Reprinted With Permission          June 2000

O N T A R I O   M U L L I G A N   T O U R

Another Chance at Glory
The Mulligan Tour gives everyone a tour to play

Just because you can’t break 70 doesn’t mean you should give up your dream of playing on tour, for across southern Ontario, the Mulligan Tour is giving golfers of all skill levels a place to compete. Started in 1996 by Brian Leakey, the Mulligan Tour has grown from 20 members competing in Ottawa, to more than 350 playing in tournaments in Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto and Niagara region. After leaving the communications industry Leakey started the tour as a way to keep his entrepreneurial fires burning. And burn they have, as the Mulligan Tour has harnessed the Internet to help it grow exponentially. “If it wasn’t for the Internet, we definitely wouldn’t be where we are today,” said Leakey from his Ottawa home, noting that the number of hits on has increased from 15,000 when it was launched in 1998 to 75,000 in 1999. Leakey estimates that 140,000 people will visit the site this year, and have access to schedules and results for all four chapters, tour news, player statistics, and a new handicap service that will be available to members. The website provides an excellent way of promoting a tour that lets golfers of varying experience and skill compete in tournaments and regular league play. Leakey says the average age of members is 36, and that although the average handicap is 16, handicaps range from 0 all the way to 36! Currently 10 percent of the Mulligan Tour membership is women, but Leakey hopes this number will increase as women realize that competition need not be intimidating and that playing well is not a requirement of the tour. 
The tournaments themselves are one-day events, with prizes being awarded for net score, skins, closest-to-the-pin and longest drives. Members earn points based on their finish and at the end of the year, the top point-getters compete in a two-day tournament of champions, with a green jacket awarded to the winner. An obvious concern with any amateur tournament is sandbagging. “I have not had any sandbagging since day one,” said Leakey, pointing out that he has actually had more cases of golfers overestimating their skill level. The Mulligan Tour has big plans for the future as Leakey looks to expand. London and Hamilton Chapters will open in 2001 and there is serious consideration of opening a Montreal Chapter soon after that. In addition, he reports that there has been a great deal of interest from across Canada and the U.S., as amateur golfers look to get in on the chance to play in organized, well-run tournaments. Leakey hopes that the enthusiasm for the Mulligan Tour will become part of a bigger movement to create a national association of public golfers that would oversee all of the country’s amateur tours. This would, in effect, create a national amateur tour. To this end, he has networked extensively with other amateur tours and organized a Ryder Cup event which pits teams from the Mulligan Tour against teams from other amateur tours. “I want to try and encourage all the (amateur) tours to get involved. That’s where I am going.”

SCORE Golf Magazine     Special Ontario Edition      Reprinted with permission      JUNE 2000

This web page sponsored by

Your best online resource for Perth - now only one click away.