Swing Thought Tour
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2018 Swing Thought Tour
The SwingThought Tour (aka "ST Tour") is a developmental professional golf tour in the United States.  The developmental tour system includes two distinct "series", The flagship series being the "National Series", which includes approximately 25 72-hole events that include pro-ams, near Monday Qualifiers for the PGA and Web.com Tours. The "State Series" is typically one- or two-day events located around various state hubs throughout the U.S.
In 2015, the SwingThought Tour was formed by Golf Interact, LLC which a privately held company of investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders and is led by Founder Michael Rush, a professional golfer and entrepreneur.
In 2017 SwingThought Tour announced the launch of "The 44 Race" which is a $2,000 cash prize awarded to the top 44 players each on the SwingThought Tour at end of the race in November. Making SwingThought Tour the leading sponsor for developmental golfers in the united states and a clear path of support for players towards the next level. In 2018 SwingThought Tour is extending this offering to "The 44 Series & Race" where the top 44 end of the year points leaders will each receive $4,400 cash sponsorship from the Tour and its partners. In addition to this end of the year sponsorship prize, in 2018, SwingThought Tour is implementing a never been offered before tour model for developmental golfers with the 44 series that are a set number of designated events where the top 44 players at event time are sponsored into the event (entry fee paid for by SwingThought Tour), without negatively affecting the prize money available in events. The main offering which spans across the various series is said to change the way golfers, courses & communities come together and generate greater value for themselves and the whole which is mission of the SwingThought Tour.
The SwingThought Tour is the third largest tour in the US after the PGA and Web.Com Tours. In 2015 the SwingThought Tour produced 89 players out of the 150 that advanced to the Web.com Tour. In 2016 a similar result with over 80 SwingThought Tour players advancing to earn their Web.com Tour cards for 2017. On average over 40% of PGA Tour and 55% of Web.com Tour fields are SwingThought Tour alumni. Two men's pro golf tour based in the United States have paid out more in prize money than the SwingThought Tour. The richest competition is in the highest-paying PGA Tour. The second-tier Web.com Tour offers prizes smaller than the PGA Tour but attracts many up-and-coming golfers trying to obtain their PGA Tour cards.
Unlike the PGA Tour and Web.Com Tour, for which prize funds are provided by sponsors, the bulk of the prize fund paid out in SwingThought Tour events comes from player entry fees and sponsorship revenues. Similar to poker Tournaments, players are competing to win back their entry fees (and the entry fees from others). However, thanks in part to sponsorship, the SwingThought Tour players actually play for over 100% of their entry fees in some events, while other developmental tours typically pay back only 65%-90% of entry fees. Additional purse bonuses and prize related offerings, such as "ST Points" which are like credit card points or cash back, are typical on the SwingThought Tour. SwingThought Tour is shifting the focus from purse driven marketing efforts of old below the PGA Tour system to develop and advance support offerings such as The 44 Series & Race with the goal of attracting more golfers, courses & community involvement to net the result of larger purses in addition to the core Tour offerings.
Each National Series event on the SwingThought Tour follows the same structure as the PGA and Web.Com Tour. Entry fees range from $650 to $1150, depending on Tour membership, amateur status, and if one plays in the qualifier.
The SwingThought Tour has helped hundreds of players acquire PGA Tour and Web.Com Tour cards, more than any other developmental Tour, because the SwingThought Tour focuses on providing the best opportunity to develop and advance their professionals instead of offering large cash prizes to the few performing well.
Earlier history of the SwingThought Tour
The original legacy tour was founded by T. C. "Rick" Jordan in 1988 and later sold to Hooters restaurant chain owner Robert H. Brooks in 1994. Hooters was the title sponsor from 1988 through 2011. The Tour was sold to Robin Waters of Loris, South Carolina in 2011. In 2015, Golf Interact purchased the NGA Tour and eGolf Professional Tour and integrated them into the SwingThought Tour. No previous ownership or management of the legacy tour's remain involved in current SwingThought Tour (as of August 2016).
Former players on the SwingThought Tour
Major championship winners:
- Bubba Watson – 2012 & 2014 Masters Champion
- Keegan Bradley – 2011 PGA Championship
- Stewart Cink – 2009 British Open
- Lucas Glover – 2009 U.S. Open
- Ben Curtis – 2003 British Open
- John Daly – 1991 PGA, 1995 British Open
- Jim Furyk – 2003 U.S. Open
- Lee Janzen – 1993 & 1998 U.S. Open
- Tom Lehman – 1996 British Open
- Shaun Micheel – 2003 PGA Championship
- David Toms – 2001 PGA Championship
- Zach Johnson – 2007 Masters Champion, 2015 British Open
- Brittany Lincicome – 2009 Kraft Nabisco Championship, 2015 ANA Inspiration
- Paula Creamer – 2010 US Women's Open
Other golfers who have won at least one PGA Tour event:
- Gary Woodland
- Camilo Villegas
- Scott Stallings
- Chad Campbell
- Spike McRoy
- Vaughn Taylor
- Will MacKenzie
- Eric Axley
- Mark Wilson
- Boo Weekley
- Craig Perks
- Wes Short Jr.
- Parker McLachlin
- Chris Riley
- Joe Durant
- Steve Flesch
- Jerry Kelly
- Steve Lowery
- Ted Potter Jr.
- Tommy Gainey
- Kevin Streelman
Combined money leaders
|2009||Ted Potter Jr.||202,517|
|2006||Ted Potter Jr.||102,609|
- Elizabeth Olson (August 19, 2003). "Hostesses in Shorts? This Is No Ordinary Flight". The New York Times.
- "An Alternate Route For Reaching the PGA". The New York Times. July 14, 2003.
- "About the Swing Thought Tour". Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "Web.com Tour Q School Sponsorship - The 44 Race is a paid sponsorship opportunity for professional golfers". www.swingthought.com. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- "Golf's #1 developmental system for golfers, courses & communities". swingthought.com. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
- Jolley, Frank (February 19, 2011). "Hutchins goes low to win Tourney". The Daily Commercial. Leesburg, Florida. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- "Purses - money and points breakdown for SwingThought Tour in 2018". swingthought.com. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
- "2018 Season - FREE entries, sponsorship & guaranteed first place prizes". swingthought.com. Retrieved 2017-12-02.