EDGA Tournament Series 2017 has “powerful message”

EDGA Tournament Series 2017 has “powerful message”

EDGA players Portugal Masters

The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) is set to launch its international ‘Tournament Series 2017’, staged for competitive golfers with disabilities.

Nine tournaments have been confirmed so far in Spain, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Scotland, Austria, Portugal and France. Last year the first event was held in April but for 2017 EDGA players tee-off the comprehensive season this weekend with the Spanish Open, held at the Parador de Málaga Golf Resort (February 11-12), organised by Real Federación Española Golf.

With discussions taking place to stage further tournaments in Italy, Finland, Switzerland and Germany, it is hoped that this year’s tournament roster will mirror or exceed the 13 of 2016 as the Series grows (in 2013 there were four tournaments staged), attracting more players from a greater number of countries.

Highlights include the European Team Championship 2017 at Quinta do Lago, Portugal Algarve, in June, which is organised by the European Golf Association (EGA), and, being staged at Fairmont St. Andrews in August, the Scottish Open held at the Home of Golf looks set to be a magnet for players from 20 countries as they seek to improve their places on the Ranking for Golfers with Disability supported by PING. All nine tournaments so far finalised should offer a fantastic sporting occasion for the players taking part.

EDGA President Tony Bennett said: “Every tournament in the schedule is fortunate to have a really good venue for the players and great national support for our golfers who wish to compete at constantly higher levels.

“EDGA is now backed by 20 national golf federations and this is a fantastic reflection of the growing stature of the Tournament Series, the hard work of EDGA staff and volunteers and most importantly, the attitude and camaraderie of all the players who tee it up for these events.”

Supported by The R&A, the European Tour, and European Tour players (notably EDGA Ambassador Lee Westwood), EDGA is looking for Corporate Partners and event sponsors to reflect and facilitate its growth internationally.

Key to its objectives, EDGA has been and continues to work on political alignment in order to influence the Paralympic movement so that elite golfers with a disability are able to take their golf to the very highest international level. EDGA sits on the International Golf Federation (IGF) Golfers with Disability Committee.

Globally respected golf club manufacturer PING became the key supporter behind the Ranking in 2016, while the Algarve Tourist Association became EDGA’s first Corporate Partner in 2015 and this relationship has thrived. Event sponsors recently have included internationally acclaimed golf apparel brand Glenmuir.

Tony Bennett added: “We believe that EDGA’s continued growth and its powerful message regarding Paralympic representation is of genuine interest to prospective partners from the business world. Helping us to grow at this time can be part of a significant and progressive story for the right partners.”

With the slogan ‘Golfers First’, EDGA is an organisation which was set up to help individuals with impairment to start, stay, succeed and enjoy golf and which now provides advice and guidance for organisations on tournaments, training and services to golfers with disability. EDGA welcomes elite and developing players to its tournaments.

Article by Ben Evans | EDGA Media



European Disabled Golf Association welcomes Jana Brabnikova

European Disabled Golf Association welcomes Jana Brabnikova

The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) is delighted to welcome formally Jana Brabnikova as its new Executive Assistant. Jana, an experienced administrator, will support the Executive Committee at an exciting time of growth for the organisation.

EDGA assists golfers with disability to compete internationally and sees them as ‘Golfers First’. EDGA is supported by the European Tour, The R&A and 20 National Golf Federations, plus several valued partners. Supported by globally respected health and disability experts, the organisation is currently in discussions with the International Golf Federation (IGF) as it seeks to influence the Paralympic bodies so that elite golfers with a disability are able to take their golf to the very highest international level.

jani6_web (1)Jana Brabnikova joins the EDGA team in a year in which it has successfully expanded the ‘EDGA Tournament Series’ in Europe for competitive players from different categories (12 tournaments this year as opposed to four in 2013) and has created the international ‘Ranking for Golfers with Disability supported by PING’ to help raise competitive standards, encourage the growth of events and promote international networking between players.

EDGA President Tony Bennett said: “EDGA is delighted to welcome Jana to the team and we will value greatly her organisational skills, her experience in disability golf in the Czech Republic and, crucially, her enthusiastic attitude and passion for the work.”

Jana, who lives in the Pilsen region of the Czech Republic (West Bohemia), said: “The whole EDGA movement is at a really exciting time in its support of golfers with disability and I had no hesitation in wanting to help in this aim. After six years of being involved with disability golf in the Czech Republic I was keen to offer my experience and also learn something new at international level. I have very much enjoyed helping EDGA’s members and volunteers, and the whole team and I are looking forward to a great year for the organisation in 2017.”

