In their own words: Keith Pelley

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire July 10, 2019 10:40

The chief executive of the European Tour talks about the launch of the Golfers with Disability Programme, which will see the EDGA Scottish Open and EDGA Dubai Finale take place this year.

I always feel privileged to be the Chief Executive of the European Tour, but I can honestly say I have never felt it more than I did on the Wednesday afternoon of our recent Betfred British Masters at Hillside when we launched our Golfers with Disability Programme.

It is a programme run in conjunction with the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) – which founded the new World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD), a process now administered by the World Amateur Golf Ranking – and continues our quest to make top level golf available for all.

Kicking it off will be two 36-hole tournaments – the EDGA Scottish Open and EDGA Dubai Finale – played over the weekends of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and our season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

Keith Pelley

At the EDGA Scottish Open, ten golfers will have the opportunity to tackle the same course set up at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick as our professionals over the weekend of July 13-14. The EDGA Dubai Finale will follow a similar model, with eight eligible players competing in the tournament played at Jumeirah Golf Estates on Friday and Saturday (November 22-23).

At our launch at Hillside I was joined at the press conference by three golfers with disabilities; Caroline Mohr, Brendan Lawlor and Juan Postigo Arce. All three have golfing handicaps of under two and they had just finished playing the pro-am with European Tour winner Paul Waring.

Even through conditions were not favourable that day and Hillside proved testing for even some of our professionals, Paul admitted he had been surprised at just how good the trio were, with their golfing ability quickly becoming noticeable, not their respective disabilities.

Our programme is at its infancy stages but we look forward to working with EDGA over the coming months and years as we build towards our aspirational goal of a ‘Golfers with Disability World Tour’ by 2021.

The European Tour has launched the Golfers with Disability Programme, which will see the EDGA Scottish Open and EDGA Dubai Finale take place this year

The EDGA events in Scotland and Dubai fit perfectly into our continued drive for innovation and inclusivity in golf. But they are not alone. The recent Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla – a ground-breaking event with players from the over-50s Staysure Tour, the Ladies European Tour and the European Challenge Tour competing on the same course for the same prize fund – was a fantastic vehicle to demonstrate these core values.

With the ISPS HANDA Vic Open also bringing together male and female players at the same venue earlier this season; the fast and fun six-hole GolfSixes returning for a third edition in June; and the recently announced ISPS HANDA World Invitational Men | Women, presented by Modest! Golf Management, set to debut on the Challenge Tour in August, there have never been more opportunities for male and female players to share the stage in the professional game, and we are proud to be leading the way on this.

I constantly tire when the old criticism of golf – namely that it is elitist – is trotted out. When you consider all of the above – and the fact that our game’s unique handicap system means that any amateur of any ability, age or gender can compete fairly and squarely against anyone else – golf is actually one of the most inclusive sports of all.

To find out more about European Tour events, visit www.europeantour.com

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire July 10, 2019 10:40
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