There’s a new kid on the golf professional tour block, and the Jamega Tour is looking ahead to its most exciting year yet after announcing its schedule for the 2008 season.
The UK tour was only formed three years ago with the main aim of providing a platform for aspiring professionals to gain the experience and competitive edge to help them launch a career on the main European Tour. But such has been its expansion under the guidance of creator Gary Harris and his colleagues that the Swindon-based Jamega Tour will now include 20 tournaments next year.
Harris, a former winner of the Brabazon Trophy and an England international who played on the Asian Tour, said, “It’s amazing how well things have gone in such a short space of time. The first year was a bit of a struggle as professionals like to stick to what they know, but once they took the time to take on board what we were doing they have been very supportive.
“The key to the tour is the attention to detail. Each event is really well organised and run and is just how a tournament would be on the main European Tour. It is the perfect stage for professionals to prepare themselves for the challenges that lie in front of them, whether it be the European Tour or players who are looking to sharpen their games ahead of a crack at the Seniors Tour.”
The Jamega Tour will begin in 2008 at Forest Hills Golf Club in Gloucestershire from April and visit a series of top venues including The Kendleshire, The Players Club, Merrist Wood and The Warwickshire before the finale takes place at the impressive Bowood Golf and Country Club in October.
The prize on offer for the winner and runner-up on next year’s Jamega Tour Order of Merit will be for all expenses paid to the first stage of the 2008 European Tour School. And, having attracted competitors from as far-a-field as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Thailand, Sweden and Dubai in the past, Harris believes that the tour will continue to grow over the next 12 months.
He added, “Some of the other tours around at the moment are very expensive to compete on and that leads to people drifting away from the game. We wanted to offer an inexpensive option that gives something back to the players and we believe we’ve succeeded in doing that.
“The feedback we’ve had from the professionals has been very positive and, with the schedule that we’ve put together for 2008, we believe we have now firmly established our position on the golfing calendar. We’re delighted with the quality of venues that will be hosting events next year and, with many professionals already having committed themselves to playing again, we’re looking forward to an exciting 2008.”
All Jamega Tour events are staged over 36 holes and professionals of any age can compete simply by paying a one-off registration fee of £250 and a £170 tournament entry fee.
The tour has already won widespread acclaim from a variety of professionals including European Ryder Cup star David Howell and former European Tour player Mark Mouland in the short time it has been going.
Howell said, “Having spoken to many of the guys that have played on the Jamega Tour they are equally as impressed as me. I would say that it’s a great tour to start your professional career on.”
Mouland added, “The Jamega Tour is the most talked about tour in the UK. With friendly staff and good courses to play, it is the ideal training ground for up-and-coming professionals. I recommend all players to come and have a go and see for themselves how professionally the tour is run.”
Jamega Tour www.jamegatour.co.uk