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Eggland's Best Moves into Men's Professional Golf
Orlando, Florida. In 2020, another developmental tour for men will enter the competitive arena of men's professional golf. Eggland's Best (EB) franchisee, Specialty Eggs Inc. out of Griffin, Georgia will sponsor a nine event winter schedule operating in Central Florida and South Georgia, kicking off in December 2019.
"This is an exciting opportunity for our organization," said Scott Walker, Director of Golf Operations. "The past three and a half years EB has been the Title Sponsor of the NWGA EB Ladies Pro Tour, and has contributed significant amount of sponsorship which allowed our female athletes to compete for bigger paydays. Their involvement in the women's game provided support that no other women's mini-tour has ever been able to offer players at this level. With EB's involvement we look forward to being able to offer the men the same opportunities."
Walker, a twenty-one year veteran in professional golf tournament management, has had eyes on starting a men's tour for several years. According to Walker, "This is something I have had my eye on for many years now, but the market for men's golf is flooded with mini tours. I did not want to start another men's tour if I could not offer something different than what is out there already. Thanks to EB's involvement, they have given me the opportunity to do just that, and we look forward to seeing this thing grow."
Walker began earning his impeccable reputation in tournament management in the late 1990's starting the Florida based Hurricane Tour which later became known as the NGA Hooters Winter Tour. In 2001, the National Golf Association purchased the Hurricane Tour, and hired Walker to continue to operate the Winter Tour, as well as the NGA Hooters Pro Tour West Coast Series. In addition to his Florida and California operations, Walker was placed in charge of developing, and putting into operation a senior division, and a women's division. "At the time, the women's game probably wasn't ready for a mini-tour" says Walker. "There had been a few attempts by others to run a women's tour but nothing survived because the amount of players just was not there. When Michele Wie came onto the scene I predicted that women's golf was on the verge of expanding rapidly. In 2004, I pitched the idea of a women's tour to Tour President Robin Waters, drafted a business plan, and immediately began putting the pieces together for a women's winter tour. The tour operated for two seasons before they (NGA Tour) decided to cease operations. I saw missed opportunities, and upon announcing their intentions to cancel the women's series, I decided to continue with it on my own. I resigned my position with the NGA Hooters Pro Tour, and started the National Women's Golf Association in 2006."
The inaugural season of the EB Pro Tour will offer the men a nine event winter schedule December through the end of March. The season kicks off at West Orange Country Club in Winter Garden, Florida December 17-19. The series will end its first year with a Tour Championship which offers the winner a $20,000 1st place guarantee. The Tour Championship will be held at the beautiful Springhill Country Club in Tifton, Georgia. Springhill Country Club is rated one of the top ten best private clubs in Georgia. Plans are to offer the men an expanded schedule of fifteen to twenty tournaments beginning in the Fall of 2020, and running through 2021. "The original plan was to operate a ten to twelve event summer series in the Myrtle Beach area in addition to our Florida schedule" said Walker. "However, we are in the process of speaking with two additional potential sponsors, and based on their commitment we are going to need the summer to work on tournament scheduling for the following year."
"Specialty Eggs, Inc (Egglands Best) of Griffin, GA has been a partner of the tour for several years, and shares in the excitement of expanding into the men’s market. We are looking forward to this new venture in the men’s game”, states Mike Sinisko, spokesperson for Specialty Eggs/Eggland’s Best. “Being involved in golf at the developmetnal level has worked well for us over the past few years, and we are committed in supporting the young men and women who choose to play on the EB Pro Tour.”