As the assistant tournament director for the now-defunct Medalist Tour, Chris Marino spent 2010 watching first hand what concepts worked on that tour and what concepts did not. He had a front line perspective as to what the players appreciated, and what they found lacking.
Taking those lessons to heart, Marino is working to start a new regional professional golf mini-tour series for 2011, something he thinks is needed in Northeast Ohio.
But the big question is whether or not players will ‘forgive and forget’ by choosing to participate in an event series run by a former Medalist Tour staffer, even if his involvement was administrative and not managerial.
What are your thoughts about a new Northeast Ohio pro golf mini tour? What would it take for you to play? What level of fees would you be willing to pay? What rules would need to be in place? Is Chris Marino the man for the job? Log in and make your comments known after reading the full story!
Marino is working on creating the Lake Erie Golf Tour, and he says he is trying to develop the concept in a way that addresses the shortfalls in the operation of the Medalist Tour.
“Ironically, the inspiration for this tour is derived from the Medalist Tour, from working at all the events last year. I learned a great deal about the business and how to run a golf tour. Mike Hastings had a great idea, and it was just unfortunate that poor decision-making ruined what could have been a much-needed golf tour in our region.
I’ve spoken with a bunch of guys who played last year, and I ran the idea by them over the winter months. I received 100% support from all of them.
What it basically came down to was that we really need a tour in this area. So I decided that I was going to put this together and provide a tournament venue for professionals and amateurs that was cheap and accessible, yet still lucrative in the way of purses.
I’ve made it a point to openly speak about the financial details thoroughly so that there is no question about how the money is being allocated. I looked at all the mistakes that Mike Hastings made last year, learned from them, and did the complete opposite when putting this tour together.
I am not looking to get rich off this tour. I just know that there is a great demand for a competitive tour in our area and I am providing that for the players.
I believe that if I operate under these principles, the tour could be a success for everyone for years to come. My intent is to make the Lake Erie Golf Tour “˜by the players, for the players.'”
Marino has been working on creating the new rules, entry fees, prize amounts and more, and he is disclosing that information fully on the website he is still in the process of building.
“The Lake Erie Golf Tour is currently negotiating course costs down to the lowest possible price in order to maximize the purses. A schedule of dates and courses will be released soon, the first tournament will be sometime in mid to late May.
The first 50 players to register will only have to pay a $100 membership fee. The membership fee after that will be $200. The Membership fee is due before any player can compete in a Lake Erie Golf Tour event.
Entry fees for each event will be $150 for professionals. Out of the $150 entry fee, $35 will go to the golf course, $15 will go to the Tour. The Tour will never take more than $15 per man. The remaining $100 will go directly into the purse. If the golf course rate is less than $35, the remaining money will go directly to the purse.
Amateur entry fees will be $100 per tournament, with $35 to the golf course, $15 to the Tour, the remaining $50 goes into the Amateur prize pot.
Furthermore, if any sponsor money is raised, 100% percent of that money will go directly to the purse. Purse sizes will vary by event based on the number of players; the more players that compete, the higher the payouts. And the Lake Erie Golf Tour will make same-day payouts at every event!”
Marino has posted four sample prize money charts on his website, and those charts are based on the number of players entered into the field. Marino also mentions an idea that was not done on the Medalist Tour that he may try.
“There is going to be a cumulative skins pot this season on the Tour. Each week, $5 dollars will be set aside and put into a “cumulative” skins pot that will build up each week so that later in the season there will be an event with a HUGE skins pot!”
Marino hopes to launch the tour in May, and he plans a schedule announcement soon.
Marino also hopes to form a players’ committee, and he has been asking professionals and amateurs to make themselves available so he can poll them for ideas and rules. He also has stated that he is interested in what players in the region have to say — and wants straight-forward comments from the readers of Northeast Ohio Golf! So provide your feedback below!
What are your thoughts about a new Northeast Ohio pro golf mini tour? What would it take for you to play? What level of fees would you be willing to pay? What rules would need to be in place? Is Chris Marino the man for the job? Log in below and make your comments known!