THE STATE OF GOLF IN GEORGIA JUNIOR
THE STATE OF GOLF IN GEORGIA
JUNIOR GOLF CLEARINGHOUSE
Q&A COACHES AND PLAYERS INTERVIEWS
WHAT KIND OF ANIMAL ARE YOU?
It’s a jungle out there.
Sure, it’s a well-manicured jungle with bent grass and finely raked sand, but
if you don’t have what it takes, you’re dead meat. Find anything and
everything you need to put more Grrrr in your game at the only store named
after golf’s best. 1005 Holcomb Woods Parkway, Roswell, GA 770-640-0933.
Or stop by our newest location at 2911 George Busbee Parkway, Kennesaw.
The Georgia Junior Golf Foundation was founded in 1974 with the support
from both the Georgia State Golf Association and the Georgia Section
Professional Golfer’s Association. The Foundation was established in honor
of the great Bobby Jones. Since its inception, the Foundation’s Mission has
been to positively affect youth by promoting interest and participation
in the game of golf. The purpose of the Foundation is to introduce the
game of golf and its values to young people in Georgia and to provide
opportunities for continued growth and involvement in the game.
In 2005, the GJGF continued its “Junior Golf at Schools Program.” This
program is offered to middle school PE classes throughout Georgia. Since
2000, we have installed this program in 85 schools. As a result, golf has been
introduced to over 40,000 middle school students.
The year 2005 brought an exciting new offering from the Foundation. To
compliment the wonderfully successful “Junior Golf at Schools Program”, the
GJGF joined forces with the First Tee to begin similar programs in Elementary
schools throughout Georgia. These new programs are a natural feeder
system to the established middle school programs. The new elementary
program is now in 72 schools with another 40,000 children introduced to
The GJGF is pleased to present the 2006 Georgia Junior Golfer magazine.
Junior golfers and parents have grown to appreciate this publication. The
magazine is again ﬁlled with exciting stories, instruction, and information.
The center of the magazine is the important “Junior Golf Clearinghouse.”
This section provides information to virtually every competitive junior
opportunity in Georgia. It is a wonderful tool to plan your schedule.
We do hope that you enjoy the magazine and all of our other efforts to
promote the greatest game to juniors throughout Georgia.
1021 Thornwell Court
Athens, GA 30606
toll free: 1-877-310-0606
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Brian Albertson, Rome
Jackie Cannizzo, Roswell
Immediate Past President
Fred Palmer, Augusta
Eva Chafﬁn, Cumming
Wendell Couch, Athens
Dave Gilbert, Duluth
Jack Knight, Rome
Jeff Knox, Augusta
Michael Paull, Roswell
Executive Director, Georgia PGA
Peter Ripa, Braselton
Dennis Terry, Athens
Mike Waldron, Marietta
Executive Director, GSGA
Kathy Cousart, Athens
Executive Director, GJGF
American Junior Golf Association
Coach Chris Haack
Georgia Section PGA
Georgia State Golf Association
PGA TOUR Superstore
Your Community PhoneBook
Georgia State Parks
Please contact the GJGF ofﬁce for information about any of our programs. Please see
our Web site for other information (gjgf.org).
GEORGIA JUNIOR GOLFER is the annual publication of the Georgia Junior Golf Foundation.
The 2006 Georgia Junior Golfer was created
by Debby Purwono and printed by Burman
Printing. Cover was photographed by Dylan
Wilson of Athens, GA. Copyright by Georgia
Junior Golf Foundation. All rights reserved.
No material in this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the
Executive Director of the Georgia Junior Golf
Georgia Junior Golfer
Georgia - Georgia Tech
The State of Golf in Georgia
By Steven Colquitt,
special to Georgia Junior Golf Foundation
he weather didn’t match up to
the city’s name.
Georgia Tech and Georgia had just
completed play in the 2004 NCAA
Championships in Hot Springs, Va.,
battling not only each other and a
stellar ﬁeld of teams, but also cold
temperatures and rainy conditions.
Georgia Junior Golfer
The teams didn’t reach their title
aspirations that day — Georgia Tech
was ﬁfth, Georgia was 16th — and
their next goal of simply getting
home seemed dicey as well. With
fog settling in and the temperature
dropping to near-freezing levels, the
teams were unsure if their scheduled
ﬂight to Atlanta would be able to take
off. Several phone calls to the local
airport didn’t help either, as airline
ofﬁcials were non-committal.
