Having Trouble Getting to the Greens? This New Program May Be the Answer to Golfers’ Problems

Founded by two Philly sports enthusiasts, the Amateur Golf Society lets you compete in tournaments at local courses on your own time.

Philly’s new Amateur Golf Society (AGS) helps make tournament-play more convenient for more players. / Photograph by AGS

Golf is very on par right now. Thanks to a pandemic-catalyzed boom, the sport has seen consistent growth — with more and more folks dusting off their clubs and hitting the green these past three years. Not only is golf a great way to get outside with your pals, but it also has lifelong benefits, like better cardiorespiratory endurance, improved balance, and reduced stress.

The problem with golf, though, is that it can often become costly. Plus, unless you’re retired or have a good amount of free time, you might find it difficult to pencil in tee times in your jam-packed schedule.

That’s where the Amateur Golf Society (AGS) comes in. Launched this past April, the organization — through its tour program in partnership with the Golf Association of Philadelphia — gives golfers of all abilities not just the opportunity, but the flexibility to play on their own time at some of the best local courses. The 2023 AGS Tour, which runs through October, features over 60 golf outings at courses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, including Walnut Lane, Downingtown Country Club, Riverwinds, and Baywood Greens.

Here’s how it works: Instead of one- or two-day events held on specific days and at certain times, AGS hosts week-long competitions that members can participate in at their convenience (a.k.a. any time during that seven-day window) and still receive real-time scoring and leaderboard standings. There are also designated one-day match plays at private clubs once per month, plus divisions for seniors and for women — the latter thanks to a partnership with the LPGA.

Another perk is that members don’t have to pay exorbitant entry costs that typically come with tournaments or country-club memberships. With AGS you’ll pay an annual fee — anywhere from $65 to $100, depending on the type — as well as green fees for only the courses you choose to play. There is no upcharge to play in tour events, as well as no minimum commitment — meaning you can play as much or as little as you’d like. Score!

Amateur Golf Society founders Dan Hershberg (left) and Andrew Cleghorn. / Photograph by The HEADstrong Foundation

AGS is the brainchild of local sports fans Dan Hershberg — who co-founded Workhorse Brewing Company and also launched the now-defunct apparel company, Philly Phaithful — and Andrew Cleghorn, Delco native and former senior director of content services at NBC Sports. It’s an expansion of Workhorse Tour, Workhorse Brewing Company’s at-leisure golf tournament series that took place during the 2021-2022 golf season when COVID-19 mitigation efforts closed bars but green-lit golf courses.

“For too long, amateur golfers have faced a variety of obstacles preventing them from playing more golf,” Hershberg says. “The AGS Tour concept tackles this challenge head on by providing additional playing opportunities, all-levels competition and unique perks to our membership.”

To become a member of AGS, head here. The 2023 tour season runs now through October.