|.Carolina Golf News Line|
eGolf and All-American Gateway Tours Create Joint Venture to Form eGolf Gateway Tour
|The newly combined tour creates the largest nationwide tour in the United States, giving players year round playing opportunities|
Charlotte, NC – eGolf and Arizona-based All-American Gateway Tour (AAGT) announced today a joint venture to create the newly-formed eGolf Gateway Tour, effective immediately. The venture creates the largest nationwide developmental golf tour in the United States, with approximately 35 tournaments on both the east and west coasts set to launch this fall out of the tour headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The eGolf Gateway Tour will provide year-round playing opportunities for professional golfers, all falling under the convenience of a singular membership fee of $1,750 which will cover tournaments across the country. Tour members will be granted priority entry into events on either the east or west coast, as well as reduced entry fees into all regular season and championship series events.
The single, nationwide membership fee will allow eGolf Gateway Tour members to have access to tournaments throughout the United States, which allows for a simplistic and affordable model that benefits the modern-day player looking to compete on both coasts in and around PGA and Web.com Tour qualifiers.
Tournaments offered by the eGolf Gateway Tour will feature a number of guaranteed purse structures. This will in turn allow players to have a competitive schedule based around qualifiers for an all-encompassing membership fee, while still participating on a nationwide platform that is founded by the two most consistent brands in developmental tour golf.
“A year ago, we had an eye on expansion into the west to further cement the eGolf footprint on a larger scale,” said eGolf C.E.O. Wes Jones. “This joint venture allows us to continue that foundation and create a universal brand based on the combined consistency and success from 30 years of tournament golf between the eGolf Tour and the All-American Gateway Tour. The eGolf Gateway Tour will be the standard in developmental tour golf in the United States.”
Since 2002, the eGolf Tour has stood tall as the premier developmental tour series in the southeast, with 20-24 events annually and the recent formation of eGolf Tour West and eGolf Tour Florida, giving way to the inaugural Million Dollar Championship Series – a four-event, season-ending championship featuring $1 million dollars in guaranteed prize money this fall.
The tour, formerly known as the Tarheel Tour, has been one of the most lucrative developmental golf tours for players since eGolf’s acquisition in 2008, paying out over $20 million in purses to establish a new platform for professional golf’s third tier on the east coast.
“eGolf Gateway Tour headquarters will be based in Charlotte, with West Coast operations based in Phoenix,” said Jones. “The blue print is a nationwide tour in limited locales, which allows for players to compete year-round in a more viable financial scenario. We have spent months working on this merger, and are excited for the release of tournament details in the next week.”
Established in 2001, the All-American Gateway Tour (AAGT) was created to help aspiring PGA TOUR professionals fine-tune their skills in competitive golf tournaments spanning both coasts, from South Florida to Myrtle Beach to Texas and to its current location in Arizona. AAGT built its success on a single-market format, better catering to the convenience and opportunity demanded by the modern-day player.
Over the years, AAGT has paid out more than $43 million in prize money to its players, becoming well-known for the depth of its talent, and furthermore, the quality of its tournaments. AAGT has established itself as the premier tour on the west coast, with approximately 20 events annually in the Valley of the Sun.
“Since the start of the All-American Gateway Tour, my goal has always been one of consolidation,” said AAGT owner Dusty Dean. “The developmental tour canvas is littered with competing entities watering each other down. With the eGolf Gateway Tour, those days have ceased. Players now have one model, one consistency, and one tour to look towards when choosing where to compete.”
With the consolidation of these two powerhouse tours, the nationwide landscape that has been missing in developmental golf has finally been created.
“With the collective membership bases that now make up the eGolf Gateway Tour, we are finally able to leverage the same talent seen on the major tours,” said Dean. “This gives us the ability to increase sponsorship dollars and achieve an overall better value for the players.”
In addition, the major platform the combined tours now offer will allow the development of ancillary revenue and marketing sources.
“This is truly an exciting time for developmental golf,” said Dean. “We are now able to offer benefits that no other tour can provide. An example of this is the Path to the Tour program which allows the players to participate in a complete game assessment and possibly earn a total sponsorship which includes instruction and coaching as well as entry fees into eGolf Gateway events. When you pair these with the other opportunities we have been working on over the last year like our developmental golf tour documentary and oureverythinggolf.com website, we are truly able to create a massive amount of exposure for our players, thus increasing value while reducing their cost.”
Both the eGolf Tour and the All-American Gateway Tour (AAGT) assisted in developing games for some of golf’s biggest stars, with more than 300 players advancing from each respective tour to compete full-time on the PGA and Web.com Tours.
Additional details about the guaranteed purse structure, opening events, and championship series events on the eGolf Gateway Tour will be released in the coming weeks, as will a universal website through which all tournament information can be attained. eGolf Gateway Tour memberships for the 2014-15 season will be made available in the next week. The one-time membership fee of $1,750 will cover access to all tournaments throughout the U.S., with members receiving priority entry into each event.
The first championship event on the eGolf Gateway Tour’s remaining 2014 calendar will be the $250,000 Championship at Red Hawk, set to be contested at Red Hawk Golf & Resort in Sparks, Nevada on . The event, which is the third tournament in the Million Dollar Championship Series, will be open to all eGolf Gateway Tour members, as well as non-members on a space-available basis. For more information, please visit www.egolf.com.
About eGolf Professional Tour
The eGolf Professional Tour is a Charlotte, NC-based professional golf tour that has conducted 54- and 72-hole tournaments in the Southeast since its inception in 2002. The tour features approximately 20-24 professional tournaments annually in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Since the 2009 season, the eGolf Tour has paid out over $14 million in prize money. In March of 2011, the tour conducted two events in Morocco, in turn becoming the first United States-based tour to conduct multiple tournaments on the continent of Africa. eGolf is the parent tour to both eGolf Tour Florida and eGolf Tour West, and created the Million Dollar Championship Series – a four-event series in 2014 with $1,000,000 in guaranteed prize money. In its 10-year history, the tour has seen the likes of Billy Horschel, Chesson Hadley, Tommy Gainey, Scott Brown, Roberto Castro, Tom Gillis, Jason Kokrak, Brian Harman, Will MacKenzie, Jason Bohn, Steve Marino, Matt Bettencourt, William McGirt and others ascend to the PGA TOUR, while over 150 past eGolf Professional Tour players have gone on to play on the Web.com Tour.
About All-American Gateway Tour (AAGT)
Established in 2001, the All-American Gateway Tour (AAGT) was created to help aspiring PGA TOUR professionals fine-tune their skills in competitive golf tournaments. In its 13-year history, the tour has maintained a leading position as the premier developmental professional golf tour on the west coast and has paid out more than $43 million to players over that period. AAGT has served more than 3,400 players, with 168 AAGT alums currently playing on the Web.com and PGA Tours. These players represent 32 PGA Tour wins and 78 Web.com Tour wins. Today, AAGT continues to provide the ideal competitive environment as well as significant financial opportunities for aspiring PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour professionals. For more information on sponsorship opportunities or information for the 2014-2015 season, please visit www.AAGTgolf.com. You can also follow the tour on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AAGTGOLF or like them on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/AAGTProGolf.
For More Information Contact:
Stewart Moore, Chief Operating Officer & VP, Public Relations, eGolf Gateway Tour