LOCAL club professionals are going back to the future as the tournaments they play in undergo a makeover.
The series of events organised by the PGA North Region, which provide a vital source of competitive income for golfers whose earnings predominantly come from their club or teaching commitment, have reverted to a previous set-up.
The Order of Merit tournaments have been halved to five while pro-ams will no longer count for ranking points.
Regional secretary Graham Maly explained: “We have returned to our former tried and trusted method because it’s much fairer and more manageable.
“The inclusion of pro-ams in recent years was not popular with many of our professionals, who could not afford the time to compete in them.”
However Maly added that a sixth tournament could be added to the schedule, saying: “We are hoping to announce a tournament in the north east. It’s such a huge golfing area it is important that it figures in our schedule.
“The four PGA counties play a big part in the region and we are determined to recognise the fact by staging an Order of Merit event in all of them.”
That pledge has already been honoured for assistant professionals.
A record five tournaments, an increase of two on previous years, will not only provide them with more chances to showcase their blossoming talents but help them to secure their futures.
Yorkshire, with the greatest number of clubs, will stage two events with Ilkley hosting the curtain-raising North Region Assistants’ Championship on May 3.
The Sue Wright Trophy takes place at Helsby on July 18.
MAIN RANKING EVENTS
June 18-19: De Vere PGA North Region Championship (Herons’ Reach)
July 29-30: The Manchester Open (Marriott Worsley Park)
Aug 21-22: De Vere Leeds Cup (Oulton Hall)
Aug 28-29: Yorkshire PGA Masters (Sandburn Hall)
Sept 9-10: James Brearley Lancashire Open (Blackpool North Shore).