New Edmonton Golf Tour To Swing Into Action This Summer
- Category: Across Canada
- Published: 2017-03-30
By Gord Montgomery (iG)
For those golfers looking for the chance to get a taste of tournament play without the high anxiety that often accompanies such events, other than those company scramble/shamble scenarios, Sean Hill has just the thing for you — the YEG Golf Tour.
Hill, who found his career in the golf industry in the rough after his former company, NIKE, decided to get out of the hard goods side of the business, has re-emerged as one ofthe founders of this new enterprise along with partner Garrett Hatfield.
“I have an extensive background in the golf industry,” Hill, who now finds himself working full time outside of that business began. “But, I wanted to kind of stay in touch with the golf industry and the game itself.”
That’s been done with the formation of the YEG Golf Tour, an idea that Hill explains as somewhere between competitive and relaxed. “We wanted to take kind of a casual spin on traditional tournament golf. Most of the people we talked to play maybe once a year in their club championship, or an Alberta Am qualifier but if you don’t play well there, that’s really all she wrote.
“What we wanted to do was put a spin on that, with almost a league type of tour that’s going to be both nine and 18-hole tournaments and get people who are new to tournament golf integrated with the process because really, it is a different game.”
Splitting the competitive end from the recreational side of this idea won’t be all that hard given the format they’ve designed for play, Hill continued. “We’re actually going to have three divisions: one for actual golf pros; an amateur division for six and under handicaps; and then a net division for everybody else, with special rules to help speed up play because obviously that’s the big knock on tournament play right now, people don’t want six hour rounds.”
To aid in keeping players moving, Hill noted there will be CPGA pros helping players who have rules questions during their rounds, helping to clear up any confusion that may arise during rounds. “It will be a real learning tool for them, to come out and learn what tournament golf is all about. It will be a little more of a relaxed atmosphere,” he added, pointing out competing pros will be allowed to wear shorts if they choose and there will be music playing in the warm-up areas.
The season for the YEG Golf Tour will begin in May and continue until mid-September with the hope of having ten 18-hole events and an equal number of nine hole competitions. Early on, there were six such events booked for each segment.
“We are using the nine hole events as kind of a gauge to see about hosting more. They’ll be held on Friday nights at courses in and around the Edmonton area, keeping it as local as we can,” Hill said. He went on to say there is a charitable component to this tour, with a portion of proceeds from each event being donated to the Edmonton Youth Emergency Shelter.
So far, Hill said, the reaction to this idea has been good. “We’ve had a ton of people reach out to us through our website. Our number one philosophy here is to try and grow Edmonton’s golf community - we have tons of golfers in Edmonton but a really poor golf community. We just thought this would be a good way to drive the game, grow the game.”
For more information on the YEG Golf Tour, go to their website at yeggolftour.ca where there is contact information.