Despite the global pandemic and four months of lockdown, all 22 planned NCG Top 100s Tour events were delivered, from as far north as Duff House Royal, on the Aberdeenshire coast, down to Broadstone in Dorset.
“The standout event for me – and for everyone involved, really – was Trump International, in Aberdeen,” Georgina Simpson, who is charged with organising all these events, says. “I hadn’t been there before and it’s not often you’re on a golf course and feel like you could be on another planet.
“Southport & Ainsdale was the course where I had the best feedback from the players. Despite the fact it threw it down all day, everyone came off the 18th saying, ‘Wow, what a golf course!’ It was in immaculate condition.”
Georgina will be back on the road for the 2021 renewal of the NCG Top 100s Tour, for which there are currently 25 venues in the bank, including the Grand Final at S&A, with at least 15 more just waiting for dates to be confirmed.
So we asked her for her five reasons why you should come and play in the NCG Top 100s Tour in 2021…
Georgina’s five reasons to enter the 2021 NCG Top 100s Tour
1. Play the best golf courses in the country
The courses are hand-picked from NCG’s definitive Top 100s rankings lists, so you’re guaranteed a top-class golfing experience. Not only that, you get to play them in a competitive environment and at a fraction of the usual price, your food is included, and you have the chance to win some incredible prizes. (More on that in a bit.)
“What brings the entrants together is their love of golf and playing nice courses,” Georgina says. “And if we can show them a bit of the UK too and send them home with either some nice prizes or wonderful memories, then we’ve done our job.”
But it hasn’t all been easy. With golf courses closed for a large chunk of 2020 and club staff furloughed or overly busy, getting dates nailed down for next year has been some achievement.
“We’re very grateful for the co-operation of clubs in what has been a difficult year and I’m really looking forward to working with them in 2021.”
2. Turn it into a golf break
You can either play one event and have a nice day out, or cherry pick multiple events in various parts of the country.
“We’ve tried to make next year’s tour into a series of swings,” Georgina explains. “So we’re kicking off with Prestwick, which is obviously amazing given its history, and we’ll do Dundonald and Western Gailes in the same week. Then we’ll head across to the Fife coast for three days there – and so on.
“We’ve got a couple of new swings, too, including South Wales and the South West.
“We’re always looking to try and make it so people can make a few days of it. We had a lot of feedback over the last couple of years where people are saying they wanted to be able to move around and play different golf courses in one trip.
“We had plenty last year where they would come and play an event on the Thursday or Friday, make a weekend of it, then come and play the next event on the Monday or Tuesday. It’s great.
“Personally, I’m looking forward to the South West Swing – which will take in East Devon and Bude & North Cornwall – because on top of the good things I’ve heard about the courses, it will bring back fond memories from family holidays there as a child.”
3. The new membership features
New for 2021 is the membership feature. For just £199 you will get you 20 per cent off each event. Members will also get a dozen TaylorMade golf balls worth £50, a Donald Ross polo shirt worth £75, a subscription to NCG magazine worth £30, as well as NCG Top 100s Tour-branded tees and ball markers.
“We’ve noticed over the last three years that some people play up to 10 events in one year in a bid to reach the final – and of course we want to encourage that – so we decided to give them membership discounts. All you have to do is play in three or more events and you start getting your money back.”
4. Amazing prizes
At each event the first prize will be a TaylorMade Spider X putter, with other TaylorMade prizes for second, third, and the closest to the pin challenges.
Meanwhile, the winner of the Grand Final will win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the 2022 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
“If you’re playing in an event associated with brands with the stature in the game that these two have, it’s always going to add a little something extra and we’re delighted to have their support.
“Aside from playing a nice course and having a nice day, you do get players who actually come along because they see a nice putter from TaylorMade or the chance to go to Sawgrass with Golfbreaks and they come and play because they think they can win it – which they absolutely can.
“I had one chap last year who was sat eating his breakfast while I was setting out the prizes in the morning and he jokingly said, ‘You can just give me the putter now if you’d like!’ All good banter, then he actually went and won it. So that was funny.
“But it just goes to show that people are motivated to play well in these events because the prizes are so good.”
5. You’ll make new friends
Golfers from all over Britain congregate at these events – from single golfers to groups of friends from golf clubs, as well as captain’s trips and societies.
“It’s great fun. We’re a nice community, and everyone has a laugh and gets on with one another.”