European golf continues its innovative ways, forming a mixed-gender event to be played this year.
The European Golf Team Championship will be contested Aug. 8-12 at Gleneagles in Scotland. The event will feature an equal mix of male and female professionals competing for equal prize money, in a team match-play format.
Here’s the setup:
• 16 male and 16 female teams will represent their countries – the men competing against the men and women against the women.
• Teams are determined by points accumulated based on the Official World Golf Ranking and Women’s Rolex Rankings, between July 10, 2017 and July 9, 2018, with a maximum of three teams representing any one nation. Teams are determined by points, not individual preference.
• For both men and women, the 16 teams will be split into four groups of four, based on seeding. The format will be four-balls (better-ball) with 2 points earned for a victory, 1 point for a half and zero for a loss.
• The winner of each group will advance to the semifinals. The overall winning men’s and women’s teams will each receive 200,000 euros (100,000 per player).
• There will also be a concluding 18-hole, stroke-play, Mixed Team Championship, in which two men and two women form a four-person team.
• The event is part of the multi-sport Glasgow 2018 European Championships, which is staged every four years.
• The golf event is the only new athletic endeavor added to the Championships and will take place at Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course, which hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup and will host the Solheim Cup.
“There is a need for golf to embrace new formats and engage a wider audience,” Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, said, “and following our recent announcement about the inclusion of female players in the revolutionary GolfSixes tournament, the European Championships presents yet another innovative opportunity to break new ground on a number of fronts.”
One note made in the news release, in relation to Great Britain and Ireland:
Great Britain will be regarded as one nation, not individual home nations (i.e. Not Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland). Players from Northern Ireland who have represented Ireland in golf in the Olympics or in other professional team golf tournaments will represent Ireland. Those who have represented Great Britain in Olympics or other professional golf team events will represent Great Britain. Those who have done neither can choose to represent Ireland or Great Britain.