I got in the mail today a fancy-shmancy postcard from the Champions Golf Tour, a DFW-based outfit. After checking out the tour's website, I'm embarrassed to admit I'd never heard of these guys before.
The tour's events are open to golfers of all skill levels who want to compete for cash. Tournaments are played throughout Texas, plus Louisiana, Oklahoma and soon a few other states. First place is guaranteed to earn at least $1,000, with prizes up to $15,000 available in certain events.
There are Open and Handicap divisions, and the tour even welcomes amateur and women competitors. Events range from 18 to 54 holes. Yearly membership dues are under $200 (although golfers can play as a guest, rather than joining the tour), and individual tournament entry fees range from $160 to $190 (and up to $600 for one of the four "majors" on the Champions Golf Tour).
The money leader in 2005, Brad Bessler, racked up just over $20,000 in winnings. Bessler is a plus-1.3 handicapper. But a a 22.9-handicapper finished 8th on the money list with around $5,500 in winnings.
If you're looking for a place to test yourself in tournaments with money on the line, check out the Champions Golf Tour.