Women Golfers Play Key Role in New TV Series

A dose of gender equity is about to be injected into the game of golf. PowerPlay Golf, a novel short-form scoring format that offers two pin placements on each green, will match women professionals against their male counterparts in an upcoming global series of tour-style competition.

U.S. Women's Open champion Paula Creamer headlines the women's field in "PowerPlay Golf driven by Saab: Ignition," the inaugural PowerPlay Golf televised event, on Monday, May 30, at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales (the show will be aired live on Golf Channel at noon EDT and re-broadcast on May 31 at 8:00 pm EDT).

Creamer will be joined by Swedish tour pros Helen Alfredsson and Caroline Hedwall in the first event. "I am really looking forward to taking part in PowerPlay Golf," Creamer said. "It is wonderful that the event has such a great mix of players from the different tours. Golf needs something different and the PowerPlay Golf live TV events are certainly going to put our sport in the spotlight."

The Memorial Day Weekend event, sponsored by Swedish automobile manufacturer, Saab, will be televised by dozens of networks and reach millions of homes worldwide. It marks the first stage of PowerPlay golf's strategy to launch its nine-hole, two-flag golf format, which will debut in the United States this summer.

"Competing against the men will be tough but a lot of fun," said Alfredsson, an LPGA Tour and Solheim Cup winner and captain who's competed against men pros in non-tour events. "It is fantastic that PowerPlay Golf is so keen to promote a mixed format. That can only be good for the future of the women's game at all levels."

The three women pros will match their shot-making and strategic skills against some of the game's best-known golfers, with the 12-player international field including Hall of Fame member Gary Player of South Africa, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey of England, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and John Daly of the United States.

The appearance of Creamer alongside McDowell represents the first time the reigning men's and women's U.S. Open champions have competed against each other in a professional golf tournament of this caliber.

PowerPlay Golf creates a strategic spin on scoring, adding drama and an "interactive" element to the game while allowing viewers to strategize and second-guess the players' choices on every hole.

The nine-hole competition features two flagsticks on every green. There is a risk-and-reward decision to be made on each hole, as golfers choose to play to the regulation hole placement, designated by a white flag, or try to score extra points by playing to the more difficult placement or black flag. Opting for the black flag is called a "PowerPlay," with each player required to designate three "PowerPlays" for the first eight holes. The ninth hole provides the chance to score bonus points, but also to lose more points than on previous holes.

Market research suggests that "PowerPlay Golf will be extremely popular among women golfers," said Peter McEvoy, PowerPlay Golf's executive director. "We are committed to including women tour players in future televised events and firmly believe the format will be a real hit with women golfers around the world."

For more information, visit www.powerplay-golf.com.