Established in 2001, Gateway Pro Tour (www.gatewayprotour.com) was created to help aspiring PGA Tour professionals fine-tune their skills in competitive golf tournaments. Since its inception, the tour has maintained a leading position as the premier developmental professional golf tour on the west coast.
“You probably haven’t heard most of their names, but there’s a chance that you will after they have sharpened their skills on Gateway Pro Tour,” says Gateway executive director, Ryan Pray.
In its ten-plus year history, Gateway has served over 3,400 players, with 161 Alumni presently playing on the Nationwide and PGA Tours. These players represent 24 PGA Tour wins and 74 Nationwide Tour wins. Notable PGA Tour winners include: Bubba Watson, Charley Hoffman, Sean O’Hair, and Brandt Snedeker.
Pray, who has been part of the Gateway staff since its first tournament in 2002, has been a crucial asset to the tour. It’s because of his dedication, vision, energy, and understanding of players’ needs, that Gateway Pro Tour is moving forward as it is today.
However, if you ask him who the backbone of Gateway is, he’ll likely credit his wife, Stacy who serves as Gateway’s VP of Operations.
The dynamic duo met while working together at the Golf Academy of America (formally the San Diego Golf Academy (SDGA)). Stacy was the Executive Assistant to GAA’s CEO for six years where she was first introduced to golf and developed a passion for the business side of the sport. Ryan, who moved to Arizona to attend the Golf Academy of America where he earned his degree in Golf Complex Operations and Business Management in 2001, was hired as GAA’s Director of Business Development upon graduation.
The two made their leap to Gateway Pro Tour and for the past 11 years have been working tirelessly to build the tour into what it is today.
Gateway has paid out over $42 million in prize money to its players in its ten-plus seasons, becoming well-known for the depth of its talent, and furthermore, the quality of its tournaments.
“We continually strive to improve our operations and attract the best fields of those not playing on the Nationwide and PGA Tours,” said Ryan. “We will continue to grow and improve, continue to uphold our stellar reputation for operating first class professional golf tournaments, and continue to evolve to fit our players’ needs in the best way possible.”