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Encyclopedia > Professional golf tours

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Top level professional golf consists of a year round schedule of weekly tournaments played all around the world. Most of the tournament are organised into series called tours. There are separate tours for men and women. Each tour is based in a specific geographical region, though some of them also include events in other parts of the world. In golf the distinction between amateurs and professionals in rigorously maintained. ... This article is about the sport. ...


Golf is one of the more lucrative sports in the world for both men and women, but it is has a very different structure from other sports, especially team sports. A large majority of professional golfers (at least 95%) make their main income as club or teaching professionals, rather than from competition. "Touring professionals", also known as "Tournament golfers" or "Pro golfers", who make their income from prize money and endorsements, are a small elite within the profession. The very best golfers make up to 8-figure incomes in U.S. dollars; Tiger Woods is the highest earning sportsman in the world, according to Forbes magazine. The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... Eldrick Tiger Woods (born December 30, 1975 in Cypress, California) is an American golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. ... Alternate meaning: For the Boston Brahmin family associated with John Forbes Kerry, see Forbes family. ...


But for the less successful, tournament golf can be an unstable profession. It is also an expensive one to participate in: tournaments have entry fees and practical costs such as travel and lodging expenses, as well as paying for a caddy. Moreover, most tournaments have a "cut" midway through, in which the bottom half of players with the worst scores are eliminated. Only those players remaining after the cut earn any prize money at all. Thus, after costs are taken into account, lesser-known tournament golfers who are playing erratically (and do not have a steady income from endorsements) can be in dire financial straits in a bad year. In golf, a caddy (or caddie) is the person who carries a players bag, and gives insightful advice and moral support. ...


==History==Golf is the best sport in the world The golf tour system evolved more by trial and error than by design. In the early days of professional golf in each region of the world each professional tournament was established by a separate golf club, golf organization or commercial sponsor. As the number of tournaments increased the most talented professional golfers concentrated mainly on playing in tournaments rather than on club professional and golf instruction work. Once a good number of tournaments were being played in a region each year they were formalised into a "tour", which was supervised by a single organisation, although individual tournaments continue to be run by separate bodies in many cases.


The PGA Tour was the pioneer of the tour system, and its establishment date is not very clearly defined. The PGA of America was established in 1916, lists of players with most wins in each season are available from that year, and career win totals are based on results from 1916 onwards. However the idea of a "tour" had not firmly crystallised at that time and several important developments came much later. Bob Harlow was named manager of the PGA Tournament Bureau in 1930, the first "playing pros" organisation was formed in 1932, and money lists are available from 1934. However the PGA Tour itself dates the formal establishment of the Tour to 1968, when the "Tournament Players Division" split from the PGA of America.[1] The dates of establishment of the other key tours include: LPGA Tour (1950); European Tour (1972); Japan Golf Tour (1973); Asian Tour (1995). The term "circuit" is often used to describe professional tournament golf in the pre-Tour era in any given region. For example, before the foundation of the Asian Tour, tournaments in Asia were part of the "Asian circuit". The PGA Tour is an organization headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA that operates the USAs main professional golf tours for men. ... Founded in 1916, the Professional Golfers Association of America is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States and claims to be the largest working sports organization in the world with more than 27,000 members. ... This is a list of golfers who have won five or more official money events on the PGA Tour. ... Bob Harlow (born October 21, 1899 in Newburyport, Massachusetts; died November 15, 1954) was an important figure in the development of professional golf in the United States. ... The LPGA is the Ladies Professional Golf Association. ... The PGA European Tour is a top-level professional mens golf tour. ... // The Japan Golf Tour is a prominent golf tour. ... The Asian Golf Tour is the principal mens professional golf tour in Asia except for Japan, which has a separate tour. ...


As professional golf has continued to expand developmental tours such as the Challenge Tour (1986) and the Nationwide Tour (1990; originally called the Ben Hogan Tour), and senior tours such as the Champions Tour (1980; originally the Senior PGA Tour) and the European Seniors Tour (1992) have been established to give more golfers the opportunity to play on a tour, and to take advantage of the willingness of sponsors and broadcasters to fund an ever increasing number of tournaments. The Challenge Tour is the second tier mens professional golf tour in Europe. ... Golfs Nationwide Tour is the developmental tour for the U.S. based PGA Tour, and features professional golfers who have either failed to score well enough at that levels Qualifying School (the main tours qualifying tournament, popularly referred to as Q-School) to earn their PGA Tour... The Nationwide Tour is the developmental tour for the PGA Tour, and features professional golfers who have either failed to score well enough at that levels Qualifying School (the main tours qualifying tournament, popularly referred to as Q-School) or who have done so but then failed to... The Champions Tour, a golf tour run by the PGA TOUR, hosts 30 events annually in the United States and Canada for golfers 50 and older. ... The European Seniors Tour is a professional tour for male golfers aged 50 and over. ...


