New women’s tour creates more gaming opportunities
Mark Berman puts his money where his mouth is – again.
When Berman hosted the first PXG Match Play Women’s Championship in November with the simple mission of shining the spotlight on women’s development golf, he had no idea it would lead to buying an entire circuit. But that’s exactly what happened when Berman closed the purchase of the Florida-based NWGA, a 16-year-old girl’s tour. Her plan is to rename it The East Coast Women’s Professional Golf Tour and rebuild it from the ground up, providing more playing and winning opportunities for professional female golfers.
Currently, there are only three development tours in the United States, which host events in Florida, Arizona, and Texas and a few surrounding states. Inspired by female players and their stories, Berman strives to create more gaming opportunities for female pros. The circuit will kick off with a winter series starting January 17, followed by its summer schedule in May with events in the eastern third of the United States.
“While all three tours will have their share of future LPGA stars, the ECWPGT is positioned to provide a more economically viable route for women in the eastern third of the country where no professional event at this level currently exists,” Berman said in a press release. press release announcing the sale and rebranding of the tour.
The ECWPGT will begin with a winter series at the Black Bear Golf Course in Orlando, followed by six more tournaments across Florida. The summer program will be announced during the PGA Merchandise Show 2022 and will coincide with state openings in New England, Mid Atlantic, Carolinas, Georgia and will end with PXGWMPC as the ending highlight. of the season.
“Our goal is to complement other tours rather than compete,” said Berman. “We’ll be keeping an eye on the schedules, so players don’t have to choose one over the other. At the same time, there are a lot of players looking for tournaments. We are creating events in areas where players are currently underserved, which helps them reduce upfront costs.
“The PXGWMPC gave us a 10-day focus group that reinforced our belief in the need for more gaming opportunities, but also highlighted the need to expand real geography,” said Berman, who will lead ECWPGT under the umbrella of his marketing company MediaShare Consulting Group, Inc. “Hearing their stories motivated us to become even more involved in their success. “
The Berman Development Circuit has also created the Access Golf Fund to provide financial support to its players. The Access Golf Fund will help ensure that every tournament scholarship reflects the value and importance these women bring to the game, making it worth investing their time and money in furthering their LPGA career. . The Access Golf Fund will also provide scholarships to help players pay registration fees and travel costs, the two biggest obstacles to their success. While the Tour itself will seek sponsors to cover operating costs and scholarships, the Access Golf Fund will be an opportunity for the public to support professional women’s golf in small increments rather than in the limelight.
The ECWPGT is open primarily to developing professional players, those ranked below the Top 14 on the LPGA Symetra Tour. The tour will accept amateur players aged 16 and over on a waiting list basis, as space permits and plans to award WAGR points.
Registrations for the Winter Series are currently open on the Tour website, www.ECWPGT.com.