The 61st Berkhamsted Trophy will make history by being the world’s first elite-level amateur event where both male and female golfers compete for the same trophy.
The three-day tournament, which will take place from April 8-10, 2021, is a 72-hole scratch stroke play tournament with a cut after 36 holes, with the top 50 competing for the trophy over 36 holes on the final day.
The club expects up to 25 per cent of competitors to be female.
“We are not afraid to challenge the status quo here,” said Howard Craft, Berkhamsted Golf Club manager.
“There is much talk in golf about creating change, but the pace at which things actually do change in the sport can be frustratingly slow.
“It is unsustainable, in the long term, for golf to continue to keep men and women apart like it has historically done. We may be the first, but hopefully we won’t be the last major national amateur event to go gender-neutral.”
Elaine Ratcliffe, captain of the 2021 Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup team, said: “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.”
Esther Strous, county development officer of Hertfordshire Golf, said: “It is truly amazing that this massive step forwards is happening at Berkhamsted Golf Club right here in Hertfordshire.
“I expect clubs across the world will now take a look at their own elite events, now that Berkhamsted has set this example.”
Joss Gosling, the 28-year-old winner of the 60th Berkhamsted Trophy, held in 2019, said: “As a competitor, I welcome Berkhamsted’s decision.
“The fact that an event as prestigious as the Berkhamsted Trophy has made this change will go a long way in showing people that golf is a game for everyone.”
Entries are invited to this ground-breaking event via berkhamstedgolfclub.co.uk/2021_entry
Picture credit: Andy Hiseman