Structure of tour golf

There are more than twenty professional golf tours, each run by a PGA or an independent tour organisation which is responsible for arranging events, finding sponsors, and regulating the tour. Most of the major tours are player controlled organisations whose commercial objective is to maximise the income of their members by maximising prize money. The larger tours have a tournament almost every week through most of the year. PGA means one of the following things: Professional Golfers Association Producers Guild of America Peoples Global Action Pin grid array, a type of packaging for integrated circuits Plastic grid array Professional Graphics Adapter, a video interface card for CAD applications An abbreviation for a type of prostaglandin (with PGB, PGC...


Each tour has "members" who have earned their "tour cards", meaning they are entitled to play in most of the tour's events. A golfer can become a member of a leading tour by succeeding in an entry tournament, usually called a Qualifying School ("Q-School"); or, by achieving a designated level of success in its tournaments when competing as an invited non-member; or, much rarer, by having enough notable achievements on other tours to make them a desirable member. Membership of some of the lesser tours is open to any registered professional who pays an entry fee. In professonal golf the term Qualifying school is used for the annual qualifying tournaments for leading golf tours such as the U.S. based PGA and LPGA Tours and the European Tour. ...


There are enormous differences in the financial rewards offered by the various golf tours, so players on one of the lesser tours always aspire to move up if they can. The PGA Tour, which is the first-tier tour in the United States, offers nearly a hundred times as much prize money each season as the third-tier NGA Hooters Tour. The hierarchy of tours in financial terms is as follows: The PGA Tour is an organization headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA that operates the USAs main professional golf tours for men. ... The NGA Hooters Tour is the third-tier mens golf tour in the United States after the PGA Tour and the Nationwide Tour. ...

The last three have probably shuffled in the rankings, and this depends partly on exchange rates. The Japan Golf Tour was at its relative peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the Japanese economy was also at its peak, the Champions Tour (then the Senior PGA Tour) reached a relative peak in the mid to late 1990s, and the LPGA Tour seems to have strengthened its relative position slightly since the turn of the millennium. The PGA Tour is an organization headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA that operates the USAs main professional golf tours for men. ... The PGA European Tour is a top-level professional mens golf tour. ... The Champions Tour, a golf tour run by the PGA TOUR, hosts 30 events annually in the United States and Canada for golfers 50 and older. ... // The Japan Golf Tour is a prominent golf tour. ... The LPGA is the Ladies Professional Golf Association. ... Japans industrialized, free-market economy is the worlds third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP) after the United States and China, and second-largest by market exchange rates. ...


The other tours are effectively "feeder" tours: any player who succeeds on them is likely to move to a richer tour as soon he or she can, but may continue to play on his or her home tour a few times a year.


Men's tours

International Federation of PGA Tours

The International Federation of PGA Tours is the trade body of the main men's professional golf tours. As of 2006, there are six members:

These six tours co-sanction the Official World Golf Rankings. The Asian Golf Tour is the principal mens professional golf tour in Asia except for Japan, which has a separate tour. ... // The Japan Golf Tour is a prominent golf tour. ... The PGA European Tour is a top-level professional mens golf tour. ... The PGA Tour is an organization headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA that operates the USAs main professional golf tours for men. ... The PGA Tour of Australasia is a prominent golf tour for men. ... The Sunshine Tour is a mens professional golf tour based in Southern Africa. ... The Official World Golf Rankings are a system for rating the performance level of professional golfers. ...


Other men's tours

Official World Golf Ranking points are also awarded for good placings in events on three other tours:

Below this level, the tours do not offer ranking points, and the prize money on offer will be at a level that allows only a few of the members, or perhaps none of them at all, to make their main income from playing on that tour alone. Some of the players will also play on other tours when they are able to and others will be club or teaching professionals who play tournament golf part time. The Canadian Professional Golf Tour is a mens professional golf tour. ... The Challenge Tour is the second tier mens professional golf tour in Europe. ... Golfs Nationwide Tour is the developmental tour for the U.S. based PGA Tour, and features professional golfers who have either failed to score well enough at that levels Qualifying School (the main tours qualifying tournament, popularly referred to as Q-School) to earn their PGA Tour...


The official development tour in Japan is the Japan Challenge Tour. Other regional tours include the Tour de las Americas, which aspires to gain world ranking points status in the near future, and the Indian Golf Tour. In 2005 the China Golf Association launched the China Golf Tour. The Japan Challenge Tour is the official developmental golf tour run by the Japan Golf Tour Organisation. ... The Tour de las Americas is the mens professional golf tour for Latin America. ... The Official World Golf Rankings are a system for rating the performance level of male professional golfers. ... The Indian PGA Golf Tour is a professional golf tour for men based in India. ... The China Golf Tour was launched by the China Golf Association in 2005. ...


