With the most updated restart for the 2020 “Road to the LPGA” two months away, Symetra Tour CBO Mike Nichols joined Michael Breed on his SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio show A New Breed of Golf to talk about protocols for a safe return to play and the growth of the Symetra Tour, among other topics.
“First and foremost, we are going to rely on health guidelines and recommendations from a national, as well as state and local, level,” said Nichols. “On a week-by-week basis we will test everyone involved in a tournament—our players, staff and caddies. One of the reasons we pushed out a revised schedule was to give us a goal to ensure that tests are available. Thanks to a partnership with NEC, we’ll also conduct temperature testing for the same group that was tested at the beginning of the week. We’re hoping this serves as a checkpoint to keep everyone safe. Ultimately, we are going to limit who is at a host venue.”
Since Nichols was named the Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour in July of 2012, there has been a tremendous amount of growth. The official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour has grown from 15 events and total prize money of $1.62 million in 2013 to 23 tournaments and record $4.0 million in prize money last season.
“It goes without saying, but the success of the LPGA Tour has translated to success on the Symetra Tour, and there’s something aspirational of being part of the path for these players,” Nichols said. “Not every corporate community is big enough to support a LPGA tournament, but they like what is happening on the LPGA Tour and the Symetra Tour provides an opportunity to be involved with the LPGA family. Some recent graduates include Nelly Korda, Hannah Green—who won a major last year—and historical figures like Lorena Ochoa and Inbee Park, both former No. 1 players in the world. That all brings attention to the Tour and its caliber of play.”