Golf Bag: Pinehurst AGT Event Returns
Golfers in the Sandhills will again have a tour to call their own as the popular Amateur Golf Tour (AGT) returns with a solid schedule for 2007.
The AGT hosts a lineup of tournaments that began at Sapona Country Club and concludes Oct. 6 at Longleaf Country Club.
The tour is for all amateurs, regardless of age or ability. Members are placed in one of four flights based on handicaps. Flights are: Championship (0-5 handicap), A Flight (6-10), B Flight (11-15) and C Flight (16-21).
Tournament format is gross stroke play, with United State Golf Association rules in effect. A software program tracks each player's handicap to ensure participants are placed in their proper flight.
Local tour director Bruce Hallenbeck has a 27-event schedule on some of the area's top courses. In addition to the opening and closing venues, tour stops include Foxfire Country Club, Anderson Creek, The Legacy and Pinewood Country Club. All events take place on Saturdays.
"Because the tour is flighted, you compete against golfers of your own ability, and the prizes are the same in the C Flight as they are in the Championship Flight," Hallenbeck said. "It is perfect for golfers wishing to compete in traditional stroke-play tournaments."
At each event, the top three golfers in all flights win gift certificates from Carolina Custom Golf in Cary, Winston-Salem and Charlotte. Meanwhile, all participants earn points toward a championship in their flight.
Golfers can join the tour at any time for an $80 membership fee. That fee includes a gift bag and tour packet, and allows members to play in Pinehurst tournaments, as well as other AGT events around the country.
Entry fees for Pinehurst area tournaments range from $70 to $75. Those fees include cart and green fees, range balls and prizes, plus closest-to-the-pin and long drive awards. Results and points standings are posted within 48 hours at www.amateurgolftour.net.
Golfers finishing in the top 10 in their flight receive invitations to the 2007 Amateur Golf Tour Championship, Oct. 27-28 at Palmetto Dunes Resort in Hilton Head, S.C.
For information, call Hallenbeck at (919) 499-9749, or visit www.amateurgolftour.net.
Sunbelt Tour: Don Barnes, director of tour operations of the Sunbelt Senior Professional Golf Tour, was pleasantly surprised recently with a call from Champions Tour winner Walter Hall.
Hall had played on the Sunbelt Tour in 1996, the inaugural year of the regional senior developmental tour. He played in six of the 12 events that were conducted in the greater Myrtle Beach area and won four of them with victories at Sandpiper Bay, Brick Landing Plantation, Sea Trail Plantation, and Wild Wing Plantation. His largest winning check was $1,150. The Sunbelt Tour now pays from $3,000 - $10,000 for first place.
In a Champions Tour career that has lasted 10 years, Hall, who turns 60 June 12, has amassed $6,492,257 in earnings, with victories in the 1997 Belfry PGA Seniors Championship and the 2001 AT&T Canada Senior Open Championship. His best finishes in 2006 were an 8th at the Boeing Greater Seattle Classic and a 10th at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn. He has two career aces on the Champions Tour.
Hall explained to Barnes that he was planning to cut back the number of Champions Tour events in 2007 and hopes to play in some Sunbelt Tour events. Hall is perhaps the greatest success story to come off the Sunbelt Tour.
For information visit the Web site at www.sunbelt-seniortour.com,
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