John Deere has announced that its established Team Championship golf tournament is to include teams from Great Britain and Ireland for the first time in 2002.
Now in its 16th year, the Team Championship has traditionally been open only to teams from the USA and Canada. Last year, invitations were extended to Germany and Australia and this year will see all six countries sending teams to the world final taking place at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA from November 21 to 24, 2002.
The format of the Championship is very straightforward. John Deere dealers in each participating country are invited to organise their own qualifying tournament for local golf clubs, operating within the Team Championship’s rules and regulations. Each team of four entered at this stage must include a senior member of the club’s greenkeeping staff, two members of the club’s board or committee and the club’s head or assistant professional.
The winning teams from these regional qualifiers go through to the National Championship, organised and sponsored by John Deere. At this level of the competition, the local dealer representative joins to form a team of five.
“Extending the Team Championship to include Great Britain and Ireland, as well as the other countries taking part, is a major undertaking and underlines John Deere’s programme of continued support for our dealers,” says Graham Williams, John Deere Limited’s commercial & consumer equipment division manager.
“This is a great opportunity to take part in an established, successful event with benefits for all concerned. It’s a great team building exercise, and a chance to spend valuable time with customers in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
“Teams in the Great Britain and Ireland regional qualifiers are competing to play in the national final on the famous Brabazon course at The De Vere Belfry on August 19, just ahead of the Ryder Cup.
“Two winning teams, one from Great Britain and one from Ireland, will qualify from there to travel to the USA in November to take part in the world final, and the chance to be crowned John Deere World Team Champions 2002.”
John Deere Limited will also be making a donation of £25 for every British and Irish team entered, to support the educational activities of BIGGA (British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association) and GCSAI (Golf Course Superintendents Association of Ireland).
In the region of $225,000 has already been donated to the equivalent organisations in the USA and Canada, the GCSAA and CGSA, since the Team Championship began in North America in 1987.
John Deere Limited www.johndeere.co.uk