Golf administrators and tournament hosts are always looking for ways to grow the sport. The birth of the ISPS Handa World Invitational is one example of the sort of innovative ideas being thrown about in the world of golf. The International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS) was founded by Haruhisa Handa in 2006 and is a Japanese non-profit organisation that believes in the power of sport, with a particular interest in golf. It promotes equality and has done a lot of work with disabled golf but this tournament is a huge step for equality between the men’s and women’s game.
Taking over from the Northern Ireland Open, which was an event on the Challenge Tour, the ISPS Handa World Invitational is tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour. It sees 144 men and 144 women compete on the same golf course, for equal prize funds ($1.5m in each) but in different tournaments.