England Golf is partnering the charity BALASA to support the first English Disability Open Championship at the Forest of Arden, Warwickshire, from 27-28 August 2016.
BALASA is the charity promoting golf for all disabilities and its secretary, Ian Dixon, commented: “BALASA are delighted to collaborate with England Golf on the first English Disability Open. This partnership, together with Marriott Forest of Arden, aims to deliver a successful and memorable tournament for all.”
The championship will be open to all disabled golfers who meet the definitions of impairment as set out in the conditions and who hold a CONGU handicap with competition status.
Golfers, regardless of their impairment, will play in three handicap categories over 36 holes on the Arden Championship Course. Category One and Two golfers will compete in strokeplay events and Category Three golfers will play a Stableford competition.
Awards will be made to the winner of each handicap category. Prizes will also be awarded for highest placed junior and female players.
Entries have now opened and the form can be downloaded at www.balasa.org/events Entries will be accepted on a first come, first served basis with a reserve list in operation.
The tournament is the start of a process to develop an event that meets the needs of disabled golfers and which creates as many parallels as possible to the golf competitions already run by England Golf.
It marks the beginning of an organisational transition from disability golf groups, which have previously run the national disability golf events, to the Championships team at England Golf. It will create an event which provides a clear competitive pathway for amateur disabled golfers.
Although not a European Disabled Golf Association badged event, players holding an EDGA Medical Pass will be able to submit scores from this event to the EDGA Rankings
Jamie Blair, England Golf’s Disability Manager, said: “As part of our role as the governing body for amateur golf in England, we are pleased that this starts a period of learning between those who have provided disability golf competitions for a number of years and the England Golf Championships Team.
“Taking a lead in all areas of our game, including disability golf, has been a key aim within our Raising Our Game strategy. I hope that this event can evolve over time with the work we are doing at a grassroots level to create a bigger field, a junior competition and embrace other partners’ events.
“I would like to thank the BALASA Golf committee for agreeing to partner their event with us, the team at the Forest of Arden and to the other disability golf partners for their input and support in making this event a success.”