For years it was called the Canadian Tour. Last year it became PGA Tour Canada. This year it received a sponsor title and is now known as the Mackenzie Tour - Canada. Regardless of the name, this tour has always allowed fans to enjoy exciting tournaments, while providing professionals with the avenue to take their games to the next level.
Many tremendous players have come through the Mackenzie Tour, including Mike Weir, Chris DiMarco, Graham Delaet and Nick Watney - just to name a few. That talent alone should be enough to convince any true golf fan that the Mackenzie Tour is worth paying attention to, but let’s take a look at some additional reasons.
1. These guys are also good - It’s the familiar slogan for the PGA Tour, but the players on the Mackenzie Tour have a lot of game themselves. Many golf fans simply don’t appreciate how small the talent gap is between the developmental tours and the PGA Tour. We see the PGA stars like Rory, Jordan and Bubba, and think that they are the standard for PGA Tour golf. The reality is that there are 153 other players in the field that week, and they too can play. While the talent gap between the world number 1 and the last place finisher in a Mackenzie Tour event may be significant, the distance between many of the players competing on Canada’s Tour and those making cuts on the PGA Tour is not as significant as one usually realizes.
2. I saw them when... - I still remember going to an event at Diamondback Golf Club in Richmond Hill, Ontario when I got the chance to follow, now PGA Tour pro, Bryce Molder. He had just finished a successful collegiate career at Georgia Tech, and I had been paying attention to his young career. I was a teenager at the time, and I really appreciated the fact that he took the time to say hello, acknowledging the fact that I was choosing to follow his group. These events do not draw the same crowds that a PGA Tour event will, creating opportunities like these to get up close and personal with the athletes. You can create your own “I saw them when” memory.
3. Fantastic venues - You aren’t only enjoying the talent Mackenzie Tour events, but the venues as well. The Tour schedules some fantastic stops throughout the season, allowing you to enjoy watching some great talent at some beautiful facilities.
4. Get involved - At each event, there are opportunities volunteer. There are many ways that you can get involved including being a caddy, marshall, spotter or scorer. There are often nice perks that come with volunteering. To get involved, simply check out each tournament’s website.
5. PGA Tour affiliation - Now that the PGA Tour has become a major partner of the Mackenzie Tour, it’s provided an added a level of prestige to Canada’s national tour. The fact that the Tour has a major presence on the PGA Tour website proves the PGA Tour’s commitment to the Mackenzie Tour, and thus we can expect the Tour to continue to grow and become increasingly successful.
6. “The five” - Each year, the top five money winners on tour are rewarded with status on the Web.com Tour. This is huge for these players. Not only are the purses bigger on the Web.com Tour, but it brings them one step closer to the PGA Tour. It is for reasons such as these that the Mackenzie Tour plays such a vital role in professional golf in North America. It allows players to climb the ranks of professional golf, working toward the ultimate goal of competing on the PGA Tour.
7. The excitement - At each event, you’re watching experienced professional golfers compete to keep their dreams of professional golf alive. That not only makes for great golf, but fantastic entertainment.
8. The passion - Any decent touring professional is passionate about their games, but players on the Mackenzie Tour are playing for more than just a check at the end of the week. They are playing for their golf survival. If they want to continue pursuing their dream of playing professional golf, they must succeed, and life on tour is not easy for these players. They are playing for purses each week, but they are nothing compared to that of the PGA Tour even though they have many of the same expenses. They have to pay their caddy fees, their tournament entry fees, hotel room, food, transportation to the event, and the list goes on. Some are fortunate to have a sponsor to help with expenses, but most do not. It’s a grind on the developmental tours, which makes the players that much more passionate about their performance. And being aware of the hardships these players must endure to keep their dreams alive make for tremendous story lines as you follow the tournament each week.
9. Local talent - At each tour stop, there are local qualifiers where amateurs and pros can attempt to qualify for the upcoming event. This is a tremendous opportunity for local players to test their skills, but it’s also fun for spectators to be able to see the locals compete against tour talent.
10. Become a fan from anywhere - With the Mackenzie Tour website being run by the PGA Tour, it has never been easier to keep up with the current tour season. Structured with the same template that is the PGA Tour website, you can follow the Mackenzie Tour in the same way you would the PGA Tour. Keep up with stats, results, and the current money leaders all with the click of a button. I can tell you from experience, when following players during their days on the Mackenzie Tour, it makes it that much more enjoyable, and even personal, when following them when they make it to the big stage.
About the Author
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly 'Top 10' series. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family.
Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.