The Berkhamsted Trophy Announces Ground-Breaking Mixed Gender Setup

by Maura Hutchinson

Last week it was announced that the Berkhamsted Trophy will allow both men and women to compete in this year’s event. This is a huge step forward for amateur golf, as the elite event gets set for its 61st showing.

The ground-breaking decision has the full support of the R&A and England Golf, and will count for World Amateur Golf Ranking points for both sexes. Previous winners of the elite tournament include Luke Donald, Andy Sullivan and Sandy Lyle. This is an extraordinary event and will be a world first for amateur golf. The Berkhamsted Golf Club’s willingness to grow the game, and be modern in their thinking, is being seen as an impressive turning point for golf.

“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,” Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A said last week.

Adding, “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.”

Speaking out after the announcement, the Berkhamsted Golf Club manager, Howard Craft told the LET, “We are not afraid to challenge the status quo here. There is a lot of talk in golf about embracing change, but the pace at which things fundamentally change in the sport can be a little slow. We are enthusiastic supporters of The R&A’s Women In Golf Charter, and what could be a more shining example of this than allowing men and women to play golf together in competition at the very top of the amateur game, as they naturally do anyway in general play?”

In 2019 Berkhamsted Golf Club member, Alice Hewson became the first Englishwoman to play a competitive round at Augusta National. She was also the 2019 European Ladies’ Amateur Champion.

“I am so proud of my home club for embracing equality. I hope the public will come and watch this year’s Berkhamsted Trophy, to see the very best amateur golfers of both sexes on a fantastic golf course,” said Hewson after the announcement.

The 72-hole tournament is scheduled to take place 2nd-4th April 2020 at the Berkhamsted Golf Club in Hertfordshire. Invitations are currently being sent to a number of elite female players. Entries are also now being accepted from all golfers with handicaps of 1 or better.