Jana recently assisted EDGA in its role as Official Charity of the Portugal Masters, won by Padraig Harrington. She also played a key role in organising EDGA’s major event this year in the shape of the EDGA General Assembly, which took place in early December at Pestana Vila Sol Golf Resort, alongside the III EDGA Algarve Open 2016, the last tournament of the season which enjoyed a record number of entries.

EDGA Algarve Open winners and team

EDGA is fortunate that former General Secretary, Manon Cupillard-Eggermont, will remain with the organisation. Manon has performed an excellent job for EDGA over several years and will now focus her attentions on the EDGA Sport Committee as the Tournament Series grows.

* See more on EDGA at www.edgagolf.com and on Facebook at European Disabled Golf Association

Article by Ben Evans | EDGA Media


An inclusive EDGA Annual Assembly celebrates ‘Golfers First’

An inclusive EDGA Annual Assembly celebrates ‘Golfers First’

EDGA Algarve Open winners and team

The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) has enjoyed arguably its most successful and progressive year yet in improving opportunities to golfers with disability.

According to the EDGA Executive Committee at the recent 2016 Annual Assembly this is due to the “spirit and goodwill of its players, members and volunteers and the growing support of leading golfing bodies and international companies”.

Staged at the excellent venue of Pestana Vila Sol Golf Resort, on the Algarve at the start of December, delegates attending the largest ever Assembly paid special thanks to those organisations, including 18 national golf federations, The R&A, the European Tour, the Algarve Tourism Association and a lengthening list of commercial companies, who are all paving the way for progress.

A key message is that this is an exciting time to get involved with a body which is extending its collaboration with the game’s world leaders, including The R&A and the International Golf Federation (IGF). Progress in aligning golf for the disabled with the tenets of the Paralympic movement while staying true to golf’s core beliefs is being made, as EDGA members strive to have golf become a Paralympic sport by 2024.

With the Assembly held alongside the final tournament of the year – the III EDGA Algarve Open 2016 – the EDGA Executive Committee heralded all EDGA players who have competed in any of the 12 Tournament Series events as the flag bearers who are proving that ‘Golfers First’ can enjoy, compete and win at ever-higher levels (there were just four such events in 2013).

Along with fellow guests the IGF, the European Golf Association was present to offer valuable insights into how EDGA’s ideals can be supported across the Continent, while two national federations, Golf Australia and the Costa Rica Golf Federation, were warmly welcomed into the EDGA family as Affiliate Members.

Increased numbers of players took part in the EDGA Tournament Series 2016 while there is continued development of the ‘Ranking for Golfers with Disability (R4GD) supported by PING’, thanks to financial backing and advice from this world-famous manufacturing company. Some 267 players from 24 countries are now registered in the Ranking.

Pieter van Duijn, Vice President of EDGA, said: “For many important reasons this is a very exciting time to become involved in EDGA and its goals. We would like to offer a particular thanks to the Algarve Tourism Association for supporting this event and also to the Portuguese Golf Federation for providing the excellent trophies for the players. Internationally respected golf apparel brand Glenmuir has been the Apparel Sponsor for this tournament and we were really delighted with their service.”

Pieter added: “Most of all though, we want to thank the brilliant attitude of the players, their friends and families all through the year. It is a privilege for our committee, staff and volunteers to serve them.”

As for the tournament itself, a torrential night and day of rain cancelled the final round, with the nevertheless deserving winner of the Gross category being Charles-Henri Quélin of France. He hit 16 greens on the way to a first-round 73 which beat his nearest challenger by eight shots. All the results can be found at www.edgagolf.com

During the workshop sessions, PGA Inclusive Golf Tutors Craig Thomas and Mark Taylor delivered a two-day inclusive golf training workshop to 22 Professionals from the PGA of Portugal. The coaches received training, advice and good practice in all facets of inclusive golf coaching to help other golfers in their areas.

The experience at Vila Sol also aimed to provide a definite legacy to encourage new golfers in Portugal – a project supported by the European Tour as EDGA was given Official Charity status at the European Tour’s recent Portugal Masters. At this event, six EDGA players were guests of the European Tour and gave demonstrations on the driving range and putting green together with a group of Portuguese juniors. With TV commentary from Ken Brown this activity created strong profile for EDGA, a real highlight of a great year.

