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Golf Channel Am Tour - Is It Too Expensive?

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I've been part of the staff working at a golf course to host a Golf Channel Am Tour event before, and it was decent but nothing out of the ordinary. Entry fee was around $150 for the event, and that included range balls, golf, cart, and a meal afterwards for the golfers. At the time I was paying about $225 for 2 day ranked junior events and $75-125 for 1 day junior events with no food included, so the price seemed in line with the tournaments I was playing in (though, admittedly, the standings are pretty meaningless for the Golf Channel Am Tour compared to earning AJGA points). 

It seemed like the people who played had a good time anyways, and the tournament was well organized. I don't think I'd play in their events because I'd rather play in my local CGA events (qualifies you for CGA championships, has better fields, and costs less because they get funding from outside of the tournaments on top of discounts from courses), but I'd think they're a good option for people who want to dip their toes into competitive events - specifically because they appeared to me to be less about a competitive atmosphere and more about having fun (plus they have a bunch of flights for different handicaps).

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16 hours ago, iacas said:

Pretty sure that was @RayG, not @NM Golf.

Beyond that, though, @BushwoodCC I've told Danny to move on, as he's shared his opinion, and I'll tell you the same thing: we are aware that you feel they're a good value, and talking about the "extra" stuff outside of answering that question is really not getting us anywhere.

Yes, I mentioned "government subsidies"- buy which I would figure that a locally run State or Municipal association would be getting some funding, just as a muni course receives some gov't funding as well as a money from daily fees to keep costs down. It may come out of the same "golf" budget so who gets what would vary tremendously..

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I have been looking into this and wonder if its worth it for a high handicapper. Are Jones and Snead flights really treated the same as Championship and Palmer flights. Due to my location I will have to drive close to 2 hours for every Tournament. I just want to make sure its worth it before committing.   

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This thread exists on here a few times. The answer is always the same....it depends. Has nothing to do with Handicap (events are flighted) but everything to do with what you are willing to pay for the experience. Others won’t be able to answer that question for you. 

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I played in one today.  We had 46 total, 5 in my flight.  $150 entry.  I got 2nd but no gift card.   I dont know if the guy who won got one either.  Also, this new director didnt have a closest to the pin.  

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I used to beat up a bit on the Am Tour (on this exact thread actually). Then I took a deeper look, had some things happen to my club, and I have changed my tune. The good thing about the Am Tour is it is professionally run. Yes you may pay a bit more than in your local muni's tournaments, but you know you will get something in return. The tournaments are well run, the payouts are normally pretty good, and they have a hard core pace of play policy that gets people moving. 

I do have to say that to really get the most out of your membership you should have the means to play in at least one out of town major event. The majors are really well run and if you play well you can make some money. They also play great golf courses.

All in all you get what you pay for, I learned that the hard way as my local association went down hill big time. Sure the tournaments only cost $70, but it takes 5 1/2 hours to play, you get sandbagged to death, no one plays by the rules, and its so poorly run you don't even get pairings until the morning of the tournament. I am at a time in my life where I would rather just pay the extra $50 and play in a quality event.

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1 hour ago, NM Golf said:

I used to beat up a bit on the Am Tour (on this exact thread actually). Then I took a deeper look, had some things happen to my club, and I have changed my tune. The good thing about the Am Tour is it is professionally run. Yes you may pay a bit more than in your local muni's tournaments, but you know you will get something in return. The tournaments are well run, the payouts are normally pretty good, and they have a hard core pace of play policy that gets people moving. 

This was the impression I got whenever the Am Tour visited the courses I worked with/for. 

The first course I mentioned in my first comment here, where we hosted a tournament, is a course notorious for having awful pace of play. Reason being that marshals (myself included at that time) were banned by the owner of the course from asking players to skip a hole or allow the group behind them to play through. That combined with overserving beverage carts and a course branding as being "different" from other golf courses meant weekend rounds were usually 6 hour booze-cruises on golf carts. Despite all of that the Am Tour event still finished up in 4 hours flat and honestly caught our staff a little off-guard since the food wasn't prepared yet (we had planned for the usual 5+ hour rounds). 

In the other events it was the same story. Pace of play was good, and the events I saw always included a meal at the course. Regardless of the actual value of their points system, it does have a national points system all the same to allow you to compare yourself against golfers around the country - a perk not included even in stage golf association tournaments.

I'd consider them as a higher end alternative to local club or even stage golf association tournaments for those who are somewhere in the 5-20 handicap range. For golfers better than a 5 handicap and certainly those better than scratch you might find more/better competition at the "official" events run by state associations or the USGA, but as far as the mid-high handicappers go I'd say these are a good option for "high-end" tournaments complete with rankings systems, meals, and guaranteed pace of play. The cost of them has also come down, as what I'm seeing shows a cost of $115-125 for 1 day events and $245 to the two 2-day events in Colorado this past year.

Of course, I am slightly biased in saying that the state associations are better for low handicappers simply because the Colorado Golf Association does an excellent job with their events. They have online systems to handle every aspect of events from registration all the way to even include live online scoring, something that's really cool in my opinion. They put on 39 different championship events and/or qualifiers in a state with a limited golf season alongside another 32 non-championship events. They also, funny enough, include information on their website about all Golfweek Amateur Tour events in the state of Colorado.

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59 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

Of course, I am slightly biased in saying that the state associations are better for low handicappers simply because the Colorado Golf Association does an excellent job with their events. They have online systems to handle every aspect of events from registration all the way to even include live online scoring, something that's really cool in my opinion. They put on 39 different championship events and/or qualifiers in a state with a limited golf season alongside another 32 non-championship events. They also, funny enough, include information on their website about all Golfweek Amateur Tour events in the state of Colorado.

The problem with low handicappers is there are just not enough of us. In New Mexico we are lucky to get 3-4 guys in the championship flight in the AmTour events. That being said the major tournaments are excellent when it comes to low handicappers. The level of play is pretty good as well, as the winning scores are usually multiple shots under par.

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