Even under the stress and pressure of the announcement that he is folding The Medalist Tour after just one year, Executive Director Mike Hastings showed great character in answering some tough questions about why his professional golf tournament venture failed — and what he plans to do regarding the financial shortfall in unpaid players’ winnings and golf course green fees alike.
Q: What do you think was the cause behind the failure of The Medalist Tour?
Hastings: Unfortunately I’m not sure exactly what happened to cause this mess. More than likely, it was a flawed plan from the beginning.
Yes we had 350 members, but just a handful paid for their membership. We started the season with no beginning balance that most tours enjoy from their membership fees.
Secondly, we started the season with what was supposed to be a fundraiser at Boulder Creek, but instead that event lost thousands of dollars. We never could make that up.
Third, we were completely unsuccessful in attracting sponsors. Consequently, we relied on entry fees for most of our tournament purses. But with the cost of the courses we played, the amounts we paid out to our amateur participants were much more than we collected.
Fourth, we had too many players playing for free, either because they were volunteers, board members or whatever. The costs per player was
too much of a burden with smaller fields.
Lastly, and most importantly, I made some terrible decisions. I did not face reality, was too optimistic and not very smart. Consequently, the tour failed and I owe a number of players and courses money.
Q. Why the decision to fold the Tour?
Hastings: I had some people approach me to invest in the tour, and I was talking to some other sponsors about next year. But I felt it would better for someone else to start fresh if they wanted to invest in a tour and use that money to help overcome obstacles they may face, rather than bail me out.
Q. How will you handle the monies still due to players and courses?
Hastings: I will try to sell what little assets we have remaining and pay the players owed with that money. It will not be enough to pay everyone
owed, but I will pay everyone eventually out of my own pocket. I have everyone’s address and will send out the prizes won and green fees owed
as soon as I can.
Q: Any regrets?
Hastings: I wish it was different, but that is the situation. I apologize to anyone effected by this.