What is the Alps Tour?
“Raising Golf Stars”
The Alps Tour is a non-profit association, established in 2001 by four countries: Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland, to provide Europe’s best, young talented professionals an opportunity to gain vital professional tournament experience.
As a European Satellite Tour, the Alps Tour crucially marks a steppingstone between International Amateur Golf and the European Tour. It was created to give young golf professionals the opportunity to play and earn a category on the European Challenge Tour as well as exemptions from Stage 1 of the European Tour Qualifying School.
At the heart of what everything the Alps Tour does is the desire to help develop Europe’s next generation of golfing champions. As such, it’s widely regarded by tomorrow’s champions as the perfect development platform, providing quality competition across the continent of Europe and beyond. In a relatively short time, the Alps Tour has quickly established its popularity amongst the players and has experienced phenomenal growth since its first years.
In 2008, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Belgium joined the Tour. They were followed by Spain in 2009.
Beyond Europe, Morocco has been a regular feature on the schedule since 2004 with Egypt joining a growing list of international destinations in 2013. Israel and Tunisia extended the list in 2015, and the Principality of Andorra was introduced in 2022.
The majority of the Alps Tour tournament have the following format:
- 120 to 144 players (65-70% Alps Tour members, 35-30% national players and invitations)
- 3 rounds of 18 holes each
- A cut usually taking place after the first two rounds, and the top 40 players and ties (plus amateurs within the tie) play the remaining round/s.
- The minimum prize fund is 40,000 Euro for a 54 holes tournament and 45,000 Euro in the event of a 72 holes tournament.
A non-smoking Tour: participants are not allowed to smoke (incl. electronic cigarettes) or chew tobacco during any round on course and practice areas.
The Alps Tour is Raising Golf Stars,
The Alps Tour Players are Rising Golf Stars!
How did the Satellite Tour begin?
In 1986, the PGA European Satellite Tour was established by France, Italy and Sweden when they opened their professional tournaments to foreign players. Thus, the Satellite Tour PTC Sub Committee was formed and representatives from Germany and the European Tour joined two years later.
Since 1989, the top ranked players at the end of the season are eligible to receive a European Tour membership the following season. The Satellite Tour was established with one fundamental ambition which was a desire to develop the next generation of great golfers.
In 1990, the PGA European Satellite Tour was renamed to become the PGA European Challenge Tour.
The Challenge Tour grew rapidly and successfully giving the opportunity to participate in the events to all European players.
Due to the high demand, in 2000 the European Tour decided to create a third European division which divided the countries in four different tours:
- The EuroPro Tour for Great Britain and Ireland
- The Nordic League for the Scandinavian countries
- The Pro Golf Tour for Central Europe
- The Alps Tour for Austria, France, Italy, and Switzerland.
Since then, these four different, 3rd European division tours, allow the top 5 ranked players from each tour at the end of the season to earn a Challenge Tour membership for the following season.
How was the Alps Tour Born?
The Alps Tour was established in 2001 by 4 different nations: Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland. It was created to give young professional and amateur golfers the opportunity to make priceless experience at a high international level; and the best ranked players at the end of the year earn a category on the European Challenge Tour, as well as exemptions from Stage 1 of European Tour Qualifying School.
2001 16 events took place, and the Top 4 players earned a category for the following season on the Challenge Tour.
2002 16 events with minimum prize money of €25,000. A total of 350 professionals became members of the Alps Tour.
2003 19 events were played in the 2003 season with a minimum prize money of €27,000. More than 500 international members joined and the official Alps Tour website was created, www.alpstourgolf.com
2004 The Challenge Tour recognized the success of the Alps Tour, its tournament organization as well as the level of the game the players had. In the 2004 season, 22 events were played and a new country was added to the schedule, Morocco. The minimum prize money became € 30,000 for 3 rounds events and €45,000 for 4 rounds events.
2005 Due to the growing number of participation requests from players of various nationalities, the Alps Tour Committee decided to open this Tour to all professionals through a Qualifying School.
