Highlights Tours

European Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour Join Forces for ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland

The European Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour will join forces for another innovative mixed tournament at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational presented by Modest! Golf Management in Northern Ireland, hosted by Galgorm from July 29 – August 1, 2021.

The agreement heralds an exciting new chapter for the event, which has been elevated to European Tour status following a hugely successful inaugural edition on the European Challenge Tour in 2019. The 2021 event will continue to be played over two courses, Galgorm Castle and Massereene and will form part of the European Tour’s 2021 UK Swing, taking in tournaments in Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England across July and August.

It will be the first time an event of this format is tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour in the northern hemisphere – following in the footsteps of the ISPS HANDA Vic Open in Australia which has the same format.

The ISPS HANDA World Invitational will attract a field of 288 players, 144 men and 144 women. The women’s field will be split equally between the LPGA and the Ladies European Tour. The $2.35 million purse will be split evenly, with men and women competing for two equal prize funds.

The tournament will count towards the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and carry Team Europe Ryder Cup points, while the women’s tournament will count towards the Race to the CME Globe for women on the LPGA Tour, the Race to Costa del Sol on the Ladies European Tour (LET) and Solheim Cup points for both Team Europe and Team USA.

ISPS HANDA Founder and Chairman, Dr Haruhisa Handa, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to continue our support as Title Sponsor of the ISPS HANDA World Invitational, an event which epitomises our belief in the Power of Sport to unite communities and break down barriers. To see the tournament grow to a European Tour and LPGA sanctioned event is a testament to the importance of providing equal playing opportunities for men and women. I am grateful to the dedication to this cause by all tournament partners; Modest! Golf, Galgorm, European Tour, LPGA and LET.”

Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: “The decision to bring the ISPS HANDA World Invitational back to Galgorm is another ringing endorsement for golf in Northern Ireland. It is wonderful to welcome this innovative tournament which will bring together the best that both the men’s and women’s games have to offer. Following the recent successes of the Open Championship at Royal Portrush in 2019 and last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Galgorm, I have no doubt this event will further strengthen Northern Ireland’s reputation for delivering high-profile international competitions.

“It is my hope that the situation with Covid 19 restrictions will improve sufficiently to allow as many spectators as possible to attend the event. However, as the event will reach hundreds of millions of homes across the globe, I am delighted that once again Northern Ireland will get the opportunity to show the world that it is made for golf.”

Niall Horan, owner of Modest! Golf Management, said: “This is a key moment for professional golf in this part of the world, and with the help of ISPS HANDA along with both the LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and European Tour we have been able to take the ISPS HANDA World Invitational to a new level, which will without doubt reach new audiences around the world.

“The message behind the tournament perfectly aligns with Modest! Golf’s ethos of providing opportunities for all and ensuring golf is a game for everyone. These are vital messages which we plan to further develop with The R&A having recently announced our partnership with them.

“I have been attending European Tour events for as long as I can remember. To host a co-sanctioned LPGA Tour and European Tour event on the island of Ireland gives me so much pride and I cannot wait to return to the amazing Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort this summer, the perfect venue to host such a tournament.”

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We are excited to once again work alongside ISPS HANDA and Modest! Golf Management, both of whom share our vision of driving golf further through innovation and inclusivity.

“We thank Dr Handa for his continued support of the European Tour, and also Niall Horan and Modest! Golf Management for their hard work and determination in helping elevate this event after building strong foundations on the Challenge Tour in 2019. Galgorm Castle was a hugely popular addition to our Race to Dubai schedule in 2020 and we are all looking forward to returning there in July.”

Michael Whan, LPGA Commissioner, said: “ISPS HANDA has long been a visionary in how sports can be an agent of change, and now we are excited to help them move to a whole new level and deliver a message of equality to fans in Northern Ireland with the ISPS HANDA World Invitational.

“To have the best women and men compete alongside each other at the same venue for the same purse, is exciting for fans and it showcases what is great about this global game.”

