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US Am Tour and GolfWeek Tour


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I play US Am Tour. Its the reincarnation of the Golf Channel Am Tour with most of the same people in charge and running it.

I've been playing it/them for five years now. Good competition and mostly good people. I recommend it if you want strong, flighted competition.

Note though that it costs about twice what you'd spend for a weekend round of golf. There is prize money (gift cards to Dicks/GG) which pays top 25% of flight. Also skins, giant skins, closest to hole (all additional money).

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36 minutes ago, Tsmithjr9 said:

I tried the GolfWeek Am Tour when it first came to my area. It was not a good experience. I'll elaborate if anyone wants to hear the story.

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if you wouldn’t mind, i’d like to hear it. 

even though i’m not quite polished enough to join something like that yet, i’d love to get into competitive golf at some point. 

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if you wouldn’t mind, i’d like to hear it. 
even though i’m not quite polished enough to join something like that yet, i’d love to get into competitive golf at some point. 
Yes you are! People think they have to be "good" to play on these "tours" but you really just need a little game.

I was going to do Golfweek tour and/or Grint tour. However, I chose to stick with USAm Tour because they have senior flights. The others force seniors to compete against young golfers from the same tee boxes.

While I can still hit it 240 consistently, thats not 280-290. Additionally, playing longer tee boxes made the competition more difficult with youth winning each time. In the one tournament of co-mingled ages, i finished 6th of 18 and was the highest finishing senior.

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4 hours ago, Chip Strokes said:

if you wouldn’t mind, i’d like to hear it. 

even though i’m not quite polished enough to join something like that yet, i’d love to get into competitive golf at some point. 

Disclaimer: My understanding is that the GolfWeek Am Tour is run kind of like a franchise, so these experiences might not be similar to events in your area. There are over-arching rules and the flights are the same nationally, but each region's chairman may operate differently. Apparently, these same guys run two different sections in Ohio and the other one supposedly has hundreds of players. Our area is in the third year and still not really off the ground. Also, my area already has a robust Amateur event scene, so GolfWeek is a little late to the party. Also, in spite of my experiences, I think there is some benefit to the tour for those with a higher handicap. Most events are always contested at scratch, so it serves a purpose providing a competitive environment for those with a double digit handicap.

Now it's story time.

I was eager to sign up for this. It was a low initiation fee, and the tournament prices weren't too bad with <$100 entry fees. I lasted two tournaments. The first tournament, I played in the Championship Flight. My opponents were the reigning regional Amateur champion, and a Div. I golfer who was called up from out of the area to boost the field. GolfWeek lets you enter any tournament nationally, so I'm not complaining about the quality of my opponents, what can you do about that? Just say I finished a distant third. What I found out was that playing with those two, is that the low man of the tournament was actually in the C Flight. C Flight is supposed be 14-18 hcp...and some dude shot even par. 

This was the first concern. It turns out that GWA ignores GHIN, or at least these tourney-runners did. See the tour maintains it's own handicap system that is supposed to mirror GHIN. But you need to play 5 tournaments before you are assigned a handicap by GWA and put into a flight. There was zero enforcement or tracking of who should be in what flight. So anyone could sign up for whatever flight they wanted without a check on their GHIN or past scores. I was in the champion flight anyways, didn't really effect me, but I see it being a huge turnoff for the higher handicaps. You could show up expecting to be paired against equal competition and then someone who should be in the champ flight registers for your lower flight just to get a trophy and a bit of cash.

A month passed and the next tournament was played. My handicap went up in the meantime so I registered for the A flight. When I arrived at the course, I was told I would be playing the championship flight again because that's what I selected when I signed up for the tour and I have to stay there until receiving a tour handicap. This time there were 4 of us in the Champ flight, and now that my handicap was going the wrong way, I finished 4th, though not as distant as the last time. Two guys tied and were getting ready to head back out for a playoff hole to decide the winner, or so we thought...

Two groups later a fifth guy comes in. Says he was part of the Champ flight too. He asked the two going to the playoff what they shot. He replied he shot 1 stroke better than them. He handed his score card to the tournament runner and was declared the flight winner. None of us knew he was playing, as they display all registered participants online. When we teed off there were only 4 in our flight. We didn't know this guy existed. No one played with him, could attest his score, or was able to even view his scorecard before he handed it in. Also, flights play different tees. Champ on the tips, A&B next in front, and C&D next up from there. If this guy was playing with the A's or B's, he could have been playing on their tees as well. And the course had a big difference (6900 vs. 6500 yards from Black to Blue) Did he shoot the 1 stroke better playing a course 400 yards shorter? The two guys that thought they won blew their stacks and quit the tour then and there.

