The PGA TOUR and Advocates Pro Golf Association (APGA) Tour are embarking on significant enhancements to the existing strategic partnership between the two organizations, including 2020 tournaments hosted by TPC properties and funded by the PGA TOUR, access and instruction at the PGA TOUR Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass and additional financial assistance.
The APGA Tour was once home to some of the top minority players on the PGA TOUR to include Tony Finau, Harold Varner III, and Joseph Bramlett.
Established in 2010, the APGA’s mission is to bring greater diversity to the game of golf. They accomplish this by hosting and operating professional golf tournaments, player development programs, mentoring programs and by introducing the game to inner city youth.
In addition to conducting up to eight tournaments awarding $250,000 in prize money annually, the APGA conducts the Charlie Sifford Player Development Program to aid young minority golfers.
With the support of the PGA TOUR, the APGA Tour has elevated the quality of courses on its schedule in recent years, hosting tournaments at TPC Craig Ranch (2018), TPC Scottsdale (2019) and Innisbrook (2019). That partnership continues in 2020 as the APGA Tour will play an eight-tournament schedule, including three events held at TPC courses: TPC Scottsdale, TPC Louisiana, and TPC Sugarloaf. Competition rounds for those three tournaments will be financially covered by the PGA TOUR.
Another benefit added to the partnership is the ability for APGA Tour players to receive instruction at the state-of-the-art PGA TOUR Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The Performance Center opened in 2017 and serves as the main practice facility for many PGA TOUR players based in Greater Jacksonville.
Several benefits will continue in 2020, including access to the First Stage of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament for the season-long APGA champion. In addition, each tournament winner is granted a scholarship for Open Qualifiers on the Korn Ferry Tour, while the winner of the Senior Pro Classic receives one for Open Qualifiers on PGA TOUR Champions.
The APGA Tour, which has been supported financially by the PGA TOUR since 2012, began in 2010 with three professional tournaments, 80 participants and $40,000 in prize money. In 2019, it hosted seven events with 103 participants (25 amateurs) and $250,000 in prize money, as well as an APGA Senior Pro Classic.