Last updated on November 5th, 2023 at 02:51 pm
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About Golf Tournaments in Colombia
Originally, golf was a luxury sport associated with the upper class and elite. However, its popularity across all social strata opened doors for the creation of sports events and tournaments within the country.
The first tournaments were held in the city of Medellín between 1930 and 1940 when the Donovan and Millar Cups were first played, sponsored by English citizens living in the capital of Antioquia. However, these tournaments were moved to Bogotá the following year at the Country Club. The Donovan Cup became what is now known as the National Amateur, and the Millar Cup resumed in 1945. The Samper Brush Cup became the Colombian Open.
These tournaments share a common goal: to promote golf practice in the country and attract both amateur and professional players. Some of these tournaments are professional and international, while others are local and friendly.
Annual Tournaments in Colombia
Colombia is an inclusive country when it comes to playing golf, as competitions cater to all age groups, from juniors to seniors, and all categories, from amateurs to professionals, including players from other countries.
Some key tournaments are:
Campeonato Nacional de Golf (National Golf Championship)
In this tournament, golfers from across the country gather and compete on different golf courses. It is divided into categories and subdivisions, including men’s amateurs, senior men, and mid-amateur women and men. Players go through various stages and tests to accumulate the most points, which qualify them for international events. The goal is also to promote golf at the local and regional levels and identify the best talents.
Winners, in addition to the opportunity to play in higher-level tournaments, receive prizes and recognition for their performance, which varies by category but includes cash prizes and the distinction of being the best player.
Copa Los Andes (Andes Cup)
This continental tournament takes place every two years, with Colombia often hosting the event. It is notable for its match-play format and 36-hole competition per day.
Rules include a team with a minimum of 4 players, a squad consisting of 4 selected team players, and a committee formed by representatives of participating countries’ associations. The committee appoints an arbitration committee that decides on the tournament’s regulatory matters. Each team plays against two opponents daily, with two foursome matches in the morning and four individual matches in the afternoon.
Prizes include trophies, medals, and recognition for representing the participating country. However, for some players, their main focus, beyond the rewards, is the prestige of representing their country.
Abierto de Colombia (Colombian Open)
This annual professional golf tournament is part of the Korn Ferry Tour within the PGA Tour development circuit. It attracts players not only from Colombia but also from around the world. Amateurs, both ladies and gentlemen, can also participate. Foreign players must provide affiliation or membership proof from their home country.
The objective of this championship is to provide players with the opportunity to compete at a high level and gain experience in their professional careers. It also helps promote the sport in Colombia and encourage its practice.
The Open consists of three stages:
- First stage: The first competition involves all senior categories, including gentlemen and ladies, including professionals.
- Second stage: The second competition includes the second and third categories, which involve ladies and gentlemen, and all three categories for mid-amateur gentlemen.
- Third stage: The third competition involves the first category for ladies and gentlemen, including professionals.
The game format varies according to the day of the competition:
- First and second days: Stroke play, 54 holes, in rounds of 9 holes each.
- Third day: Stroke play, 72 holes, in rounds of 9 holes each.
The rules of the game are governed by the R&A Golf Rules and the local rules of the club where the competition is held.
Campeonato Nacional Sénior (National Senior Golf Championship)
This tournament is also designed for senior players in the country and abroad. It is held annually and is organized by the Colombian Golf Federation. Players must have a certificate from the Federation to participate. The goal is to encourage the competitive spirit of golfers over 50 years of age.
The maximum number of participants is 144 players, and if exceeded, a cut will be made according to indexes, eliminating the highest ones proportionally in different categories. For players not residing in Colombia and who can prove their handicap in their home country with respective limits, they can participate with a special invitation from the Federation.
The rules of the tournament include a 54-hole game in stroke play format, in stipulated rounds of 9 holes each. The tee markers are divided into the first and second categories, with the first category playing from cypress markers (approximately 6,626 yards) and the third category playing from walnut markers (approximately 6,118 yards).
Campeonato Nacional Match Play (National Match Play Golf Championship)
This tournament is designed for multiple golfers to play as a team. It is held every year over four days and can take place at different locations across the country. All amateur players over 25 years of age can participate, and each affiliated club can register a team of 5 players for the qualifying round.
The game format is team match play, with participants playing from the championship tees. It involves 36 holes daily, with two foursome matches and four individual matches in each round. The rules are in accordance with the Rules of Golf R&A Rules Limited and the local rules of the venue.
Abierto de Golf ‘Copa Fortox’ (Fortox Cup Open)
Both men and women residing in Colombia and other countries are invited to play in this tournament. It is divided into several categories and includes professional players.
The game format varies by category: senior and mid-amateur ladies and gentlemen play 54 holes in a stroke play format over six rounds of 9 holes each. Professionals, both ladies and gentlemen, play 72 holes in a stroke play format over 8 rounds of 9 holes each. The rules adhere to the Rules of R&A Rules Limited and the local rules of the club where the tournament is held.
Campeonato Nacional de Damas Senior (National Senior Ladies Golf Championship)
This championship is essential for senior female players and is held annually, allowing them to showcase their talent in the sport and earn a spot in the South American senior ladies’ tournament.
The format is a 54-hole stroke play (medal play) game, played in three rounds of 18 holes each. For the senior category, it’s a 36-hole stroke play format in two rounds of 18 holes each. Game rules adhere to the R&A and USGA Golf Rules, as approved by the competition judges.
Campeonato Nacional Interclubes ‘Colombia Senior’ (National Interclub Championship ‘Colombia Senior’)
This championship was created as a thank-you to clubs affiliated with the Colombian Golf Federation, one of the country’s most important golf associations. It is played for four days each year, with preference given to senior players.
The game format is team match play. All participants play from the same markers. There are 18 holes daily, with one foursome match (alternate shot) and three individual matches in that order. The game rules adhere to the Rules of Golf R&A Rules Limited and the local rules of the tournament venue.
Country Club Bogotá Championship
This tournament is part of the Korn Ferry Tour and has been played at the Country Club since 2010. It takes place annually in February, with prize money ranging from 700,000 to 1 million dollars.
The game format is Stroke Play. For the qualifying tournament, both amateurs and professionals play 18 holes in a stroke-play format for the two spots. Game rules adhere to the current rules of R&A Rules Limited and the local rules of the Country Club de Bogotá.
These golf tournaments offer a wide range of opportunities for golfers in Colombia and around the world to compete and showcase their skills. They promote the sport, fairness, and competitive spirit within the golf community and provide the opportunity to compete in a picturesque setting.
More about Golf in Colombia
Find out everything you need to know about golf in Colombia in our blogs.