For the second year running, women and girls across the United Kingdom are being encouraged to play golf throughout Women and Girls’ Golf Week.
The pioneering initiative is the brainchild of England Golf, and from July 29 to August 4 the European Tour, Ladies European Tour, Professional Golfers’ Association, The R&A and the Golf Foundation will all tell the stories of women and girls who are involved in the sport.
But what role does the European Tour play in women’s golf? Below we review the numerous drives to increase female participation in Tour events…
Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla
Earlier this year the Jordan Mixed Open became the first professional golf tournament to bring male, female and senior golfers together in one field to compete for the same prize.
A total of 40 players from each of the European Challenge Tour, the Staysure Tour and the Ladies European Tour, as well as three high-level amateur golfers, made up the 123-player field who played over 54 holes for one trophy.
Players from the respective Tours competed from different tees – Challenge Tour players faced a 7,100-yard course, Staysure Tour players took a 6,601-yard layout and Ladies European Tour players were up against a golf course measuring 6,139 yards.
The Netherlands Daan Huizing, who competes on the Challenge Tour, took home the title but was pushed close on the final day by Meghan MacLaren in a battle that will live long in the memory.
ISPS HANDA Vic Open
During its debut staging on the European Tour, the Australian event saw both men and women playing over the same course and for the same prize money in separate tournaments at 13th Beach Golf Club in Geelong, Victoria.
David Law and Celine Boutier took home equal pay cheques after winning their respective tournaments, while the first-ever mixed group in a European Tour event took to the course during the week, with Gavin Moynihan, Dale Williamson and Manon De Roey playing their third rounds together.
Since 2018 female players have competed in the short format event. Before she became a British Open champion, Georgia Hall teed it up for the England Women in 2018, while Catriona Matthew – who will captain Europe in the Solheim Cup later this year – formed part of a Captains’ Team alongside victorious Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn.
Charley Hull, a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour who became the youngest player to represent Europe in the Solheim Cup aged 17 in 2013, produced one of the best moments in the competition’s short history – leading to opponents Matt Wallace and Eddie Pepperell retreating in fear!
🤣🤣 Pepperell & Wallace have already had enough 🏃♂️— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 5, 2018
Hull into 2 feet with her first shot... pic.twitter.com/tPyat44yI0
ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women, Presented by Modest! Golf Management
Later this year on the Challenge Tour men and women will play on the same courses at the same time, for equal prize money – much like earlier this season at the Vic Open.
With alternating tee times between the men’s and women’s groups there will be plenty of drama too, with the two champions set to be crowned within moments of each other.
Two neighbouring courses in Northern Ireland, Galgorm Castle Golf Club and Massereene Golf Club, will share hosting duties across the opening two days, with competitors completing one round at each of the two layouts.
Following the conclusion of day two, the fields will be whittled down to the top 60 players. There will be an additional cut after day three, with the leading 35 players from each side of the tournament progressing to the final round.
All of the weekend’s action will unfold at Galgorm Castle – a fitting site for what promises to be an enthralling contest.
Want to find out more about Women and Girls’ Golf Week? Visit https://www.englandgolf.org/ for details.