The G4D (Golf for the Disabled) Tour has unveiled its eight-tournament 2023/24 schedule today, with a revamped format that introduces both Gross and Net tournaments for the first time, to ensure that golfers across a wider spectrum of disabilities can compete for glory.
To select the fields for each tournament, both the Gross and Net World Rankings for Golfers with a Disability (WR4GD) will now be used. In a further change for the new season, the leading eight male and two female players from each ranking will be invited to compete – ensuring that female golfers with a disability are represented at each event. The expanded schedule spans eight tournaments in five different countries and will visit Africa for the first time at the Magical Kenya Open.
For Gross players, they must have a WHS or equivalent handicap of equal to or less than 3.4 for males, 7.4 for females or recognised professional status. Net players must have a WHS or equivalent handicap of equal or less than 14.4 for males and 18.4 for females. In G4D, it is common to find players in the Net rankings with a wider diversity of impairments.
Speaking about the changes to the schedule and format, Tony Bennett, President of EDGA, said: “In G4D, elite performance is only sometimes about low scores. It is always about achieving one’s potential and requires consistently executing a complex blend of physical, sensory, cognitive, and emotional skills. All G4D players have quantifiable limitations in one or more of these skills that they work hard to negate to produce their best golf. With this adjusted trajectory for the G4D Tour, we aim to showcase that golf is a game for everyone and whatever challenges must be faced, the player pathway is available to all.”
The G4D Tour was launched in 2022 as a partnership between the DP World Tour and EDGA, formerly the European Disabled Golf Association. The G4D player pathway aims to cater for everyone with a disability who wants to play golf and for many, the G4D Tour is seen as the pinnacle of competition with competitors playing on the same course, in the same week, as the leading Tour professionals on the DP World Tour.
Due to the European Tour group’s ongoing financial support, EDGA has been able to raise awareness, confirm eligibility, organise tournaments, and deliver golf development and coach education worldwide. This has seen the number of golfers with disabilities in the World Rankings increase by 32% from 2022, with players from 46 countries represented - up from 33 the previous year.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour, said: “With one in six people globally having some form of disability, and the physical and mental health benefits of golf well established, encouraging more people into this great game has never been more important.
“By using the established handicap system at several events next season, players with greater impairments can now compete on the G4D Tour. I firmly believe that golf has the potential to be the most inclusive sport in the world and this change further realises this ambition. By boosting female participation in our events, we also want to help inspire more women with a disability to get out there and try golf. These exciting modifications also further align the G4D Tour with the aims and structure of the Paralympic movement, and we hope this will help pave the way for golf to finally enter the Paralympics.”
G4D player Erika Malmberg, from Sweden, said: “The opening up of the G4D Tour events is a huge motivation for both the Net and female players. Suddenly playing in these events is a much more realistic goal to aim for. It’s a really big step for all of G4D.”
G4D player Tony Lloyd, from England, added: “This change to the G4D Tour is groundbreaking yet again. It opens the Tour up to people who might not have had the chance to be able to compete before. I played with some excellent new players this year and the EDGA events are getting stronger and stronger and providing an excellent talent pipeline for the G4D Tour. There are more people coming through and it’s phenomenal to see and be part of it. I plan to play more events next year and with this incentive, I am sure many players at EDGA events will be aiming to get one of those coveted places at a G4D Tour tournament.”
The 2023/24 G4D Tour Schedule
|All Abilities Australian Championship
|30th Nov – 2nd Dec, 2023
|The Australian Golf Club, Sydney, Australia
|G4D Tour @ Ras Al-Khaimah Championship
|22nd – 23rd Jan, 2024
|Al Hamra GC, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
|G4D Tour @ Magical Kenya Open
|19th – 20th Feb, 2024
|Muthaiga GC, Nairobi, Kenya
|15th – 17th May, 2024
|Woburn Golf Club, Milton Keynes, England
|Gross, with multiple Sport Classes
|G4D Tour @ Betfred British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo
|26th – 27th Aug, 2024
|The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England
|G4D Tour @ BMW PGA Championship
|16th – 17th Sep, 2024
|Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, England
|G4D Tour @ Andalucía Masters
|14th – 15th Oct, 2024
|Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, San Roque, Andalucia, Spain
|G4D Tour Series Finale @ DP World Tour Championship
|15th – 16th Nov, 2024
|Jumeirah Golf Estates, Earth Course, Dubai, UAE
|Invitational - Gross