New G4D Open To 'Provide World-Class Stage For The Best Golfers With Disabilities'

World number two Brendan Lawlor welcomes news of the inaugural G4D Open at Woburn for disability golfers

Brendan Lawlor EDGA Dubai Finale
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The world’s most talented golfers with disabilities will contest the inaugural G4D Open at Woburn in May - in a new tournament launched by The R&A.

Up to 80 players over the Duchess course at Woburn from 10-12 May, with eligible amateur and professional men and women golfers playing a 54-hole stroke play gross competition with an overall winner determined at the end of three rounds.

There will also be a gross prize in several categories at the event R&A CEO Martin Slumbers says will “provide a world-class stage for the very best golfers with disabilities to compete against each other and realise their ambitions at an elite level of the sport.”.

The EDGA, formerly the European Disabled Golf Association, has been involved in the development of the championship and will continue to support in an advisory role ahead of the event, which will be held in partnership with the DP World Tour.

“The World Health Organization states that 1 in 6 people has a disability and so we want to show that golf is open to everyone regardless of ability,” Slumbers added.

“We can do this by celebrating the exceptional skills of golfers who as role models will inspire more men, women and young people to take up the sport through their achievements on the course.”

World number two in the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WRG4D) Brendan Lawlor was the first golfer with a disability to compete in a DP World Tour event in 2020, and says the new event is “great news for golf” after earing of the announcement.

“It’s not just about competing in the event and winning, it’s also about etching your name in the history books,” Lawlor added.

“We’ve done that a few times as golfers, including when I became the first player with a disability to play on the European Challenge Tour in 2019 and the DP World Tour in 2020, which were big milestones. To win this new championship would be just as big in my eyes.”

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour Group, said, “The G4D Tour, launched last year, has provided a high-profile platform for the best golfers with a disability to showcase their skills on the same course, the same week, as professionals on the DP World Tour.

“When you watch these golfers play you immediately talk about their ability rather than their disability, and it is only fitting that the 2023 G4D Tour schedule is now further elevated with a new championship. Our partners at The R&A and EDGA share our ambition to make golf a truly inclusive sport and this new tournament is an important step in that journey.”

The establishment of The G4D Open follows on from the inclusion of the Modified Rules of Golf for Players with Disabilities into the Rules of Golf from the start of this year and The R&A and USGA’s on-going administration of the WR4GD.

During the week of the event, there will also be a symposium bringing together national federations from around the world to discuss important topics relating to the growth and development of golf for the disabled.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.