EDGA, the international body that champions golf for people with disability, has unveiled a new international Open tournament for its players, the Southport Golf Coast Classic.
The Southport Golf Coast Classic, playing for the President’s Cup, will take place from September 2-3 on the challenging Par 72 Championship Course, Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa, supported by the venue and the Southport & District Golf Association.
Apart from offering a competitive two-round international tournament for players with disability at one of the region’s most acclaimed golf courses, the event offers the opportunity to develop golf for the disabled in the area, including a golf development project at a major local hospital.
The EDGA team works to encourage people of all ages who have a disability to consider trying golf, while highlighting the power of golf to change lives. It aims to welcome 500,000 new players into the sport.
EDGA President Tony Bennett, who was born in Southport and so qualifies as a ‘Sandgrounder’, has thanked the team at Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa for staging the tournament and providing all the practice facilities needed, along with excellent accommodation packages.
Local support and hospital project
EDGA is also grateful for the knowledge and influence of the Southport & District Golf Association (SDGA) for its advice and community involvement in shaping the tournament and its offer to help promote the event in the area’s golf clubs.
Both Tony and his father Howard Bennett are PGA Master Professionals, with Howard best known for his work with the Irish national team and the likes of Padraig Harrington. Howard will bring his considerable experience to the week and together with EDGA Director of Development, Mark Taylor, they will be visiting the NHS North West Spinal Unit (NWSU) in Southport to offer coaching and first a first touch to patients undergoing rehabilitation for illness and injury – the EDGA team following up on a successful first visit to the Unit in 2019.
Tony Bennett said: “This will be a fantastic tournament for all the players who may not have experienced golf on England’s Golf Coast before. It’s going to be an exciting opportunity to showcase the standard of competition now available for golfers with a disability – and we present around 50 tournaments a year internationally.
“We can help”
“But it’s about more than that. Our EDGA team really looks forward to meeting interested spectators during the tournament and we will welcome any person with a disability, or their family member, who is interested in golf and wishes to learn how they can get started. We can help them.”
The support of the SDGA will be recognised by the playing of a match on September 1 between teams of 12 EDGA and 12 SDGA players.
SDGA is playing a key role in growing the game in this area of the North West and is “delighted” to support EDGA in the provision of this attractive new tournament.
Keith Hick, SDGA’s President and Executive Secretary, said: “The massive support and endorsements for EDGA from across the golfing world, including the European Tour, the R&A, the USGA, International Golf Federation, England Golf and Ryder Cup European Development Trust, mean that playing golf with a disability carries no limits.
“Golf’s introduction to world class sporting events is rising up the agenda, proving golf really is a game for all, irrespective of age, ability or gender. SDGA is delighted to help golfers with a disability gain full recognition with the advent of the EDGA Southport Golf Coast Classic at Formby Hall Golf Resort.”
How to enter
The Southport Golf Coast Classic is to be an Open tournament for any golfer with either a WR4GD or Access pass, that will welcome more than 50 golfers, amateur or professional, from September 2-3 (practice day on the 1st). Entries will be open from February 24 via the EDGA website (please note: on a first come, first served basis). See more at edga-upcoming-events