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Development tour to offer more opportunities for professional and amateur golfers

Moon Gate Tour co-founder and professional player Chaka DeSilva (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A developmental golf tour has been created to afford more competitive opportunities for local professional and low handicap amateur players.

The inaugural Moon Gate Tour, the brainchild of professionals Chaka DeSilva and Andrew Trott-Francis, is set to be launched with the first of seven 18-hole medal events at Port Royal Golf Course on February 25 and will conclude in September with a 36-hole Tour Championship.

“The Butterfield Bermuda Championship has had an incredible impact on golf in Bermuda since it was first played in 2019,” co-founder DeSilva said. “There is so much excitement in and around the sport right now, and the Moon Gate Tour is simply a product of that positive energy.

“Following the most recent playing of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship this past October, Drew and I, together with several other local golfers, began discussing ways to provide more regular competitive opportunities for Bermuda’s professionals and low handicap amateurs.

“The Local Qualifier is without a doubt the most important event on our golf calendar because it gives Bermudians the chance to realise their dreams of playing in a PGA Tour event. Our aim is to help create more opportunities for locals to compete under tournament conditions in the lead up to the qualifier, with the ultimate goal of seeing the first Bermudian make the cut in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

“This first year is about proof of concept. We believe that there is both a need and a want for more competitive golf on island, and we’re hoping to see that borne out by full fields and low scores over the next few months.”

The Tour will alternate between the public golf courses ‒ Port Royal and Ocean View – for its inaugural season, with monthly events being played on Friday afternoons.

All Moon Gate Tour events will be scratch competitions, or gross only, and will be contested by a maximum of 36 participants for each event, of which up to 18 can be professionals.

The balance of the field will be comprised of amateur golfers with the lowest GHIN handicap indexes at the close of entries. There will be no handicap limit, with priority going to those amateur entrants with the lowest indexes.

“The rules of amateur status changed on January 1 of this year and now allow amateurs to accept prize money in scratch competitions, so that will certainly add a different element to the Tour,” DeSilva added. “Our goal is to have the best players on island competing against each other month in, month out.

“We have representatives from the Bermuda Golf Association – the National Sport Governing Body – as well as the Bermuda Professional Golfers Association on our committee, so we are mindful of the fact that our Tour’s events must complement, not compete with, the current tournament schedules of both organisations.

“We are excited for the first medal of our season later this month and are optimistic that the Moon Gate Tour will get a good reception and be well supported by the local golfing community.”

For further details visit @moongatetour on Instagram or e-mail moongatetour@gmail.com

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Published February 11, 2022 at 7:57 am (Updated February 11, 2022 at 7:57 am)

Development tour to offer more opportunities for professional and amateur golfers

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