The National Professional Golf Tour is the creation of avid golfer and accomplished entrepreneur Larry Lunsford. Mr. Lunsford’s professional interest in golf began in Florida while working as an apprentice at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at the Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando. In 1996, he accepted a position at Grand Cypress Resort, the sister course to Arnold Palmer’s Bayhill Country Club and Lodge, as an apprentice operator. While attending turf school during the evening, Larry learned every aspect of the golf course design, maintenance. Management business and during the day he worked at the golf courses. In 1996, Larry continued to pursue his interest in golf by founding the “American Amateur Golf Tour,” the world’s largest amateur golf tour. Larry sold the tour to an investment group in 2005. It's now known as the Golf Channel Amateur Tour and airs on cable’s The Golf Channel.
The National Professional Golf Tour was born in 2009 out of Mr. Lunsford’s desire to give aspiring golfers the chance to earn their way to the PGA Tour. In 2010, NPGT and Larry joined forces with the Arnold Palmer Golf Management and Century Golf Partners to offer a dream to some of the top golfers in the United States. The NPGT is also a supporter of the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, a 150 Bed facility providing care for kids of Central Florida. Raising money for charity is one of the main objectives of the NPGT and its tournament directors.
In March 2010, aspiring golfers will have the opportunity to participate in professionally run golf tournaments across the country. The National Professional Golf Tour (NPGT) is launching a 12-tournament season in each of the 22 cities across the country. Sponsored by ProPlay Sports and Parker Golf, the tournaments are designed as a stepping-stone for professional golfers whose ultimate goal is to play on the PGA, Nationwide or Champions Tour.
Unlike other professional tours, golfers who participate in the National Professional Golf Tour won’t have travel all over the state or region to find a tournament. The tour locations and schedules are combined with the ease of purchasing membership packages, eliminate the weekly travel costs, hotel and restaurant expenses and outrageous entry fees that characterize other tours. The NPGT provides golfers with a competitive golf experience that's both affordable and convenient.
In 2010, the NPGT will be making hosting tournaments across the country including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Antonio, Miami, Atlanta, San Diego, Phoenix, Kansas City and Dallas and more. In 2011, the tour will expand to include Chicago, Nashville, locations in North and South Carolina, Colorado and Louisiana. Members of the National Professional Golf Tour may compete on both their local tour as well as any NPGT tournament nationwide.
The NPGT is open to professional golfers of all ages who may compete in one of two divisions. Any player with a 4 handicap or better may compete in the Open division while the Masters division is reserved for players 40 years of age or older with a handicap of 6 or better.
There are currently six membership packages available, ranging from a single amateur tournament to a platinum membership, which includes all twelve tournaments and the three Major events. A $1200.00 annual membership fee grants players an opportunity to compete in any of the 22 markets across the country. Pricing for membership packages ranges from $500 to $10,025 and members who win tournament events are eligible to have the $1200 membership fee waived for up to three years.
NPGT golfers also have the opportunity to compete in three 54-hole Major events, The National Open Championship, The Players Championship and The Southern Masters. The tour culminates in two events, the National Cup Match Play event and the National Tour Championship and members must qualify to participate in these events.
At stake in the National Cup match play event is a $25,000 prize. The top 124 money leaders from each division who have participated in at least eight tournaments are invited to compete in the National Tour Championship where players have the chance to compete for both a $500,000 purse. The first place winner will receive $100,000 in prize money as well as the prestige of the Tour Championship title.
Members also have the opportunity to qualify for a paid entry into the PGA Q-School, where they’ll have the chance to compete for a spot on the PGA Tour. Additionally, the NPGT’s Player of the Year will receive a $10,000 bonus.
The National Professional Golf Tour is an exciting opportunity for professional golfers to enjoy the prestige of playing in a national golf tournament while gaining valuable experience that can potentially carry over to a spot on the PGA or Nationwide Tours. The tour’s affordability and convenience, combined with the hundreds of thousands of dollars in available prize money make the NPGT a tour unlike any other. The NPGT experience is one that's sure to benefit aspiring golfers of all ages in realizing their professional goals.