Northeast Ohio golf pros looking for some interesting regional professional tournaments with national implications (and the promise of some big money to boot) should review the offerings from the newly formed Xempt Player Series and the newly reconfigured National Pro Golf Tour.
The new Xempt Player Series (XPS) is a “compete for the dream” concept based on the idea that 120 pro players in 40 cities (that’s 4,800 players!) will pay $1,100 each to fund the 40 local qualifiers, then five regional tournaments, then a national championship. (An ambitious goal.) Prize money is paid out at each level, including a $200K purse at nationals. But the big pitch/prize is that the top 10 players in the national championship, in addition to the prize money they win, will each earn $50K in backing money to prepare for Q-School on the PGA Tour or LPGA Tour (yes, the events are open to women). It’s an interesting concept, but two “math questions” come to mind immediately: 1) what happens to the concept and the promises if far less than 4,800 entries are generated; and 2) if 4,800 entries are actually generated, the organizers rake a staggering $3.65 MILLION in profit for the year (do the math). Either way, this one should be interesting to watch. The local series schedule is here; the closest 36-hole local tournament to Northeast Ohio is May 31 – June 1 at NCR Country Club in Dayton. (BTW, Brian Unk, who hails from Northeast Ohio and currently plays on the Canadian Tour, is on the Board of Directors for the XPS.)
The National Pro Golf Tour (NGPT), run by Arnold Palmer Golf Management, follows a more common ‘national mini-tour’ format, with a series of state-focused events that lead to a couple of beefed up regional and national championships. The NGPT offers an “Ohio Valley Tour” that bounces around mostly middle Ohio and some into Indiana; schedule here.
While neither of these series play much in Northeast Ohio locations, they both provide a reasonably close option for local pros to review to replace the now defunct Medalist Tour.