Montreal QC- Two professional golf tours in Canada are excited to announce a strategic merger. The East Coast Pro Tour (ECPT), based in Montreal QC, and the Great Lakes Tour (GLT), based in Hamilton ON have agreed upon terms to merge schedules and events under one umbrella effective immediately.
This announcement comes with much excitement for competitive golf in Canada. The new tournament schedule will offer professional golfers and elite amateurs a full set of events across Ontario, Quebec and even the USA and feature one season long point list. Additionally, each event in 2023 will feature a minimum purse amount of $25,000 and an average first prize of $7,500.
The Merger will ultimately see all events on both tours in Ontario and Quebec fall under the brand and image of the ECPT. The GLT and ECPT will share resources and networks that will ultimately make the new ECPT an industry leader in the market of developmental golf in Canada...
Massimo Roch and Luca Greco will remain in Tour Director roles as President and Vice-President of the ECPT and will be based in Montreal, Quebec. Whereas, Jim Kenesky of the GLT will assume the role as a Tournament Director in Ontario strategically overseeing the operations in key markets of Ontario along with other duties being carried out to assist in tour and tournament operations. Colin Murray, also of the GLT, will be stepping away to focus on his professional senior golf career.
‘’The strategic partnership was formed with one goal in mind; design a National platform for Canadians to access the next level in professional golf.’’ States Massimo Roch. ‘’We both agreed that the unification of both entities under a single banner is the best thing we could’ve done for the players. We’re confident that Jim’s previous experience and extensive wealth of knowledge will allow us to collectively reshape professional golf in the north and provide our players with greater playing opportunities.’’
The Great Lakes Tour was established in 2001 and is the longest running professional developmental tour in Canada. Over twenty years of operation has produced tour alumni such as David Hearn, David Morland IV, Brad Fritsch, Matt McQuillan, Michael Gligic and Taylor Pendrith all advancing their careers to play at least one exempt season on the PGA TOUR.
''The foundation is now set for something truly special in Canada.'' Says Jim Kenesky. ''The GLT has a long and proud history of tournament champions and operational experience. This merger will allow us to work together, share ideas and create the most impactful set of events for professionals and elite amateurs in Canada. Massimo and Luca have done a fabulous job since forming the ECPT. With our collective knowledge and expertise the players in Eastern Canada can look forward to being a member of one tour and compete for guaranteed purses, exemptions and much more.''
In 2019, the ECPT was established and has continued to offer an upbeat and highly competitive tournament atmosphere for Canada’s elite golfers’ week after week. It has quickly become the must play developmental tour with events primarily in Quebec and eventually growing to conduct tournaments in Ontario and the United States. The membership-based tour sees players travel from all across Canada and the United States to compete.
''Over the past three years it was apparent that having one tour was the best option.’’ Continues Kenesky. ‘’The golf industry has seen great growth in recent years due to the ongoing pandemic, however tournament golf has been negatively impacted with higher travel costs, increased golf course fees, and inflation causing higher tour operation costs. The existence of multiple tours in the same market is just not viable for long term sustainability. We know where the GLT sits in the market, and this is the best time to merge where we can continue to grow the game of golf and see our young pros represent Canada on the World scene.''
The tentative 2023 ECPT schedule will be available in early January. It will feature six events in Ontario, five events in Quebec and one event in Connecticut. Players will gain points at events throughout the season toward the GolfIn Cup Standings where the leader at the end of the season will earn an all expense paid trip and entry fee into the DP World Tour Q-School. Max Gilbert of Saint-Georges, Quebec won the inaugural GolfIn Cup in 2021 and Ty Celone of Long Sault, Ontario is the reigning GolfIn Cup Champion.
Please follow ECPT on social media or visit www.eastcoastprotour.com for all updates regarding this announcement, 2023 schedule and membership options. #RacetotheGolfInCup
ECPT Tour Directors
Massimo Roch / Luca Greco
ECPT Tournament Director - Ontario