Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 07:46 pm
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What Does ‘Senior’ Mean in Golf?
The ‘Senior’ category is granted to golf players who turn 50 years old on or after January 1st of the current year. This applies to both men and women. Historically, this category began at the age of 55, but in 2015, the board of directors of the RFEG (Real Federación Española de Golf), in achieving uniformity of criteria across Europe, decided to reduce this age to 50 years. As a result, this rule came into effect on January 1, 2016.
History of Senior Golf
In the senior category, multiple golf tournaments have been established throughout history, but two could potentially be considered the first at this level:
Senior PGA Championship
Among the oldest tournaments in senior golf history is the Senior PGA Championship, administered by the PGA and recognized between the PGA Tour Championship and the European Senior Tour.
The PGA formalized the Senior PGA Tour in 1980, designed for golfers aged 50 and older to showcase their talent in the sport. Winners before that date were not as recognized due to the event’s limited accreditation. Over the years, events for this division increased, as did the prize money, estimated in millions of dollars. Prominent players included Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and others.
This circuit originated in Europe in 1992, previously known as the European Senior Tour. Similar to the Senior PGA Championship, this tournament gives players over 50 the opportunity to compete in a series of events across Europe and other parts of the world.
The tournaments on the Staysure Tour vary in size and importance, with some of the most significant ones being the Senior Open Championship and the MCB Tour Championship. Prominent players in golf history, such as Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Ángel Jimenez, and Bernhard Langer, have participated.
Major Senior Golf Tournaments Worldwide
In the senior golf division, there are four major tournaments worldwide:
The Masters: Established in 1934, it is played annually in April.
PGA Championship: Organized by the prestigious PGA club since 1919, this tournament is sponsored by the PGA of America in conjunction with the European Tour and is the second major tournament played in May.
U.S. Open: Held annually in the United States since 1895, organized by the United States Golf Association, and celebrated on the third Sunday of June, coinciding with Father’s Day.
The Open Championship: Being the oldest among the four, it was first played in 1860 and is directed by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, taking place in July.
Countries with Significant Influence in Senior Golf
Many countries with a long history in golf have been champions in various tournaments worldwide, including The Masters, PGA Championship, The Open Championship, and U.S. Open. The country with the most victories in these tournaments has been the United States, followed by England. Other countries that have made their presence felt and achieved victories include South Africa, Scotland, Spain, India, New Zealand, and Australia.
Senior Golf in Colombia
In Colombia, this division is well established, and seniors can enjoy playing in prominent clubs designed to provide the best golf experience, including sponsorships and highly trained personnel. Senior golf in Colombia is also present in various associations and clubs in the country.
An example is ASOSENIOR, founded in 1974. ASOSENIOR is exclusively dedicated to players in this age category and participates in multiple national and international events. The association has received recognition in all South American championships over the past 10 years, with achievements at the World Championship in the United States and the Mariscal Sucre Cup.
ASOSENIOR also provides benefits to its members for participating in its activities and maintaining good scores. These benefits include discounts on the Iberia airline to certain destinations, special rates at golf clubs, and discounts at stores such as Bushnell Golf and Garmin.
Likewise, the Colombian Golf Federation offers a wide range of categories for both amateurs and professionals, and the senior division is no exception. The federation has a senior division for amateurs and professionals.
Senior Golf Tournaments in Colombia
Both ASOSENIOR and the Colombian Golf Federation organize national and international tournaments for this age group, including open and monthly tournaments, depending on the associations’ calendars. Some of these tournaments include:
National Senior Championship
This annual tournament gathers the best male golfers, both amateurs and professionals, for a 54-hole stroke-play competition. The results of this tournament are valid for the National Ranking at the affiliated club. Registration for the National Senior Championship requires being up to date with the club’s calendar where the event will take place and making the respective tournament fee payment with the corresponding personal details. Foreign players must validate their club membership in their country of origin.
National Senior Tour
This is a circuit of four national stops dedicated to senior players and sponsored by different sponsors and companies during the event. The format is 54 holes per stroke. To register for the tournament, one must make the payment for each of the four stops through the portal of the Colombian Golf Federation and fill out the requested information.
National Senior Ladies Championship
This annual tournament is dedicated to senior women in a 54-hole stroke-play format with stipulated 9-hole rounds. For players over 70 years old, it will be played over 76 holes. This tournament also offers spots for the South American tournament. Registration comes with an associated cost, payable on the federation’s website along with the registration form, and participants should monitor the calendar for the tournament date.
Interclub Championship ‘Copa Colombia Senior’
This championship is a meeting between different golf clubs in the country as a form of appreciation for their affiliation with the Colombian Golf Federation. Although there are few versions of the tournament, it is held annually for four days. Teams consist of 5 senior players with a valid handicap certificate issued by Fedegolf and an index equal to or less than 18. The format is team match play. There will be 18 holes played daily with a foursome system and three individual matches.
To register, each club must enter the team for a regional qualifying tournament and communicate with the channel provided by the federation, making the respective tournament participation payment along with the players’ details.
More about Golf in Colombia
Find out everything you need to know about golf in Colombia in our blogs.