After seeing how disorganized everything was, I decided to stop playing too. Just too many scewups on behalf of the commish, and too many shenanigans with the players.

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On 2/19/2021 at 5:56 PM, DiscipleofPenick said:

Disclaimer: My understanding is that the GolfWeek Am Tour is run kind of like a franchise, so these experiences might not be similar to events in your area. There are over-arching rules and the flights are the same nationally, but each region's chairman may operate differently. Apparently, these same guys run two different sections in Ohio and the other one supposedly has hundreds of players. Our area is in the third year and still not really off the ground. Also, my area already has a robust Amateur event scene, so GolfWeek is a little late to the party. Also, in spite of my experiences, I think there is some benefit to the tour for those with a higher handicap. Most events are always contested at scratch, so it serves a purpose providing a competitive environment for those with a double digit handicap.

Now it's story time.

I was eager to sign up for this. It was a low initiation fee, and the tournament prices weren't too bad with <$100 entry fees. I lasted two tournaments. The first tournament, I played in the Championship Flight. My opponents were the reigning regional Amateur champion, and a Div. I golfer who was called up from out of the area to boost the field. GolfWeek lets you enter any tournament nationally, so I'm not complaining about the quality of my opponents, what can you do about that? Just say I finished a distant third. What I found out was that playing with those two, is that the low man of the tournament was actually in the C Flight. C Flight is supposed be 14-18 hcp...and some dude shot even par. 

This was the first concern. It turns out that GWA ignores GHIN, or at least these tourney-runners did. See the tour maintains it's own handicap system that is supposed to mirror GHIN. But you need to play 5 tournaments before you are assigned a handicap by GWA and put into a flight. There was zero enforcement or tracking of who should be in what flight. So anyone could sign up for whatever flight they wanted without a check on their GHIN or past scores. I was in the champion flight anyways, didn't really effect me, but I see it being a huge turnoff for the higher handicaps. You could show up expecting to be paired against equal competition and then someone who should be in the champ flight registers for your lower flight just to get a trophy and a bit of cash.

A month passed and the next tournament was played. My handicap went up in the meantime so I registered for the A flight. When I arrived at the course, I was told I would be playing the championship flight again because that's what I selected when I signed up for the tour and I have to stay there until receiving a tour handicap. This time there were 4 of us in the Champ flight, and now that my handicap was going the wrong way, I finished 4th, though not as distant as the last time. Two guys tied and were getting ready to head back out for a playoff hole to decide the winner, or so we thought...

Two groups later a fifth guy comes in. Says he was part of the Champ flight too. He asked the two going to the playoff what they shot. He replied he shot 1 stroke better than them. He handed his score card to the tournament runner and was declared the flight winner. None of us knew he was playing, as they display all registered participants online. When we teed off there were only 4 in our flight. We didn't know this guy existed. No one played with him, could attest his score, or was able to even view his scorecard before he handed it in. Also, flights play different tees. Champ on the tips, A&B next in front, and C&D next up from there. If this guy was playing with the A's or B's, he could have been playing on their tees as well. And the course had a big difference (6900 vs. 6500 yards from Black to Blue) Did he shoot the 1 stroke better playing a course 400 yards shorter? The two guys that thought they won blew their stacks and quit the tour then and there.

After seeing how disorganized everything was, I decided to stop playing too. Just too many scewups on behalf of the commish, and too many shenanigans with the players.

That is  messed up. I spoke with the organizer if my area at a golf show about a year ago and I left not getting a great vibe about it. We have 2 small circuits so I dont think it really took off.  

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That is  messed up. I spoke with the organizer if my area at a golf show about a year ago and I left not getting a great vibe about it. We have 2 small circuits so I dont think it really took off.  
Right? And they've raised entry fees too. $100+ for public courses I can play for less than half isn't a good business model...

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Not that it makes a ton of difference, but why wouldn’t they just use the standardized handicap system, instead of attempting, poorly, I might add, to recreate the wheel. I thought this was part of the purpose of GHIN and the world handicap system. 
This is also why I stopped playing flighted tournaments at the club we used to be members of. I’d rather take my chances knowing that the +3 was going to destroy me as opposed to the 5, that managed to shoot 72 every time a tournament rolled around. Match play events were even worse. At least in the championship flight we played scratch. 
I will be curious as to how this year goes for me at a different club. I’m sure there will be some of the same issues,  but the pro seems to be on top of things. Wait and see.

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I will go on to add that a member was readjusted a few years ago from a 7 to a 3 for questionable scoring practices. 