Alexandra Armas, LET Chief Executive Officer, added: “Our members are delighted to be playing in this ground-breaking tournament, which marks another significant development for the LPGA-LET joint venture, and I would like to thank all of the sponsors and organisers for their support of our vision and desire to elevate European women’s golf to new heights.

“We are committed to providing more playing opportunities for Europe’s most talented golfers to thrive and flourish and to enable them to reach the highest levels in golf. This tournament offers a unique platform which will no doubt raise the game and inspire more women and girls to take up the sport.”

John McGrillen, Chief Executive of Tourism NI, said: “The ISPS HANDA World Invitational is an exciting opportunity that will deliver significant participant bed nights and positive media attention for Northern Ireland. The exposure will come at a critical time in our recovery, helping to rebuild our tourism economy and bolster consumer confidence. As demonstrated with golfing events last year we can still leverage opportunities for our destination with restrictions in place. Looking further ahead we are very eager to welcome spectators back when it is safe and appropriate to do so.”

A traditional 72-hole stroke play format will be in place with men and women competing at two venues, Galgorm Castle Golf Club and Massereene Golf Club, over the first two days before a halfway cut reduces the field to the top 60 professionals, including ties, in the men’s and women’s draws.

The third round will take place at Galgorm Castle before a further 54-hole cut takes place with the top 35 and ties from the men’s and women’s draws advancing to the final round on Sunday.

“We are delighted that our home-grown event has been elevated to this level and a special thank you must go to Tourism Northern Ireland, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, who have been ardent supporters of the event since its inception in 2010,” said Gary Henry, Tournament Promoter and Managing Director Galgorm Castle. “Thanks must also go to Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council, Tourism Ireland, Sport NI and Golf Ireland for their continued support. I would like to make a special mention to the hundreds of volunteers who I’m sure will be thrilled and excited for what is to come in July, their ongoing support is invaluable and greatly appreciated.”

(Text: LPGA Communications)

Senior Tours

Royal Aberdeen to host Scottish Senior Open

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club will provide the setting for the 2021 Scottish Senior Open hosted by Paul Lawrie, when the Legends Tour returns to the venue for the first time in 26 years from September 10-12, 2021.

The 2021 Scottish Senior Open marks professional golf’s return to Balgownie Links – one of two courses at Royal Aberdeen – after it hosted the first three editions of the Scottish Senior Open from 1993-1995, The 2005 Senior Open, the 2011 Walker Cup and the 2014 Scottish Open.

Aberdeen native and 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie, who is an Honorary Member of Royal Aberdeen, takes on hosting duties as well as returning to the event as defending champion, after winning his first Legends Tour title in the 2019 edition at Craigielaw Golf Club.

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club has a rich and storied history having been initially founded in 1780, making it the sixth-oldest golf club in the world, before receiving royal patronage in 1903. It was originally designed by the Simpson brothers, Archie and Robert of Carnoustie, and re-bunkered and lengthened by James Braid.

The renowned front nine at Balgownie Links is widely regarded as one of the best in the world as it weaves through the wonderful dune formation down towards the sea, while the inward nine boasts spectacular views of the Aberdeenshire landscape.

There will be opportunities to play alongside the professionals in both the pre-tournament Pro-Am and the Alliance Pro-Am, where amateur players are given the opportunity to play alongside the stars of the Legends Tour in tournament play.

Mark Aspland, Head of the Legends Tour, said: “We are incredibly excited to be returning to Royal Aberdeen for the first time in 26 years for the 2021 Scottish Senior Open hosted by Paul Lawrie.

“It is a club steeped in history and is a true gem in a country which is inundated with outstanding golf courses. We thought it was important to take this event somewhere which means something to Paul, as tournament host, and having a venue of such stature on his doorstep makes complete sense.

“Paul will be a fantastic host and I am sure he will be working closely with Keith Grant and his team at Royal Aberdeen to ensure we enjoy a brilliant event in September.”

