By Sam Tremlett
The club announced a landmark decision in elite amateur golf which is also a world-first.
Berkhamsted Announces World-First For Gender Equality In Elite Golf
Berkhamsted Golf Club’s decision to allow both sexes to compete in the Berkhamsted Trophy, announced today, is a world-first for elite amateur golf.
Taking place in April later this year the landmark decision will see a long-established event change from a men-only tournament to one in which both sexes will be able to compete for the same prize.
“It is unsustainable, in the long term, for golf to continue to keep men and women apart like it has historically done” said Berkhamsted Golf Club Captain, Henry Tse.
“Berkhamsted has always been a progressive club, and we like to play golf as nature intended – as expressed by the lack of man-made hazards on our golf course. This decision is a natural evolution not only of that ethos, and but also of the way the modern world works. We will be excited to see men and women compete equally for our beloved Trophy.”
The decision has been met by plenty of praise from all levels of 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.”
Nigel Edwards, England Golf Performance Director and Team GB leader in the 2020 Olympics, said: “As the country’s governing body for male and female amateur golfers, at England Golf we are delighted to support Berkhamsted Golf Club’s forward-thinking initiative in making the prestigious Berkhamsted Trophy a mixed gender event.”
The Berkhamsted decision has also been welcomed by Elaine Ratcliffe, Captain of the 2020 Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup team. “I applaud Berkhamsted for their forward thinking, and I am delighted to have been asked to help set up the golf to provide an equal test for both men and women during the event” she said.
“I will also help the club to secure as strong a women’s list of participants as possible.”
The 61st Berkhamsted Trophy will take place from Thursday 2nd April to Saturday 4th April 2020. Entries are now open to golfers with handicaps of 1 or better, with invitations being sent to a number of elite female players.
The club is working on a flexible teeing system with The R&A and England Golf which will ensure that both sexes compete on an equal footing.
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