Waiting as long as they could,
coaches Bruce Heppler of Georgia
Tech and Chris Haack of Georgia
ﬁgured it would be best to make the
trek to the airport. Even if the teams
wound up on standby or possibly a
later ﬂight, that seemed more
Georgia - Georgia Tech
enticing than spending another night
So the coaches, players and support
staffs hopped aboard two vans
— each balanced with representatives
of each school — for the trek off
the mountain. If dogs and cats are
enemies, certainly Dogs and Yellow
Jackets can’t get along either, right?
But images of adversaries at each
other’s throats on that ride should
be dismissed. Instead, the parties
gossiped, told jokes and discussed
upcoming summer plans.
Competitors on the golf course?
Absolutely. Friends off the course? No
question about it. And that friendship
stems from relationships created in
junior golf programs and extending
into the college ranks.
“That was my ﬁrst year, and it was
a ﬁtting way to end the year,” said
Georgia Tech’s Roberto Castro. “We
had just ﬁnished our ﬁnal rounds
at nationals, and after nine months
of going after each other, we just
thought let’s forget all that, and we
rode together back to the airport. We
were all tired of competing against
each other, and we just sat around and
talked, and it was cool. … We’re always
on the same ﬂights, we’re always in
the same hotels, we’re always in the
same tournaments and we get paired
together all the time. We’re not on the
same team, but we live the same life
for nine months. There’s plenty to talk
“We have a great deal of respect
for Coach Heppler and his program,”
Georgia’s Richard Scott said. “They
have a great team year in and year out.
The rivalry between the two schools
has become very heated, both teams
wanting to beat each other week in
and week out. However, there is a
great deal of respect and camaraderie
between both teams.”
“I think all of our guys have a lot of
respect for the Georgia Tech players
and program,” Georgia’s Kevin Kisner
said. “We play with them so much that
we get to know all of their players and
coaches so well that we all respect
them as people.”
“That’s where Coach Haack and
Coach Heppler have done such
a great job,” said Ryan Hybl, the
former Bulldog All-American and
current assistant coach. “They both
have plans for success, and so much
of that depends on recruiting. They
have done an excellent job of bringing
in quality young men who excel both
in golf and in academics.”
Golf Digest chose the Yellow
Jackets recently as having as the
nation’s No. 1 golf program. The
magazine rated each school in four
categories: academics, climate,
coach/facilities and golf performance.
Georgia ﬁnished seventh in the Golf
“There are a lot of people who
work hard to try and have good
teams, so it’s a huge honor to be
recognized for what we’ve done,”
said Heppler, whom the magazine
called the best young coach in
college golf. “It’s a huge compliment
to acknowledge the people who’ve
raised the money, administrators
who supported the program, and the
players who’ve spent countless hours
practicing to produce great results.
We’ve been fortunate to have some
wonderful players here.”
Each school can stand behind
Heppler’s last claim. The Yellow
Jackets boast the likes of past
stars David Duval, Bryce Molder,
Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar and
Troy Matteson, along with current
standouts Castro and Mike Barbosa.
The Bulldogs’ recent standardbearers have been Nick Cassini,
Erik Compton, Ryuji Imada, Bubba
Watson, Justin Bolli and David
Denham, followed by current stars
in Kisner, Scott, Brendon Todd,
Chris Kirk and Brian Harman. And
the future looks bright as each team
recently signed stellar classes for the
When Georgia and Georgia Tech
dispatched several of the nation’s
top teams to reach the ﬁnals of
the Hooters Collegiate Match Play
Championship in November, it
In a state whose borders are
steeped in golf tradition, the Bulldogs
and the Yellow Jackets not only
dominate their own backyard but
also the country. Heading into the
spring portion of the 2005-06 season,
Georgia is ranked No. 1 in the nation
and Georgia Tech is No. 2.
“Both programs are successful,
and I think Georgia Tech’s success
Georgia Junior Golfer
Georgia - Georgia Tech
beneﬁts us and our success beneﬁts
them,” said Haack, who guided the
Bulldogs to national titles in 1999
and 2005. “To be the best you can be,
you have to work hard and be pushed
by the competition. We see Georgia
Tech and the other top-20 teams
at just about every tournament we
play, so we can’t afford to take a step
back. We have to always be moving
forward — and I think part of our
motivation to do that comes from our
competitions with Georgia Tech.”
