Changes to Golf Ireland Championship qualification criteria announced

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Golffile | Fran Caffrey

Golf Ireland have announced changes to qualification criteria for events on the 2023 Bridgestone Men’s and Women’s Tours (Orders of Merit). The changes mean that prospective entrants will need to ensure their Handicap Index is proportionately based on scores achieved in Competition, and not be overly reliant on General Play Scores.

The World Handicap System facilitates and encourages the return of General Play Scores as a way of ensuring players’ Handicap Indexes are as current and responsive to their ability as possible. This is a facility that is available to all golfers worldwide and without restriction, irrespective of their ability – and this will continue to be the case. However, where Handicap Index is used to determine the ballot for a Championship field, it is important that these Handicap Indexes reflect players’ demonstrated ability in Competition Play – as well as General Play.

Where Golf Ireland Championship entries are oversubscribed and players’ handicaps are used to determine qualification of some or all of the field, a review of the entry data will be made. In the event that an entrant has more than four general play scores on their record and where their General Play Scores are significantly better than those in competition, (ie, more than two shots better on average) their entry will be reviewed by the Championship Committee. This review will take place at the close of entries, and may mean either the relegation of a player from the Championship field to the waiting list or the withdrawal of a player’s entry.

The full process that will be employed to assess any variances in General Play and Competition Scores can be found in Appendix 2 to the Summary of Key Changes for 2023. To view these changes please click HERE.

The changes made to Golf Ireland Championships entry criteria are based on recommendations from the World Handicap System’s Handicap Operations Committee and are in line with competition regulations from nations around the Congu region.

Golf Ireland Director of Championships Mark Wehrly commented: “As with the many other changes we are introducing to our Championships programme in 2023, the provision regarding General Play scores is being introduced after much thought and consultation, and is aimed to ensure fairness in the qualification process.

“Just as is the case with the other criteria for balloting these Championships – such as World Amateur Golf Rankings and previous championship performances – the aim of these changes to handicapping ballots is to ensure the events on the Bridgestone Men’s and Women’s Tours (Orders of Merit) have the best fields possible.”

Entries for all 2023 Golf Ireland Championships will open on Wednesday 1st February here https://www.golfireland.ie/championships

Registration for player profiles is open from today (11 February) The launch of player profiles is an enhancement for 2023 based on player feedback to improve the efficiency of the entry process. Once a profile is registered, players will be able to enter Championships with one click.  To register a player profile, please click HERE.

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