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65 Years of European Team Championships

1959 was one of the most significant years in the history of the European Golf Association.


65 years ago, the EGA counted a total of just 16 member federations compared to 50 today. Its championship activities had been limited to facilitating small events between some of its member federations, as well as the early editions of international matches such as the St Andrews Trophy.


However in 1959, the first official European Team Championships were staged sparking the EGA’s focus on European championships which has remained a core priority until today.


Nine nations contested the inaugural European Amateur Team Championship at El Prat, Spain in 1959 while six countries participated in the first European Ladies’ Team Championship in Refrath (Cologne, Germany) the same year. The contests were won by Sweden and France respectively.


Sweden, European Amateur Team Championship winners 1959


With six-player teams and a format that included first stroke play then match play, the structure of the European Team Championships has remained largely similar until today, although have grown in number and participation significantly.


The European Youths’ Team Championship, for U21 males, was created shortly afterwards in 1961, followed by the ladies’ equivalent in 1969, although these two events were discontinued in 1982 and 1984 respectively.


The European Boys’ Team Championship (1980) and European Girls’ Team Championship (1991) were instituted some years later. With the growing number of teams in the male categories, the European Amateur and Boys’ Team Championship Division 2 events were introduced in 2002 and 2004 respectively, shortly followed by the European Senior Men’s and Ladies’ Team Championships in 2006.


The European Men’s and Ladies’ Team Shield Championships, designed for small and emerging golfing nations, were inaugurated in 2016 and 2017 and are now contested annually.


1963 European Amateur Team Championship, Falsterbo (SWE)


Since 1959, the EGA has coordinated over 230 team events alongside its member federations at some of the most prestigious venues in Europe including Royal St. George’s (ENG), Chantilly (FRA), Royal Hague (NED), Puerta de Hierro (ESP), Royal County Down (IRL), Wentworth (ENG) and countless others outstanding clubs.


Most of Europe’s biggest current and past golfing stars represented their countries in the European Team Championships before turning pro, including Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, the Hojgaard twins, Viktor Hovland, Ludvig Åberg, Céline Boutier, Anna Nordqvist, Sophia Popov, Carlota Ciganda and numerous others.


Since 1959, England Sweden and Spain have been the standout performers in the four ‘major’ European Team Championship categories with 32, 28 and 28 wins respectively in the men’s, ladies’, boys’ and girls’ categories combined.


The EGA’s team event roster continues to grow today, with the European Team Championship for Golfers with Disability recently moved under the EGA’s umbrella alongside EDGA, and the inaugural European Mid-Amateur Men’s and Ladies’ Team Championships set to take place later this season. Close to 1,000 players are expected to represent their countries in EGA Team Championships this year.