The Niagara Golf Warehouse Men's Tour was established in 2001 to give Niagara Region's best amateur players the opportunity to hone their skills in a competitive environment at a reasonable price. The Tour is a non-profit organization that is governed by a 2 person committee and supported by a large group of sponsors. Membership is restricted to residents of Niagara Region or members of Niagara Region golf courses.
TOUR BACKGROUND -
In the autumn of 2000, a meeting was called that brought together representatives from almost every golf course in the Niagara Region, with owners, course managers, head professionals and top local players all in attendance. The purpose of the meeting was to develop an association between all of the area's courses while also initiating some sort of regional competition for the area's better amateur players.
A smaller subcommittee was formed to investigate the viability of organizing such a tour, with local sports journalist Wayne Redshaw joining Rolling Meadows club manager Gary Cunningham and a number of the area's best amateur players, including Bernie Bodogh, Jamie Culp, Mark Derbyshire, Bob Goss, Tim Helpard, Jeremy Julie and Andy LaBelle.
A number of different ideas came out of the original meetings, including the possibility of arranging a local match play competition but in the end, it was decided that the Niagara District Men's Amateur Tour would consist of a five event, stroke play competition with a cumulative points structure to award a year-end Tour champion.
The Tour continues to evolve on a yearly basis, moving to a six-event schedule in 2006 and it's grown to the point where the Tour needs two qualifying events (Fall and Spring) to help determine exempt status for each season.
PLAYING THE TOUR -
Due to high demand, unless you are otherwise exempt, new players must enter one of the two qualifying events to gain entry onto the Niagara Men's Tour. The Tour runs a Fall Qualifier at the conclusion of the schedule for the next year and if necessary, will also run a Spring Qualifier at the end of May to fill out the field for that year.
At the conclusion of each Tour season, a number of players are granted EXEMPT STATUS for the following year. There are a number of ways for a player to gain exempt status and avoid having to re-qualify:
Top 40 finishers on the year-end Order of Merit - ONE YEAR EXEMPTION
Niagara District Junior Golf Tour Champion or Top Ranked Age Eligible Player - ONE YEAR EXEMPTION
Niagara Men's Tour Event Winner - TWO YEAR EXEMPTION
Niagara Men's Tour Order of Merit Winner/Tour Champion - FIVE YEAR EXEMPTION
Top 10 and ties in Champion of Champions - ONE YEAR EXEMPTION
Top 5 and ties in Brooke Tournament - ONE YEAR EXEMPTION
The Tour ideally likes to have anywhere from 55 to 65 players per year so there are typically about 15-25 spots available through the qualifiers. However, if there are a small number of participants at one of the qualifiers, the Tour committee reserves the right to reduce the number of exempt positions available at that event. The Spring Qualifier is run as a separate event. If you are interested in attempting to qualify for the 2018 Niagara Men's Tour, please go to registration page. Qualifiers must submit their registration form and entry fee by May 12th, 2018. Successful qualifiers will get a $50 registration discount, the outstanding balance of $475 will need to be paid prior to the first event on June 10, 2018.
The Tour entry fee covers the player's green fee for each event on the schedule, skins money for each event, closest to the pin prizes, vouchers for each event, the year-end prize table. The only thing NOT covered by the entry fee are the optional 50/50 draws that are held for each event and cart fees if you prefer to ride in a cart.
COMPETITION AND PRIZES -
All events on the Niagara Golf Warehouse Men's Tour are individual 18-hole stroke play competitions. Each event has a number of different prizes available to participants:
Top 10 finishers plus ties receive vouchers or gift certificates: voucher denominations will be announced once the Tour has a final tally on the number of players participating in 2018
There is a Skins game at each event, with the individual hole winners splitting the money evenly. Skins money is part of each participant's yearly entry fee so there are no additional payments before events.
All Par 3's will have a Closest to the Hole competitions for each event, with the winners receiving a gift from a Tour sponsor.
Additionally, there is an optional 50/50 draw held after every event, with the cost being $5.00 for two tickets.
The Niagara Golf Warehouse Men's Tour features a season-long Order of Merit competition where players receive points based on their finish for each event. The worst point total from the six events will be discarded for each player to determine the winner of the order of Merit At the conclusion of the last event, the Jim McNeil Trophy is awarded to the person at the top of the Order of Merit, signifying the Tour Champion for that season.
The top 40 players on the Order of Merit gain exempt status for the following year and don't have to go through qualifying. The top 40 receive a prize or voucher after the conclusion of the final event. Remaining prizes or vouchers will be randomly drawn to players outside the top 40 that stayed for the prize presentation.
Tee Times for each tournament will be posted on the website about a week before the event. All players are automatically entered into every tournament should they qualify for the Tour. Therefore, if a player knows he won't be able to make a certain event, the Tour asks to be notified at least two weeks before the event takes place by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are no refunds for players who miss an event. Also, the Tour will take special requests for early or late tee times but again, we require two weeks notice prior to the event in question.
Results for each event, along with updated standings will be posted about two days after the event has concluded. A number of local publications are also notified with results from each event, including all the area newspapers, The Niagara Golf Report and Fore Golfers Only.
Any news or changes to the Tour schedule will be posted here on the Tour's official website.
TOUR MANAGEMENT -
The Tour is a non-profit organization that is governed by a twp-person committee, with both members active playing participants as well. The committee is also supported by Registration Table Volunteer Charlie Owens.
Mike Bedard - Chairman
Stew McEachern - Chairman