Paul Lawrie, tournament host and defending champion, said: “I am incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to host the Scottish Senior Open at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, which is such a wonderful venue.

“It is a truly stunning golf course and being a local lad, it is a venue close to my heart and I cannot wait to welcome my fellow Legends Tour players to Aberdeenshire in September.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Keith Grant and his team at Royal Aberdeen, as well as Mark Aspland and the Legends Tour, to deliver the best event possible and help to show off our region.”

Richard Noble, Captain of Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the Scottish Senior Open to Balgownie Links in September 2021, with a field including 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie, who will be defending the title he won at Craigielaw in 2019.

“We hope that by September fans will be able to attend the event and support the venue as they have done in the past, when we have proudly been host to The Senior Open, Scottish Open, the Walker Cup and The Amateur Championship.”

Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “It’s exciting to see the Scottish Senior Open heading to such an iconic venue as Royal Aberdeen in 2021.

“The Scottish Senior Open has long been an important part of Scotland’s world-class golf event portfolio and it is great to see it return this year. We look forward to working with colleagues at the Legends Tour to support them in delivering the best possible event this September.”

(Text: European Tour Communications)


European eTour announces 2021 schedule

The 2021 European eTour schedule will feature five regular season events and a Global Finals as the popular golf esports series returns for a second year.

Launched by the European Tour in 2020, in partnership with esports specialists DreamHack Sports Games and Topgolf Entertainment Group, the inaugural season saw more than 800,000 entries as the world’s best players competed in the world’s most popular online and mobile golf game, World Golf Tour (WGT) by Topgolf.

The Portugal Masters is the first event of the 2021 season, starting today, with players competing in a five-week qualification process, which culminates in the top 128 players competing in a bracket style playoff tournament. From there, the top 8 players will qualify for the live event on April 29 with players going head-to-head in a knock-out format to determine the winner.

Three further events will coincide with European Tour tournaments from May to September before the final regular season event, the Nedbank Golf Challenge, starts in October. The season comes to a close with the second edition of the Global Finals in December.

American Payton Gordley, known by his in-game name golfx3, will be the player to beat in 2021 having won five regular season events last year and claiming the US$30,000 grand prize in January’s Global Final, as thousands tuned in to the livestream on the European Tour’s YouTube channel.

After taking a break from WGT to focus on his studies in 2019, he returned to the game after learning of the launch of the European eTour and went on to earn more than US$50,000 for his performances throughout the inaugural season.

Rufus Hack, Chief Operating Officer of the European Tour, said: “After the successes of the inaugural season, we are looking forward to writing the European eTour’s next chapter as we continue our partnerships with DreamHack Sports Games and Topgolf Entertainment Group. The feedback we have received from our fans, broadcast partners, sponsors and players has been extremely encouraging and we are looking forward to another season of exciting eTour action.”

“The eTour is the first of its kind in the golf esports segment and that is a leading position we want to maintain in 2021 and beyond” Roger Lodewick, DreamHack Sports Games CEO said. “Last season’s events were broadcast in over 70 countries with almost 500,000 players participating, playing over 30 million holes. This is an amazing start for a new esports property, and together with our great partners in the European Tour and Topgolf Entertainment Group, we can’t wait for the season to start.”

Ashley Groth, Director of Marketing at Topgolf Media commented, “We’re very excited to be bringing the European eTour and the opportunity to compete for US$100,000 to the WGT community for a second season. Together with our partners, the European Tour and DreamHack Sports Games, we look forward to continue building on the success of the partnership in 2021.”

2021 Schedule

Portugal Masters – February 24 – April 29

European Event – May – June

European Event – June – July

European Event – August – September

Nedbank Golf Challenge – October – November

Global Finals – December

(Text: European Tour Communications)


Reactions to Tiger Woods’ Accident

Professionals golfers and other high-profile figures react to the events of the last morning near Los Angeles, California, where Tiger Woods was involved in a serious car accident just after 7 am local time.

