23rd February 2021 | Alps Tour Golf

2009-2012, When UK discovered the Alps Tour

And then came a time when the Alps Tour started to become more and more international, and it was no longer a match between Italians and French players, as representatives from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were climbing the steps up to the top of the leader boards – and the rankings.

In the year of our 20th anniversary we continue our series of interviews to the past winners with the words of Andrea Perrino (2009), Matteo Delpodio (2010), Guillaume Cambis (2011) and Gareth Shaw (2012). Enjoy! 

Class of 2009


2009 was the best year of my professional career. I turned pro in 2008 with a good amateur record, and I started off very humble, trying to make cuts and earning my first euros, but after losing the playoff in Riva dei Tessali – the 4th tournament of the season – something switched in my game. 

I started being very confident and aware that I could win every tournament. All of a sudden everything was simple and good results were coming along. In fact, I won twice in June – the Peugeot Loewe Tour in Spain and the Allianz Open de Strasbourg in France, and eventually I won the Order of Merit and earned my rights to play on the Challenge Tour. 

I had the chance to play with some great golfers – among the winners that year there were José Manuel Lara, Pedro Linhart, Joost Luiten, Benjamin Hébert, Mike Lorenzo-Vera – and this helped me a lot in my professional career. 

I suggest to any young professional to join and take the challenge on the Alps Tour, both for the quality of its players and for the organization of the events”.

Class of 2010


Personally, I have only beautiful memories of the Alps Tour: simply, it is the tour where I learned what it meant to be a golf professional.

I won three times that year (in March, the Peugeot Tour Escorpion in Spain, in June the Open International de Normandie and in October the Masters 13, both in France) and this allowed me to top the ranking with a large margin and get the ticket to the Challenge Tour. 

We lived so many good moments, and in particular the memory of the atmosphere of friendship and sportsmanship established between Italian and international athletes will remain indelible. That context of healthy rivalry, mutual respect, and desire to improve has allowed the entire 2007-2010 generation to grow a lot and enrich our wealth of experience into something that turned out to be essential in the following steps of our careers”.

Class of 2011


I remember very well that great year, 2011, when I discovered the pro world. The season I have spent on the Alps Tour was a great learning for my future. The atmosphere was brilliant, and during that year I met some great people who turned into great friends for my whole golfing career.

Among all, my deepest thoughts go to Ricki Neil-Jones, one of the guys I would always hang out with; he used to call me with a funny nickname, “MM” (Massive Mess). He sadly passed away in October 2018, aged 35. He was an exceptional person and is still very sorely missed.

The Alps Tour was for me, as for many other players, a springboard to the European Tour. It is a great training ground to learn the life of a pro player, the level is good, and the courses are often challenging.

It will always be among the best memories of my golfing career, which stopped in 2018 because of physical problems after a few years on CT and ET.

My advice for the younger generation is to debut in the pro world through this tour. If you want to finish in the top 5 you need severity and consistency, two essential factors to succeed at the highest level.

Thanks to Estelle and her team for making this possible. Good luck to you all!”

Class of 2012

GARETH SHAW (Northern Ireland)

The Alps Tour for me will rank as one of the best times and experiences of my life. I played some in 2011 and did okay but in 2012 I was so consistent and ended up winning the Order of Merit without actually winning a tournament. I lost a play off in the Gosser Open (my most favourite event every year) but I had loads of top 5’s finishes. I do wish I had won an event though!! 

What gives me fond memories of the tour was how friendly everyone was and some of the great places we got to see. The event in the Italian Alps at Cervinia is by far a standout. The view playing 17 was incredible. I will always remember driving to the event and at the foot of the mountain it was 24 degrees but when we got to the course it was 12 degrees. And the sun was still out!! Another attraction along the way was stopping by in Monaco to have a look around and then paying 15 euro for a Big Mac meal… 

I was lucky in that in those 2 years there were four Irish guys (Richard Kilpatrick, Dara Lernihan, Brendan McCarroll) playing the tour and we would all travel together. We would meet in Dublin, normally fly to Milan or Munich and rent the biggest car we could get and be on the road for 4 weeks straight. We got pretty good at packing cars and we would all take turns driving. Sometimes for 10 hours at a time.  Luckily, we all got along very well… most of the time!! 

I am very thankful for the time I spent playing the Alps Tour and I am very proud of winning the Order of Merit in 2012. It’s a great tour”.

