NEW ENGLAND AMATEUR TOUR "Tournament Golf For Golfers Of All Abilities"
Tournament Golf for Golfers of all Abilities
Welcome to the New England Amateur Tour (N.E.A.T.)
Commencing for the 2019 Golf Season
Dear current and former B.A.G.S. members and golfing friends:
After 27 years of operating as the Boston Amateur Golf Society – Rhode Island Division (B.A.G.S.-RI), I am pleased to announce the formation of a successor golf league that will continue our tradition of “tournament golf for golfer's of all abilities”. The new organization – New England Amateur Tour (N.E.A.T.), will commence for the 2019 season, and will encompass the existing B.A.G.S. - RI Division, while expanding its reach to appeal to many of our golfing friends in Massachusetts. The major reason for this change at this time is due to an ownership change with the original MA. B.A.G.S. league.
I will be the sole owner and operater of the new tour.
Some of the more significant changes will be as follows:
1. An increase in the # of local tournaments from about 55 to about 80. The additional events will mainly be in Massachusetts. The lineup of host courses located in Rhode Island and Connecticut will remain largely the same. While I will not run all the events, they will all be run to the same high standards that I am committed to providing. The annual Florida trip in December will continue. I will also be considering addtional winter/spring golf trips.
2. All events will be open to all members. There will no longer be combined RI/MA events. There will be an increased emphasis on venues that are geographically convenient for the majority of members.
3. We will be members of both RIGA (Rhode Island Golf Assn.) and MGA (Massachusetts golf Assn). Members my choose to carry their GHIN handicap affiliated with RIGA and/or MGA, and thus qualify to participate in RIGA and/or MGA events.
4. We will be taking full advantage of the recent USGA partnership with Golf Genius software – which is a “cloud” based software system now being used by most state golf associations and many member clubs. The software is fully integrated whith GHIN, and provides a web based portal for each event where members can obtain tee times, full results, season long standings, and statistics - all accessible on any internet enabled device.
All existing B.A.G.S.-RI division tournament credits will be honored toward N.E.A.T. membership and/or tournament entry fees.
I am confident that you will find that membership in N.E.A.T. will be the way to go. Over the past 27 years- I have learned "a thing or three" about owning and operating a travelling tournament league. I am committed to maintaining the same high level of service and responsiveness that you have all come to expect.
Please feel free to contact me about the new tour. I am excited to discuss my vision, and happy to get your input on procedures, policies, host courses, and anything else that will enhance the new tour.
I will be working hard over the coming weeks to roll out a new website and details of the New England Amateur Tour.
2019 will be our inaugural season – N.E.A.T. policies and procedures are discussed below. Major differences from B.A.G.S. (our predecessor golf league) are discussed at the end of each topic.
GOLF GENIUS SOFTWARE:
The Tour will be run using Golf Genius software (www.golfgenius.com) , a cloud based tournament management software package endorsed by the USGA, and provided to USGA member clubs.
I envision that the Golf Genius package will handle nearly all aspects of our events, including tournament registration, tee time scheduling, scoring, computation of winning amounts and side bets, integration with GHIN (tournament rounds are automatically exported to member’s GHIN record), computation of season long competitions, and member communications via email. A web based “portal” site is established for each event which provides tee times and tournament results.
P.S. B.A.G.S. members: the look of the N.E.A.T. website will change significantly from B.A.G.S. – RI website, with much of the information moving over to Golf Genius portal sites. The software will greatly enhance the efficiency of running the tour, and will automate many of the functions previously performed after the events. The software should minimize errors in tournament winnings payouts.
All members may participate in as few or as many events as suits their schedule. The entry fee for each event may be paid at the course (cash or check only) or in advance by credit card using pay pal ($3 additional fee for Pay Pal fee for each 18 hole round).
The suggested method for entering events will be via email, text messaging, or through the golf genius tournament management software. Members may cancel their entries up to 48 hours prior to the first tee time without financial penalties. Those canceling their entry (or no-shows) within 48 hours of the first tee time will be subject to a $20 late cancellation fee, at the discretion of NEAT management,
Members may bring guests to events on a space available basis. Guests pay receive $10 off the member entry fee and are not eligible to participate in the tournament prize fund, but may enter the gross skins and/or net skins – (verifiable handicap required)
All members will be required to maintain a GHIN handicap, either through N.E.A.T. affiliated with Rhode Island Golf Association (RIGA) or Massachusetts Golf Assocation (MGA), or with another club providing GHIN handicaps. Members will be required to provide their GHIN # (handicaps and score posted are automated in the golf genius software).
The entry fee for each event will be approximately $22 over cost. Approximately $1 per player will go into a season-long Hole-in-One /closest to pin pool. Approximately $12 per player will go into the general prize fund. All winnings paid out of the entry fee will be in the form of N.E.A.T. tournament credits.
Most events will consist of a gross division and either one or two net divisions (depending on the size of the field). Divisions will be split by handicap index so approximately the same # of players are in each division.
Side bets for each event will be Gross Sweep ($10), Gross Skins ($ 10), Net Skins ($5), Least amount of zero’s ($5), and one C-T-P ($1). There will be (about monthly) two person best ball events added to the normal event ($5 per player)
Tournament winnings will continue to be paid out to those present immediately following conclusion of play – in most cases the tournament results will be available within 15 minutes after the last group finishes (in a tee time event). Tournament winnings paid out at the event will be recoverable if a significant error is later detected.
P.S. – B.A.G.S. members– I am doing away with the net sweep side bet, increasing the entry fee and prize fund by approximately $2 per player.
The Rules for competions will be updated to reflect many of the changed USGA rules for club competitions that go into effect January, 2019.
All net competions will be based on 90% of the players handicap index adjusted for course slope rating. We will use either the stableford scoring system – 0 points for hole scores of net double bogey or worse), or net off of handicap with a maximum limit of net double bogey on any given hole (if supported by golf genius)
SEASON LONG COMPETITIONS:
Hole In One / Closest to Pin Pool – approximately $1 per player per event will be paid into the pool, and accumulated through the season, Any member scoring a hole in one at any event will win 50% of the pool value at the time of their hole in one. One par 3 (separate from the “Cash Hole”) will be designated as the measured hole for the day – the winner to receive a sponsor prize or a N.E.A.T. tournament credit. Whatever money remaining in the pool at the end of the season will be distributed evenly to the six closest to the pin shots for the season. All payments to be in the form of N.E.A.T. tournament credits
Player(s) of the year competitions - There will be gross and net competitions, with all members being eligible for both competitions. “Points” for each event will be awarded equal to the N.E.A.T. credits awarded, and will be accumulated through the season.
A second player(s) of the year competition (both Gross and Net) will be awarded based on highest average points per event played (must play in at least 10 rounds).
Year end payouts to the the top three finishers of each competition remain to be determined.
P.S. – B.A.G.S. members: a second player of the year competition, based on highest average points per tournament is added specifically for those that don’t play in a majority events (the calculation is supported by Golf Genius Software). Instead of awarding a fixed number of points to a fixed amount of winners, the new system will automatically adjust the points and number of positions based on the # of players.