Golfers compete all year for individual tournament victories, but at the end of the year when the wins and points are added up the Golfweek Amateur Tour crowns season champions.
“We have had a very good year,” said Tour Director Tim Newman. “Our overall participation in each event was up as a percentage of our membership so more golfers where playing in more events this year,” he said.
Each event is divided into five Flights to make sure the competition is even. At different points in the season, that began in March, was challenging to win in each of the Flights.
“We probably have the most competition in our C Flight for golfers who usually shoot around the high 80s to the 90s. At different times during the season we have had some really strong competition in the B Flight too,” said Newman.
The key to the success of the Golfweek Tour is that golfers can feel certain they will play against golfers of similar abilities in each flight. The Tour makes sure the competition is even and fun for all the players.
“The rules are really clear. There is no way to sandbag in our tournaments. When you play well you move up a competitive level and our golfers are interested in playing their best,” said Newman.
Tour players compete for gift certificates, special prizes like closest to the pin and some very large trophies that are presented to tournament winners.
This year some golfers have played very well in their flights and collected a bunch of the trophies. Mitch Green from Columbus, North Carolina won six tournaments during the season.
“I enjoy the competition, but I got to tell you I really like getting the trophies when I win,” said Green. “You spend the money from the gift certificates, but having the trophies is a way to remember how well you played,” he said.
The Tour played more than a dozen different golf courses as part of the regular Upstate schedule. The courses were scattered across the entire Upstate with events played at Arrowhead Point in Elberton, Ga to Bright’s Creek in Mill Springs, NC and the courses in between.
“I don’t have one golf course I play all the time so getting a chance to play a lot of courses is another reason I like playing this Tour,” Green said.
When you add in the opportunity to play several events on courses like Palmetto Dunes and Harbour Town at Hilton Head as well as the Ocean Course at Kiawah the variety adds to the Tour like experience.
“Our players like to win trophies and prizes, but they also enjoy playing golf with their buddies. I think the fun part of the Tour attracts as many players as any other aspect of what we do,” said the Tour Director.
The Flight champions at the end of the season not only are recognized for their accomplishment, but they are also awarded a free entry into the national championship that is held at Hilton Head in October.
“I’ve been to it the last few years and it is a great experience,” said Al Hyjek the season’s A Flight champion. “There are so many golfers from around the country playing in each Flight it is something that I’ve looked forward to,” added the winner of four Upstate Tour tournaments this year.
Newman believes that golfers from the Upstate Tour should do well at the championship.
“The golfers from Charlotte or the Tidewater area have usually been the best teams at the championship, but I think the golfers we will send this year can compete with the best of them,” said Newman.
This year Steve Clippard won the Championship Flight title, Hyjek was the A Flight champion, Josh Calhoun was the B Flight champion, Green won the C Flight and Greg Minton was the D Flight season champion.
The Upstate chapter will select a player of the year next month. The award winner is selected by a vote of all the Tour players and can come from any of the Flight levels.
The Golfweek Upstate Tour will take time off now and be ready to start back up in March. Information about the Golfweek Tour is available online at http://www.amateurgolftour.net and go to the Upstate tab.
Categories: Upstate Amateur Golf