NGA-Golf-ImageOne may not make the connection between Myrtle Beach Golf and the NGA Tour. But, the National Golf Association Tour (NGA Tour) has its headquarters in Loris, South Carolina, just minutes bigstock-Illustration-of-a-Woman-Holdin-36592318northwest of Myrtle Beach, the Golf Capital of the World.  Considered the third tour in line, just behind the PGA Tour and the Tour, the NGA Tour celebrates its 25 year anniversary this year and prides itself on being the “tour without ropes.”  Listen here to the interview with NGA officials and Shan Coughlin of Amateur Golf Talk Live.   Their website states that “Starting in 1995 and continuing through today, the Tour has been taken to a plateau where it is no longer viewed as simply a training ground for the PGA Tour. With an anticipated total payout annually of over 5 million dollars, the NGA Pro Golf Tour under its sanctioning body, the National Golf Association, continues to grow and be recognized as one of the top professional tours in the world, third only in the United States to the PGA and Nationwide Tours. Along with local television coverage, tournament scores appear regularly in major newspapers and major golf media outlets across the country. Many of golf’s prominent media outlets, such as GolfWeek and the Golf Channel continue to increase their coverage of the tour.”

The NGA Tour began as the Jordan tour in 1988 when founded by Rick “TC” Jordan.  Many thought the “Jordan” stood for Michael Jordan which did make for good stories.  In 1994, Bob Brooks, founder of Hooters, stepped up to sponsor the tour and it was then known as the Hooters Tour sanctioned by the NGA.  With this sponsorship, the tour grew tremendously and started garnering national attention.  Through 2012, 14 alums have won major tournaments including Jim Furyk, John Daly, Keegan Bradley, Stuart Cink, Zach Johnson, and Bubba Watson to name a few.

In addition to the Pro Series, there is also a mini-tour called the Carolina Series.  With purses guaranteed to be at least $5000, this mini-tour gives players the opportunity to hone their tournament skills while still having the opportunity to make a living.  The Pro series purses are guaranteed to be at least $150,000 and the top 10 money winners to date have made over $26,000 with the leader over $66,0000 and it is only May!  Both tournament schedules are posted on their website, and all tournaments are open to the public, free to spectators.  What an awesome opportunity to see great golf at a great price.  So if one of these events are in your hometown or if you are headed to the beach, check them out.  You could be looking at the next Bubba Watson!