Last fall, that competition
was on display each week as the
schools competed in the same ﬁve
tournaments. The Bulldogs won the
NCAA Fall Preview and the Yellow
Jackets ﬁnished second. Georgia
Tech then turned the tables by
claiming the Jerry Pate Invitational
with the Bulldogs coming in second.
At the Isleworth Invitational, Georgia
was ﬁrst and Georgia Tech was third.
The Match Play Championship
allowed the two teams to ﬂex their
muscles against other schools as
they cruised into the ﬁnal. Georgia
emerged victorious in that last match,
but it was as close as it could be at 3-2
with two matches coming down to
the ﬁnal hole.
The spring should be more of the
same. The schools will compete in at
least three tournaments (the Puerto
Rico Classic, the Southern Highlands
Collegiate and the United States
Collegiate) and they likely will meet
again at the NCAA East Regional and
the NCAA Championships.
Georgia Tech Under
(1996-present, 10 years)
(1995-present, 11 years)
Even though neither Georgia nor
Georgia Tech won the Carpet Capital
Collegiate (that honor went to
Georgia State), the teams again were
neck-and-neck at third and fourth,
Georgia Junior Golfer
Individual NCAA Medalists
National Players of the Year
National Coach of the Year
Conference Players of the Year
Conference Coach of the Year
Even though it will be decided in
Oregon, to say the national title will
run through the state of Georgia is
not an understatement. Georgia State
boasts a top-10 team, while Augusta
State, Georgia Southern and Mercer all
are nationally ranked. Kennesaw State
also has an up-and-coming program.
“I believe the success Georgia and
Georgia Tech have had deﬁnitely has
motivated the other state schools
to improve and reach national
prominence,” Castro said. “Those
schools are surely trying to bring
their programs to the same level of
prominence that Georgia and Georgia
Tech enjoy. Also, Tech and Georgia
are very aware that we’re not the only
serious programs in the state, and it
deﬁnitely makes us work a little harder
to keep our edge.”
“I feel that our team has such a
competitive and talented group of
individuals that we strive for success
no matter who we are playing,”
Todd said. “However, without great
competition around, we would not
have a model for comparison, which
often leads to different views of
success. Because these schools in
Georgia are so great at golf, we push
ourselves to the limit to compete at
the highest level and never let down.
We don’t want to lose to anybody, but
we deﬁnitely don’t want to lose to instate rivals.”
From Junior Golf To College Golf
1. What is your favorite part of college life?
2. What is the worst part of college life?
3. What has been the toughest adjustment?
4. What was different from what you expected?
5. How is it playing with a team?
6. What is your typical day like when you are in season?
1. Socializing... football games, hanging out with friends,
2. Class and study hall.
3. Not living with parents, having to be more independent and
4. The importance of time management.
5. Fun! But also motivating.
6. 6:00-7:00 am workouts; breakfast, shower; 9:30-12:15 Class,
Lunch; 1:30-4:30 golf practice; Dinner; Study hall.
Dori Carter, Ole Miss Rebel
Lauren Cousart, FSU Seminole
1. Game days.
2. Not enough hunting time.
3. Adjusting to class schedules.
4. Not enough free time.
5. The best experience of my life.
6. Workout, practice and study….with a few meals in between.
Brian Harman, Georgia Bulldog
1. My favorite part of college life is meeting people while traveling for golf and having fun.
2. The worst part of college life is all the homework, papers, tests, and assignments.
3. The toughest adjustment has been managing my time! I have always had great grades but now I am not at
home for my mom to cook for me, help with laundry, and other things; now I’m doing it all on my own plus
golf, plus school, plus my personal life and things can get very stressful when handling all these things on your
own living in a new town too!
4. Was it different from what I expected? Um.. yes and no.. I knew practice would be different than what I
was used to, qualifying would be tough, living on my own would be difﬁcult, and school would be hard... But
all of these things combined created a completely crazy, stressful, overwhelming ﬁrst semester.
5. Playing with a team is a lot of fun. This isn’t high school golf anymore... this is serious competition- every
team wants to win... every girl wants to be # 1 on her team as well... we are all wanting to support each
other and win as a team.
