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Just as Tiger Woods, Aaron Baddeley, Karrie Webb, Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam have done in years past, amateur golfers will travel from all corners of the globe to participate in the World Amateur Team Championships at The Grange and Royal Adelaide Golf Clubs, from October 3-19. It began in 1958 when The R&A and the United States Golf Association (USGA) acted on numerous invitations for international amateur matches and organised the World Amateur Golf Council, now the International Golf Federation. With a stamp of approval from USA President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the organisation conducted its first championship with teams from 29 countries in October 1958 on the Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland. The women&aposs championship began in 1964 and the last championship in South Africa in October of 2006 included 70 men&aposs teams and 42 women&aposs. Exemplifying the spirit of the founders, the captain of the 1958 USA team, Robert T. Jones, perhaps golf&aposs most famous amateur, said at the first gathering of international delegates: “I believe you should all feel great satisfaction in having taken a most constructive and far-reaching step in the promotion of cordial, friendly relations in the free world.
“Golf, being a game founded and thriving upon the virtues of courtesy, mutual respect, consideration and understanding, must be an ideal medium for bringing together the opposite corners of our free world.” Australia has hosted the event once before in 1968 in Melbourne when the Eisenhower Trophy was contested at Royal Melbourne Golf Club and the women&aposs event at Victoria Golf Club. The Australian team of Doug Bachli, Bruce Devlin, Peter Toogood and Robert Stevens won the first ever Eisenhower Trophy in 1958. The men&aposs Australian team were also successful at the 1966 event in Mexico City and 1996 in Manila. In the women&aposs Espirito Santo, Australia was the winner in 1978 in Fiji and again in 2002 in Kuala Lumpur in a team that included current professionals Lindsey Wright and Katherine Hull. To bring the world to golf and vice versa, the IGF conducts the World Amateur Team Championships biennially in three different zones around the globe. The organisation was founded to encourage the international development of the game and to employ golf as a vehicle to foster friendship and sportsmanship. The IGF comprises the national governing bodies of golf of more than 100 countries including Golf Australia, host body for the 2008 Championships.