By Ron Balicki, Golfweek
If you’re among the top college players, or even play for one of the top-tier college programs, you pretty much have a choice of where to play during the summer amateur season.
Plenty of tournaments are available for that caliber of player. Some events are more exclusive than others, but the bottom line is that from early June through mid-August, opportunities abound.
But what if you’re not considered one of these players? If you play for a smaller, lesser known NCAA Division I school, or a program in Division II, III, NAIA or junior college?
Yes, there is another avenue you can take. You can play the Collegiate Players Tour. While many may not be familiar with it, the CPT has been around for 19 years, providing college players – men and women – an opportunity to compete on quality golf courses at an affordable price.
“I always felt there were limited opportunities for the majority of college kids in summer golf,” said Barry Rodenhaver, who founded the CPT in 1994 and has run it ever since. “Only a small percentage of college players get invited to the big amateur events, while probably around 99 percent don’t have much to play in.
“The CPT is filling a nitch for a lot of kids in all the college divisions. It’s pretty much for players who want to compete in the summer, but can’t get into those big amateur tournaments.”
Still, over the years, the CPT has been a launching pad for a good share of players who have gone onto bigger and better things in the professional ranks.
Among those who have played the CPT during their college days: Ben Curtis, Bo Van Pelt, John Rollins, Hank Kuehne, D.J. Brigman, Scott Piercy, Jimmy Walker and Colt Knost.
The tour runs from the first week in June through the second week in August, with 10 tournaments on this year’s schedule. Four events already have been staged, including stops in the Houston, Los Angeles, Dayton (Ohio) and Philadelphia areas.