A revolutionary fast-paced golf format is headed for Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula next January.
The brainchild of Adelaide property developer Simon Zybek, Blitz Golf is pitched as the Twenty20 of tournament golf.
“I went to a tournament a few years back and left feeling hollow after spending all day watching the golf and not seeing a winner crowned. I thought there must be a better way,” Zybek said. “I started to think about how I could get all the excitement of a traditional four-round event packed into one day.”
Blitz Golf is still a traditional strokeplay event that’s played according to the Rules of Golf but that is where the similarities end. The 40-player field is split into two pools and players compete over four individual rounds, but not the traditional 18 holes per round.
Round one is just nine holes before the first cut is made. The top-12 players from each pool progress to round two, this time played over six holes. A further cut is made before round three with the top-six players per pool progressing to the exciting three-hole third round. After the three-hole sprint, the players have played all 18 holes on the course. The final cut is then made with the top-two players from each pool moving to round four, a sudden death playoff on the 18th hole.
Blitz Golf’s inaugural event was held at Adelaide’s Glenelg Golf Club in April this year with many of Australia’s best young and most experienced players battling it out.
“It was great to have household names Craig Parry, Peter O’Malley and Richard Green play against the upcoming Australian talent like Lucas Herbert, who has gone onto have an incredible season on the European Tour, Dimi Papadatos who won on the Challenge Tour and of course Antonio Murdaca,” Zybek said.
The 2014 Asia-Pacific Amateur champion, Murdaca [above] defeated Papadatos to claim his maiden professional victory in a nearest-the-pin shootout after the two were tied after the final hole.
After the April event, Zybek’s mind quickly turned to the expansion of this exciting format. He wanted to create a mini-series of events over summer but it must be in a short space of time.
At the suggestion of the PGA of Australia, Zybek approached entrepreneurs David and Lyndsay Sharp, owners of the Curlewis Golf Club on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula.
“Being relatively new to golf and not knowing the Victorian golf scene, the PGA suggested Curlewis might be a good venue to talk to. They do things a little different than a lot of clubs and are willing to embrace new ideas,” Zybek added. “Right from the first meeting David and especially Lyndsay was excited about the concept.”
The January 4 event is expected attract some of the best golf talents from the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, but it will also see the some of the best young female players as well with the ALPG sanctioning a female Blitz during the event.
“Adding the female players to the men’s event plus an amateur section will mean that we have plenty of quality golf on offer throughout the day,” Zybek said.
Blitz Golf is not always about the golf, either. One of the main elements that make this exciting new format so attractive to players and spectators is the carnival atmosphere. There’s outdoor bars, DJs and kids activities to keep the whole family entertained throughout the day.
Blitz Golf Curlewis will be the first of two events in early 2019, with the series set to head back to Glenelg for the second time on January 6.