The European Golf Association’s (EGA) European Championship for Golfers with Disability (June 6-8), staged at the Troia Resort, Portugal, is set to be one of the jewels in the international calendar for ‘Golfers First’ in 2018.
Though now an EGA event, the Association can count on the support this year of the event’s founders, the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA), which will manage this prestigious tournament for individual players – competitors who are reaching their potential through golf and not allowing themselves to be defined by their disability.
Around 75 golfers from 13 countries will be teeing it up at Troia Golf’s challenging coastal golf course with its undulating landscape, fast greens and testing sea breezes. This Robert Trent Jones Snr designed course has been selected as a Golf World magazine top-20 course in Europe.
National golf federations have been given invitation places in the field for their players, helping to increase the number of national flags seen on the leaderboard. The three-day golf event (with a practice day on June 5) also has a wheelchair (paragolfer) section.
Six of the top eight players from the international Ranking for Golfers with Disability (R4GD) are competing; the R4GD was set up by EDGA to help build the quality of competition across many countries and now numbers players from 13 nations in the top 50 of the Ranking.
The European Championship was set up by EDGA some years ago but in late 2016, following consultation with the EGA, it was decided appropriate that the leading amateur European event for players with a disability should be staged and promoted by the EGA as part of the Association’s tournament schedule.
In alternate years the Championship is a team event, so in 2017 the European Team Championship was hosted to great effect in Quinta do Lago, Portugal (won in fine style by France), and this team event will take place again in 2019
With the venue at Troia Golf this year, the Portugal Golf Federation has entrusted EDGA to run and manage the tournament; EDGA’s team being well-used to this as the organisation includes around 14 international events per year on its calendar.
EDGA is supported by the European Tour and the tournament will be filmed by European Tour Productions to be broadcast later in the summer.
Other EDGA supporters include The R&A, The Ryder Cup Europe Development Trust and 26 national golf federations, plus several valued partners including PING and the Association of Algarve Tourism. The organisation is currently working with the International Golf Federation (IGF) as it explores golf’s potential bid to be selected for the Paralympics. Where possible, EDGA is also supporting national federations to promote inclusive golf programmes.
Top picture: EDGA player Cedric Lescut
EDGA European Championship www.ega-golf.ch