Industry News

East Coast Women’s Pro Golf Tour in new hands, poised for growth

(Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) - Today, the East Coast Women’s Pro Golf Tour (ECWPGT) announces Stuart McKinnon, CEO and founder of MetaTech Capital Partners (, a Miami based VC firm, has taken the helm as the new owner and President of the tour. ECWPGT, one of the few professional women’s developmental tours in the United States will move its headquarters from Ponte Vedra Beach (FL) to Miami (FL), where McKinnon lives. 

McKinnon takes over immediately from Mark D. Berman, who bought in 2021 what was then known as the NWGA, one of the oldest women’s mini-tours in the country.  Berman rebranded the tour as the East Coast Women’s Pro Golf Tour in January of 2022 to raise the level and visibility of women’s developmental level professional golf and create more earning opportunities for the players.  The ECWPGT had a successful inaugural season, producing 13 events, hosting more than 300 players and distributing more than $300,000 in prize money.  Seven of its players qualified for the 2022 US Women’s Open.  Nearly 70 of the Tour’s players made it to the second stage of LPGA Q School, with seven of those players getting through to the final Q Series.  Three ECWPGT players went on to earn their LPGA Cards via Q School along with one of its Champions, Yan Liu, who graduated from the Epson Tour to the LPGA Tour by finishing on the top 10 of the Epson Tour money list.  Those who played on the ECWPGT and earned their LPGA Tour Cards include, Bailey Tardy and Sofia Garcia as well as Tour Advisory Board member, Isabell Gabsa.

In a letter to the Tour’s membership sent in late December and posted later that day to the Tour’s website, Berman explained the ECWPGT would suspend operations for 2023 due to family health concerns which needed his focus and resources (none life-threatening, and since on the mend).  Seeing the ECWPGT as a meaningful and necessary tour for women aspiring to the LPGA Tour, and, like Berman, having a daughter playing at the developmental professional level, McKinnon immediately reached out to Berman with the idea of buying it and taking it to an even higher level.  Under McKinnon’s guidance, the  ECWPGT kicks off its Winter Series on February 20 at Southern Hills Plantation (Brooksville, FL). 

McKinnon is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in wealth management, known for his innovative approach and commitment to supporting emerging technologies and companies in need of investment capital and strategic advice.  Said Berman, “With his business experience and knowledge of the game from inside the ropes, Stuart is the perfect leader to guide the East Coast Women's Pro Golf Tour to the next level. A father of five amazing daughters, one of them, Brogan McKinnon, having played on the tour, I was impressed by his similar passion for women's initiatives and our parallel paths as girl golf dads. His deep love of the game combined with his commitment to the Tour’s mission of supporting aspiring female pros makes him the ideal person to drive the Tour from here.”  Berman continued, “I’m proud of what we started and gratified that Stuart feels the Tour and its players are important enough to invest in and move forward.”

Daily operations will be handled by McKinnon’s team and some key existing staff staying aboard.  Said McKinnon, “In just one season, Mark and his team built a great tour with a tremendous reputation for its quality of events and quality of field.  Having seen first hand through Brogan’s experience the pros and cons of being a woman professional golfer trying to climb the ladder, I understand better than most people what it takes and what they need.  Taking over this necessary and meaningful tour is my chance to give back to the game and to keep the dream alive for the players.  Mark got this tour started with his passion and energy and we’re going to add the resources and a great team to take that commitment to the next level.” 

Berman will stay on as a shareholder and Strategic Advisor.  “Building a women’s tour has been an incredible honor and a capstone to my journey inside the ropes of women’s golf which began some 15 years ago with our own daughter, Hannah,” said Berman, who co-owned the tour with his wife, Elizabeth, and credits their daughter as inspiration for  the ECWPGT.  He continued,  “We feel the best pathway for the tour is as part of a bigger organization, particularly one that shares our respect for the game and for women’s golf in particular.  We remain passionate and excited about women’s golf and believe deeply in the future of the women’s game.  We support Stuart and look forward to watching the tour and its players flourish.” 

Plans for the 2023 schedule are in development.  Contact Stuart McKinnon for more information at 647-980-8783.  Follow at @ecwpgt.

About the East Coast Women’s Professional Golf Tour
Based in Florida, the ECWPGT is one of only three women’s developmental tours in the U.S.  Launched in January 2022 to provide more playing and earning opportunities for professional female golfers, the ECWPGT is open to professional players including those on the Epson Tour, the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA. It is also open to elite level amateurs and college players as well as LPGA Tour players. The Tour’s website is  Follow at @ecwpgt or #AintNoMiniTour.

ECWPGT Contact:
Stuart McKinnon, Owner

Media Contact:
Mark D. Berman, MediaShare Consulting Group