|< Prev||Next >|
The 2011 European Challenge Tour Schedule, comprising a minimum of 26 tournaments, will take in visits to 18 different countries on four Continents and will include new events in Italy, Norway and, for the first time, India. The Jeev Milkha Singh-designed Kensville Golf Club in Ahmedabad, India, which will host this week's inaugural Gujarat Kensville Challenge, is one of four new venues on the nine-month schedule, which again culminates in the Challenge Tour Grand Final from October 27-30, 2011.
The three other courses new to the Challenge Tour are the PGA of Sweden National near MalmÃ¶, Sweden, the venue for The Princess by SchÃ¼co from June 30-July 3; Acaya Golf Resort in Lecce, Italy, which will stage the inaugural Acaya Golf Challenge Open from July 7-10; and finally Losby Golfklubb near Oslo, Norway, host of the Norwegian Challenge from August 11-14.
The recently-opened Links course at the PGA of Sweden National, built over a ten year period on a 700-acre site belonging to MalmÃ¶ city council, was designed by renowned architect Kyle Philips in the style of a traditional Scottish links layout, complete with fescue greens. The signature hole is the 120-yard fifth, which is the PGA of Sweden National's version of the famous â€œPostage Stampâ€, the eighth hole at Royal Troon.
The picturesque Acaya Golf Resort, which is located on the Adriatic coastline and is home to the first Costantino Rocca Golf Academy, is notable for the olive groves and tenth century Basilian monastery ruins which line the course.
Losby Golfklubb's Ã˜stmork course, designed by Swedish architect Peter Nordwall, was constructed on the flood plain of the River Losby, which comes into play on a number of the holes on the back nine. It was the venue for the 2007 SAS Masters on the Ladies European Tour, won by Suzann Pettersen.
As well as a number of new host venues the 2011 schedule also welcomes two new sponsors to the Challenge Tour, with Barclays sponsoring the Kenya Open, played at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi, Kenya, from March 31-April 3; and German engineering firm SchÃ¼co named as title sponsors of The Princess, which will again be supported by Sweden's Henrik Stenson, winner of the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2000.
Both firms are a welcome addition to the roster of existing title sponsors, which includes Allianz, who sponsor four events in France: the Allianz Open de Bretagne from June 9-12, the Allianz Challenge de France from September 1-4, the Allianz Open de Toulouse from September 22-25, and the Allianz Open de Lyon from October 6-9.
Telenet also return as title sponsors of the Telenet Trophy at Royal Waterloo Golf Club near Brussels, Belgium, from May 26-29; the Scottish Challenge, which returns to Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club in Aviemore, Scotland, from June 23-26, will again be sponsored by Scottish Hydro; Credit Suisse will again sponsor the Credit Suisse Challenge at Golf Sempachersee in Hildisrieden, Switzerland, from July 14-17; and Rolex return as title sponsors of the elite 42-man Rolex Trophy at Golf Club de GenÃ¨ve in Geneva, Switzerland, from August 25-28.
This year the Madeira Islands Open BPI â€“ Portugal on The European Tour, held from May 19-22 at Porto Santo Golfe in Madeira, Portugal, will also count towards the Challenge Tour Rankings, though the prize fund will be capped at a figure lower than the full â‚¬700,000 for the purposes of the Rankings only.
The same again also applies to the dual ranking â‚¬600,000 SAINT-OMER OPEN presented by Neuflize OBC, which for the 12th year running will be played at Aa St Omer Golf Club in Lumbres, France, from June 16-19.
The most lucrative regular event on the schedule remains the Kazakhstan Open, which after two years at Zhailjau Golf Resort returns to Nurtau Golf Club in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from September 8-11. One week later the Challenge Tour returns to Russia for the second edition of the Russian Challenge Cup, held at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club near Moscow, Russia, which drew widespread praise from the Challenge Tour membership when it made its debut last year.
Alain de Soultrait, Director of the Challenge Tour, said: â€œTo have at least 26 tournaments, with a good chance of adding a few more, is highly encouraging and shows that the Challenge Tour's foundations are very solid indeed. In these challenging times, a firm foundation is crucial to the Tour's development. It is always pleasing and exciting to offer our Members the chance to play in new tournaments and on new courses, starting with this week's tournament in India.
â€œOnce we return to Europe in April the schedule is looking very compact, so our Members will have the opportunity to plan their playing schedules accordingly. We must thank our various partners, sponsors and promoters, as well as the Federations, for their help in enabling us to maintain and improve an already healthy schedule, and so strengthen the Challenge Tour's reputation as the breeding ground for stars of the future. The strong starts made this season by some of last year's graduates, most notably Robert Dinwiddie and ThorbjÃ¸rn Olesen, shows that there is no better preparation for life on The European Tour than spending a season on the Challenge Tour.â€
- 25/03/2011 17:11 - Kiradech final hole birdie denies Siddikur SAIL Open crown, Young Indians impress on Final Day
- 11/02/2011 21:32 - Lahiri burns the Tollygunge course, walks away with the honours
- 16/01/2011 18:35 - Gaganjeet Bhullar becomes first Indian winner on the European Challenge Tour