Dan Hershberg’s 2023 AGS Tour Features 60 Amateur Golf Tournaments In The Delaware Valley
AGS Uses Technology And Region’s Best Courses To Hold Tournaments On Demand
by Melissa Jacobs
Lead photo of Green Valley Country Club
Amateur golfers’ most common problem? Finding time to play. Scheduling tee times between work and family commitments can be challenging, especially for golfers who want to challenge themselves by playing on new courses. The AGS Tour wants to change that. With its inaugural season, the 2023 AGS Tour is combining technology with competitive play on the best golf courses in the Delaware Valley.
Instead of the typical one-day or weekend-long events, AGS hosts week-long tournaments. Participants play on their own schedules and record their scores in AGS’s app, which is powered by Golf Genius. The tournament schedule offers golfers access to premier public courses in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. The PA list of courses includes Kimberton Golf Club in Phoenixville, Broad Run Golfer’s Club in West Chester, and The Golf Course at Glen Mills.
AGS also hosts match play events at private clubs, including Green Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, Philmont Country Club in Huntingdon Valley and Commonwealth National Golf Club in Horsham. Presented in partnership with the Philadelphia Section of the PGA, match plays are Ryder Cup-style events with local PGA Section professionals acting as team captains.
AGS Tour is the brainchild of Dan Hershberg, the entrepreneur who co-created Workhorse Brewing Company in King of Prussia. The tour started under the auspices of Workhorse. During the first Workhouse Tour in the spring of 2021, 225 golfers registered and 30-ish played per week on 18 courses. By 2022, 700 members joined. “We had 5x engagement in terms of people playing per week,” Hershberg said. “That was outstripping the capacity of Workhorse, but I saw a clear demand for amateur golf in this area.”
Hershberg’s idea of a decentralized tournament solves his own golf problem. A busy dad with young kids, Hershberg spends most weekends with his family. Even if he wanted to play in a tournament, his wife wouldn’t be thrilled with Hershberg being MIA for five hours on a Saturday. “So how do I have fun, see my buddies and get better at the game? I golf when it fits into my schedule, not the other way around,” Hershberg said.
Golfers are invited to play one, some or all of the AGS Tour’s events. AGS membership is an affordable $75 for the season and includes perks and privileges like exclusive tee times, membership in the Golf Association of Philadelphia and access to a virtual clubhouse and in-person events where members can socialize. The social aspect is great for golfers, especially men with young kids, Hershberg said. “There’s often a disconnection when our top priorities become our families and not our friends,” he said. “With AGS, we can make new friends who love golf and have time to play it.”
AGS’s app publicly posts golfers’ scores so members can play with people at their skill level. Although the scores are self-reported, AGS has a tight handicap management oversight strategy. The data that AGS compiled last year was compared to that of the United State Golf Association. “That tells us that, on average, despite our unique format, our members are posting scores within the USGA provided guidelines,” Hershberg said.
That may sound “golf nerdy,” Hershberg said, but he is an unabashed golf lover and has been since he was a kid and first watched Payne Stewart, the flamboyant golfer. Young Hershberg found a Stewart-like pair of argyle-patterned pants and asked his dad to play golf. The senior Hershberg told his son that golf wasn’t his cup of tea. But, after some hearty encouragement from Hershberg’s mom, the two headed for a public golf course. Hershberg shot 180 and his dad shot 160. “But we were hooked immediately,” Hershberg said. “We spent a lot of time together that summer on the golf course. I fell in love with it from there and have been playing ever since.”
Now, he wants the AGS Tour to have the same effect on other people. More people playing more golf at more courses is his goal. Hershberg plans to scale the AGS Tour to a national level. “Our goal is to be in every major market between now and the next five years,” Hershberg said. “Wherever there are golf courses, there are people who want to play on them – on their own schedules.”
One year after launching their Eagles apparel brand, two besties open The Dimes Club. by Ana Welsh, business editor Didn’t you know? You’re already in The Dimes Club. “Because you’re a 10,” Meg McKernan said with a smile in her voice. “We all are. Every single one of us.” Now, we can physically be in… Read more
Revamped, Elevated Series Features Big Name Speakers by Hope Weiss, freelance contributor There’s a lot that’s old about Valley Forge. But there’s also a lot that is new – namely the diverse, inclusive programming created by Valley Forge Park Alliance, the nonprofit group that supports Valley Forge National Historic Park. Under the leadership of board… Read more
Check Out These Art Galleries, Museums And Events by Eli Bank, arts and culture editor Lead image: Ock Soon Kwon, Persimmons, 2022, watercolor on paper, 20 1/2 x 16 in (52.1 x 40.6 cm) Chester County has a long tradition of amazing fine art, and this fall’s art exhibits showcase that perfectly. Media and Haverford? We… Read more