Golf will break new ground later this year when male and female professionals will compete side-by-side for equal prize money in the inaugural European Golf Team Championships.
Taking place at Gleneagles from August 8-12 - just over a year out from the Solheim Cup being staged at the same venue - the event will form part of the innovative multi-sport Glasgow 2018 European Championships.
It will be the first event in history to feature a 50/50 gender split in the field with male and female professionals competing for equal prize money in both a men’s and women’s team matchplay championship, as well as an 18-hole foursomes strokeplay mixed team championship.
Players will represent their countries with 16 teams of two players competing in the men’s and women’s team events before combining to form teams of four (two men and two women) in the mixed team championship.
Qualification for the championships will be determined by the European Golf Team Championships Points Tables for men and women, which are based on men’s Official World Golf Ranking Points and women’s Rolex Ranking Points earned from tournaments finishing between July 10, 2017, and July 9, 2018, with a maximum of three teams representing any one nation in each event.
Mark Lichtenhein, chairman of the Ladies European Tour, said: “This
summer’s European Golf Team Championships will be a totally unique event
and we are extremely pleased that the men and women will play
competitively together for equal prize money.
"As we have seen through the Olympic Games in Rio, the recent Oates Vic Open in Australia and the announcement to have mixed teams in the GolfSixes in the UK, there is a tremendous public appetite to see men and women competing. The format is terrific and the fact that the event will be shown throughout Europe via free-to-air television presents an unprecedented opportunity to bring new fans to the game.”
Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, added: “The inaugural European Golf Team Championships is an exciting addition to the 2018 European Tour schedule, and we are looking forward to this unique event at the historic Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course.
“There is a need for golf to embrace new formats and engage a wider audience, and following our recent announcement about the inclusion of female players in the revolutionary GolfSixes tournament, the European Championships presents yet another innovative opportunity to break new ground on a number of fronts."
Tickets are now on-sale for the European Golf Team Championships, with adult prices from £10 for practice days and £15 on competition days. Children under the age of 16 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
As part of the inaugural European Championships in 2018 around 3,000 athletes will visit Scotland for six events (aquatics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon) while a further 1,500 athletes will compete in Berlin as part of the European Athletics Championships.