The USGA is creating a new national championship, and it's a signal that the governing body is serious about encouraging and developing an inclusive competitive atmosphere at the highest level of the game.
The body announced the formation of the US Adaptive Open, which will be played for the first time in July 2022 at Pinehurst Resort's No. 6 course. The North Carolina destination has also agreed to host the second edition of the championship on the same course in the same week in 2023.
The US Adaptive Open is the USGA's 15th national championship and follows through on a 2017 pledge by the USGA to establish this championship for the adaptive golf community.
“Since 1895, our championships have provided the world’s best players with an opportunity to showcase their skills on a global stage, compete for a national championship and achieve their dreams,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director, Championships. “After years of planning and delays caused by the global pandemic, we are proud to bring that same opportunity to the adaptive golf community through this championship, and to do so at Pinehurst, our second home. We believe this effort will spur participation for golfers with disabilities and hope it inspires others in the industry to make the game and its competitions more welcoming to all.”
The championship will be contested over 54 holes of stroke play with a 96-player field. It is open to males and females, professionals and amateurs, with either physical impairment, sensory impairment (vision) or intellectual impairment, and who have a WR4GD Pass as well as an authorized World Handicap System (WHS) Handicap Index.
Further eligibility requirements, field composition and other details will be announced at a later date. The application process is expected to open in February.
Pinehurst No. 6 was designed by George and Tom Fazio and opened for play in 1979. This will be the first USGA championship played on No. 6, with this being the first championship at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club since the property became the first USGA anchor site.
“We’re honored to serve as the site of the inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open Championship,” said Tom Pashley, president of Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. “Pinehurst has been home to many storied championships throughout our history, but to witness adaptive golfers competing for this new national championship will surely be among the most memorable. We are grateful to the USGA and the adaptive golf community for this opportunity.”