Berkhamsted Golf Club has postponed its hosting of the 61st Berkhamsted Trophy due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The 72-hole tournament was set to be the world’s first gender-neutral, national-level elite amateur golf event, at its original date of April 2-4.
Following the Hertfordshire club’s announcement in January that both male and female golfers would be competing equally in the 61st Berkhamsted Trophy, this year’s event had attracted an all-time record entry. Among the 142 competitors who have entered the 2020 tournament are 18 leading female golfers, led by Curtis Cup squad members Lily-May Humphries, Isobel Wardle, Shannon McWilliam and Emily Toy, the current Women’s Amateur Champion.
The club is looking to re-schedule to a date in autumn 2020, with further announcements to follow. Entrants therefore need to do nothing at this stage.
Howard Craft, Berkhamsted’s Club Manager, said: “Naturally we would rather not be doing this, but it is clearly unwise to attempt to stage a golf tournament of this kind at the moment. The health of our competitors, members and staff is the overwhelming priority right now. Our decision in January 2020 to invite leading female amateur golfers to enter the tournament has been emphatically validated by the record-breaking entry levels, and also by the high quality of the golfers who want to compete – of both sexes. What’s been achieved so far is testament both to the appeal of the Berkhamsted Trophy, and also to the growing desire to stage truly gender-neutral tournaments across the golfing world.
“We are proud to be among those who are leading the way in this area, and we are still excited to see what happens when the best female golfers take on the best male golfers, later this year, all competing for the same trophy.”
Berkhamsted’s golf course remains open to its members at this time.