  • See more on EDGA at edgagolf.com and on Facebook at European Disabled Golf Association

Article by Ben Evans | EDGA Media


EDGA as Official Charity at the Portugal Masters

EDGA will help young people to try golf thanks to fundraising at Portugal Masters

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The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) raised €22,500 as the European Tour’s Official Charity of the 2016 Portugal Masters, which finished on Sunday (23rd October).

As the eventual champion Padraig Harrington battled it out with Andy Sullivan and other top players, EDGA enjoyed a unique profile throughout the week at Vilamoura courtesy of the European Tour. The EDGA team and volunteers were able to raise funds during the tournament which will be spent on a groundbreaking project to introduce children with disability to golf.

The project is also supported by the Portuguese Tourism Board, and will effectively start during the EDGA Algarve Open in December at Vila Sol (December 1-3). Here, a group of coaches will be trained to deliver golf to children with disability, enabling them to work across Portugal, visiting rehabilitation centres and disability groups to share the fun of golf with youngsters and their families.

EDGA is in an excellent position to support the expansion of initiatives which promote the development and delivery of golf for individuals with impairment across Europe, working with 18 national golf federations. While its own Tournament Series has grown from four events in 2013 to 12 in 2016 with a truly international feel, EDGA members wish to support all golfers with disability at the grass roots of the game and encourage new players of all ages.

The EDGA President said: “We would like to offer a huge thank you to the European Tour for selecting EDGA as Official Charity for the 2016 Portugal Masters. This opportunity enabled some wonderful volunteers to support us, and a challenge by the Million Dollar Hole-in-One during the Pro-Am helped raise €22,500, which can all be spent directly on introducing youngsters with disability to golf in Portugal.

“The Portuguese Tourism Board, the European Tour, the Algarve Tourism Association and other organisations in this country are helping EDGA to reach more individuals with disability through this project. Our thanks go to all those involved. They will help us to improve sporting choices, social opportunities and confidence levels for children as they enjoy golf. This sport can be a wonderful lifetime activity and should be made available to everyone wherever possible.”

EDGA has been supported in 2016 by The Ryder Cup European Development Trust, The R&A, the European Tour, PING (PING staff player Lee Westwood is also an EDGA Ambassador), Glenmuir and The Algarve Tourism Association.

EDGA will report further on the progress of the pilot project to help youngsters with disability during the EDGA Algarve Open in December.

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Article by Ben Evans | EDGA Media










Scottish Disability Open

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England’s Gardiner triumphs in Scottish Disability Open, supported by EDGA, Mike Jones in memorable Stableford win, Dave Standing secures Nett victory

England’s Andy Gardiner is the Scottish Disability Open Golf Champion for 2016 after soaking up the pressure on the challenging Montgomerie course at Kinross Golf Club and responding with back-to-back birdies to pull away from his worthy challengers.

Andy’s ‘Gross’ Strokeplay win was completed on Thursday when he finished with a very solid 82, including birdies on the 11th and 12th holes to move up a gear at the crucial time. This round was founded on great drives along the tree-lined fairways, accurate iron play and holing putts when they were needed most for a three-round total of 252 (81, 89, 82).

His closest competitors for this approved European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) Access competition were another Englishman, Mick Horsley, and Scotland’s Paul Ellison, who was well supported by the home fans. Horsley’s closing 85 (84, 90, 85) gave him the same 259 total as the consistent Ellison 87, 85, 87 but he would win second place to the Scot’s third on the card play-off.

After his round, Andy Gardiner said: “It was very tough as the scores have shown. Today I got a little tight towards the turn but then I found my game a little bit and had the back-to-back birdies. I felt solid coming in and the others started to make a few mistakes. I thoroughly enjoyed walking up 18… It was an excellent day and I’m chuffed to bits with that.”

It was Gardiner’s first EDGA event of the year and it will boost his position in the Ranking for Golfers with Disability supported by PING, which is open to all golfers with an EDGA pass or an R4GD pass.

James Hourigan of Ireland, who started the day just one behind Gardiner, had to settle for a final round 90 but should be pleased with his efforts, finishing in a tie for 4th with Nett winner Dave Standing and earning third place himself in the Nett category.

