The Alps Tour formalizes a sixteenth stage

The satellite circuit of the Alps Tour has announced the organization of a new tournament, the 2024 Alps de Roquetas de Mar, which will take place in Spain at the end of May.

by Andrea Gussoni
The Alps Tour formalizes a sixteenth stage
© Getty Images Sport - Valerio Pennicino / Stringer

The satellite circuit of the Alps Tour has announced the organization of a new tournament, the 2024 Alps de Roquetas de Mar, which will take place in Spain at the end of May. There will not be 15 but at least 16 tournaments this season on the Alps Tour.

The circuit, led by Frenchwoman Estelle Richard, has indeed announced a new date, the Alps de Roquetas de Mar. It will take place in the eponymous city a few kilometers from Almeria, at the Playa Serena Golf Club, a par 72 (6,226 meters) with wide fairways and nine water hazards.

Alps Tour, schedule

The event will take place from May 29th to 31st and will offer a prize fund of 40,000 euros. It complements a month of May already marked by three events. This tournament played in the south of Spain will follow the Memorial Giorgio Bordoni (Italy, May 8th to 10th), the Gosser Open (Austria, May 16th to 18th), and the Lacanau Alps Open (Gironde, May 23rd to 25th).

Golf is one of the most lucrative sports in the world, both in the men's and women's fields, but its structure is quite different from that of other professional sports. The vast majority of professional players (at least 95%) derive their main income from managing a club or teaching the sport, rather than from participating in competitions.

Touring professionals, who sustain themselves through prize winnings and sponsorships, represent a small elite, but the best among them can earn truly impressive sums. However, for lower-level players, participating in tournaments can prove to be an uncertain profession.

Participation itself requires a certain expense: tournaments have entry fees, in addition to travel and accommodation costs, as well as the salary to be given to the caddy. Furthermore, most tournaments involve a halfway cut, after which half of the participants, those with the worst scores, are eliminated, while the prizes are reserved for the remaining players.

This means that lesser-known players, who don't consistently play and can't rely on sponsor support, may find themselves in financial difficulty if they have a bad year. History The golf tour system has evolved more through trial and error than according to an organic design.

In the early days of professionalism, each tournament was organized by a single golf club, golf association, or sponsor. As the number of tournaments increased, the top players began to focus their attention on them rather than on club activities.

When a certain number of tournaments were held annually in a region, they were formally linked together into a tour, under the supervision of a single organization, although in various cases individual tournaments continued to exist separately.

The precursor of the tour system was the PGA Tour, although the date of its establishment is not very well defined. The PGA of America was founded in 1916; since then, a list of players with the most victories in each season has been available, and players' career total victories have been calculated from that year.

However, the idea of a "tour" was not very clear at that time, and further developments were still awaited. Bob Harlow was appointed manager of the PGA Tournament Bureau in 1930, the first organization of professional players was created in 1932, and the list of prize money is only available from 1934.

The PGA Tour itself dates the formal establishment of the tour to 1968 when the "Tournament Players Division" separated from the PGA of America. The founding dates of the other major tours are as follows: 1950: LPGA Tour 1972: European Tour 1973: Japan Golf Tour 1995: Asian Tour To describe the professional golf tournament system in a particular area before the era of tours, the term "circuit" is often used.

For example, before the establishment of the Asian Tour, tournaments held in Asia were part of the Asian circuit. Professional golf has continued to create and develop new tours such as the Challenge Tour (1986) and the Nationwide Tour (1990 originally called the Ben Hogan Tour), as well as tours for senior players such as the Champions Tour (1980; originally the Senior PGA Tour) and the European Seniors Tour (1992).

These tours were created both to give more golfers the opportunity to participate in a tour and to meet the demands of sponsors and media for more events to be associated with.