National Golf Association becomes sanctioning body of newly branded NGA Great Lakes Tour
(Myrtle Beach, S.C.) - For the past 25 years the NGA Tour has prided itself in organizing events that closely mirror the PGA Tour and, once again, the NGA Tour is following the PGA Tour's lead by helping to grow the game of golf internationally at the developmental level. The NGA Tour and long standing Ontario-based Great Lakes Tour announce a partnership whereby the Great Lakes Tour will join the NGA Association of Developmental Tours starting in 2014 and the NGA Tour will act as the sanctioning body for the newly branded NGA Great Lakes Tour. The NGA Tour becomes the second US based tour, joining the PGA Tour, to partner with a developmental tour outside of the United States.
The Great Lakes Tour, which operates professional events throughout Ontario, Canada, will be the first developmental tour outside of the US to be sanctioned by the National Golf Association. The NGA currently sanctions 3 developmental tours in the United States aside from their main NGA Tour Pro Series; the NGA Florida Winter Series, NGA Carolina Summer Series, and NGA Carolina Winter Series. The agreement will allow the top points leaders from the NGA Great Lakes Tour to receive complimentary membership and full exempt status onto the NGA Tour's main Pro Series. The Pro Series is the third ranked professional golf tour in the United States behind the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour. The NGA Tour Pro Series is made up of 18 to 21 guaranteed purse events running from late February through early September. Major Champions such as Keegan Bradley, Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson, and Jim Furyk all won on the NGA Tour before finding success on the PGA Tour.
"We have always strived to provide as many opportunities for as many professionals at the developmental tour level as possible," stated NGA Tour president Robin L. Waters, "In 2006 we became the first developmental tour in the United States to host an event outside of the country (in Guatemala). Now that the opportunity has presented itself, it seems like the perfect time to partner with a tour outside of the US to provide even more opportunities than can be had by hosting just a single event. We have found that partnership with the Great Lakes Tour, a Tour that is just as committed as we are to the development of their players. After all is said and done, that's what developmental golf is all about, the players."
The Great Lakes Tour, widely recognized as Canada's top developmental minitour, was founded in 2000 and conducts events from mid-April through October.
"It's pretty clear what the partnership with the NGA represents in our market," says Great Lakes Tour Director John Brisson, "It gives the Great Lakes Tour many new opportunities and offers the players even more. When my son David and I acquired the Tour, it was with one simple goal, to grow professional golf in Canada, and this partnership further shows our commitment. Our Great Lakes Tour members will be able to improve and develop their games while competing against some of the world's best. We are excited to work with Robin and the NGA team."
Heading into their 14th anniversary season, the Great Lakes Tour will conduct 16 events for the 2014 season including a Tour Championship and the popular Southern Ontario Open. As part of the agreement, NGA Tour Pro Series members will be able to participate in any NGA Great Lakes Tour event at member's entry.
The NGA TOUR is the No. 3 Men's Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Web.com Tours and the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Web.com Tour Professionals. On average over 40% of every PGA TOUR field and over 60% of every Web.com Tour field have played on the NGA TOUR. In fact, NGA alumni have won an incredible Fifteen (15) "Major" Championships.
NGA TOUR alumni include: 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson; 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley; 2010 PGA TOUR Player of the Year and 2003 US Open Champion Jim Furyk; 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson; two-time U.S. Open Champion Lee Janzen; British Open and PGA Champion John Daly; and recent PGA Tour winners like Michael Thompson, Ted Potter Jr, Gary Woodland, Russell Henley, Mark Wilson, George McNeill, Scott Stallings, Scott Piercy, and many more.
Established in 1988, the NGA TOUR predates the Web.com Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf. In 2013, the NGA TOUR was awarded five Web.com Tour event exemptions and two PGA TOUR event exemptions (Reno-Tahoe Open and the Sanderson Farms Championship), the most of any tour in the history of developmental golf.
The Great Lakes Tour serves as a vital training ground for some of Canada's best touring professionals. More than 4,000 players from around the globe have competed with more than $4-million in prize money handed out. The Tour was recognized by the Golf Journal (USGA Publication in 2001) as the first open golf tour in the world. The Great Lakes Tour was established in 2000.
For more information on the NGA Pro Golf Tour visit www.ngatour.com or contact Joy Johnson (800-992-8748 or email Joy@ngatour.com).
For more information on the Great Lakes Tour visit www.greatlakestour.com or contact Christine MacDonald (519-732-6640 or email Christine@greatlakestour.com)