It was a good few days for The Netherlands; Tineke Loogman, the leading female player, finished in 6th place after rounds of 96, 89, 96, and two places further back was Hans Vanelven after rounds of 99, 88 and 92. Englishman Darren Grey’s final day 85 moved him up the leaderboard into 7th place with the bonus of being second in the Nett standings, with a final Nett 73.

Competitors from Great Britain, Netherlands, France, USA, Germany and Italy teed-off together on The Montgomery course (par 72, 6,508 yards) and the The Bruce (par 73, 6,231 yards). The parkland courses, close to the beautiful Loch Leven, created a great venue for staging this event.

Winner of the Nett category was Dave Standing and it was well deserved, as he adapted to the Montgomerie course better than anyone, with improving Nett scores of 80, 77 and 74.

Mike Jones of Wales scored an excellent 41 on the adjacent Bruce course to wrestle the Stableford prize away from three Scots – Trevor Crombie, Robert Inness and Jim Thompson, who flew the flag well for the home country. Places 5th to 8th also deserve a mention, as England’s Ian Halliwell and Roger Hurcombe, Italy’s Gregorio Guglielminetti and Germany’s Anka Gahler all fought well to bring the best out of the Welshman.

Mike Jones said of his victory: “Ian, Gregorio and Roger were great company today and I really enjoyed it. The course was fantastic…it bites you big time. The bunkers are in great positions, good greens, tricky putts. It was just a great day today.”

EDGA Tournament Director Robert Moss said: “Well played to all the competitors taking part this week. They all know they have encountered a tough challenge in some wonderful Scottish scenery and everyone has enjoyed it. The organisers from Scottish Disability Golf and the team at Kinross Golf Club have given us the warmest of welcomes and we were very grateful for their support and hospitality.”

Look out on www.sdgp.org.uk and www.edgagolf.com.

Article by Ben Evans | EDGA Media

Nick Vidic on line event. #AskNickLive


#AskNickLive is an interactive online event open to all AIA members. During the one hour event which takes place on May 7 at 9 a.m. PDT – 17.00 GMT – 18.00 CET, Nick will be live streaming online. He will answer as many questions as possible live on video, with some questions being curated from social media.

If you wish to be part of this event, you can register to attend by becoming a member: http://go.attisalt.co/Membership

The live event will only be accessible via a link that will be sent to AIA members.

For more details about Attitude is Altitude please click here

‘Que Sera’ Mark Smith keeps his cool to win the Handigolf French Open 2016 in style

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Britain’s Mark Smith compiled the joint-lowest round of the day, a 79, on the excellent challenge that is the Aa Saint-Omer Golf Club course, to win the Handigolf French Open 2016 on Sunday (1st May).

It was a round of skill and patience as Smith tackled the difficult course and its sloping tests on the slick greens. The famous Aa Saint-Omer course was ‘tough but fair’ for the players.

After the event, a delighted Mark Smith said: “Playing in the last group with Mark [Helm] and Mathieu was a great experience; we are all of a similar mentality and never really get too excited or upset with our shots. Fortunately, I have played in the last group a few times so I know all you can do is take it one shot at a time and what will be, will be.”

For more information on the winners, the full tournament report and quotes from the champion please click here.



Adem Wahbi goes ‘deep’ for wonderful win on iconic Penina course

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Leading Belgian player Adem Wahbi secured the EDGA Penina Open 2016 in dramatic style on the challenging Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course after rounds of 80 and 79 (April 16-17).

The scoreboard tells of a 3-shot win over EDGA No:1 Ranked Manuel De Los Santos but those at the event saw Adem prevail in an unusual closing round after a good start. Some ground gave way by a 5th hole water hazard and he took a tumble into the water to soak his trousers, but after this shock to the system, Wahbi would calm himself and play well.

Recovering also from a double-bogey at the 12th, he would overtake both De Los Santos and Mathieu Cauneau with two birdies and three pars in a brilliant last 5 holes to grab victory.

Read the full story written by Ben Evans of Cutting Edge Golf, which includes a literal visit to the water by clicking on this link.


The International German Wheelchair Challenge – entries now open

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Details of the International German Wheelchair Challenge, which will take place from June 2-5 2016 at Golf Club Haxterpark, Paderborn, Germany are now available on www.edgagolf.com

The event which is an EDGA badged tournament, will also feature two concurrent events, the “Founders Cup” and the “All inclusive Tournament”. Full details of all three events can be found at here

PowerBaseTec and Ottobock are supporting the event.