The Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A takes place at Club de Golf Alcanada on the Spanish island of Mallorca this week.
The Challenge Tour is the primary way to golf’s DP World Tour and the top 20 players on the Road to Mallorca Rankings at the end of the season, after this event, will graduate to the DP World Tour, and then earn a full card and status on the DP World Tour.
Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour, is insistent that the 30-year-old Challenge Tour is still the best way to prepare for competition on the DP World Tour.
“Our job is to prepare the players to when they progress onto the DP World Tour, and we do that through the quality of the golf courses we play on through the year, and the organisation of the events.
“We really help the players when they make that step, and I think we can feel happy and proud that five of last year’s class of 2022 are in the top 50 of the DP World Tour Rankings, so will be playing in the DP World Tour Championship, and 14 of the 20 graduates have kept their status on the DP World Tour for next season.”
After starting the season in South Africa in February, this is the 28th event played in 16 different countries. The top 45 players here this week are not only trying to win the event, but try and earn one of those top 20 spots.
Moving forward to next year, with the support of the Emirates Golf Federation, the Challenge Tour is returning to the Middle East, after previously hosting events in Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Oman.
“We have a very happy history there, it’s great news,” Hodges said. “First of all its great for our members to go back to a region that we know well. The golf courses are of excellent standard which is ultimately what the players want. I think what the partnership with the Emirates Golf Federation gives the Emirati players is ultimately opportunity.
“With the two events that take place in the region and through the exchange of invitations those players will also have the opportunity to play in Europe, and give them the opportunity to asses where they are, where their game is at against some of the greatest players in Europe. They now have a clear path to progress from where they are now currently all the way up to the DP World Tour, and the DP World Tour Championship.”