How to Enter a British Open Qualifier Tournament
Have you ever dreamed of playing in the British Open? Well, if you’re a good enough golfer, you might be able to give it a shot by entering a British Open qualifier. Some Open qualifiers are for Tour pros only, but another type is open to other professional golfers and to amateurs with a handicap of scratch or better.
There are three types of British Open qualifying tournaments:
- Open Qualifying Series (OQS)
- Regional Qualifying
- Final Qualifying
It is the Regional Qualifiers (and, potentially, Final Qualifiers) that non-Tour golfers — including “regular ” golfers who play, at minimum, to scratch — can enter.
The Open Qualifying Series
The Open Qualifying Series is not a path into the Open that is available for non-Tour golfers. The Open Qualifying Series is for tour pros and consists of tour events on the PGA Tour, European Tour, and several other world tours. In 2021, it consisted of 15 tour events played in 10 different countries and with 44 spots available into the Open.
More info on the Open Qualifying Series — including the specific tournaments and qualifying spots available at each — can be found in the Qualification section of opengolf.com.
Regional and Final Qualifiers for the Open Championship
These are the British Open qualifiers that scratch-or-better amateurs and other professional golfers can enter, assuming, of course, they are willing to pay the entry fees, travel to the site, and otherwise meet qualification criteria.
Regional Qualifiers are the first-stage tournaments; golfers who finish high enough in a Regional Qualifier advance into Final Qualifiers.
In 2021, 13 Regional Qualifiers were scheduled, which led into four Final Qualifiers. Pro golfers who have Official World Golf Ranking points, plus amateur golfers who have won or placed highly in certain big events, thereby meeting exemption criteria, get to go straight into a Final Qualifier, skipping the RQ round.
But that’s not you, is it? You might be a club pro, or a very, very good amateur, who wants to take a shot at getting into the Open Championship. And that means entering a Regional Qualifier.
Open Qualifying Entry Form and Info
All the RQs are played in Great Britain and Ireland, but they are open to golfers from around the world. The entry fee is around £ 130 (subject to change over time, of course). As noted at the top, to enter a Regional Qualifier you must be a professional golfer or an amateur with a handicap no higher than scratch (for GB&I golfers, that handicap is using the CONGU system; for everyone else, the handicap system that is used in your place of residence).
So if you meet those playing standards, and if you have the entry fee, and if you’re willing to travel to one of 13 locations in GB&I, then visit the Qualification section of the Open Championship website and download the entry form. Read the fine print, then fill it in and submit it by the entry deadline (which will be noted in said fine print — typically late May).
And good luck!