The Asian Tour is the principal men's professional golf tour in Asia except for Japan, which has its own Japan Golf Tour, which is also a full member of the International Federation of PGA Tours. The Asian Tour is administered from offices in Singapore. It is controlled by a board with a majority of professional golfers, and a Tournament Players Committee of its player members, supported by an executive team. The Executive Chairman of the Board is the Burmese professional golfer Kyi Hla Han.
The first season in the current lineage was played in 1995, although there had been earlier attempts to create an Asian Tour. The Asian PGA was formed in July 1994 at a meeting in Hong Kong attended by PGA representatives from eight countries. In 1998 the Asian Tour became the sixth member of the International Federation of PGA Tours. In 2002, the tour moved its office from Hong Kong to Malaysia and in 2004 the tour was taken over by a new organisation established by the players, who had been in dispute with the previous management. In 2007 it moved to new headquarters on the resort island of Sentosa in Singapore, which is also the home to what was at that time the tour's richest sole sanctioned tournament, the Singapore Open. Official money events on the tour count for World Golf Ranking points.
Most of the leading players on the tour are Asian, but players from other parts of the world also participate (as of 2007 the country with most representatives profiled on the tour's official site is Australia). Each year the Asian Tour co-sanctions a number of events with the PGA European Tour, with these events offering higher prize funds than most of the other tournaments on the tour as a result. From 2008, 50 per cent of players’ earnings from the U.S. Open and The Open Championship will count towards the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit. The two Opens have been singled out from the other majors because they have open qualifying which Asian Tour members may enter.
In 2004 the total prize fund was 11.4 million U.S. dollars, and by 2007 it had risen to 27.73 million U.S. dollars (all purses are fixed in dollars apart from those of The Open Championship and the Johnnie Walker Classic, which are fixed in pounds sterling). However most of the tournaments with seven figure U.S. dollar purses are in events co-sanctioned by the European Tour, and European Tour players tend to collect most of the winnings in those tournaments. Asia's richest event, the HSBC Champions tournament, was first played in November 2005 with a prize fund of $5 million; it is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour but did not count towards the money list for its first three years as any high placings by Asian Tour players would distort the money list. However, since 2008, 50% of the prize money, which is now at a total of $7.5 million, has counted towards the Order of Merit. For 2010, the tour's richest sole sanctioned events are the Hero Honda Indian Open and Iskandar Johor Open, each with a total prize fund of $1.25 million. In 2011, the Iskandar Johor Open will be co-sanctioned by the European Tour. Aside from the HSBC Champions, now a World Golf Championships event, two other co-sanctioned Asian Tour events have prize funds of at least $5 million. The Singapore Open, which reached the $5 million level in 2008, had been the tour's richest sole sanctioned event, but it became co-sanctioned by the European Tour in 2009, and as such saw another increase in prize money in 2010 to $6 million. A new limited-field event in Malaysia, the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, was launched in 2010 with a $6 million purse. This is the first Asian Tour event to be co-sanctioned by the U.S.-based PGA Tour, although it is not an official money event on that tour. The tour's schedule remains quite unstable, with several in-season cancellations, reschedulings and prize fund alterations in 2007.
In 2009 a rival tour, the OneAsia Tour, was established. Relations between the two tours are hostile.
Among the ways to obtain an Asian Tour card is to be among the top 40 (including ties) at the Tour's qualifying school, finishing in the top 5 of the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit, and placing in the top 60 of the previous season's Order of Merit.