FAQ on the European Tour Qualifying School
Q. How can I become a member of the European Tour or European Challenge Tour?
A. The main way to become a member of The European Tour or European Challenge Tour is to go to Qualifying School which takes part in the latter part of the year (September – November).
All players who participate at the 1st stage will be eligible for Associate 1 Membership of the European Challenge Tour for the following season*.
*Exception: Any player removed from a 1st or 2nd Stage QS tournament by the European Tour due to conduct or non-competitive performance.
Q. How do I enter the European Tour Qualifying School?
A. You will need to complete and return the Qualifying School Application Form to the European Tour by the appropriate closing dates as listed on the form.
Note – any Application Form received after these dates will not be accepted.
Q. Who can enter the European Tour Qualifying School?
A. All male professionals and male amateurs with a handicap of scratch or better are eligible to enter. Handicap certificates must be submitted with the amateur application form.
Q. Can I enter the Qualifying School if I have a criminal conviction?
A. All entrants are obliged to declare any previous or pending criminal convictions and co-operate with the Criminal Convictions committee which shall be convened to consider the applicant’s eligibility in light of such conviction(s).
Q. Do I lose my amateur status if I enter the Qualifying School?
A. It is not a breach of the Rules of Amateur Status to file an entry for and participate in any Stage of the Qualifying School, providing that you waive your right to prize money prior to each Stage by completing and submitting the appropriate forms before competing at each venue.
Q. Are there age restrictions on entering the European Tour Qualifying School?
A. No, but competitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Q. How much does it cost to go to Qualifying School?
A. The entry fee for 2016 will be £1,400 (or €1,800) for all entrants – regardless of which Stage or Stages are played. The entry fee does not include travel, accommodation or hotel expenses which are the responsibility of each participant.
Q. Is it easy to withdraw and can the entry fee be reclaimed?
A. An entrant can withdraw quite simply by contacting the European Tour Entries Department by telephone, email or fax indicating their intention.
If a player withdraws prior to the relevant closing date for, a full refund will be given. If it is after the closing date (and he does not compete), an administration fee will be charged (approx. £100)
Once a participant tees off (or is absent on the tee) he is no longer eligible for any type of refund.
Q. How does the 1st Qualifying Stage work with 4 Sections for 1st Stage and 2 venues in each Section?
A. An entrant must select his preferred venues by entering the numbers in ascending order 1- 8 against the appropriate venues.
Entries for each venue will only be accepted in the order in which they are submitted and the entry fee processed. Therefore in order to secure your preferred venue it is recommended that your application is submitted well before the close of entries. *The onus is on the player to inform his bank of payment due prior to submitting his application. Failure of transaction may result in venue allocation being missed.
Q. When will I be notified of my allocated venue for 1st Stage?
A. Once your entry fee has been processed; you will receive two emails in quick succession. First you will receive an invoice and confirmation of your entry fee payment. Secondly you will receive an email with your venue allocation. If you are unsuccessful in securing your preferred venue you will be allocated an alternative venue based on the preferences specified on your application form.
Venue allocation lists for all players will be available 2 days after the close of entries.
Q. How many entrants get through from 1st to 2nd Stage?
A. It is anticipated that there will be over 700 participants at 1st Stage and around 25% will go through to 2nd Stage. The exact number of qualifiers will be determined during the respective Sections of 1st Stage.
Q. How many entrants progress from 2nd Stage to the Final Stage?
A. It is anticipated that there will be approximately 310 participants at 2nd Stage and around 80 (25%) will progress to the Final Stage. The exact number of qualifiers will be determined during the week of 2nd Stage.
Q. How many players get a ‘Tour Card’ through the Qualifying School?
A. The leading 25 players (and ties) at the Final Stage will be eligible for Category 17 Membership of the European Tour for the following season and Category 5 of the Challenge Tour.
Players who make the cut but finish below 25th place will be eligible for Category 22 Membership of the European Tour and Category 9 Membership of the Challenge Tour for the following season.
Players who miss the cut at the Final Stage will be eligible for Category 15 Membership of the Challenge Tour for the following season.
Q. If I earn a ‘Tour Card’, how many tournaments will I be able to play on the European Tour?
A. This will vary from year to year; however, the average minimum number of opportunities for Tour School graduates over the past 10 seasons is approx. 18 tournaments.
Q. If I finish in the top 25 of the Qualifying School, how do I retain my European Tour Card for the following season?
A. You will need to earn enough Race to Dubai points to finish in the top 110 of the Race to Dubai (European Tour Order of Merit) or win a tournament. The points are based on Euro earnings - €1 = 1 point.
Q. How many Qualifying School Graduates normally retain their ‘Tour Cards’?
A. This will vary from year to year – Since 2005 the highest number of players retaining their cards has been 12 and the lowest has been 5. (Please note that the number of cards issued was reduced to 25 and ties in 2012).
Q. Does the European Tour provide accommodation?
A. No, the European Tour is not responsible for providing or securing accommodation for the participants. However, any accommodation information provided by the venues will be published on the ET website and circulated to the participants.
Q. Does the European Tour provide transport from Airport and Hotels?
A. No. Players will be responsible for organising their own transport to and from the Golf Course, Airport and Hotel.
Q. Are there exemptions from 1st Stage and 2nd Stage?
A. Yes, a number of exemptions are available depending on current status and playing achievements. For full details please refer to page 1 of the Qualifying School Entry Form for exemptions from 1st Stage and page 2 for exemptions from 2nd Stage.
Q. What are the rules of play during Qualifying School?
A. Rules governing play will be the following:
• The Current R&A Rules of Golf
• The current European Tour Conditions of Competition and Local Rules
• The local rules of the host club as approved by the Tournament Director
In addition, all participants are required to conduct themselves in accordance with the European Tour Code of Behavior as contained within the Members Regulations Handbook.
Q. Are you allowed to use a Distance Measuring Device?
A. The use of a distance measuring device or a device used to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play (eg. gradient, wind speed or direction, etc.) is not permitted. The use of such a device will be deemed to be a breach of Rule 14 – 3.
Q. Do you need to have a caddie at the Qualifying School?
A. No. Caddies are not mandatory and players are permitted to use trolleys. European Tour or Challenge Tour members are permitted to act as a caddie. However, no competitor at the First Stage of the Qualifying School may caddie for any other player whilst still participating at the First Stage. Therefore a player who has withdrawn, been disqualified or missed the cut will be permitted to caddie.