Finally, the time to go back and play competitive golf is about to come for the rising golf stars of the Alps Tour. After the long stop due to Covid-19 sanitary emergency, we are now ready to announce our restart and next August, Austria will welcome the players eager to feel the thrill of competition again.
It was not an easy task to reorganise the remaining of the 2020 Alps Tour schedule, which started regularly in February with two tournaments in Egypt – Ein Bay Open and Red Sea Little Venice Open, both at Sokhna GC – and produced two young, talented winners, Italian Stefano Mazzoli and Dutch Lars Keunen. But thanks to the support of Alps Tour sponsors and stakeholders, and the commitment of the board of directors, Estelle Richard – Alps Tour Chief Executive and Operations Director – was able to announce a new program: “Our goal is to organise at least 10 events in total, or even 13 if the second Egyptian swing is hopefully reasonably possible. Since safety is our priority”, Richard added, “and in view of the information we now have on the positive evolution of the epidemic, it is reasonable to assume that we will be able to resume in August, considering that health measures and travel restrictions will be greatly eased”.
The new calendar includes some traditional venues and some new experiences in Austria (one tournament), Italy (three), France (two), Spain (two) and Egypt (three).
It is so appropriate that this complicated season is going to restart with the oldest tournament in the history of Alps Tour, certainly one of the most cherished, also known as “the 5th Major” to Alps Tour’s members; the 28th edition of the Gösser Open will take place on August 13-15, once again on the beautiful and challenging 18 holes of Erzherzog Johann Golf Club in Maria Lankowitz, about 40 km from Graz airport.
Another classic venue will follow with Cervino Alps Open on the spectacular 18 holes of Cervino Golf Club in Italy, 2,000 meters above sea level and overlooked by majestic Matterhorn mountain (Valtournenche, September 2-4).
France will welcome the 17th edition of the Open International de la Mirabelle d’Or to be held, as usual, at the Golf de La Grange aux Ormes just outside Metz in the Lorraine region (September 11-13).
After that, it will be time for a full immersion in Spain with two new, prestigious venues: Alps de Andalucia will take place at Club Zaudin Golf (Tomares, Sevilla, September 23-25). Located 10 minutes from the center of Seville, in the vicinity of the Alcor, where prominent figures of Roman Empire constructed their summer villas, the 18 holes have been designed in 1992 by great champion Gary Player. The golf course is immersed in orange and olive trees, nature and design are masterfully combined, where wide fairways and undulating greens are surrounded by century-old olive trees.
The following week, Alps de las Castillas will be hosted by Club de Golf Zarapicos (Salamanca, September 30 – October 2), designed by champion Manolo Piñero and venue for some of the biggest events in Spain. Even though it lays on the Zarapicos Mount, the golf course is not very hilly and instead, it is a pleasant wide, walking course, suitable for strong hitters but also demanding great accuracy on the greens.
In the second half of October, central Italy will host two more tournaments, the traditional Abruzzo Alps Open (October 15-17) at Miglianico Golf & Country Club, near Pescara, a well-tested venue of the tournament for the seventh year in a row, and Toscana Alps Open (October 22-24), a welcome comeback at Golf Club Toscana, near Grosseto, where Alps Tour organised its Qualifying School back in 2011.
Then the Alps Tour will fly to the Caribbean Islands for its traditional date with Open de Saint-François – Région Guadeloupe, in the West French Indies; the tournament should take place in the first week of November but the exact date is still to be confirmed.
The Egyptian Cairo swing, which originally was to be played in March, has now been postponed from the 12th to the 24th of November.
At the end of the season, the best ranked players will be granted a coveted reward: “We are very proud to announce that, thanks to our common work with the other Satellite Tours (Pro Golf Tour and Nordic League), we have obtained a great result as the Challenge Tour will offer to each Satellite Tour 3 spots for the 2021 season”, stated Richard. And added: “Please be assured that we closely monitor the situation and we are ready to take immediately any appropriate new decision to protect the safety and health of our players, employees, contractors, volunteers”.
Finally, the Qualifying School will take place for the 9th time at beautiful La Cala Resort, in the South of Spain, from December 13th to 19th (First and Final Stage).