDowell to win the inaugural competition, claiming the £100,000 prize, with 50% being donated to the Swedish Golf Federation.

Her nearest challenger was another female Swede, Helen Alfredsson, in the tournament dubbed “the golfing version of Twenty20 cricket.” Hedwall finished 3-points clear of Alfredsson, while the third female in the competition, Paula Creamer, was a further 2-points behind, tied in third with Ian Poulter.

Hedwall said afterwards, “That was a lot of fun. I was in the middle of the pack with three holes to play but I knew I still had a chance with a few PowerPlays in hand. I was very nervous on the first tee but playing with Ian Poulter and Helen Alfredsson was a great experience.”

The two-flag ‘risk for reward’ format was played on nine specially selected holes on The Celtic Manor Resort’s Twenty Ten course, which held last year’s Ryder Cup.

For those who missed the tournament, or who didn’t understand it, PowerPlay Golf is played over nine holes, with two flags on each green. This means players can use a limited number of ‘PowerPlays’ to score extra points when aiming at the harder Black Flag, creating pressurised risk-for-reward decisions on each tee.

The spectators at the Welsh course certainly weren’t put off by the poor weather earlier in the day, with interested observers turning out in great numbers to watch. All the players – maybe with the exception of the injured John Daly, who would have enjoyed it – seemed to be having fun and getting to grips with the double stableford point scoring system for the black flags. With two more events planned this year, it already looks like the plan of making a golfing equivalent of Twenty20 cricket might just take off, so I take my cap off to the organisers.

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