16th February 2021 | Alps Tour Golf

In their words: 2005-2008 ranking winners, when France was ruling the Alps Tour

During those years 2005-2008, France was ruling the Alps Tour by far. After the first 4 seasons when the winners of the ranking were all Italians, there came Cedric Menut (2005), Francois Calmels (2006), Julien Quesne (2007) and Julien Grillon (2008).

In 2006 and 2008, all top 5 at the end of the season were French players, leaving little space to other foreign contenders. Here they share their memories about that golden era.

Class of 2005


My first season on the Alps Tour in 2005 is the best memory I have of my professional golf career. I always had the dream of being a golf pro, and the tournaments I’ve played and the wins I had on the Alps made my dream come true.

I remember I became good friend with Francisco Valera, a Spanish player six years older than me who would go on playing on the Challenge and European Tour for many years; we had finished the season first and second respectively in the Alps Tour ranking, and that same year we played the European Tour QSchool all the way to the final round, how exciting and so many good memories!

Playing an Alps Tour tournament is always a great pleasure for me and I will always feel at home there. I’m proud of having written a part of the story of this Tour!”.


Class of 2006


I started playing on the Alps Tour by chance as at the time I had not really decided whether I would turn pro, and I did it only a few weeks before the start of the season. 

We kicked off in March with three tournaments in a row in Morocco, and I finished respectively 10th – 1st – 1st. This was super important for my confidence and it was the real boost for my golfing career, also because I did not have any sponsors at the time – actually I had never really thought about how I could find the money to play as a pro – and by winning so soon, I was able to self-finance my season. Thinking about it now, if I had missed those first cuts, I might as well stopped playing because I had no money! 

Since then, even though I haven’t been the most consistent player, I realized that I was able to win whenever I put myself in the situation to do it. This is something I’ve learnt playing the Alps Tour. And thanks to the self-confidence I had gained during that year, I was able to get a European Tour card at the QSchool, which was something completely unexpected only a few months earlier.

The French Federation had created an Alps Tour Team for all the players involved, and we would train and travel together; this certainly helped me to progress fast, and to accumulate lots of very good memories”. 

Class of 2007


The Alps Tour has been the springboard for my golfing career. It helped me to learn my job in a serious atmosphere, which was at the same time friendly and convivial. 

I have so many pleasant memories connected to this tour, especially the four victories I had (the first one in Morocco in 2004, the Trophée Maroc Telecom, and then the three in France in 2007: the Open International de Normandie in July, the AGF Allianz Open Trophée Preven’s in August and the Open International Stade Francais Paris in September) and the season ranking, after a quite disappointing year on the Challenge Tour. 

I can say that the Alps Tour has launched my career at first and then again, revamping it. I even came back to play one tournament last year as a preparation for some bigger events. 

I would like to sincerely thank all the people that make this Tour possible, all the sponsors and the number of volunteers who participate in the unfolding of the tournaments.

I made a lot of friends on this tour and I keep only good memories about it. Only my driving licence was at risk: at that time we used to travel all over Europe by car, and this would cost me some points and some fines!”.

Class of 2008


The Alps Tour has been a fundamental stage for me. I was a good amateur player and I had tried the European Tour QSchool in 2006, but I had gained a weak category, so the Alps Tour was kind of an obvious choice for me. When I started in 2007, I had a consistent season finishing 7th in the ranking, although with no wins; the following year I won in Austria – the Uniqa FinanceLife Open – with a margin of 4-5 strokes, and this gave me a lot of confidence; the rest of the season I had a series of top-10s and a second win in Italy – the Open Golf Padova – which allowed me to lead the ranking with a large margin and start a new chapter on the Challenge Tour, knowing that my game was strong enough. I have been on the Challenge Tour for 5 years then, sometimes having the chance to play the European Tour, too, all this thanks to the Alps Tour which was the right training ground for my game.

I remember the jolly atmosphere with many other French players, and the fact that many tournaments were in France helped to limit the expenses. The level of the game improved a lot year after year, I can say it by experience because although I was on the Challenge I used to train by playing some Alps tournaments and the cuts were lower and lower. The organisation as well has moved forward over the years, and the quality of the venues, too.

I think the Alps Tour is an excellent school for the future pro golfers, one that gives you the right weapons to face the Challenge and the European Tour, a really formative experience”.

More stories will follow in the next few weeks, stay tuned! 


