The scorecard for the 2011 Tidewater Golfweek Amateur Tour is a big-time winner again.
The scorecard features the following:
• Two national individual champions.
• A record payout in prize money.
• An all-time best for the average size of its tournaments.
• The largest contingent competing at the nationals.
Without reservations, that adds up to an amazing year. And no one could be prouder than tour director Lyle Joyner, the cornerstone of the operation — the man who took over a once-shaky tour in 2005 and turned into a highly-successful amateur tour for players of all skill levels.
Since 2005, membership has increased from 78 players to an average of close to 200 the past four years.
That huge growth and national achievements can, in large part, be attributed to Joyner's excellent marketing skills and the players getting their friends to join the tour with words of encouragement.
"Word-of-mouth" always is of great help, Joyner says.
Another plus is that the tour caters to players of all skill levels, with gross and net winners from the championship level to four other flights.
Numbers-wise, the Tidewater Tour continues to rank in the Top-5 among the 40-plus clubs that are members of the Golfweek national operation.
Has the Tidewater tour exceeded Joyner's expectations?
"Very much so, and it amazes me that we have so many wonderful local golfers on the tour," he said.
Heading the standouts for 2011 have been Tony Mauro of Virginia Beach, Jim Gallagher of Yorktown, and Dan Barrows from the Southside.
Mauro, a three-time winner in the championship flight during the regular season, was Player of the Year.
Gallagher, a former Rookie and Player of the Year, capped his season by winning the National Seniors Championship in Pinehurst, N.C., Nov. 15-16.
At the season-ending nationals for all players at Hilton Head, S.C., Barrows became the tour's fourth individual national champion by winning the 2011 A Flight. The first to achieve the feat was Brian Lane of Grafton in the B Flight in 2008 and Jeff Hawkins of Virginia Beach in the A Flight in 2010.