THE Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship, which comes to Moortown, Leeds, on July 29-August 1, has undergone a slight name change but one which has a far-reaching effect.
In what the PGA says marks a new era for the championship, the word ‘club’ has been dropped from the title and that means full-time tournament players who are not club professionals are now eligible – and at the same time eligible for the PGA Cup team that meets US counterparts in the biennial match.
It opens the door for Chris Hanson, the Europro Tour member from Crosland Heath, to challenge for a £10,000 first prize at Moortown, as it does for his tour contemporaries if they are PGA members like Hanson, who joined up recently, though they would have to win through a qualifying process.
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones says: “The name change reflects the fact that many of our members are now engaged in an increasingnumber of roles across the golf industry and not just solely in club professional posts.
“There has been a move among the majority of PGAs in the world including America, Australia and Canada, to reclassify their members as PGA Professionals and this is in keeping with this.”
Past champion Paul Carman, the Fixby club professional, welcomed the decision, along with that the championship will be in Yorkshire this year, even though he will be among those who will need to go through the pre-qualifying test as his exemption expired a couple of years back.
“While some players who are virtually full-time competitors have regularly played in the championship through having a club attachment – some of them do very little at a club – the change will likely bring in some new names and that could result in the next PGA Cup team being stronger. It’s something the Americans have done for a while,” he said.
Carman likes the choice of venue.
“Yorkshire lads will be able to get home each day rather than be away at places like Royal Porthcawl, in Wales, where the championship was played last year. I’ll have to qualify first but I’ll be entering – I haven’t missed the event in 22 years.”
Moortown hosts the PGA’s flagship event 79 years after the first Ryder Cup on British soil was played there and has since staged many big professional and amateur championships.
New holes on the Alister MacKenzie designed course were added some 20 years ago and others re-designed. More recently, the short 17th has been re-constructed.
The Glenmuir Women’s PGA Professional Championship will be played at Moortown over 36 holes from July 31-August 1.