Everyone that follows golf is pretty familiar with the PGA and LPGA Tours, and most people also know about the PGA Tour’s developmental tour or minor leagues, called the Nationwide Tour. However, it seems like very few people are aware of the LPGA Tour’s developmental circuit called the Duramed Futures Tour. There has always been a large discrepancy between the men and the women on the PGA and LPGA in prize money. For example, Tiger Woods was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour in 2009 with $10,508,163. By comparison, the LPGA’s leading money winner Jiyai Shin only made $1,807,334. Not that two million bucks isn’t much, but let’s look further down the list:
At 100 on the money list for each tour, Ted Purdy took home just over $838,000 and retained full playing privileges on tour for ’10, but at 100 on the LPGA money list, Reilly Rankin only made just over $79,000 and won’t have full status on the LPGA next year. After travel costs and caddies and such, it’s very tough to make it on $80k per year. The discrepancy between PGA Tour and LPGA Tour prize money is almost 10 to 1, and on the respective developmental tours it’s more of the same. The difference of course, is there is even less money in the purse every week on the minor league tours. The leading money winner on the Duramed Futures Tour in 2009 made $88,386 – a bit more than the 100th ranked player on the LPGA money list. Again – after travel, tournament entry fees, caddies, food, etc – that doesn’t leave you with much. In other words, it’s expensive to play tournament golf!
To help players on the Duramed Futures Tour pursue their dreams of playing professional golf and mitigate some of those expenses and fees, the Future Stars Foundation holds an annual Pro-Am tournament at Errol Estate Country Club near Orlando, FL. The tournament pits three amateurs and one Futures Tour Pro in a modified bramble format. This format is unique and lots of fun to play. The three amateurs each hit a tee shot and pick the best shot, then each hit from that spot to the green, like a scramble. From there however, each player plays their own ball until it is holed out. The best ball score of the three amateurs is combined with the pro’s score who is playing her own ball, and that best score becomes the team score. The pros are competing for their share of the $4000 purse, while the amateurs can win prizes and such.
As a participant, you get 18 holes of golf with a pro and lunch. The cost to play is only $200 per player and it’s made a bit easier to contribute with the fact that you are directly helping the people you play with and will likely get to know personally! Plus, you can follow your pro’s progress towards their ultimate goal – the LPGA Tour. The event is in its second year and the field is filled with beautiful and talented golfers from all over. As of this writing, there are still some spots open for amateurs, so if you are in Central Florida, get your team together and enter today! Be sure to visit the foundation’s website for more info and to sign up. I will be playing – along with my friend Dave from Orlandogolfblogger.com – with Big Break contestant and Futures Tour professional Carling Coffing. We are looking forward to having fun, maybe winning some nice prizes and helping a good cause!
For more information about the Pro-Am, to make a donation or to sign up to play, please visit http://futurestarsfoundation.com, email Dave Andrews or call (603) 545-7852 and tell him Intothegrain.com sent you!
The Future Stars Foundation has been established to support and foster the growth of the sport of women’s golf in the United States. In order to do that, the foundation’s primary goal is to raise money to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to players on the Duramed FUTURES Tour.
The Duramed FUTURES Tour is the official developmental tour of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). Although they are formally considered professionals, players on the Duramed FUTURES Tour typically earn far less money than they spend in entry fees and traveling expenses necessary to compete. Many players are forced to give up their goal of reaching the LPGA because of their personal financial limitations.
The foundation is a non-profit organization made up of volunteers from around the country who are all fans of women’s golf.
The foundation is not affiliated in any way with the Duramed FUTURES Tour or the LPGA.
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