The 2024 Italian Open will be played from 27 to 30 June at the Adriatic Golf Club in Cervia, Emilia-Romagna. There is also news regarding the 2025 Open, scheduled at the Argentario Golf Club in Monte Argentario (Grosseto), with dates yet to be defined.
Italian Open 2024, results
These, ANSA learns, are the respective venues for the next two editions, the 81st and 82nd, of the Italian Open. Appointments dedicated not only to sport, but also to proximity to two regions affected by the flood and a driving force for tourism.
Professional golf was born in Europe, specifically in Scotland. The first professionals were craftsmen who built the clubs and course managers who also taught golf to the wealthy who could afford to play (the first equipment, all handmade, was very expensive) and played some matches against each other in exchange for small fees.
The first tournament with multiple participants was the British Open, created in 1860. That year it was reserved for professionals and saw eight players at the start. The following year amateurs were also admitted. Contrary to what happens in other sports, the difference between amateurs and professionals has never created particular problems, at least at the highest levels of competition.
In the decades that followed the birth of the British Open, the number of tournaments offering prize money slowly but steadily increased. Most were held in the United Kingdom, but there were also several national open tournaments held in various countries in continental Europe.
However, for several years it remained impossible for players to support themselves only thanks to the prizes they won. From 1901 British professionals were represented by the Professional Golfers' Association, an association which eventually created the European Tour.
After the Second World War the prize money began to increase significantly, also thanks to the television coverage of the competitions. However, each tournament remained organized separately by a single club, an association or a sponsor.
In the United States the PGA Tour had already existed since the 1930s, so in 1972 the Professional Golfers' Association founded the European Tour. In the first years the season lasted six months, went from April to October and took place entirely in Europe, mainly in Great Britain and Ireland.
For example, the 1972 season consisted of 20 tournaments, 12 of which were in the United Kingdom and one in Ireland. Of the seven tournaments played in continental Europe, six were the national Opens, namely the Dutch, German, Italian, French, Spanish and Swiss Opens, while the seventh was the Madrid Open.
Over the next three decades the tour gradually expanded and globalized. The first tournament played outside Europe was the Tunisian Open in 1982. In that year the season consisted of 27 tournaments and lasted until November.
In 1984 the PGA European Tour became independent from the Professional Golfers' Association. The European Tour has always been aware of the risk of its best players moving to the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour generally offers higher prizes and European players want to increase their prestige by competing in the three Majors played in the United States after having played other tournaments in that country to get used to the different style of courses.
To combat the phenomenon, in 1988 the European Tour introduced the "Volvo Bonus Pool": it was an extra prize that was awarded at the end of the season among the best players of the year, but only players who had played a large number of tournaments on the tour.
The system lasted until 1998, after which the prize money went back to being concentrated in individual tournaments. In 1989 the Tour made its first stop in Asia for the Dubai Desert Classic. by 1990 the calendar featured 38 tournaments, of which 37 were in Europe, and the start of the season had moved to February.
The first Tour tournament played in the Far East was the Johnnie Walker Classic in Bangkok in 1992. It was one of the most notable innovations because from then on the Far East became something of a second home for the Tour.
Shortly after, in 1994 the Tour made its appearance in a country of the former Soviet bloc with the Czech Republic Open, but in those countries development remained limited, both due to the limited financial power of local sponsors compared to those in Western Europe and due to the difficulty of finding free calendar dates in the summer period.
However, the second tier tour, the Challenge Tour, stopped in those areas more frequently than the main one. in 1995 the European Tour began organizing tournaments in collaboration with other tours starting with the collaboration with the Southern African Tour (now the Sunshine Tour).