6. A typical Friday morning goes like this: Get up at 5:15 AM for breakfast, pack snacks, change of clothes,
get stuff together... workout at 6 AM until 7 AM... change clothes, grab some snacks, get in car, drive to
campus to park... 8 AM class until 12:00... walk back to car, drive home to change clothes, eat lunch (usually
grab it) and go to golf course... practice until 5:00 or maybe dark- then go home, eat dinner, or pick it up and
go to tutors from 7-9 then go home and get a shower, and either do homework, papers, or study... or try to
meet with friends.
1. My favorite part of college life being in an environment where you are forced to improve.
2. Doing laundry is the worst part of college life. Perhaps the worst thing in the world, as well.
3. The toughest adjustment is learning to manage your time.
4. I thought I would have more free time than I do.
5. Playing with a team is great because you have a close support system and plenty of people to help you out.
6. A typical day starts with a 6:15 workout. Then I usually have class until about 12:00. From there I usually grab a bite to eat
and go to practice or qualifying. At night we go to study hall sometimes or just hang out.
Ryan Peters, Mercer Bear
1. The freedom.
2. Having to do your own laundry, cleaning and shopping and not
having anyone to remind you where to be at certain times.
3. Not getting enough sleep.
4. The amount of time to hang out. I thought there would be a lot of
time to do whatever, but we stay pretty busy with golf, school and study
5. It is a lot like high school golf except everyone on the team is really
dedicated and we push each other to be better. Playing with a team is
a lot of fun, too because there is always someone to talk to and have a
few good laughs with.
6. We wake up at 6:50 for the daily morning run, which is about 1.5
miles. Then we go to class from 8 – 2 with breaks in between. Then at
2:30-3:00, depending on the day, we have practice till 5:30 or 6, maybe
later if we play. We have qualifying some days which is usually two
Michael Green, Georgia Bulldog
Georgia Junior Golfer
From Top College Coaches
Questions for Coaches
1. Please list your top 3 characteristics you look for in a golfer.
2. Tell us your favorite drill for practice.
3. Tell us your pet peeve.
1. Attitude on the golf course, work ethic, and ability
to score (100 yards and in).
2. We work a lot with tee targets with our
wedges...setting up the targets anywhere from
50- 120 yards.
3. Saying thanks....whether it is for buying the
team dinner, getting them a club...whatever, just a
simple thanks will do.
4. Low score wins!!...just joking....Have fun,
enjoy yourself, this is not life or death...
most of our events are 54 holes, so I just
try to convince them that they are going to
make a few mistakes, but they are also going
to make plenty of birdies.
5. Oliver Wilson- All American from England currently
playing the European Tour....3 years ago at the ASU Invitational,
we were ranked #2 in the nation and Clemson was ranked #1. We
were all tied and Oliver was tied for the individual lead with one
hole to go...He drove the green on 18, a 290 yard par 4...then in
front of 100 people or so, sank a 20 foot eagle putt to shoot 64 and
win the individual title and team title by 2....deﬁnitely the most
excited that I have been on a golf course, playing or coaching.
Josh Gregory-Head Men’s Golf Coach, Augusta State University
1. Respect for the game, respect for competitors and
gratitude for their opportunities.
2. Hitting wedges into 20’ circle on our range.
3. Being Late.
4. Be yourself, let everyone else get worked up!
5. Tiger Woods was 1 down with 1 to play
and trying to win his third US Junior in Portland, Oregon. His opponent Ryan Armour
was on the green in 3 on the Par 5 twenty feet
from the hole. Tiger had reached the front portion of a green side
bunker in 2. He had a 25 yard bunker to carry with a front right pin
and very little green. He needed to make 4 to extend the match. He
hit his bunker shot to gimmie. He made birdie and won his third US
Junior on the 1st extra hole.
Bruce Heppler-Head Men’s Golf Coach, Georgia Tech
1. How a player carries themselves, attitude,
swing and results.
2. Any short game drills.
3. There are no pet peeves on the course with
a student athlete--just a learning process to get
to the next level.
4. No expectations and patience.
5. There have been many--I could not just name
Kim Evans-Head Women’s Golf
Georgia Junior Golfer
4. What is the best advice you give to a player before a big
5. What is the most memorable shot you have seen by a player
1. Grades, golf scores and attitude.
2. Hurricane putting drill. Take 8 balls and
put them in a circle around the hole with
each one going out a little further than
the next thus creating a hurricane looking
swirl. Make all 8 in a row and then you can
3. Players that short-side themselves.
That play is either poor decision
making, poor target selection, poor
execution or a combination of all 3.