2006 The Challenge Tour decided to name all Third Level Tours “Satellite Tour”.
2007 France took the management of the Alps Tour and the creation of the Alps Tour Golf Association (official organizing body).
2008 Slovenia, Czech Republic and Belgium joined the Alps Tour.
2009 Spain and Peugeot Loewe Tour joined the Alps Tour. The first European Satellite Tour Grand Final, “Samanah Masters” gathered the Top players of each Satellite Tour.
2010 The Alps Tour welcomed additional international players, a total of 22 nationalities represented were among the players that took part during the season.
2011 10th Anniversary of the Alps Tour
2012 For the first time, the Alps Tour organized “Winter Series” tournaments in Morocco. At the end of the year, the Qualifying School that took place in La Cala Resort welcomed 236 international players.
2013 Egypt joined the Alps Tour by hosting two “Winter Series” events.
2015 Tunisia joined the Alps Tour and for the first time in our history, the season ending Grand Final took place in Israel. The Alps Tour is included in the Official World Golf Ranking.
2020 Undoubtedly the most challenging year we all had to face. The COVID-19 pandemic was about to destroy all the efforts that had been put in building a successful tour, brick by brick, and therefore deprive many rising golf stars from their future career. However, this was not the case, in 2020 the Alps Tour was able to organize a season of tournaments, a final ranking and three players were promoted to the 2021 Challenge Tour.
2021 20th Anniversary of the Alps Tour. We celebrated this important anniversary in style with a new tagline – “Raising Golf Stars”, which stresses its role of being a training ground for future golf stars – and a new logo: an A which represents a stylized peak of a mountain, or the ambition of the players to climb the golf rankings. The 2021 Alps Tour schedule featured 14 tournaments in 5 countries with 20+ nationalities compete for five European Challenge Tour ‘cards’.
2022 The Principality of Andorra hosted an Alps Tour event for the first time.
Since 2017, Marco Durante is the President of the Alps Tour Golf Association and of the Board of Directors which is made up of all the representatives from the Federations hosting our tournaments.
The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors sets the strategy for the Alps Tour. The representatives delegate the execution of the strategy and the sporting issues to the two Executive Directors: Estelle Richard and Alessandro Rogato.
Chairman Mr Marco DURANTE (Italy – FIG)
Members Mr Pablo BERNARDEZ (Spain – FREG)
Mr Eric de SAINT LOUVENT (France – FFG)
Mr Niky ZITNY (Austria – ÖGV)
Estelle Richard – Chief Executive & Operations Director
Alessandro Rogato – Development & Sponsoring Director
Alessandro Pia – Tournament Director
Sveva Greco – Tournament Director
Bertrand Ayçoberry – Tournament Director
Carolina Durante – Tournament Administrator & Press Officer
Consolata Boeri – Tournament Administrator
Dorothée Demoulins – Tournament Administrator
Alice Barbieri – Press Officer
Winners of The Alps Tour Order of Merit
2001 Stefano Reale (ITA)
2002 Alessandro Napoleoni (ITA)
2003 Emmanuele Lattanzi (ITA)
2004 Andrea Maestroni (ITA)
2005 Cedric Menut (FRA)
2006 François Calmels (FRA)
2007 Julien Quesne (FRA)
2008 Julien Grillon (FRA)
2009 Andrea Perrino (ITA)
2010 Matteo Delpodio (ITA)
2011 Guillaume Cambis (FRA)
2012 Gareth Shaw (N.IRE)
2013 Jason Palmer (ENG)
2014 Nino Bertasio (ITA)
2015 Darius Van Driel (NED)
2016 Matt Wallace (ENG)
2017 Adria Arnaus (ESP)- am
2018 Santiago Tarrio (ESP)
2019 Edoardo Lipparelli (ITA)
2020 Jordi Garcia del Moral (ESP)
2021 Jacopo Vecchi Fossa (ITA)
2022 Gregorio De Leo (ITA)