Johannesburg - Steyn City is changing the face of women's golf in South Africa with the launch of the first women's only Sixters Tournament in a bid to make the game more accessible to a wider audience.
The tournament, set to take place on Thursday, April 11, is a nod to GolfSixes, a format which has been eagerly embraced by the European Tour.
In the same spirit of rugby's Sevens and T20 cricket, GolfSixes has all the tension of the original game but in a shorter more fast-paced format that features two-man teams playing against each other for a game of six holes.
The relative brevity of a GolfSixes round makes it ideal for women, for whom a lack of time is a major barrier to play.
This is according to Australian research conducted by Smart Connection, which sought to understand why women remain underrepresented in the sport. Their findings showed that although women enjoy the same aspects of the sport as men - the opportunity to catch up with friends or forge new business networks while honing a skill in a beautiful outdoor environment - they're often put off by a lack of access and the perception of golf as "an old boys' club".
One of the solutions is to ensure that golf clubs create a more welcoming environment for women. Steyn City has answered this challenge by providing additional time between tee-offs, creating a more leisurely pace of play. This has helped to ease the pressure sometimes created by male golfers who feel frustrated by the slower pace of play among women.
Steyn City is happy to take the lead in this regard because, as Tammy Menton, Group Head of Marketing at Steyn City points out, "women in golf is big business".
Steyn City's new Sixters tournament has a significant role to play in this regard. The tournament is an initiative of the 7% Tribe founded in 2018 by Menton, and is supported by entrepreneur and golfer, Lynette Ntuli, owner of Innate Investment Solutions. Menton explains that the 7% Tribe was established as a movement to address the lack of female participation and support in corporate South Africa.
"Golf is a perfect vehicle to address this. One of the greatest obstacles facing women in the workplace is the scarcity of opportunities for networking - and where better to grow networks, develop business contacts and explore opportunities than on the golf course?" says Menton.
The Sixters (a play on the word sisters) has been welcomed by excited participants, ranging from corporate heavy hitters to successful entrepreneurs.
For more information, www.steyncity.co.za