It’s another innovative week on the European Tour as male and female players come together in a ground-breaking format at the inaugural European Golf Team Championships, part of the new multi-sport 2018 European Championships. Here are five key facts before the action begins.
What is the European Championships?
To be staged every four years, the new multi-sport European Championships combines the existing championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon, with the European Golf Team Championships the only new event.
The first ever European Championships is a unique sporting partnership between Host Cities Glasgow and Berlin, with the German capital hosting the athletics events. It is the biggest sporting event to be staged in Scotland since the 2014 Commonwealth Games, with around 3,000 athletes competing in six sports at 12 venues, including the famous PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles. Fans can find tickets HERE
The unique format will feature a 50/50 gender split in the field with male and female professionals competing for equal prize money in both a Men’s and Women’s Team match play Championship as well as a foursomes stroke play Mixed Team Championship.
Over the first three days, players will represent their countries in a match play format with 16 teams of two players competing in both the Men’s and Women’s group stages. On Saturday, it’s all about the Mixed Team Championship as teams of four (two men and two women) compete in the foursomes stroke play event as they vie to become the first golfers to win European Championships medals.
On Sunday, it’s back to the Men’s and Women’s Championships for the knockout stages – the semi-finals, the bronze medal matches and the finals.
Each country can have up to three teams in each Championship and home nation Great Britain will have a full complement of men’s, women’s and mixed teams.
In the Men’s Championship, the home fans will have a particular interest in Great Britain 3, as an all-Scottish team of Connor Syme and Liam Johnston aim for victory on home soil.
Four-time Major winner Dame Laura Davies will headline the women’s draw, playing with Solheim Cup star Georgia Hall, who sealed her first Major title at the weekend as she lifted the Ricoh Women’s British Open trophy.
The world-renowned Gleneagles will make golfing history as host venue of the first ever European Golf Team Championships.
The action will take place on the Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course, the venue for Europe’s memorable victory over the USA in the 2014 Ryder Cup, and the first Scottish Course to host the biennial contest for more than 40 years. The picturesque course will also host the 2019 Solheim Cup.
Nicklaus himself described the course as "the finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with", and visitors will find it hard to disagree with that sentiment as they take in the spectacular countryside that includes the lush panorama of the Perthshire straths, the rugged Grampians, Ben Vorlich and the mountains above the Trossachs.
Going for gold
The players compete week to week for trophies as individuals, so it’s a unique occasion for golf as the focus switches to winning medals for their countries and climbing the podium to be awarded gold, silver or bronze in the Mens, Women’s and Mixed Team Championships.
The medals themselves are the unifying element of the multi-sport event and will be worn with pride by athletes from all seven sports.
Specially designed by Touch of Ginger, the medals are bold and dynamic with a contemporary triangular prism form inspired by the European Championships emblem. The front features a stylish 3D interpretation of the Championships brand whilst the rear displays the participating sports federation logo along with event specific data in a clever facetted design. Each medal is hung from a ribbon featuring a striking crystal design that builds to a full spectrum of rainbow colours that capture the spirit of this multi-sport event.