Dubai: The Asian Tour have confirmed that they have entered into a strategic partnership with the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) Tour, which will help facilitate the formation of one of the most comprehensive and innovative golf development tours in the modern game.
Based on a collective desire to consolidate their respective platforms, this new alliance will see the Asian Tour’s popular tier-two circuit, the Asian Development Tour (ADT), align with the Mena Tour with the ultimate goal of merging in 2023.
Next year will be a season of transition with the intention to stage a number of ADT and Mena Tour co-sanctioned tournaments before the end of Q2, which will provide equal playing opportunities to both sets of Members.
And, in 2023 the ADT and Mena Tour will then unify to become a single and formidable platform from which players can graduate to the main Tour. Competitors will be able to access the new development tour through the Asian Tour Qualifying School.
“We want to create an amplified pan-Asian development pathway by 2023 feeding directly into the Asian Tour,” said Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner & CEO, Asian Tour.
“The Asian Development Tour has always been an intrinsic part of our ecosystem and this new partnership with our friends at the Mena Tour is a forward-thinking statement of intent to build a combined property for the betterment of professional golf across the length and breadth of our region.”
Earlier in the year both Tours announced plans to increase dialogue on ways of working together but as tournament golf in the region has slowly started to return, they felt the time was right to accelerate their co-operative plans.
Identify and nurture talent
“This is the most significant development for the Mena Tour since its inception in 2011,” said David Spencer, Commissioner, Mena Tour.
“As the only Official World Golf Ranking Tour based in the Middle East our goal has always been to encourage, identify and nurture talent from all corners of the world to experience golf in the region, which we are so proud of. We have worked closely with the Asian Tour, Cho Minn Thant and his team to create an alliance that underpins a unique and strong pathway for our members. We are intensely proud of our new alliance with the Asian Tour, and I look forward to seeing it flourish over the coming years.”
The Asian Development Tour is hoping to stage 10-12 events in 2022 ‒an important number of these with the Mena Tour. Dialogue and strategic planning will now continue at pace with the objective to optimise opportunities for all players and, where possible, try to minimise the amount of travel between tournaments to make it cost effective and safer for competitors.
The Asian Tour restarted last month with back-to-back events in Phuket, which saw invitations to Mena Tour members at the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship and Laguna Phuket Championship. Further invitations have been extended to Mena Tour members for next month’s The Singapore International the penultimate event of the 2020-21 season.