Future Tour offers new opportunities for amateurs
While COVID-19 has obviously been one of the worst worldwide events in the past century, it has bought with it some positives in the way companies have been forced to look at new ways of doing business.
Traditionally, the pathways for amateurs at home in Australia were limited. Many young players either chose or had no other option but to head overseas in search of a way to forward their professional careers.
Brett Coletta, who now plays on the Korn Ferry Tour, won the QLD Open as an amateur in 2016 (Credit: Golf Queensland)
Over the past year, young Aussie golfers have been hit particularly hard. Our location helped save us from the ravages of the pandemic but also meant that it was particularly hard to play in events that are mostly based in the Northern Hemisphere.
It looks as though that all might change with Golf Australia and PGA Australia announcing the debut of the PGA Affiliate Future Tour.
Amateurs will now be able to pay to play in PGA Tour of Australasia events to help build up points and earn a PGA Tour of Australasia Tour card for the following season. Points allocated to eligible amateurs will be equivalent to the prizemoney earned by a professional eg $5,000 for 10th place will earn an amateur 5000 points towards their tally.
The leading amateur who earns enough points to match the prizemoney equivalent to the 50th or better player on the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit will earn a tournament exemption for the following season which can be used as either an amateur or by joining the PGA as a professional.
Second and third placed amateurs on the Future Tour Order of Merit will be eligible for a tournament exemption category that will be positioned after the 51-60 category in the tournament exemption categories.
“One of our key focus areas is on player pathway and in this case the elite amateur to professional ranks and working closely with Golf Australia,” said PGA Tour of Australasia Tour Development Manager Kim Felton.
“We believe this is another great opportunity for our future champions to gain some great exposure through playing PGA Tour of Australasia events and having the potential to earn playing rights for the following season.”
“It will take pressure off those who are successful and give them a great opportunity to plan their year ahead, both here in Australia and overseas.”
“The decisions on whether and when to turn professional are not easy ones, but the PGA Affiliate Future Tour initiative will give those players a great chance to really see if they are ready to make the switch.”
The PGA Affiliate Future Tour will kickoff in August at the NT PGA Championship.