England Golf have announced the addition of its first-ever mixed-gender championship to the calendar of events for the 2021 season.
The landmark tournament – the English Under 18 Championship – will see boys and girls tee it up alongside each other and compete for the one trophy at Farnham Golf Club, Surrey between 25-27 June, 2021.
The field of 132 players (66 boys and 66 girls) will go head-to-head over 72 holes of stroke play with no handicap or stroke allowances given.
The girls will play from separate tees from the boys, but this will be done in such a way as to make the scores comparable.
England Golf’s Director of Championships, James Crampton, commented: “We are always looking at innovative and positive ways to take the game forward and this event is a step in that direction.
“It’s an exciting concept and one that I know the boys and girls will fully embrace.
“This promises to be another fantastic event for junior golfers in England, bringing together the cream of the country’s young amateurs for three days of excellent competition.”
Farnham Golf Club has been given the honour of staging the event – a fitting way for the stunning heathland venue to celebrate its 125th anniversary.
All competitors will play 18 holes of stroke play on each of the first two days.
The top 40 players and ties will then progress for the final day and carry forward their scores before a further 36 holes of stroke play decides the winner.
The championship is also the first ‘closed’ event in England for juniors and repeats the successful formula at events already included in the schedule for men and women.
It is open to competitors who were born in England, or who have a parent or grandparent who were born in England, or who have resided in England for two years prior to the start of the championship.
This inaugural mixed-gender event follows on from the successful staging of the 2020 Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships which were held simultaneously at the same venue (Woodhall Spa Golf Club) for the first time earlier this year.
Both championships will continue to be staged side by side in 2021 as a joint celebration of amateur golf in England.
Headingley Golf Club and Moortown Golf Club in Yorkshire will co-host the 2021 Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships between 27 July-1 August.