He sustained serious injuries to both his legs as a result of the crash, CNN reports, and is now awake and recovering after surgery, per an official statement given on Twitter.

Justin Thomas, current world number 3, was among those sending thoughts and good wishes:

Justin Rose sent some heart-warming words of encouragement:

Woods had been hoping to participate in the Master’s this year after beginning his recovery from extensive back surgery.

Beyond the world of golf, other big names tweeting their support include Barack Obama, Serena Williams and Mike Tyson.

The car overturned multiple times as it spun out of control in Rancho Palos Verdes, near Los Angeles.

The cause of the crash is not yet known.


LPGA Announces Zinus As Latest Official Marketing Partner

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announced today that Zinus Inc., the rapidly-growing global e-commerce mattress and furniture company, has been named an Official Marketing Partner with the designation as the Official Mattress of the LPGA Tour.

As an Official Marketing Partner, Zinus will be represented within the LPGA’s media landscape through in-broadcast features and a robust digital and social presence. In addition, LPGA Tour players will amplify their message through soon-to-be-announced ambassador relationships. Zinus is also focused on supporting the growth of the game through the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program and will be presenting a Zinus-specific experience later this year at sites across the country. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Zinus to the LPGA Partner Family,” said Kelly Hyne, the LPGA’s Chief Sales Officer. “Their global footprint mirrors the LPGA’s and provides an opportunity to talk about the comfort and inspiration of their products to a wide array of constituencies. We appreciate their support of vital initiatives to grow the game through the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program and look forward to presenting a number of features on our LPGA platforms in the coming years.”

Zinus, a global direct-to-consumer mattress brand, is renowned for their expertly engineered mattresses and furniture that are infused with natural ingredients including green tea, olive oil, and charcoal, and are shipped directly to consumers’ doors.. With over 40 years’ experience in the home furnishings industry, Zinus creates well-designed, high-quality products packed full of features and benefits, all at affordable price points.

“As a global company, with operations spanning the U.S., Asia Pacific, and Europe, it was a natural fit to partner with the LPGA, whose members and fans can be found in more than 30 countries,” said Youn Jae Lee, CEO at Zinus. “Not only are we thrilled to support the world-class athletes of the LPGA, but we are honored to help empower the next generation of young women through the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program. We’re delighted to join the LPGA Family and look forward to positively impacting the game for years to come.”

“At Zinus, our goal is to bring harmony to peoples’ homes around the world. For us, getting a good night’s sleep on a comfortable mattress is only one element of the equation. With the perfect combinations of premiere foams and fabrics along with natural infusions, our mattresses allow people to enjoy the best product for them, while still being affordably priced,” says Keith Reynolds, president at Zinus U.S. “We look forward to bringing this same harmony to LPGA athletes and fans, so they can find balance at home and on the golf course.” 

(Text: LPGA Press Release)

European Tour

U.S. Open exemptions available over three European Tour events in 2021

For the second successive season, ten spots in the U.S. Open Championship will be available to participants in a mini series of European Tour events.

The USGA has confirmed that the top ten aggregate point earners (not otherwise exempt) across the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett (May 12-15), Made in HimmerLand presented by FREJA (May 27-30) and the Porsche European Open (June 3-6) will earn places in the U.S. Open Championship at Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) on June 17-20, 2021.

The traditional U.S. Open final qualifying event in Europe will not take place once again this season due to the continuing impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Local qualifying will take place at 109 sites in the United States and Canada from April 26 – May 18.

The first opportunity for players to earn points towards a U.S. Open spot via the European Tour will come at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England, when Major winner Danny Willett takes on hosting duties at the Betfred British Masters. Two weeks later, following the US PGA Championship, the action switches to Denmark for Made in HimmerLand presented by FREJA, before the final qualifying event, the Porsche European Open, at Green Eagle Golf Courses in Hamburg, Germany.

