European Tour: Shot Clock Masters Preview
The European Tour are bringing us yet another innovative event this week with the Shot Clock Masters due to take place at the Diamond Country Club in Austria.
With the age-old issue of slow play continuing to plague the game, this week's field will have to be on their guard
A shot clock hole was in play at the Golf Sixes event earlier this year and seemed rather well received by those in attendance and viewers tuning in around the world. It was then perhaps only natural that an event such as this would be the next stepping stone towards a more swift game.
So then, without further ado, here's all you need to know about the inaugural Shot Clock Masters...
Course: Diamond Country Club, Atzenbrugg, Austria
Yardage: 7,458 yds
Diamond Country Club's Diamond course is a challenging facility often regarded as one of the best in Austria.
It has water in play on at least half of its holes, with two island green par-3 holes which demand accuracy off the tee. Golfers need to be on their game all the way to the 18th hole as this 418-yard par-4 has water left and out of bounds right making it a hole not to be taken lightly.
Get a closer look at the stunning course the players have the pleasure to experience this week:
Standard strokeplay rules apply but the players will be followed around by shot clocks which will give the first to hit 50 seconds and then each player thereafter in the group 40 seconds to pull the trigger.
There will be two 'time-outs' which can be used per round for more difficult shots which effectively double the allotted time available to the golfer. Any player falling foul of the shot clock will receive a one-shot penalty - ouch!!
Catch Austrian Bernd Wiesberger's first encounter with the shot clock:
The field isn't just as sparse on talent as you might otherwise expect for a new tournament format which is far from the most lucrative on Tour.
Nicholas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen provide proven world level pedigree while the Englishman David Howell is joined by his compatriot Lee Slattery who heads to Austria on the back of an impressive solo third at the Italian Open.
The young Canadian Austin Connelly seemed primed for a big performance or two just a few months ago and then there's the Spanish flair of the always entertaining Miguel Angel Jiminez.
Who Wins It?
To be honest, we have literally no idea. Early excuses include a new event played with a new format and with few form golfers in the field. Let's go for Austin Connelly, purely on the basis that he was one of our 'Players to Watch' for 2018.
What do you think of this new format? Will it catch on? Let us know below:
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