England Golf is tol break new ground this year by sending teams to this summer’s European Team Championship for Golfers with a Disability and Nations Cup in Belgium.
The 2022 events will run alongside each other at one venue ensuring that both elite and handicap golfers are given the chance to share the same stage during a prestigious week of competition.
Both championships will take place under the auspices of the European Golf Association (EGA) and EDGA, formerly the European Disabled Golf Association, from June 9-11 at Koksijde Golf ter Hille Golf Club in Flanders.
This will be the first time that England Golf has supported and managed teams of amateur golfers with a disability in international competition.
Four players will compete for England in the Team Championship over three days. The scoring format is gross stroke play and comprises foursomes, greensomes and singles on consecutive days. Another four English players – with a handicap index limit of 36 – will challenge for the Nations Cup over three days. The scoring is Stableford format with golfers also competing in foursomes, greensomes and singles where nett scores will count.
Although professional golfers may be selected for these events, England Golf will pick eight players from the top of the amateur game. Both male and female golfers are eligible for selection. Squads will be named following the latest update to the world rankings on 25 April.
The top four English players from the World Rankings for Golfers with a Disability will be selected for the Team Championship. The leading four English competitors from the nett section of the same ranking system will earn their places in the Nations Cup squad.
England Golf is currently in the process of recruiting two team managers to help lead the teams onto the European stage. The announcement follows on from the governing body’s strong commitment to increasing the promotion of disability golf as laid out in the Course Planner strategy.
Within this strategy, England Golf has committed to creating a new player pathway for golfers with a disability in a bid to encourage as many individuals as possible to enjoy the social, competitive and wellbeing benefits of playing the game.
England Golf’s performance director, Nigel Edwards, said: “This is a hugely important and significant step for our performance department and recognition of the growth and rise in popularity of disability golf. I look forward to watching the England teams compete on a European stage this summer and know they will be bursting with pride at the prospect of representing their country.”
Jeremy Tomlinson, chief executive officer at England Golf, commented: “The English Open for Golfers with a Disability – staged by England Golf in 2019 and again in 2021 – is now a permanent fixture on our championship calendar. We eagerly anticipate another wonderful championship at Carden Park Golf Club in June where Kipp Popert (main image) will have a chance to defend his title.
“The outstanding performance of players such as Kipp, George Groves, who reached world number one, and Aimi Bullock in EDGA events around the world has also increased the profile of disability golf in England. Encouraging our national teams for golfers with a disability is a hugely positive step on this journey to broaden the appeal of the game and to ensure all players have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.”