Last season, ten spots were available for the highest placed finishers (not otherwise exempt) in a mini order of merit at the conclusion of the first five events of the new UK Swing, with Sam Horsfield, Thomas Detry, Andy Sullivan, Rasmus Højgaard, Renato Paratore, Romain Langasque, Sami Välimäki, Adrian Otaegui, Connor Syme and Justin Harding all qualifying for the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

Keith Waters, the European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are very pleased to continue our collaboration with the USGA in offering European Tour players an opportunity to earn places in the U.S. Open despite the disruption caused by the ongoing global pandemic.

“Last year’s qualifying series added further excitement to the inaugural UK Swing, and I’m sure we can expect more of the same at the three events across Europe this year – the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett, Made in HimmerLand presented by FREJA and the Porsche European Open – where players will have the chance to secure coveted places at the third Major of the season at Torrey Pines.”

John Bodenhamer, USGA Senior Managing Director, Championships, said: “In these challenging times, we are pleased to work with the European Tour in creating an exemption category for the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

“The final qualifier in England has featured a strong field since its inception in 2005 and while qualifying is not possible this year due to COVID restrictions, it is important that a path is provided for players competing on the European Tour to earn a place in this year’s championship field.”

(Text: European Tour Press Release)

European Tour

Kenya Savannah Classic Added to 2021 International Schedule

The European Tour today added a new tournament, the Kenya Savannah Classic, to its 2021 International Schedule.

The €1million, 72 hole stroke play event will take place from Tuesday March 23 – Friday March 26 at Karen Country Club, in Nairobi.

It will form a double-header with the previously announced Magical Kenya Open, which will be played at the same venue in the week beforehand, from Thursday March 18 – Sunday March 21.

Both tournaments will be played under the auspices of the European Tour’s health strategy, which will be aligned with Kenyan Government guidance.

Keith Pelley, the European Tour’s Chief Executive, said: “The addition of the Kenya Savannah Classic to our 2021 schedule offers vital playing opportunities for our members, while having two consecutive tournaments at Karen Country Club follows our strategy of playing in geographical clusters to reduce travelling as much as possible at the moment.  

“We are therefore grateful to the Kenyan Government, Kenya Open Golf Limited and Karen Country Club for their support, and after the postponement of the Magical Kenya Open in 2020, we look forward to visiting Kenya for two consecutive weeks this March.”

Peter Kanyago, the Chairman of the Kenya Open Golf Limited, said: “We were disappointed not to be able to play the Magical Kenya Open last year after it became a full European Tour event in 2019, but as we continue to prepare for this year’s tournament, we are now also very pleased to add a second event, the Kenya Savannah Classic.

“These two consecutive events at Karen Country Club will extend the proud tradition of professional tournament golf in our country, which dates back to the late-1960s, and we look forward to once again showcasing Kenya to an international television audience.”

The Kenya Open was first played in 1967 and has been won by some of golf’s most notable names, including Seve Ballesteros (1978), Ian Woosnam (1986), Christy O’Connor Jnr (1990) and Trevor Immelman (2000). It became a European Challenge Tour event in 1991 and then a full European Tour event in 2019, when Italy’s Guido Migliozzi claimed the title by one shot.

The Kenya Savannah Classic will be the 16th new event created by the European Tour since its resumption last July following a three month suspension of tournament golf due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.It also restores the 2021 Race to Dubai to 42 tournaments following the cancellation of the Oman Open.

PGA Tour

PGA Tour: Rapper Macklemore on the upcoming AT&T PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM

Read the Press Conference transcript below:

JACK RYAN (HOST): We would like to welcome Grammy Award winning rapper and song writer Macklemore at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Macklemore, thank you for joining us.

First off, could you just recap your experience playing in the pro-am last year at this tournament.