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Not that it makes a ton of difference, but why wouldn’t they just use the standardized handicap system, instead of attempting, poorly, I might add, to recreate the wheel. I thought this was part of the purpose of GHIN and the world handicap system. 
This is also why I stopped playing flighted tournaments at the club we used to be members of. I’d rather take my chances knowing that the +3 was going to destroy me as opposed to the 5, that managed to shoot 72 every time a tournament rolled around. Match play events were even worse. At least in the championship flight we played scratch. 
I will be curious as to how this year goes for me at a different club. I’m sure there will be some of the same issues,  but the pro seems to be on top of things. Wait and see.
Right, and starting in 2019 the local chapter that runs the private club tournament series opened the series up to all local players that have a GHIN. So if I'm going to play in a flighted tournament, I may as well get on a private course, and know that everything is being regulated and is offical with USGA system. Sure there's sandbaggers, can never fix that completely, but it's less shenanigans than a 3 handicap not being checked and just registering for the C flight and then shooting a 75.

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On 2/19/2021 at 8:56 PM, DiscipleofPenick said:

Disclaimer: My understanding is that the GolfWeek Am Tour is run kind of like a franchise, so these experiences might not be similar to events in your area. There are over-arching rules and the flights are the same nationally, but each region's chairman may operate differently. Apparently, these same guys run two different sections in Ohio and the other one supposedly has hundreds of players. Our area is in the third year and still not really off the ground. Also, my area already has a robust Amateur event scene, so GolfWeek is a little late to the party. Also, in spite of my experiences, I think there is some benefit to the tour for those with a higher handicap. Most events are always contested at scratch, so it serves a purpose providing a competitive environment for those with a double digit handicap.

Now it's story time.

I was eager to sign up for this. It was a low initiation fee, and the tournament prices weren't too bad with <$100 entry fees. I lasted two tournaments. The first tournament, I played in the Championship Flight. My opponents were the reigning regional Amateur champion, and a Div. I golfer who was called up from out of the area to boost the field. GolfWeek lets you enter any tournament nationally, so I'm not complaining about the quality of my opponents, what can you do about that? Just say I finished a distant third. What I found out was that playing with those two, is that the low man of the tournament was actually in the C Flight. C Flight is supposed be 14-18 hcp...and some dude shot even par. 

This was the first concern. It turns out that GWA ignores GHIN, or at least these tourney-runners did. See the tour maintains it's own handicap system that is supposed to mirror GHIN. But you need to play 5 tournaments before you are assigned a handicap by GWA and put into a flight. There was zero enforcement or tracking of who should be in what flight. So anyone could sign up for whatever flight they wanted without a check on their GHIN or past scores. I was in the champion flight anyways, didn't really effect me, but I see it being a huge turnoff for the higher handicaps. You could show up expecting to be paired against equal competition and then someone who should be in the champ flight registers for your lower flight just to get a trophy and a bit of cash.

A month passed and the next tournament was played. My handicap went up in the meantime so I registered for the A flight. When I arrived at the course, I was told I would be playing the championship flight again because that's what I selected when I signed up for the tour and I have to stay there until receiving a tour handicap. This time there were 4 of us in the Champ flight, and now that my handicap was going the wrong way, I finished 4th, though not as distant as the last time. Two guys tied and were getting ready to head back out for a playoff hole to decide the winner, or so we thought...

Two groups later a fifth guy comes in. Says he was part of the Champ flight too. He asked the two going to the playoff what they shot. He replied he shot 1 stroke better than them. He handed his score card to the tournament runner and was declared the flight winner. None of us knew he was playing, as they display all registered participants online. When we teed off there were only 4 in our flight. We didn't know this guy existed. No one played with him, could attest his score, or was able to even view his scorecard before he handed it in. Also, flights play different tees. Champ on the tips, A&B next in front, and C&D next up from there. If this guy was playing with the A's or B's, he could have been playing on their tees as well. And the course had a big difference (6900 vs. 6500 yards from Black to Blue) Did he shoot the 1 stroke better playing a course 400 yards shorter? The two guys that thought they won blew their stacks and quit the tour then and there.

After seeing how disorganized everything was, I decided to stop playing too. Just too many scewups on behalf of the commish, and too many shenanigans with the players.

I saw the adds in magazines and on TV.  Thought about it a few times, but had reservations about just what you describe.  When you add prize money, there will almost always be someone out there willing to do whatever it takes to claim it.  

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In comment on sandbagging handicaps, I will say that US Am Tour does a reasonably good job of regulating. I was playing in one tournament where one guy had just joined and had himself placed in a high handicap group. He shot 39 on front and the tour director bumped him 2 flights that day that tournament. Also, there is mandatory flight promotion after 3 wins and when scores dictate. Handicap starts as your GHIN but changes to tour handicap after 4 tournament rounds.

Yes, occasionally someone slides in to win 3 in a lower flight. I know of two that are now playing up a flight.

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