Golf club registers gender equality breakthrough as men and women compete in same elite amateur tournament
Berkhamsted Golf Club are to make history by treating women and men on a par in a long-standing elite amateur tournament.
In a landmark decision, they will allow both sexes to compete in the Berkhamsted Trophy for the first time in 61 years, a ruling which has the support of the Royal & Ancient (R&A) Golf Club of St Andrews as well as England golf.
The season-opening 72-hole event, which takes place on the bunker-free Hertfordshire course is only open to golfers with a handicap of 1 or better, with a number of invitations also being sent to elite female players.
It has not yet been announced how the flexible tee system will be adjusted to ensure both sexes compete on an equal footing, but it has been confirmed that the even will be eligible for World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR®) points for both men and women.
Berkhamsted's Lady Captain, Christine Foreman, was overjoyed at the decision. She said: "This innovative step will be much welcomed by lady golfers far and wide. It will put Berkhamsted at the forefront of modern golf."
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A said, “The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter is a call to action for everyone involved in golf, from national associations to clubs, to do more to attract women and girls to take up this wonderful sport.
"There are many different ways in which this can be achieved and we are supportive of initiatives, such as this by Berkhamsted, which encourage women to compete and play golf at all levels of the game.”
The 61st Berkhamsted Trophy runs from Thursday April 2 to Saturday April 4 2020 at Berkhamsted Golf Club.