Historic format for European Team Championships at Gleneagles

The PGA Centenary Course, venue for t6he 2014 Ryder Cup, is staging the inaugural European Golf Team Championships in August. Picture: Ian Rutherford
The PGA Centenary Course, venue for t6he 2014 Ryder Cup, is staging the inaugural European Golf Team Championships in August. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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This year’s European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles will be the first in the game to feature a 50/50 gender split in the field.

It will also see players from the European Tour and Ladies European Tour competing for equal prize-money over the PGA Centenary Course at the Perthshire venue.

The format and qualification process for the new event, which is part of the innovative multi-sport Glasgow 2018 European Championships, were unveiled this morning.

Players will represent their countries, with 16 teams of two players competing in the men’s and women’s events.

They will then combine to form teams of four - two men and two women - in a Mixed Team Championship over 18 holes.

Qualification will be via the European Golf Team Championships Points Tables for men and women.

These will be based on men’s Official World Golf Ranking Points and women’s Rolex Ranking Points earned from tournaments finishing between Monday 10 July 2017 and Monday 9 July 2018.

A maximum of three teams can represent any one nation in each event.

“This summer’s European Golf Team Championships will be a totally unique event and we are extremely pleased that the men and women will play competitively together for equal prize money,” said LET chairman Mark Lichtenhein.

“As we have seen through the Olympic Games in Rio, the recent Oates Vic Open in Australia and the announcement to have mixed teams in the GolfSixes in the UK, there is a tremendous public appetite to see men and women competing.

“The format is terrific and the fact that the event will be shown throughout Europe via free-to-air television presents an unprecedented opportunity to bring new fans to the game.”

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley added: “The inaugural European Golf Team Championships is an exciting addition to the 2018 European Tour schedule, and we are looking forward to this unique event at the historic Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course.

“There is a need for golf to embrace new formats and engage a wider audience, and following our recent announcement about the inclusion of female players in the revolutionary GolfSixes tournament, the European Championships presents yet another innovative opportunity to break new ground on a number of fronts.

“The opportunity to represent your country is a great honour that many players experience at amateur level, but the opportunities are fewer when they become professional.

“Add to this the match play element, and of course the intriguing prospect of the mixed team event, it all points to being a fantastic event for spectators at Gleneagles and those watching on free-to-air television across Europe.”

To be staged every four years, the European Championships will combine the existing European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon.

The first edition will be held in 2018 in a unique sporting partnership between Host Cities Glasgow and Berlin.

The European Golf Team Championships is the only new event being staged as part of Glasgow 2018.

“Scotland, the Home of Golf is no stranger to innovation when it comes to golf so it is fitting that history will once again be made with men and women competing side by side in the European Golf Team Championships,” said Sports Minister Aileen Campbell.

“Scotland is a proud advocate of equality, not just in sport but in society, and I am delighted that the Glasgow 2018 European Championships is playing its part to effect positive change.”

Cllr David McDonald said: “Scotland gave the modern game of golf to the world – and this new format, within a new and exciting Championships, will see us continue to lead the way by improving access and equality in one of our most popular sports.

“For the fans, this will be a unique opportunity to watch the best in Europe playing on a level footing, regardless of their gender. I’m proud that Glasgow is playing its part in bringing that to the sport.”

Tickets are now on sale for the European Golf Team Championships with adult prices from £10 for practice days and £15 on competition days.

Children under the age of 16 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.