MACKLEMORE: It was incredible. It was a phenomenal experience, bucket list, completely terrifying. I had no idea how to hit an iron all of a sudden. Shooting in the high 80s at home with some mild cheating with friends. Get down here, can’t improve your lie, you got to play it how it lands, man. That’s just a whole different sport. All of a sudden I’m coming over the top. I’m slicing the ball. Jason Day’s trying to give me lessons on how to come from the inside. I don’t even speak that language. It was crazy. But it was literally Disneyland for a golfer like myself. I felt like I was a child and this was the oasis and that’s exactly how it feels this year.

JACK RYAN: So we won’t have that pro-am format this year, obviously, but you’ll be playing in tomorrow’s AT&T Every Shot Counts Charity Challenge alongside a number of other celebrities. How much are you looking forward to that in light of the tournament format change this year.

MACKLEMORE: I’m excited. Last year I think I was on TV three or four times. Every shot counting and being televised is slightly nerve wracking. But we’re playing for some great causes and that’s what it’s all about, so we’re going to have fun. A great group of celebrities to be out there with, some really good golfers. I’m not putting myself even close to that category and we’re just going to have fun.

JACK RYAN: Last question before we open it up to media. Could you provide us with a little bit of background on your history in the sport? We understand you’ve only started playing relatively recently.

MACKLEMORE: Yeah, I’ve been playing for just over two years now and randomly played one day after Thanksgiving in 2018 and hit a 5-iron out of the sand and I hit it pure and I have been very addicted ever since. I just want that feeling. I play as much as I possibly can, which with two kids is not that often, but that often is at least two to three times a week. So I’ll take it.

JACK RYAN: We’ll take our first question here.

Q. Just curious, what do you like most about it and what has caused you to get addicted?

MACKLEMORE: I love that feeling of hitting a great shot. I love hitting a green in regular, piping a drive. I love even just the ups and downs, the humility that the game brings, the swing of emotion, the mental fortitude that it takes, the patience, the spiritual practice of accepting whatever you just did and letting it go, the exercise, the camaraderie. I truly love everything about the sport.

Q. Did you have — how much experience with golf or exposure did you have before that round after Thanksgiving that you talked about?

MACKLEMORE: After Thanksgiving?

Q. How much had you been around the game before that?

MACKLEMORE: When Tiger — I think when I was in about 8th grade and Tiger was, I don’t know, it was ’97, ’98 or whatever it was and Tiger was having his moment, as a sports fan I was absolutely paying attention to what Tiger was doing. But that was really about it. But I always really liked the old school golf fashion. That was something that I always really respected. Besides that, I didn’t really follow the sport at all. Every once in a while we would like go to a pitch-and-putt and I would hit a couple cars and we would go home, but besides that very limited.

Q. What do you tell people who might not be into golf of that appeal that you found? Do you turn other people onto the game? How do you do that?

MACKLEMORE: I think that the game is amazing. It’s not one of those sports that you can just pick up right away. It takes a little bit before you get that first dopamine hit of a great shot. But I think that in general we need more people playing this sport. We need more accessibility. We need to really just open up the floodgates of kind of the old guard of what golf is and the exclusivity and make sure that all people can play, that courses are affordable, that equipment is readily available to those that need it, and we get youth out there enjoying this amazing sport.

JACK RYAN: One last one before we let you go. You mentioned you are into the golf fashion. Is there anything we can expect from you tomorrow in the Every Shot Counts Charity Challenge? You got something special planned for that?

MACKLEMORE: You know, I don’t normally lay my clothes out before I get dressed. I don’t normally put them out the night before. But tomorrow I’ll wake up to a freshly pressed outfit laid out in front of me that I will do tonight. The reveal will be tomorrow.

JACK RYAN: Perfect. We look forward to seeing that and thank you for joining us today and best of luck tomorrow.

MACKLEMORE: Thanks, man, appreciate it.


