A professional golf experience like no other—that’s what comes to mind when you learn about the Toronto Players Tour.
When Covid-19 descended on the world, golfers from around the world found themselves in a precarious position, stuck at home with nowhere to go and no tour to compete on. With borders closed and tours shuttered, Russel Budd took matters into his own hands to deliver a truly unique professional experience—the Toronto Players Tour (TPT).
Budd, a former professional golfer who played for several years on PGA Tour Latinoamérica, is no stranger to world-class tournament golf. With a diverse background as a playing professional and working as Tournament and Rules Official for Mackenzie Tour PGA Tour Canada, Budd leveraged his industry connections to provide amateur and professional golfers the opportunity to compete in pro events throughout Ontario. Thus was born the Toronto Players Tour.
“You can come out at watch an event, or play in an event, and two or three years down the road you’re going to see these golfers playing at the next level,” says Budd, whose goal is to create a tour that helps propel rising stars and delivers a unique golfing experience for curious amateurs wanting to tee it up against some of the province’s very best.
But unlike most professional tours, the TPT isn’t an insulated organization cloistered away from the everyday player. In fact, anyone can register and play in TPT events (yes, anyone), regardless of handicap, playing status or gender. That said, the vast majority of players are professionals or elite amateurs, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t explore the world of tournament golf. “It’s an opportunity for amateurs and professionals to experience a course setup that they would see in a professional event. I set up the courses on the TPT the exact same way I set up the courses for the Mackenzie Tour PGA Tour Canada.”
With the help of Golf Town’s partnership, along with local sponsors, the tour has now grown to twelve events spanning across the province, creating what has quickly become Ontario’s premier development tour. “We spend a lot of time showcasing our athletes, and yes, we’re a great tour, but we’re only as good as our host facilities and players,” says Budd. To further highlight the players and those involved with the success of the TPT, the tour has a vibrant social media presence, often livestreaming select holes and playoffs, as well as offering a live scoring. And although it’s competitive on the course and money is on the line, after play is settled the players can be found sharing a beverage on the patio and rooting on the final groups.
“It’s as good as quality golf as you’re going to see at the developmental level, but these players are a community and they’re there to compete against each other but also support each other,” says Budd.
After all, isn’t that what makes golf great?
To learn more about the Toronto Players Tour or to register, go to www.torontoplayerstour.com.