After announcing in December that the Ohio Golf Tour was being merged in, the newly named director of the Golf Channel Amateur Tour for the Cleveland region provides details about that event series and its 2011 Northeast Ohio tournament schedule.
Larry E. Hoffman has been named the Tour Director for the Cleveland area for the Golf Channel Amateur Tour, and will also run the Pittsburgh Tour series as well (he is based in Butler, PA).
Hoffman provided the following overview Q&A of what players can expect when they compete on the GCAT:
What is the Golf Channel Amateur Tour?
The Golf Channel AM Tour is the #1 Amateur Tour in the nation. We have over 5,000 members in 12 flights playing in 65 local tours competing for an opportunity to qualify for the 2011 Nationals at PGA West. (The 2010 Nationals were played at TPC Sawgrass.)
The Golf Channel AM Tour is designed to give each Tour Player a professional Tour experience. All Tour events are individual stroke play tournaments played at scratch, with players being flighted by every 4 Index points and/or by Tour handicap. All Tour events abide by the USGA rules of golf, especially pertaining to Amateur Status. All Tour Directors act as the rules official at the event and do not play in the events.
Tour Players compete only against players in their particular flight. Whenever possible, based on the size of the field, senior flights will be established. All Majors and Nationals will have senior flights.
On the first tee, each Player will be given a local rules sheet, a pin placement sheet, and be announced by name. Because of Pace of Play issues, each players shall be given the Sky Caddie Pace of Play policy, which will be enforced.
Again, it is our policy and desire to give each Tour Players an experience of being a PGA member playing in a professional golf event.
What are the costs to play on the Golf Channel AM Tour?
There is a fee of $199 to join the Tour for the year, and a renewal fee of $179 each year thereafter. With this fee, players receive an assortment of Golf Channel AM Tour official apparel and merchandise, the retail value of this package is at least $350. Players will receive a USGA handicap as well.
As a member of the Golf Channel AM Tour, you can play in any of the local Tour events, any events of the 65 Tours, and any of the 20 Major events. The Northeast Region Majors include events at Kings Mill, Seaview, Swan Lake, Turning Stone and The Greenbrier. Golf Channel AM Tour Nationals will be hosted at PGA West in September.
All Local, Major and National events will have an entry fee that will include green fees, cart fees, taxes, range balls, scoring, prize fund and trophies.
At the Local level, the tournament entry fee is determined by adding the green fees + cart fees + range ball + $20 trophy and prize fund + $20 Management Fee + $10 National Office fee.
Because of our purchasing power, we can at times negate tournament entry fees, making them less than the published rates at a particular course. For example, Avalon Lakes has a published rate of $150 per round and our players entry fee is $125 for the events including all fees.
Why do golfers play on the Golf Channel AM Tour?
– The opportunity to play on a professionally run Tour, not your Tuesday night league.
– The opportunity to play on golf courses they would not usually play:
Locally, Little Mountain, Stonewater, Avalon Lakes, Boulder Creek, Sawmill Creek Resort, Oak Tree, Aurora, Hawthorne Valley, Raccon Hill, Blue Heron, Cardon Lakes.
The opportunity to play in 65 other Local Tours including Hawaii and Puerto Rico
Northeast Majors: Kings Mill, Seaview, Swan Lake, Turning Stone and Greenbrier
Nationals: PGA West
– The opportunity to play and to compete with other golfers with a similar skill level or handicap.
– The friendships developed with golfer who have a passion for the game.
For complete details and to register for the season, visit The Golf Channel’s Amateur Tour website.