To provide junior golfers with numerous affordable, competitive experiences which prepare them for their future golfing goals.
The Prep Tour Story
Sean, Jake, Kelli, and Tina Kennedy @ The Views GC in Tucson, Arizona
Who are we? The Prep Tour Story is a story about family - ours and yours. We are the Kennedy Family: Sean and Tina, married 35+ years with 4 children: Nick and Holly Kennedy (Cox)- both Normal UHigh alumni and collegiate athlete graduates, Jake Kennedy, a Purdue Fort Wayne collegiate student golfer, and Kelli Kennedy, member of the Carl Sandburg Women's Collegiate Golf Team. Every family has its competitors, whether they compete in sport, music, theater, or scholastic bowls. We have spent many seasons traveling for competitive baseball, softball, and basketball teams with our eldest children, Nick and Holly. When our youngest son, Jake, was 10, we looked into playing additional competitive golf tournaments and traveling as we had done with our older children. Discouraged by the cost and distance of other tours, we asked each other why Central Illinois didn’t have more opportunities for competitive golf, especially in the spring. At that time, other tours didn’t even start until late spring or summer and were all located hours away. So Sean started talking with the local PGA professionals and the parents of other golfers. This grew into The Prep Tour.
What is The Prep Tour? On April 22nd, 2012, the Kennedy family ran their first competitive golf tournament at Weibring Golf Course in Normal, IL. There were 41 competitors. This popular event now sells out at a self-imposed capacity of 108. We currently run over 35 tournaments per year with our family and encourage our alumni to come back and visit us as interns. The Prep Tour provides a selection of single day tournaments, 2 day-36 hole events, Match Play competitions, Ryder Cup style partner and team events, and High School Team Showcases. Mother’s Day at The Rail is our special event created exclusively by The Prep Tour to allow Moms to enjoy their special day by caddying for their junior golfer. Our 36 hole events are ranked by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard and many offer AJGA Performance Based Entry Stars to our winners. Over 300 Prep Tour players have continued on to play all levels of Collegiate golf. We are proud to see Collegiate coaches now attending our events.
Why the Prep Tour? - More Choices, More Value The Prep Tour started out of necessity. Central Illinois needed an affordable, competitive golf tour. Families needed smarter choices for golf competitions closer to home. Junior golfers needed more rounds of tournament style golf to prepare themselves for higher levels of golf. Sean Kennedy, Tour Director, owner of The Prep Tour, and Illinois Valley Community College Men's Golf Coach, strives to meet these needs with an organized effort and high dedication to the junior golfers themselves. Sean plans every event with the host facility staff to maximize the junior golfer’s experience. The Prep Tour believes that the more times a golfer must interpret, analyze and execute his/her own individual golf shot during competitions, the more confident and prepared the junior golfer becomes at all aspects of tournament style play. Because of the wide selection of venues and formats, many junior golfers can find multiple chances to compete on The Prep Tour and many families can find multiple choices to affordably travel along with them on their exciting journey.
Where is The Prep Tour? This is where your family comes in. As we have progressed along this journey with our family, we have met so many players and their families that help us expand farther and enjoy more venues each season. The reason we have been successful and can expand to more country clubs, more regions, and more states is because of the support we get from junior golfers, their families, our alumni and our hosts at the golf courses we play. Our PGA professional hosts, golf course staff members, previous players and parents have spread the word that The Prep Tour takes care of its golfers and the family’s experience is well worth it. We have enjoyed hosting family vacation events at Eagle Ridge, Spirit Hollow and Purdue University’s Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Indiana. We encourage families to take advantage of these opportunities and plan a winter trip to Arizona, tour Graceland, or maybe even visit The Alamo! Keep checking The Prep Tour website for possible Western/Southern expansion plans.
We love what we do! We have been asked if we will continue to run The Prep Tour after our children no longer compete. We take incredible joy and interest in watching all of our players proceed through different stages of competitive golf. Some of our greatest fulfillment comes from following junior golfers at the IHSA state golf tournaments, AJGA D.A. Points Junior Open, Prep Tour Challenge Cup and The Prep Tour/SIGA Callaway Cup. As long as we are able to affordably provide this stage to spotlight junior golf talent, The Prep Tour will continue to do so.