European Tour pro Chris Hanson has launched a new tour in the north of England where women and men can play for equal pay pots
Six weeks ago Chris Hanson and his caddie for the week, and fellow pro, Adam Walker were sat having dinner during the Spanish Open in Madrid when the conversation turned to starting up an equal gender tour in the UK.
The next two hours were spent making notes, the evening ended with the pair of them convinced that they had to do this, and now they’ve launched the 2020protour.
And, as the strapline – “Putting the players first” – suggests, there’s an awful lot to like about it. Much like Hanson himself, who for years has kept an entertaining blog about his life on the European and other tours, which is well worth a read.
The concept itself is very simple and transparent. The entry fee is £99, the green fee for the day is deducted, and then everything else is put back into the pot so the players are effectively playing for their own money.
The tour takes nothing for its troubles, it provides plenty of playing opportunities and they already have 23 tournaments in the book, starting and ending at Fixby in Hudderfield with a collection of courses across the north of England filling in the rest of the calendar.
We hope you all have a fantastic 2020 season on and off the course! #goodluck
— 2020protour (@2020protour) November 29, 2019
All bar one of the events will take place on a Monday to fit in with the other tours and 20 per cent of the field will be paid out – 25 per cent of the kitty will go to the winner.
The most notable point of difference is that, unlike some other tours, the women get to play for the same prize money each week and are part of the same order of merit and will hopefully provide some much-needed quality playing time.
They will set up the course by decreasing the length of the holes by 11 per cent for the women which is the same way that the mixed event in Jordan was laid out.
And, if you’ve got a handicap of 2 or under, then you can also tee it up.
“As amateurs we can only really half measure our games with the pros. We can only ever go on scores, however the 2020protour not only gives us the opportunity to play with pros, it also gives us chance to compete and interact with the pros,” explained Yorkshire amateur Tom Broxup.
The Tour will also offer a membership package while the winner of the Order of Merit will win a bundle of prizes that includes a five-night, five-star trip to Portugal over the winter to sharpen up your game.
“We’ll start it in the north of England and hopefully grow it to two or three-day events and get some filming done to go on YouTube,” Hanson said. “We’ve already had some good support from the players and, if it’s successful, we’ll be able to sell some sponsorship and make it a bigger tour. We’re speculating but we’re very optimistic about how it goes.”
For more information, visit the 2020protour website.