Tour Gearing Up For Fabulous 2017 Season
Changes to Tour policies expected to increase participation
May 6, 2017
In addition, Michigan's unemployment rate has fallen to 5.1%, which is the lowest rate in many years, and is thus even better than what it was at the beginning of the Great Recession, which began in the fall of 2008.
Beginning this year, the Tour hopes to capitalize on these economic trends by making several policy changes, all of which are outlined below, and which should make it much easier for players to compete in events.
The Tour wishes all of you an enjoyable and competitive 2017 golf season!
Tour Will Now Conduct All Events On Weekends
Change Will Allow More Players To Compete
This is a major policy shift for the Tour, which from its inception has conducted events almost exclusively on week days, and in particular, Mondays.
The reason for scheduling events on Mondays was to attract numerous PGA Section club professionals to compete, who for the most part are required to work on the weekends, and generally have Mondays off. And indeed, over the years, quite a few club pros did come out and compete on Tour.
But during the past two seasons, the Tour did not receive any entries from PGA members, as the Michigan Section has a very robust competitive schedule for its members, so this prompted a change in the policy.
Another reason to conduct events on Mondays was to take advantage of lower greens fees, as week day rates at most courses are lower than on the weekends, and this allowed the Tour to maximize the purse in its events.
But since the vast majority of golfers have normal jobs with Saturdays and Sundays off, it only makes sense for the Tour to accommodate those players.
Eight Qualifying Locations Available
The Michigan PGA is set to host eight qualifiers for the 100th Michigan Open Championship, Presented by LaFontaine Automotive, beginning Sunday, May 21st at Eagle Eye G.C. The deadline for entry is 5 pm on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 -- so get those applications in NOW.
These changes are as follows --
By instituting these changes, the Tour hopes to dramatically increase participation among amateurs and unaffiliated professionals, many of whom hold regular jobs.
However, by moving all events to the weekends, this means the Tour will be paying more to secure tee times, and because courses cannot afford to have blocks of tee times unused, this new policy requires the Tour to impose a strict deadline, with payment up front, in order to provide courses adequate notice of participation. In general, the deadline will be set at 10 pm Sunday evening, the week before.
In addition, due to the many "no shows" at events during past seasons, the Tour will now require a modest membership fee in order to compete, as this fee serves as an "investment" by the player to guarantee they appear in events, and can also help the Tour gauge the level of participation well in advance, and thus revise tee times at the courses accordingly.
Of course, the Tour welcomes all comments and / or criticisms of these policies, as the Tour exists for the benefit and development of its players.
To become a member of the Tour, please click on the button below.
Tour Will Continue To Work Towards Goals
"Given the unsurpassed collection of spectacular courses throughout Michigan, combined with our beautiful and pleasant summer weather, there is no reason to believe a professional tour cannot be successful here," says Ken Carter, Executive Director of the Tour.
The vision of the Tour has remained intact, despite low participation over the years and the inability to attract significant sponsorships -- both of which are the result of the recession in Michigan, which began in 2006, and the financial "meltdown" of 2008, which led to the bankruptcy of GM and the near collapse of the entire U.S. automobile industry.
"The Tour is here to stay," noted Carter. "If we can survive through the worst recession since the 1930s, that should give you some indication of our level of commitment to follow through on our vision."
The Tour continues to seek sponsorships at all levels (see the Sponsorship page), which will allow the Tour to create both a Women's Division of the professional tour, as well as an Amateur Tour. The Michigan Players Tour already has an association with a junior tour -- the Michigan Players Junior Golf Tour, based in Lansing.
"If the Tour can land a title sponsor, our vision is to create the only golf business in the world with competitive golf tournaments for golfers of both sexes, at every age group, and at every level of play, from junior amateur to touring professional," Carter says. "And what better location to do this than in Pure Michigan?"