IT wasn’t quite the capers and high jinks of a boisterous package holiday to Benidorm but there was lots of sun and plenty of, ahem, six here at the Centurion Club.

Combining the cut-and-thrust of team competition with the more relaxed feel of a Husband & Wife Salver, the GolfSixes swung into action yesterday amid a frenzy of inflatable hand clappers, novelty foam fingers and Vernon Kay’s blinding tooth enamel.

With the Spice Girls thumping out of a speaker at the driving range, Cartiona Matthew’s quiet diligence as she plonked a couple of gentle wedges down the practice area was somewhat at odds with the general cacophony. Matthew, the current Solheim Cup captain, was partnering the Ryder Cup skipper, Thomas Bjorn, in a European Captains’ team … or “Team Old Farts” as Bjorn had christened this veteran alliance.

Matthew and Bjorn wouldn’t make it out of the group but the Scot must have been happy with the performances of players who are likely to form part of her European Solheim Cup side at Gleneagles next year.

Those aforementioned Spice Girls provided a particularly apt soundtrack to affairs given that there was plenty of girl power on display as the battle of the sexes illuminated the sixes. While we waved ta-ta to the tartan twosome of Scott Jamieson and Richie Ramsay – we’re used to Scotland teams failing to get out of a group – both Charley Hull and Georgia Hall, representing England’s women, and Mel Reid and Carlota Ciganda, who were flying a European flag, progressed to today’s knock-out stages.

“We’re trying to prove a point and we want more people to look at us and say ‘oh these girls are good, maybe I’ll switch over to watch the LPGA and Ladies European Tour instead of always watching the guys,” said Reid as they knocked out the defending champions Denmark, represented by Thorbjorn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard, in a sudden-death play-off.

The most eagerly anticipated contest of the opening session of group matches was the English men’s pairing of Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace against the duo of Hull and Hall.

Pepperell had stated on the eve of the event that he dreaded the prospect of losing to his female counterparts and in a show of macho bravado, the two Englishmen appeared with commemorative shirts marking England’s World Cup win in 1966. Any bloomin’ excuse eh?

They may have had the Three Lions but it was Hull who roared on the first with a super tee-shot to within a couple of feet which had Pepperell and Wallace jokingly sprinting back up the stand as if beating a hasty retreat.

During a ding-dong tussle with their male counterparts over six holes they finished with a rousing flourish. With Pepperell and Wallace knocking their approach into gimme distance on the last green, Hall trundled in a putt of some 20-feet for an eagle to halve the hole and ensure a 1-1 draw.

That set the tone for a fulfilling day on the female front and Hull and Hall effectively sealed a last-eight place with a 4-1 win over South Africa in which they were four-under for six holes.

For the Scots, meanwhile, it was an early exit after picking up just one point. Ramsay and Jamieson were two-under in each of their three games against Ireland, Italy and France but that doesn’t cut it in this attacking format where fast starts are key. Ireland, for instance, were five-under in beating the Scots 3-0. “It’s fine margins and we didn’t take our chances,” said Jamieson.