With all of the variations of golf from scrambles to match play to stroke play, another game within a game hardly means reinventing the wheel, so we introduce you to PowerPlay Golf, courtesy of Barry Forth, operations manager at Copetown Woods near Hamilton, who is pitching the idea across the country.
Obviously, the name itself will appeal to Canadians with its hockey connotation, but it also features a strategy similar to pulling the goalie in order to get back in the game, a risk-reward move that can have negative results as well.
PowerPlay features two flags on every green, the white the easiest of the two and the black representing the more difficult pin.
“It’s a nine-hole game,” said Forth. “Three times on the first eight holes, you have to say on the tee that you’re going for the black flag, or going for a power play, which is where they get the name.”
PowerPlay uses a Stableford scoring system and if you’re going for the black flag, a net birdie or better will earn a player double the usual points.
“When you get to the ninth hole, you have the option of taking a fourth power play if you choose,” said Forth. “If you’re down by a couple of points and you want to be able to try and leapfrog and get into the lead and get more points, you can take the extra power play on the last hole.
“Again, if you get a net birdie or better, you double your points. However, on the last hole, if you bogey or worse, then you lose two points.
“On the flip side, if you’re playing and you’ve got a comfortable lead, there is no reason to go for the black flag just in case you happen to bogey or worse and lose points. What you can do is just play it safe, go for the white pin and, hopefully, walk away with the win,” said Forth.
With it being a nine-hole game, PowerPlay would be more affordable for golfers in this struggling economy and it also cuts in half the time it takes to play 18 holes. Veteran golfers may get a kick out of it, but it would also appeal to juniors, seniors and other more specific demographics, including beginners.
Forth wants to take it across the country for leagues and special events and says he is charging $500 for use of the game and another $100 for the necessary equipment such as the flags, scorecards and rules sheets.
He says future plans for the game, which is being played in other countries and receiving positive comments from well-known names in the industry, include having tour players take part in special events and having regional, national and world championships should it catch on in Canada.
For now, he is holding Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening leagues at Copetown Woods.
“What kind of caught my attention was the ability to run a nine-hole event or a weekly league or whatever it may be, something to make it different than just offering nine holes,” said Forth. “It will draw, with the economy right now, the people who either don’t have the time or money or both to play 18 holes.
“The Tuesday morning league, we can run right off our back nine,” he added. “There’s nobody out there anyway because the people playing 18 holes, they’ll take two hours to get around the 10th tee,” he added.
For more information on PowerPlay Golf, see the website, www.powerplay-golf.com, or contact Forth at email@example.com, or by calling (289) 238-8710.
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