Everyone who has watched poker on TV will have noticed that the top pros all seem to share a love not only for poker, but also for golf. If you happen to also share these passions, then PokerStars and the European Poker Tour have put together a tournament you’re not going to want to miss out on. “Fairways and Felts” is the world’s first Golf-Poker Championship, teeing off on September 1st in the beautiful Vilamoura.

The tournament is being hosted as a side event to the European Poker Tournament stop at Vilamoura, Portugal, and registration is open to members of the public either via the PokerStars lobby or in the Vilamoura Casino itself. The buy-in is €1,100, which covers both the €770+€70 poker tournament and €260 for the golf. In addition to the tournament fees themselves, the buy-in will also see you taken care of in style, with transportation between the golf course and casino, buffet meals, a PokerStars goody bag and an invitation to the exclusive Awards Dinner, hosted by Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly. JP Kelly is himself an avid golfer, so you can expect to be well taken care of on the fairway. As you’d expect of a Team PokerStars Pro, he also knows his way around a poker table, with two World Series of Poker bracelets and numerous other big tournament scores.

Even if you’re both a golf and a poker enthusiast, it’s hard to imagine how a tournament like this would work, so here’s a brief run-down. Day one is the golf event, in which all players are randomly allocated (using poker tournament software, of course) into teams of four. Each member of a team takes a shot, and then the team decides amongst themselves which shot they’d like to go with. The other three members remove their respective balls, and play continues from where the chosen shot’s ball landed, again with each player taking a swing. Even if you’re not the world’s most experienced golf player you’ll still be in with a chance, as there are only team scores, rather than individual scores. Golf players still have a chance to shine, however, as there are rewards for a bunch of other things such as the longest drive and longest putt. When I say rewards I don’t, however, mean cash prizes. This is where the transition to the poker kicks in.

Day two is the poker tournament, and has a fairly ordinary format with one twist. All players start out with 5,000 chips, but before play commences bonuses will be awarded based on the previous day’s golfing. These are worth varying amounts, but if, for example, your team scored under par, then you’ll be rewarded with 15%, or 750 chips, added to your starting stack. There are three brackets worth extra chips depending how your team scored, as well as additional bonuses to the team with the lowest score and a wooden spoon bonus of 5%, or 250 chips, awarded to the team with the highest overall golf score. Longest drive, longest putt and closest to the pin are all worth an additional 500 starting chips to the individual who achieves the feat, rather than to the whole team. Shooting a hole in one doesn’t net the golfer any additional starting chips, but in the unlikely event that somebody manages this he won’t be too disappointed, as PokerStars is awarding an EPT London prize package for the achievement!

Included in the €1,100 entry fee is a special dinner buffet and awards ceremony, exclusive for the players themselves. Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly will be presenting the awards, which are basically handed out on the same merit as bonus starting chips. After a long two days on the fairways and the felt, a little appreciation along with some great food will certainly go down a treat. It will also give everyone involved the chance to get to know each other in a much more relaxed setting.

This is an innovative tournament which is the first of its kind but almost definitely won’t be the last, as it’s sure to be a huge success. There’s hardly a better location for a couple of days of relaxed competition, so whether you’re in the neighborhood for the EPT or not, this event is not to be missed. Register now or win your ticket and you’re guaranteed a great start to September!