An exciting mixed team competition for Scottish club golfers is to tee off next season, with Solheim Cup venue, The Gleneagles Hotel, to act as host for the showpiece finale.
The PING Scottish Mixed Championship is to be a unique new addition to the domestic handicap amateur calendar in 2017, as Scottish Golf brings male and female golfers together in a fun-filled format for all ages and abilities to add further value to club membership.
The innovative new event sees PING become sponsors of Scottish Golf for the first time, with the leading golf brand’s investment providing a welcome boost to the governing body’s partnership portfolio.
American Beth Allen, the Scots-based new Ladies European Tour No 1, and Scottish Golf Men’s Order of Merit winner Euan McIntosh (both pictured top) were on hand at Gleneagles today to help launch the event, along with Scottish Golf chief executive Blane Dodds.
The free-to-enter competition will be open to all golf club members in Scotland holding an official handicap, from juniors to seniors. Golfers can compete in a mixed event at local club level (stableford format), with the top 40 club pairings nationwide going forward to the Grand Final over the superb Queen’s Course at Gleneagles.
The event sees a fitting partnership between Scottish Golf, Gleneagles and PING, given the manufacturer was founded by Karsten Solheim, who helped create the biggest team event in ladies’ golf.
Beatson Cancer Charity is the official charity partner for the competition, with Beatson also charity partner for the forthcoming Scottish Golf Awards at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on 24 February.
The PING Scottish Mixed Championship will see qualifying take place at club level (either using an existing mixed event in the club’s calendar or introducing a new event) from April through to the end of July.
Scottish Golf’s online leaderboard will show the top 40 mixed stableford scores nationwide, with 80 golfers then coming together to contest the Grand Final over the idyllic James Braid-designed Queen’s on Monday 18 September 2017.
Blane Dodds said: “We’re pleased to launch this new mixed event for club golfers in 2017, one which adds further value to club membership and offers the chance to compete at a world-class venue for the final.
“We are delighted to be working with PING for the first time and it’s great to have such a strong global golf brand supporting grass roots golf in Scotland. The environment remains challenging for attracting investment from sponsorship, but these partnerships illustrate our continued determination to grow the game and enhance the golfing experience for club members.”
John Clark, PING Europe Managing Director, added: “We’re delighted to be supporting this new mixed event which will bring together both female and male golfers from around Scotland in a competitive, yet fun format at one of the UK’s most iconic venues.”
Beth Allen said: “It’s great that Scottish Golf, PING and Gleneagles are doing this event for club golfers in the build up to the Solheim Cup. It would obviously be great for me to represent the United States of America here in 2019 and I’m sure the players who qualify for the final of the PING Scottish Mixed Championship will have an amazing experience at Gleneagles.”
With the Perthshire property staging the Solheim Cup – only five years after hosting The Ryder Cup – and the inaugural European Golf Team Championships in 2018, the new PING Scottish Mixed Championship adds to Gleneagles’ illustrious event history across the amateur and professional game.
Event information will be issued by Scottish Golf to all affiliated clubs early next year, who are encouraged to add the event to their club calendar.
Images: Kenny Smith