The Berkhamsted Trophy – one of amateur golf’s foremost men’s events for the past 60 years – is to invite female players to enter from 2020 onwards.
It will be the first time that a long-established amateur event has taken down a men-only barrier.
The next edition of the tournament on the West Hertfordshire heathland course will take place on 2-4 April.
“We are supportive of initiatives, such as this by Berkhamsted,” said Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A.
“The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter is a call to action for everyone involved in golf, from national associations to clubs, to do more to attract women and girls to take up this wonderful sport.
“There are many different ways in which this can be achieved.”
Invitations have been sent to a number of elite female players to play in the 61st Berkhamsted Trophy, with entries open to golfers with handicaps of one or better.
Former world number one Luke Donald, major champion Sandy Lyle and Ryder Cup player Andy Sullivan all won the tournament before achieving success as professionals.
The event will be eligible for World Amateur Golf Ranking points for both men and women.
Nigel Edwards, England Golf Performance Director and Team GB leader in the 2020 Olympics, said: “As the country’s governing body for male and female amateur golfers, at England Golf we are delighted to support Berkhamsted Golf Club’s forward-thinking initiative in making the prestigious Berkhamsted Trophy a mixed gender event.”
Elaine Ratcliffe, captain of the 2020 Great Britain and Ireland women’s amateur Curtis Cup team, added: “I applaud Berkhamsted for their forward thinking.
“I am delighted to have been asked to help set up the golf course to provide an equal test for both men and women during the event.”
Article courtesy of BBC Sport