PGA Tour's designated events give opportunities to more than Tour's elite
CHARLOTTE -- This week’s Wells Fargo Championship might be a designated event for the PGA Tour’s top players, but it also is an opportunity for a handful of sponsorship-exempt players to have a life-changing experience in their golf careers. For APGA golfer Marcus Byrd, playing professionally would not be possible without the sponsorship support he has received. “If you don’t have help, it’s nearly impossible to do this,” Byrd said. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without my sponsors.” Byrd, who turned professional in 2020, is making his third PGA Tour start this week via exemption. But Byrd credited his improved play on the APGA Tour to not just some of his own sponsorships but increased interest by corporate sponsors in the developmental tour. Personally, Byrd has sponsorships with ADP, Invited Clubs, Stout, ISCO and Callaway. Byrd’s sponsorship agreement with Invited Clubs is unique. Instead of receiving money, Byrd was given a membership pass to the Invited Club’s network of courses across the U.S. Invited Clubs CEO David Pillsbury said being able to sponsor Byrd while also getting an ambassador for a Gateway program was something that not only helped him, but helped grow the game for future generations.
MAKING A LIVING FOR EVERYONE: While individual sponsorships and exemptions into events create exposure, increased purse sizes and better conditions are what have made golf’s oor much more competitive. PGA Tour VP/Player Development Kenyatta Ramsey said that the Tour is looking to nd more ways for developmental players to not just get access to events, but to also be ready to compete at that level when their moment arrives. Kenyatta noted the Tour has provided and partnered with APGA Tour and with venues that provide “tournament ready” conditions. Ramsey added that companies such as Farmers Insurance and others who have increased investments into the APGA understand the need to invest and diversify the ranks of golfers at the professional level.