It’s been an unusual year for golf – no surprises there. For the first time ever in its eighty-four year history, the Masters were held in November, seeing the tournament’s famed magnolia flowers swapped for cool winds and autumn leaves.
Not only that, but the sport has emerged as one of the breakout stars of the pandemic, with golfing equipment enjoying a steady rise in sales throughout the year, beaten only by the likes of hand sanitizer and office furniture. Yes, restaurants and theatres were out of bounds, but we could, and did, play golf.
It is amid this golfing buzz that the golf’s senior tour in Europe (50-and-over) got rebranded as the Legends Tour, as part of a joint venture between the European Tour and renowned entrepreneur Ryan Howsam, whose travel insurance company Staysure has been sponsoring the tour since 2017. The Legends Tour offers amateur players the chance to tee up alongside golfing icons (think former Ryder Cup Captains Colin Montgomerie and James Mark, world champion Tom Lehman; and celebrity sports legends like Clare Balding and Stephen Hendry) at the world’s most famous clubs and sought-after courses. This announcement could not come at a better time: with news of a vaccine, travel is on the horizon, at last, the prospect of playing golf somewhere other than our local course is in touching distance.
In Howsam’s own words, “The Legends Tour is ground-breaking in the way that fans are quite literally introduced to their legends on the course with an opportunity to learn and play alongside them in some of the most exclusive resorts that the golfing community has ever known. It’s a network between the Pro-Ams, the sporting legends, and now these new club members, and it’s unrivalled.”
The season will travel across Europe and the U.S., beginning in Austria at Golf Club Murhof, before continuing to the likes of Sunningdale, UK, for the 2021 Senior Open and the stunning seafront Rosapenna Resort in Ireland, hosted by winning Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley.
The tour’s Alliance Pro-Am format allows amateur players with a handicap of up to 24 to play side by side with World Number Ones, using its own Order of Merit. As such, players are treated to the full professional experience, with granted access to the locker rooms, gala dinners, cocktail evenings, and prize-giving ceremonies, as well as luxury accommodation, private transfers, and a bespoke concierge service. To round things off, all members are invited to the Legends Tour Championship Final in Seychelles, at what is widely hailed as the most beautiful golf course in the world.
The tour is open to golf lovers of any demographic, but spaces are limited to just 20, with prices ranging from £15,000 per tournament place to £100,000 for full membership.
Golf lovers, here’s one for your Christmas list…
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Opening picture: Ryan Howsam, CEO of The Legends Tour, plays at the first tee of the West Course, Wentworth Golf Club.