Amateurs can feel like champions in regional tour 0
Local golfers are teeing off with the Hybrid Players Championship Amateur Golf Tour this summer in the Georgian Bay and Bruce-County region.
The HPC Amateur Golf Tour is designed for recreational golfers who want to compete in a championship.
“It’s for a guy who wants to play competitively, wants to improve his golf, and to get involved - it’s about camaraderie, too,” said Ryan Morse of HPC Operations.
Morse started developing the golf tour three years ago when he saw a gap in the amateur golf tour circuit.
Part of what makes HPC stand out is its low cost, which is due to the sponsorship, and its inclusiveness for golfers at all amateur levels.
“We’re trying to make it affordable and fun,” said Greg Phillips, co-ordinator of the golf tour. “We try to sell a professional tour atmosphere.”
Phillips is a professional golf fitter. He won the championship last year, and Morse brought him on this year so amateur players could benefit from being fitted like a professional.
Duntroon Highlands Golf Course has participated in the tour both years. Debbie Sampson, who runs the family business with three others, sees the tour as a way to show off her course.
“They have a following of players,” said Sampson. “It may bring (players) back to the course in the future, or they may tell their friends about their positive experience.”
HPC looks to continue growing each season, adding new chapters to make the tour bigger.
“Each new season we are going to be bigger and better,” said Morse.
This year they added the Grey-Bruce chapter. Each chapter plays single-day events within their region, and two-day major events are competed in by players from both chapters. At the end of the season, the chapters come together to compete in the final championship.
Golfers can win prizes at each game, and the winner of the entire championship will win a full set of True Temper shafts, Swing Science heads, and a custom fit by Phillips.
Not everyone who plays has to be competitive. Some players join the tour for their love of golf.
“It’s up to the competitive nature of the individual golfer to how far they want to go,” said Morse.
The golf courses in each region are all within an hour of each other so players don’t have to travel too far.
“Guys get to travel and play courses they wouldn’t normally get to play,” said Phillips.
The tour focuses on developing the game for amateurs who play golf recreationally.
“We want to develop the amateur golf game and then go from there,” said Morse.
HPC’s next venture is in Kingston where they hope to start a new chapter with the golf courses there.
Aside from starting new chapters, Morse says they also want to open training facilities and a junior development centre for Canadian golf talent.
“We want to get those kids in and train them so we can groom a Tiger Woods,” said Morse. “We can do that with Greg’s expertise.”
The HPC Amateur Golf Tour runs throughout the summer, approximately every other weekend, with the final championship happening Sept. 29 and 30.
A portion of the proceeds from the tour will be donated to Big Brothers and Big Sisters.