I have played Golf Channel AM Tour since the beginning & before, when it was called another name. $195 to join but you can call them & play once to see if you like it. The $195 gets you some swag ... shirt, hat, balls, that kind of stuff. The $195 is a wash ... break even stuff.
IMHO - it is the only way I can play higher lever competition on the Pro level courses. I am West Coast but I travel a lot as an engineer. I get contracts in other states & play GCAM Tournaments in San Jose, Phoenix, Austin & Miami.
Tournaments cost app. $115 - $250 for a one day tournament ... depending on course. I find I get to play otherwise 'private' courses I could never get on. Sometimes the GCAT price is LOWER than rack rate at high end courses. I play those !
They also have 2 day major tournaments at PGA level courses.
I have played Innsbrook, TPC Sawgrass in Florida. PGA West Stadium in LaQuinta & Pelican Hill in California as examples.
They set up the course nicely. Flags around. Tented starting holes. Announce your name, home & sometimes events you have won. The scoring area is usually nice & someplace to chill while scores are being tallied.
Course is detailed ... cups painted white, red & yellow hazards marked. Pin sheets & scorecards are pro level. Greens rolled & fast.
Competition is by flights ... so you play against your own age & level players. Nice trophy's - sometimes crystal. Money is ok. 1st is usually more than entry fee. Depending on # of players in a flight - they pay down 3-4 places. Cash skins game. That's the real fun.
If you are a poor person ... go play a Muni. If you want to improve against serious competition at your own index level ... on the same courses the PGA, LPGA & Seniors Tour plays ... this is the tour. All my golf friends I met on this tour. I have a weekly game with the San Diego guys I met on tour.
Obviously I like this tour. I play about 7-10 Tournaments a year. I am getting older. Less than $2000 a year ... I think it is a bargain to be able to play these courses ... with REAL competition on REAL courses ... set-up hard ... with people you see multiple times. Instead of playing a Muni with strangers. I get to choose which events I play ... close to home or at a major resort.