By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]
Amateurs and golfing professionals will have the opportunity to continue to play in a European golf tour through the winter months thanks to the newly formed Iberian Golf Tour.
The first full four-day tournament is due to start tomorrow (Saturday) and other four-day events are also planned to run until February 3 at the Pestana courses in the Algarve.
The first will be played at the Gramacho course followed by Silves, Alto and finishing at Pinta.
Organisers of the Iberian Golf Tour (IG Tour) say they have taken advantage of the temperate climate of the Algarve, Andalucía and Portugal during the winter months to arrange tournaments for both amateurs and golf professionals.
“At this time of the year, many professional golfers from the European regional tours are standing around waiting for tournaments to begin, now they have a chance to pick up their clubs and enjoy the courses in the region,” said David Silva of the IG Tour.
The IG Tour officially started in December on a pay and play basis used in other regional tournaments and is a third tier tournament to the European tour open to all European golf professionals and amateurs.
Ladies, men and seniors are eligible to play, with amateurs holding a handicap of between zero and 4.4 being able to enter into the pro-am tournaments and all amateurs able to enter the open competitions.
David Silva said: “This is an all inclusive tournament and we encourage everyone to take part, whatever their golfing level. If there are enough people in specific categories then we will even open special competitions to separate golfers.”
The pay and play format of the competitions means that prize money is rewarded on a sliding scale according to the number of entrants, said David Silva.
“If there are 50 professionals in the field, then the prize fund will be around 12,500 euros. However, if there are 90 then this can increase to more than 20,000 euros. The minimum prize fund will always be 5,000 euros and around half the entrants will be entitled to a share of this.”
It is hoped that this new tour will bring professional level golf to new courses in the region.
“We want to bring our golf tour to courses that would not usually see pro-am competitions and introduce this format to those who would not usually consider taking part in such a tournament,” said David Silva.
Entry fees to the competition vary according to your golfing status and whether you are a member of the IG Tour.
Entrance costs start at 150 euros for amateurs to include all green fees of a tournament, range balls and buggies.
For further information about the IG Tour, please call 289 301 344 or visit the IG Tour website at www.igtour.net (available in English).
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