PGA of America to Allow for Use of Distance-Measuring Devices during its Major Championships, Beginning 2021

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (February 9, 2021) – The PGA of America today announced that, beginning in 2021, the use of distance-measuring devices will be allowed during competition rounds at its three annual Major Championships: the PGA Championship, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. 

“We’re always interested in methods that may help improve the flow of play during our Championships,” said Jim Richerson, President of the PGA of America. “The use of distance-measuring devices is already common within the game and is now a part of the Rules of Golf.  Players and caddies have long used them during practice rounds to gather relevant yardages.” 

With this announcement, the distance-measuring devices used by players and/or caddies in PGA of America Championships will need to conform to the Rules of Golf regarding their use and performance: 

Rule 4.3a (1)

Distance and Directional Information.

  • Allowed: Getting information on distance or direction (such as from a distance-measuring device or compass).
  • Not Allowed: Measuring elevation changes, or interpreting distance or directional information (such as using a device to get a recommended line of play or club selection based on the location of the player’s ball).

This policy will debut with the 2021 PGA Championship, which will be played at The Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, from May 17-23. The PGA Championship perennially features the strongest field in golf based on the Official World Golf Rankings.

(Text: PGA of America Press Release)

European Challenge Tour

Hopps Open de Provence added to Road to Mallorca International Schedule

The Hopps Open de Provence will return to the Road to Mallorca International Schedule in 2021, again taking place at Golf International de Pont Royal, Mallemort, from September 16-19.

The event, won by home favourite Romain Langasque in its maiden edition in 2018, followed by the Netherlands’ Lars van Meijel in 2019, was due to return to the schedule in 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Seve Ballesteros-designed layout at Golf International de Pont Royal, which is the only course in France designed by the 50-time European Tour winner, opened in 1992 and is widely acclaimed for its slick greens and highland holes which offer stunning views of the Luberon and Alpilles mountain ranges.

The return of the Hopps Open de Provence further enhances French golf’s affiliation with the European Challenge Tour, having held a presence on the schedule for over 30 years and producing a long list of players who have gone on to shine on the European Tour.

Meanwhile, the Hauts de France – Pas de Calais Golf Open, which was scheduled to take place at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club from June 17-20 and was previously announced as part of last month’s 25 event strong schedule, will now not take place.

The return of the Hopps Open de Provence ensures there remains three French events on the Road to Mallorca in 2021 which underlines the commitment of the Fédération Française de Golf and the European Tour to golf in France following the return of the Open de France to the Race to Dubai, as announced last week.

Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour, said: “I am thrilled to now be able to confirm the return of the Hopps Open de Provence to our schedule in 2021.

“The Challenge Tour has a long and storied history of holding events in France and I must thank the Hopps Group, Golf International de Pont Royal and the Fédération Française de Golf for their commitment and help in bringing this tournament to fruition and for their ongoing support of our Tour.”

Jérôme Laurédi, General Manager of Golf International de Pont Royal, said: “Despite difficult health conditions, Golf de Pont Royal is honoured to host the Hopps Open de Provence for the third time.

“Our teams will implement their know-how to ensure all aspects of the event are of the quality expected by Challenge Tour standards and to continue the success of previous editions.”

Julien Nazarian, President of Pro Sports Events, said: “We are proud to again be able to combine the efforts of the Hopps Group and Golf international de Pont Royal to confirm the third edition of the Hopps Open de Provence.

“I would like to thank the European Tour and Fédération Française de Golf for their continued support and we look forward to welcoming the players, public and sponsors to the Seve Ballesteros-designed course this summer.”

Eric Paumier, Co-President of the Hopps Group, said: “The success of Hopps Open de Provence is due to the strong partnership between the promoter, Julien Nazarian, Golf International de Pont Royal and the Hopps Group.

“Every year, we work with passion and energy for the benefit of the Challenge Tour players and the fans, with the goal of organising the most beautiful event as possible.”

(Text: European Challenge Tour Communications)