I am writing this, full of nervous excitement at the airport before catching my flight down to Tampa for the tour’s first Major 2 day tournament of the 2013 season at Copperhead at Innisbrook golf resort this weekend, home of the PGATransitions Championship
But let me warn you that these tournaments are not for the faint of heart. The nerves can cave in as you step onto the first tee after your name has been announced by the starter in front of the crowd. Unlike your Sunday four-ball with your mates; there are no “gimmes”, no mulligans, and certainly the foot wedge is not allowed out of the trees for this is not golf….This is Tournament Golf! However there is no feeling like it as you arrive at the course with the Amateur Tour flags waving and knowing the next 4.5 hours of your life is going to be super fun, but extremely pressured as you compete with your new found friends and seek to win that trophy...
The Golf Channel Amateur Tour (GCAM) is a national tour, with ‘chapters’ across the United States and Canada. We are lucky here in the NYC Metropolitan area, as we can find ourselves on a weekly basis competing in the New Jersey tour, the NYC/Hudson Valley tour, and the one I belong to, the New York Long Island Tour playing on the great golf courses across the tri-state area. As well as the local events, then the tour hosts many “Majors”. These are two day tourneys on some of the famous courses across the nation such as Copperhead, Pinehurst, PGA West and TPC Sawgrass to name but a few.
Succeed in winning three local tournaments, or positioning yourself in the top 3 in any of the majors, or finding yourself in the top third of your Order of Merit, and then you qualify for the National Championships. This is a 4 day event held at the end of the season at a prestigious location that is nothing short of an incredible experience.
All of these tournaments are organized at the upmost level of professionalism, as you would expect with the Golf Channel and Golf Galaxy associated with the tour. You really are treated like a member of the PGA tour, and by golly, you really do begin to believe it, as you find yourself surmounting even more pressure on yourself to boom it 300 yards off the tee, and sink that snake-like 20 footer!
|With 6 flights, Competion is fraught at all Skill Levels|
This tour is open to all level of golfers. With 6 flights, and also senior flights for the more seasoned amongst us, then anyone of us has a chance of winning if we can keep nerves of steel and produce fewer mistakes than our competitors. Fear not of sandbaggers out there either. The organizers are quick to find them and bump them up to the next level before you can call them a ‘bandit’
Since joining the tour in the latter half of 2010, then I have found my game improving considerably. Yes, I will be the first to admit, that the nerves got to me to begin with. I have choked; I have walked off the course in disappointment. However, once you have learned to control these emotions, then it really is a sure fire way to enhance your focus and game. I started off within the “Hogan” flight (8.0 – 11.9 Handicap) and after enjoying a few successes in 2011, then I have been playing this year in the Palmer flight (4.0-7.9 Handicap). Now with the additional drive to be competitive at this level, then I know I will be playing better than I ever did before.
Finally, let me mention the camaraderie on this tour. Never have I ever met such a friendly, great bunch of guys. We come from all walks of life, and if nothing else, then the tour has given me the opportunity to socialize, and hang out with fantastic people that I would never have met if it wasn’t for the GCAM tour.
Everyone is incredibly supportive of each other with numerous texts and well wishes as you compete which really is a great feeling.
So, if you want to improve your game, play some fantastic courses, taste the experience of what it must feel like to be a Pro, and meet some brilliant people then sign up today. Good luck, and I hope to see you out there!!
To sign up, check out the link below
To sign up, check out the link below