Providing a platform for the region’s best players to showcase their skills and push to the next level, a host of household names have learned their trade on the Asian Tour, led by Thongchai Jaidee, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Jeev Milkha Singh, Anirban Lahiri, David Lipsky and Noh Seung-yul.
“The mission of the Asian Tour is to expand tournament golf so as to substantially enhance the careers of its members, thereby developing and growing golf in Asia while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game,” said Josh Burack, Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Tour, a member of the International Federation of PGA Tours.
A landmark year in 2017 saw the Asian Tour’s re-entry into China with the staging of the Asian Golf Championship. In 2018, the Asian Tour will continue to expand its footprint in East Asia.
Meanwhile, the Asian Development Tour, the feeder circuit to the Asian Tour, will also continue its growth with tournaments set to be staged in several new markets this year.
The Asian Tour’s principal role is the sanctioning, management, marketing, technical administration, development and promotion of professional golf tournaments in the region.
Cho Minn Thant, the Tour’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The Asian Tour’s core activity is to generate playing opportunities and increase prize money for its members through the sanctioning and, in some cases, ownership of Asian Tour events.
“We felt that the time was right to join forces with the Asian Golf Industry Federation and grow the network and influence of the Asian Tour.”
Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Under Josh and Cho the Asian Tour has made significant forward strides in the past year.
“We welcome the Asian Tour as a Full Business Member of the AGIF and we look forward to working closely with them on several fronts.
“We’re running educational events at Asian Tour tournaments, such as the SMBC Singapore Open. They’re great places for the industry to meet, educate and network.
“We are also exploring ways to jointly develop an outline for best practices in tournament preparation, focusing on agronomy and clubhouse management.”
It was in January 2004 that tournament-playing professionals from around Asia formed a player representative body named the Asian Tour to ensure control over their careers and the development of professional tournament golf in Asia.
Since then, the Tour has sanctioned more than 330 events across 20 countries and offered close to US$500 million in total prize purses.