The DP World Tour (former European Tour) has reinforced its commitment to inclusivity in the game of golf with the launch of the newly named G4D (Golf for the Disabled) Tour, which incorporates an expanded 2022 schedule and a transformational package of financial, commercial and media support for the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA).
DP World Tour: Commitment to EDGA
As part of the agreement, the 2022 G4D Tour’s international schedule will feature a minimum of seven tournaments – increased from five in 2021 – with new events taking place at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett, the Porsche European Open, the Horizon Irish Open, the BMW PGA Championship and the Estrella Damm N.A Andalucía Masters.
The DP World Tour, through the European Tour group’s Golf for Good initiative, has also committed to a financial support package which will see EDGA move from a volunteer led organisation to a semi-professional one.
This enhanced support is part of the pledge to drive positive community impact made by the European Tour group and DP World last November at the launch of the DP World Tour.
It will further strengthen EDGA’s commitment to broaden opportunities for individuals to get involved with golf, develop new markets, and enhance the player pathway from sampling to competition.
Also included in that package will be accommodation and travel support for players, as well as increased commercial support and media exposure through the DP World Tour’s communications and social media channels.
Seven Events in six different countries
The 2022 G4D Tour schedule features seven events in six different countries. The stars of G4D will tee off their season at The Belfry in England, from May 2-3, ahead of the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett.
The Tour will then land in Germany for the first time ahead of June’s Porsche European Open, before Mount Juliet Estate plays host ahead of the Horizon Irish Open. The ISPS Handa World Invitational Presented by Modest! Golf Management will once again welcome the G4D Tour from August 8-9 at Galgorm Resort in Northern Ireland.
For the first time, the G4D Tour will visit Wentworth Club ahead of the prestigious BMW PGA Championship – a Rolex Series event – from September 5-6, before taking on Spain’s famous Real Club Valderrama for the first time from October 10-11, ahead of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters.
Once again, the season will culminate at the G4D Dubai Finale ahead of the final Rolex Series event of 2022, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, where the qualifiers from the previous six events will battle it out at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 14-15.
The Golf for Disabled initiative was first launched at the 2019 Betfred British Masters at Hillside Golf Club. Within the programme, the European Tour group and EDGA committed to holding events on the same golf course and during the weeks of DP World Tour events for leading golfers from the gross World Ranking for golfers with a disability (WR4GD). Since the 2019 announcement, seven events have already been held, with players from 15 countries on five continents competing. The 2022 qualifiers will continue to showcase the inclusive nature of golf while encouraging others to take up the sport.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour group, said: “We are committed to ensuring inclusivity in the game of golf – one of the key pillars of our business – and this is another chapter in the evolution of our fantastic relationship with EDGA.
“As has been proven in the two years since we began this partnership, Golfers with Disabilities are deserving of the same exposure and adulation as our DP World Tour players – they are incredibly talented golfers and great ambassadors for our sport. When you watch these golfers play, you immediately talk about their ability rather than their disability.
“That is the reason why we are pushing for golf to be included in the Paralympics, and our enhanced support of the G4D Tour is undoubtedly another important step on that journey.”
Tony Bennett, President of EDGA, said: “For 50 years the European Tour group has been at the forefront of golf performance, and today’s announcement is a game changer that will inspire individuals with disability across the globe to try golf for the first time or continue their participation in the game. We are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with The European Tour group.
“Golfers with a disability at all levels will benefit from this support. Together we will accelerate the development of systems, programmes and tools that build capacity in the golf industry, expand delivery of coaching education and outreach sessions in traditional and non-traditional golf venues, and open golf to individuals with a disability.”
Mike Jones, EDGA Player Representative, said: “The new G4D Tour is a huge step for golfers with a disability globally. Our incredible elite players have inspired us all by opening new pathways for golfers with a challenging condition, and in the process helping raise the profile of our sport to a whole new level. With this boosted level of support from the European Tour group and an even closer association with its flagship DP World Tour, it really is the best time for anyone with a disability to pick up a club and play golf. There’s a whole new exciting world of opportunities out there, so come and get involved.”
Kipp Popert, the number one ranked player in the gross World Ranking for Golfers with a Disability, said: “The EDGA has been doing amazing work for more than 20 years and this new collaboration with The DP World Tour will create opportunities for more golfers with a disability to showcase their talents and compete on a global stage. Golf is unique in that it can be a fully inclusive sport. It is my aim to capitalise on every opportunity throughout my career, in the hope that I can help inspire more people with disabilities to take up golf and enjoy its benefits. The G4D Tour is an exciting initiative which will benefit many.”
(Text: Press releaser DP World Tour)