Long-drive exhibitions and par-3 contests have proven to be popular ancillary attractions. Our friends across the pond are hoping to replicate that success on the short grass.
Starting at the BMW Championship, stars of the European Tour will compete in a made-for-TV putting event. The ISPS HANDA Pressure Putt Showdown will feature players, along with celebrity partners, facing off for a £10,000 prize, which will be donated to charity. Live music and audience participation is expected to create a spirited ambience.
Eight teams will start three feet from the hole. If both players miss, the squad is eliminated. Successful pairs will step back a foot, continuing to move further away until a victor is crowned.
"This is one of the many innovations we have been working on to widen the appeal of our game to greater audiences and to showcase the immense talent and personality of our stars," said Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour. "The BMW PGA Championship has always been an immersive event which engages fans and creates a real festival atmosphere through its music, food, celebrity and tented village aspects, so this is the perfect tournament to unveil our ISPS HANDA Pressure Putt Showdown."
Along with the BMW Championship, this putting showdown will take place at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the British Masters Supported by Sky Sports and one other unnamed event.