European Tour resumes full schedule in 2021
To quote a well-known monarch, 2020 has been the European Tour’s “annus horribilis”.
Its cash-strapped schedule was already struggling to attract big name European players, let alone US stars, as evidenced most recently at the season-ending DP World Championship where the likes of defending champion Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Justin Rose and Louis Oosthuizen were among those who failed to show up in Dubai.
European Tour CEO Keith Pelley
But 2021 is a new year and with it comes the lessons learned from dealing with COVID-19 over the past nine months.
Firstly, the new schedule has grouped together tournaments based on their geographic proximity to create a more travel-friendly calendar. 42 tournaments in 24 countries will feature on the 2021 schedule with 18 of those having been postponed or cancelled in 2020.
“There is no question that the challenge of reshaping our 2020 season in many ways informed our approach to 2021. One of the key learnings was to group events together in terms of their geographical location to create a more travel friendly season for our members. That is reflected in numerous concentrations of event locations,” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.
Also the new partnership with the PGA Tour means that both Tours can guarantee their marquee tournaments won’t overlap, thereby ensuring the stars of the game aren’t forced to choose one event over another as has so often been the case in recent years.
“[We’ll] continue to enhance our Rolex Series events at strategic points in the global golfing calendar when the European Tour will be the focal point of golf on the world stage. This is one of the many aspects we will continue to develop in our Strategic Alliance discussions with the PGA Tour, following our historic partnership announcement last month.”
While the number of Rolex Series events has been reduced from 8 to 4, the prize money has increased to US$8million and each tournament will offer the same number of Race to Dubai points as a World Golf Championship event (8,000).
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the Scottish Open and the BMW PGA Championship will retain their Rolex Series status with the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai joining them with a prize pool of $9 million and 12,000 Race to Dubai points.
“Our events in the initial part of the 2021 season will continue to operate under the guidelines of our world-class Health Strategy, which will evolve aligned to the latest medical advice.”
“However, with the incredible progress that has been made in recent months in terms of a vaccine, we look forward to hopefully welcoming the gradual return of the fans we’ve so dearly missed, whilst at the same time continuing to entertain viewers at home through our unrivalled World Feed TV output and across our award-winning digital platforms.”
Pelley has indicated further details including prize funds for each tournament will be released next year.
2021 EUROPEAN TOUR SCHEDULE
Jan 21-24 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (Abu Dhabi GC, UAE)
Jan 28-31 Omega Dubai Desert Classic (Emirates GC, UAE)
Feb 4-7 Saudi International, Royal Greens G&CC (King Abdullah Economic City)
Feb 25-28 WGC-Mexico Championship (Chapultepec GC, Mexico City)
Mar 4-7 Middle East event TBA
Mar 11-14 Commercialbank Qatar Masters (Education City GC, Doha)
Mar 18-21 Magical Kenya Open (Karen CC, Nairobi)
Mar 24-28 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play (Austin CC, Austin, Texas)
Apr 8-11 The Masters (Augusta National)
Apr 15-18 Tenerife Open (Golf Costa Adeje, Adeje)
Apr 22-25 Gran Canaria Open (Venue TBC)
Apr 29-May 2 Portugal Masters (Dom Pedro Victoria GC, Vilamoura)
May 6-9 European event (TBA)
May 12-15 Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett (The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield)
May 20-23 PGA Championship (Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina)
May 27-30 Made in Himmerland (Farsoe, Denmark)
June 3-6 Porsche European Open (Green Eagle Golf Courses, Hamburg)
June 10-12 Scandinavian Mixed hosted by Henrik and Annika (Vallda G&CC, Gothenburg)
June 17-20 US Open (Torrey Pines, San Diego, California)
June 24-27 BMW International Open (Golfclub München Eichenried, Munich)
July 1-4 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (Mount Juliet Estate, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny)
July 8-11 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (The Renaissance Club, North Berwick)
July 15-18 The 149th Open (Royal St George’s, Sandwich, Kent)
July 22-25 Wales Open (venue TBC)
July 29-Aug 1 UK event (TBA)
July 29-Aug 1 Olympic Men’s competition (Kasumigaseki CC, Saitama, Japan)
Aug 5-8 Hero Open (Fairmont St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife)
Aug 5-8 WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational (TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee)
Aug 12-15 English Open (venue TBC)
Aug 19-22 D+D Real Czech Masters (Albatross Golf Resort, Prague)
Aug 26-29 Omega European Masters (Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Crans Montana)
Sep 2-5 Italian Open (Marco Simone GC, Rome)
Sep 9-12 BMW PGA Championship (Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey)
Sep 16-19 KLM Open (Bernardus Golf, Cromvoirt)
Sep 24-26 The Ryder Cup (Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin)
Sep 30-Oct 3 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns)
Oct 7-10 Open de Espana (Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, Madrid)
Oct 14-17 Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters (Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande)
Oct 21-24 Trophee Hassan II (TBC) (Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, Rabat, Morocco)
Oct 28-31 WGC-HSBC Champions (Sheshan International GC, Shanghai)
Oct 28-31 Hero Indian Open (venue TBC)
Nov 4-7 Volvo China Open (Genzon GC, Shenzhen)
Nov 11-14 Nedbank Golf Challenge (Gary Player CC, Sun City)
Nov 18-21 DP World Tour Championship (Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE)