The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association will be hosting a socially-distanced version of its national championship this autumn, with players competing at golf courses of their choosing and sending their scores in to a central online scoreboard.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, BIGGA’s National Trophy, which normally takes place over two days, will not be hosted in its traditional format in 2020. But, not willing to let that put an end to the competition, BIGGA and event sponsors Rigby Taylor have teamed up with event software hosts Golf Genius to enable BIGGA members to play at golf courses of their own choosing in a safe and socially-distanced way, with a live leaderboard and prizes up for grabs.
There’ll be handicap competitions so that players of all levels can get involved, as well as a scratch prize, while players will be invited to submit their nearest-the-pin and longest drive attempts on social media using the hashtag #BIGGAVirtualNational.
First rounds scores must be submitted the week commencing 28 September, with a final round taking place on 5 October, followed by an online presentation ceremony.
The event, which costs £25 to enter, will also seek to raise funds for the BIGGA Greenkeepers Benevolent Fund, which supports past and present BIGGA members and their dependents through hardship and has seen a surge in members enquiring about the help they can receive in the past few months.
BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: “The informal basis of this event and the opportunity to play at any course of your choosing means that more BIGGA members than ever before can get involved in this event. From the Highlands of Scotland down to the Cornish coast, we’re inviting every BIGGA member – international members can even get involved – to sign up and have a bit of fun while raising funds for our hugely important charity at the same time. You can play with friends or it’s a great opportunity for entire greenkeeping teams to take a break and play some golf together – the possibilities are endless.”
He added: “I can’t wait for what stands to be a great event and I hope it will bring a bit of fun and laughter to a year that has proved so incredibly stressful for us all at one time or another. If you’re a regular National Championship participant, or even if you’ve never gotten involved with a BIGGA golf event before, sign up and see what it’s all about!”
To register for the BIGGA Virtual National Championship, visit biggavirtualnationalchampionship.golfgenius.com