The United States and Europe also have third level tours for players who haven't made it onto the Nationwide Tour or the Challenge Tour. These are the NGA Hooters Tour and the Grey Goose Gateway Tour in the United States, and the PGA EuroPro Tour, the Alps Tour and the EPD Tour, each of which is based in a different part of Europe. At this level the prize money is partly funded by entrance fees and only the most successful players will win enough to do more than cover their expenses: the emphasis is very much on moving up to a higher tour. The NGA Hooters Tour is the third-tier mens golf tour in the United States after the PGA Tour and the Nationwide Tour. ... The PGA EuroPro Tour is a mens professional developmental golf tour. ... The Alps Tour is a developmental professional golf tour for men which is sanctioned by the national golf associations of France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Morocco. ... The EPD Tour (in full the European Professional Development Tour) is a developmental professional golf tour based in Germany. ...


Below the third level tours there are local "mini-tours". At this level there is no possibility of earning a living from the prize money and players compete purely to gain competitive experience. Some are employed as club or teaching professionals and play tournaments part time, some may have sponsors or family backing. The most prolific and lowest costing of all mini-tours having conducted over 2500 events between 1992 and 2006 is the Moonlightgolf.com Tour based in central Florida.


There have also been some well known sportsmen from other sports who, after retiring as wealthy men while still at an age when elite golfers are in their prime, have tried their luck as tournament golfers on the developmental tours, but none of them have made it into golf's elite so far. Examples include Ivan Lendl and Roy Wegerle. Country: Czechoslovakia/United States Residence: Greenwich, Connecticut Height: 187 cm (6 ft 2 in) Weight: 79 kg (175 lb) Plays: Right Turned pro: 1978 Retired: 1994 Highest singles ranking: 1 (28 Feb 1983) Singles titles: 94 Career Prize Money: US$21,262,417 Grand Slam Record Titles: 8 Australian Open... Roy Wegerle (born March 19, 1964 in Pretoria) is a South African-American soccer player, who played for the United States in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups. ...


Men's senior tours

Upon reaching age 50, male golfers are eligible to compete in senior tournaments. Golf is unique among sports in having high profile and lucrative competitions for players of this age group. Nearly all of the famous golfers who are eligible to compete in these events choose to do so, unless they are unable to for health reasons. A number of players win more than a million dollars in prize money each season, and once endorsements and other business activities are taken into account, a few of the "legends of golf" in this age group earn more or less as much as any of the younger PGA Tour pros, other than Tiger Woods. The two main senior tours are: Eldrick Tiger Woods (born December 30, 1975 in Cypress, California) is an American golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. ...

The Champions Tour, a golf tour run by the PGA TOUR, hosts 30 events annually in the United States and Canada for golfers 50 and older. ... The European Seniors Tour is a professional tour for male golfers aged 50 and over. ...

Women's tours

Women's professional golf is also organised by independent regional tours. Leading female golfers make incomes well over USD$1,000,000 per year, more than most other women athletes other than top tennis players. The women's tours include: The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... A tennis net Tennis is a game played between either two players (Singles) or two teams of two players (Doubles). Players use a stringed racquet to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponents court. ...

The LPGA Tour is the dominant tour, and is the main playing base of almost all the world's leading players. The LPGA of Japan Tour is the second richest tour, and retains many of its leading players. The best players from the other three tours usually move to the LPGA Tour at the earliest opportunity. LPGA stands for Ladies Professional Golf Association. ... // The Ladies European Tour is a professional golf tour for women which was founded in 1979. ... The Japan LPGA Tour is a professional golf tour for women organised by the Ladies Professional Golfers Association of Japan. ... The LPGA of Korea Tour is a professional golf tour for women. ... The ALPG Tour is a professional golf tour for women which is based in Australia. ...


The second tier women's professional tour in the United States is called the Duramed FUTURES Tour. Sweden, which is the European country where women's golf is most popular, has its own Telia Tour, which serves as a feeder tour for the Ladies European Tour. The FUTURES Tour, known for sponsorship reasons as the Duramed FUTURES Tour, is the second-tier womens professional golf tour in the United States. ...


There is little opportunity for women's developmental play below the Duramed FUTURES Tour level. The Moonlightgolf.com Tour has provided tournament experience and training level play for over a dozen LPGA Tour qualified players to include winners on the LPGA Tour (for example, Mee Na Lee and Brittany Lincicome). Other ladies developmental mini-tours are in the early stages of their formation. Brittany Lincicome (born September 19, 1985 in St. ...


In 2001 the U.S. based Women's Senior Golf Tour was founded. In 2006 it was rebranded as the Legends Tour. The Legends Tour, which was known as the Womens Senior Golf Tour before the 2006 season, [1] is a professional golf tour for women aged 45 and older. ...


External links

  • Golf tours thread at golfrewind.com forums


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