Golf News for Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | Growth Of The Game

All-American Gateway Tour to be overseen by new Governing Body

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The All-American Gateway Tour (AAGT) has announced a radical new step in their efforts to create the best developmental golf tour for both the players and the entire industry. The tour will start its 13th season of operating first-class professional golf tournaments with a new Governing Body at the helm.

AAGT's Governing Body will consist of active players in the developmental golf system, active PGA TOUR players, existing and past tour owners, and other knowledgeable industry and business executives. The primary decision makers of the Governing Body however will be the players.

"The Governing Body, led by the players, will steer the tour, collectively making major decisions that affect the tour and its players," said AAGT's Director of Marketing and Communications Holly Dean. "This is a significant change from how the other tours operate but we are committed to being different from any of the other tours out there today."

While AAGT's Governing Body will be led by the players, it will also have the collective knowledge and experience of past tour owners and operators, business professionals, and community leaders to assist in the decision making process. Active developmental golf tour players Jesse Mueller, Ryan Dillon, and Ryan Hogue will be on the Governing Body, joining current PGA TOUR members Charlie Beljan and Pat Perez. Chris Stutts, founder of the Gateway Tour, and Will Cumberland, founder of the All-American Tour, will also be members of the AAGT Governing Body. Additional players and community leaders that bring value to the Governing Body will be added as the season progresses.

"AAGT understands the demands placed on developmental tour players, which is why they are committed to setting the example for the industry," said Cumberland. "I'm confident players will see how AAGT has evolved since the two Arizona based tours merged together earlier this year to create one tour dedicated to the players on the west coast. AAGT has truly become the most sensible tour available to assist players with their goals."

To further ensure everyone has a voice and that there is indeed 100% transparency to the tour's finances and decision making process, throughout the year player surveys and meetings will be conducted where all of the tour's members will be able to vote on things being discussed by the AAGT Governing Body like tour policies, purse distribution, entry fees, membership fees, golf course selection, tournament dates, and more.

"Since 2001, AAGT has served over 3,500 players, paid out over $43 million in purses and boasts an impressive number of alumni (168) currently playing on the PGA and Web.com Tours. It is obvious that AAGT is committed to helping their players achieve their goal of reaching the PGA TOUR," said Ryan Pray, managing partner of the Gateway Golf Group and operating member of the AAGT Governing Body. "AAGT is truly striving to be a tour built for the players, by the players, by not having one owner that has complete control over the tour. Instead, the Governing Body will be in charge of formulating policy and directing the operation of the tour."

AAGT is confident that with the formation of their Governing Body, paired with the long-term developmental golf veterans that make up their operations crew which include Rick Cramer, Tom Cramsie, Wes Bliler, and Billy Johnson, players will be excited to be a part of their 13th season that runs from October through April. The upcoming season will feature a slate of fifteen 54-hole tournaments throughout the Phoenix area, plus a season-ending Tour Championship. Each series will consist of five tournaments, featuring a 100% purse payback program, a cumulative "Points Race" to award a Web.com Tour playing exemption, as well as a one-day, 18-hole Sponsorship Event prior to each series that will award the winner with free entry into all five tournaments.

Tournament registration opened Sept. 1, 2013, for all three series. Players are able to register for a tournament for free and will not be charged until a minimum of 75 players have registered for the event. AAGT's one of a kind, 100% purse program, where all the dollars related to the qualifiers, minus any course costs, go back into the purses, also gives players every incentive to sign up early and play for all of their money.

To learn more about AAGT, the Governing Body, and the details of their upcoming series, please visit www.aagtgolf.com.

About All-American Gateway Tour (AAGT)
Established in 2001, the All-American Gateway Tour (AAGT) was created to help aspiring PGA TOUR professionals fine-tune their skills in competitive golf tournaments. In its 12-year history, the tour has maintained a leading position as the premier developmental professional golf tour on the west coast and has paid out more than $43 million to players over that period. AAGT has served more than 3,400 players, with 168 AAGT alums currently playing on the Web.com and PGA Tours. These players represent 32 PGA Tour wins and 78 Web.com Tour wins. Today, AAGT continues to provide the ideal competitive environment as well as significant financial opportunities for aspiring PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour professionals.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities or information for the 2013-2014 season, please visit www.AAGTgolf.com. You can also follow the tour on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AAGTGOLF or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AAGTProGolf.