The Alps Tour in numbers since 2001:

€ 15.240.000 prize money distributed;

365 tournaments;

14 countries visited;

152 different venues;

217 different tournament winners


Please click:

here for the full list of Schedules and Winners 2001-2020 

here for the alpha list of winners 2001-2020

here for the Top 5 OoM 2001-2020

5th February 2021 | Alps Tour Golf

In their words: the winners of the Alps Tour rankings share their memories

The Alps Tour is turning 20 years old: as old, as young, as some of our members. Its story is strictly connected to those of the 20 remarkable players who have won the Order of Merit, year after year. That’s why we thought that one of the best ways to celebrate our 20th anniversary is to let them talk about their experiences, and their memories.

We start from the beginning, with the words of the first four winners 2001 – 2004, all of them Italians – at that time the tour was not as cosmopolitan as it is now! More will follow in the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Class of 2001


“The Alps Tour has been the springboard for my professional career. I remember very well the first year when we would wander around Europe by car, looking for the golf courses which sometimes were literally in the middle of nowhere!

I was coming from some golden years as an amateur, I was 19 and decided to try my chance as a pro with this new-born tour, which granted the card for the Challenge Tour to the top 5 in the ranking – I thought it would be a good training ground to start tasting that world bypassing the European Tour QSchool.

I started on the right foot and had some good results very soon, then won my first pro tournament in Crans, the Memorial Olivier Barras, which also gave me an invite to play the Omega Masters, wow!

I remember a wonderful year, full of gratifications and new friendships. The Alps Tour has given me the possibility to play the following year the European Challenge Tour where I’ve been a regular for 12 consecutive seasons, but as soon as I had the chance I would go back and play some Alps tournaments. For me, it was like coming back home!”.


Class of 2002


“Playing the Alps Tour has been the best golf experience of my life. It was like living in a family and it made me feel good – that is why I was playing so well!

With the French players, the Spaniards, and all the others, we were not just playing together the same tour, we were all friends. After the last putt, all the players would run to the winner spraying water and hugging and congratulating, it was like having a party!

I remember when towards the end of the season I was already leading the ranking with a large margin and was in a good position for also winning the last tournament, but at a certain time in the last round I hit a horrible shot and started to lose my focus. I had my father on the bag and he got mad at me, saying that I was going to hand the trophy to Lionel Alexandre, with whom I was sharing the match. I said to dad, ‘And so be it!’! I had already secured my card, and I was happy for Lionel to have a chance to climb the ranking – which he did eventually, as he finished 3rd that year.

Since then, I have always missed that friendly atmosphere and the sportsmanship we had on the Alps Tour!”.


Class of 2003


“Playing the Alps Tour was undoubtedly the best possible choice for a young pro, and it was a no-brainer for me since its beginning, in 2001. I was 25 at that time and I remember that first year I made the cut in 9 tournaments out of 10.

In 2003 the schedule would count 19 tournaments in five different countries, and six of them were hosted in Italy: I won three times within one month, in summer, and went on to be the best in the Order of Merit that year in front of some remarkable players who then had great results in the European Tour like Felipe Aguilar, Gregory Bourdy and Felipe Lima. Really, it was a super experience!

After my experience on the Challenge Tour, I’ve been back playing the Alps for many years after – I have been a member until 2011 – and I keep so many good memories about it all!”


Class of 2004


“2004 was a year to remember for me, my golden year! And also the jumping board for my career. Until then I had never won a pro tournament, I had played some Alps events before, but never full time. But when I realized that with 20 tournaments that tour was the best path for me to forge and strengthen my experience, I was able to collect my first Open – the Open de Marcilly, I remember a very tough five-way playoff!

Since then, everything has changed. By realising that I was able to win, my game evolved and so did my mindset, and my scores reflected my new awareness. I ended up by winning the Order of Merit and my card for the 2005 Challenge Tour, but this was not the end as with Alessandro Tadini we brought Italy back in the World Cup, and then I also conquered a card for the European Tour at the QSchool.

For me the Alps Tour has meant a fantastic opportunity and a stairway to the international golf world. And the story repeated 11 years later, when I returned to the Alps QSchool in Spain at La Cala and went on to win the Open de Guadeloupe in 2015, then finish 7th in the ranking which resulted good enough to gain another Challenge Tour pass and from there, my third season on the European Tour.

After 20 years I can undoubtedly give credit to the Alps Tour for always evolving and for being a solid landmark in the international golfing world. Congratulations to all the staff and… long live the Alps Tour!!!”.


More stories will follow in the next few weeks, stay tuned! 


The Alps Tour in numbers since 2001:

€ 15.240.000 prize money distributed;

365 tournaments;

14 countries visited;

152 different venues;

217 different tournament winners


Please click:

here for the full list of Schedules and Winners 2001-2020 

here for the alpha list of winners 2001-2020

here for the Top 5 OoM 2001-2020

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