Future PGA stars will be seen at the Falmouth Country Club

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Future PGA stars will be seen at the Falmouth Country Club

The clubhouse at Falmouth Country Club, seen behind the hills and bunkers on the 18th hole. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Employee Photographer Buy this photo

They are not yet known names. But this week some of the best aspiring professional golfers in the world will be trying to win the $ 108,000 winning prize at the first Live and Work in Maine Open, an official stop on the Grain Ferry Tour, at the Falmouth Country Club.

The event, directed by Shamrock Sports and Entertainment of Portland, marks the return of the best golf development tour in the United States to Maine for the first time since 1993.

A total of 600,000 US dollars is available to 156 golfers in the field. The tournament games will run Thursday through Sunday, with a reduction to the low 65 plus draws for the last two rounds of the 72-hole tournament.

The Korn Ferry Tour is the path to the PGA Tour, and players will fight to climb the overall standings. The 25 best finishers in the final ranking of the regular season are guaranteed exceptional status for the 2022 season of the PGA Tour. Another 25 will receive PGA tickets through the Korn Ferry Tour playoff format at the end of the season.

Some of the current Korn Ferry Tour golfers have participated in PGA Tour events.

“There will be a guy playing (at the Live and Work in Maine Open) who will win a major in five years,” said Shawn Warren, assistant professional at Falmouth Country Club, who will be in the field with the exception of one sponsor. “Probably two who will be playing in the Ryder Cup for the next five years.”

The Live and Work in Maine Open was scheduled to debut in June 2020 but has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year marks the start of a five-year contract between the PGA Tour and Shamrock Sports to host a Korn Ferry event at Falmouth Country Club.

“Our goal is to create the next generation of PGA stars, and every golf course and market we come into is viewed through the lens of that preparatory environment,” said Alex Baldwin, president of the Korn Ferry Tour (and a graduate of the Bates College). . “It is important to give them the opportunity to play in different markets, possibly get in touch with different sponsors and play under different conditions.”

Brian Corcoran, Shamrock Sports CEO and pro bono executive director of the tournament, noted that the PGA’s responsibility and focus is on making the tournament “the best it can be on the ropes” for players. Shamrock, together with the management of Falmouth Country Club, is determined to create “a first class experience for golf fans and non-golf fans alike”.

General admission tickets start at $ 20 for a single day ($ 50 for all four rounds); The total number of visitors is limited to around 2,500 fans per day. You’ll see professional golfers averaging over 300 yards on their drives and birdies or better on nearly a quarter of their holes.

The tournament also focuses on highlighting culinary and craft beer offerings that have made the greater Portland area a global destination for foodies. The tournament organizers estimate that the tournament can have an overall economic impact of $ 8 million per year while also providing at least $ 100,000 in charitable donations to Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.

“If we want to make this sustainable, it has to appeal to the casual fan as well as the golf purist or hardcore fan,” said Corcoran. “We focus on what makes it memorable for all ages and taste buds.”

The tournament targets fan appetites with a $ 100 per person “Bites & Brews” ticket that includes an all-day general admission ticket, all-day access to the Maine Beer Box (over 80 taps Maine-based craft beer) three), culinary and craft beer dining pairings for an early lunch (11 am-12:30pm) or late afternoon dinner (4pm-5:30pm) and access to the Putts + Pints ​​pub and viewing area right on the 18th green.

In addition to the competitive tournament, there are a few other related events.

Monday: Monday qualifier at The Ledges in York. The top eight, led by the PGA Tour, will advance to the Live and Work in Maine Open. It’s not uncommon for a Monday qualifier to finish in the top 20 of the weekly tournament, securing a start into the next Korn Ferry Tour event.

Tuesday: Practice rounds, a youth clinic and Par-Tee Fore Purpose.

Wednesday: Anthem Pro-Am. Pros play with a foursome who paid $ 6,000 to enter. The Pro-Am is one of the tournament’s premier fundraising tools for the charitable beneficiary, Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. Any PGA Tour-approved event is required to support a nonprofit organization.

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