FEATURE: ‘It questions everything’ – Introducing 1PUTT, golf’s new inclusive innovation

Features
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Are you desperate to get involved in golf but find the the current scene a little too daunting and, dare we say, formal? Well 1PUTT is probably for you.

It’s a new version of golf that aims to break down those barriers, and we invited creators Ross and Harry McInley to Golf365 to tell us all about it.

So, what exactly is 1PUTT? Give us your big pitch…
1PUTT is a reinvented version of golf designed to make the game more exciting and accessible for all players and spectators.

The experience features bigger holes, a fresh atmosphere, innovative formats and shootouts.

1PUTT questions everything that golf has previously stood for and aims to inspire a new generation to pick up a club.

With so many golf clubs closing down every year and with numbers of new players dwindling, we aim to be THE shorter more entertaining format of golf to bring in new players, create new revenue for clubs and make the game more desirable.

Currently we host a number of events around the UK each year but after a successful year in 2019, we aim to continue to grow this by putting on events throughout the country, right through from the grassroots network to higher-profile broadcast events in the future.

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Tell us your story. How has this come about?
We have been around the game our whole lives. Our Dad ran a golf business dealing with most of the golf clubs throughout the UK.

Through working with him and at a few other golf businesses we started to form a decent understanding of the golf club market. We love playing to a good(ish) level with our mates but we also enjoy playing and watching almost all other sports.

We first noticed that many other sports have a shorter more accessible, quicker, more exciting and more entertaining version of the game. Cricket has T20 and now The Hundred. Football has 5 and 6 a side, Rugby has 7’s and now RugbyX.

We feel golf is ripe for innovation and a new version to be created which runs alongside the traditional version but looks to maximise entertainment and excitement. Golf now has 1PUTT Golf.

The problem we are trying to solve is twofold. On the supply side, all golf clubs try to put on the same traditional golf experience. Certain clubs that struggle to compete on this level are becoming noncompetitive. We provide a completely fresh golf experience which clubs can use to add a new dimension, differentiate and attract a new audience.

On the demand side, golf in its current form has huge barriers to entry and is not accessible. These include time, cost, difficulty, travel, equipment, a judgemental atmosphere. We aim to break these down and bring more people into the game more regularly. The growth of competitive socialising in forms like TopGolf, Swingers and Flight Club show that there is demand for this type of activity.

I understand 1PUTT comes in an unusual format? Care to explain it?
We think team golf is way more fun than playing on your own for yourself. Where possible we look to do teams of between 3 and 5.

You all play together and play what we call 1PUTT Scramble. This means you all hit every shot and just take the best shot each time. Paired with the big holes, it can make for some pretty low scores and means that people focus on the good shots they have hit rather than the bad ones.

The beautiful thing is that we can also play different forms of the game for different types of players. One event we are looking at for better players would involve an alternate shot pairs format.

One BIG break from tradition is your use of on-course music. What is the thinking behind that?
For newcomers and first timers, golf clubs can be intimidating places. Not knowing how to act, where to go or what to wear puts a lot of people off.

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The moment you put music on the course people know that this is not your normal golf event. It instantly cuts the atmosphere and makes it more chilled out. Golf courses are designed to be fun and we want to increase that element which is why we also have no dress codes and often see players turn up in fancy dress!

Golf clubs are the perfect place for a party, especially when the suns out!

Where can I play 1PUTT?
You can play at one of our partner venues or in one of our bigger events that pop up throughout the country. 1PUTT Esher is our first permanent venue which you can book to play with a group at any time.

This is a 20 min train from Clapham Junction, and you enter the course 20 meters from Esher train station.

Look out for more partners opening up close to the main UK cities in 2020.

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