4. Stay patient and pick good targets
while making aggressive swings.
5. The one that jumps out right away is watching
Ryuji Imada roll in a 70 foot putt for eagle on the 7th hole
at Hazeltine at the 1999 NCAA Championship. That put a lot
wind in our sails going to the back nine trying to win our ﬁrst
Chris Haack- Head Men’s Golf Coach, Georgia
1. Solid golf swing, fundamentally sound and not
too high maintenance. One that will hold up
under pressure and in all types of conditions. A
great short game, this shows how much work
a player truly puts into their game. A total
understanding that some days they just won’t
hit it very well and they can do whatever it
takes to score. Attitude, attitude, attitude. The
character a player truly shines on those days
when things are not going well. Is the player
able to take adversity and turn it into
opportunity? All the great ones can.
2. My favorite drill in practice is Around the
World. We set up a nine hole chipping course and the players have
to get it up and down in a given score, I usually allow one over,
but even is always better.
3. My pet peeve would have to be being late. Here at FSU my
players live on DD Time. If you are on time... you are ﬁve minutes
late! I have them set their watches 5 minutes ahead.
4. The best advise is always to stay in the present. Worrying about
a shot that’s over with or a hole they just played only gets in the
way of their ability to focus on the present shot. Getting ahead
can be just as destructive, so maintaining focus and staying in the
present is vital.You can’t undo the past or predict the future, the
present is the only thing you can control.
5. This is an easy one. One year at the Gator I was actually on a
par 3, strange for me, and Kris Tamulis was up. We talked about
club selection and Bam! Hole in one. It was great to have felt a
part of that! The next day Alison Zimmer was on # 8 and the same
thing happened. Two in one tournament and I was able to see
them both! Awesome.
Debbie Dillman- Head Women’s Golf coach, Florida State
1. Scores, potential to improve and how they
get along with peers and adults.
2. All drills that focus on scoring – Chipping
and putting contests, uneven lies. Also all
team members surround the hole 4’ out. Each
person has to make to leave practice. Each
missed putt results in push ups and start over
with the player that missed.
3. Immature behavior .
4. Play and limit your time on the
5. Tie – Jack Croyle’s putt on the ﬁnal hole of
the 1999 East Regionals at Rhode Island Country Club and DJ Fiese’s
hitting a perfect putt on the ﬁnal hole of our conference championship and it not going in. I knew then that there would be more wins
in their futures.
Trey Jones-Head Men’s Golf Coach, Florida State University
1. The top three characteristics I look for are
authenticity, expertise, and athleticism. I think
sense of humor is very important too.
2. My favorite drill depends on the time
of year and what we need to work on as
a team. One of my favorites is getting
the ball up and down from nine different
locations in a row.
3. My pet peeve is chewing with your
mouth open. I have a really hard time
with that for some reason.
4. Stick to your pre-shot routine and
practice being a great player, regardless of
5. One of our players started out her round with two double bogies
and then proceeded to get six birdies in a row. We ended up
shooting our lowest team round in more than ten years.
Stephanie Martin Barker-Head Women’s Golf Coach, Kentucky
1. Top three things I look for in a recruit are:
athletic ability that allows them to create
speed and dig the ball out of rough, a passion
and love for the game, and good fundamentals combined with a strong work ethic.
2. My favorite practice drill is a chipping/pitching/bunker drill. You must hole one ball
out from a speciﬁc station, but you
must hole another ball out for everyone that you hit outside of ten feet.
3. My pet peeve is lack of effort and lack of respect for the game.
4. My best advice before a big event is to fully prepare, and then
trust that your preparation will allow you to hit the shots that you
need to hit during competition. Attend only to the shot at hand.
Don’t dwell on the past or future.
5. The most memorable shot that I have seen by a player was hit
by Marissa Baena when she played for Arizona. Her team was in a
playoff for the NCAA Championship in Palm Springs, CA. Marissa
holed out a full 8 iron shot to win the championship for her team.
Mic Potter-Head Women’s Golf Coach, Alabama
1. a) The ability to be mentally tough, both in
good and bad situations.
b) Good golf characteristics (ball ﬂight,
fundamentals, good putter, length).
c) Being sound academically. It is hard to
be successful on the course if you are
worrying about academics.
2. My favorite drill is for lag putting. I
set up a circle on the putting green that is
about 2 feet around the hole. I then set up 5
balls at 30, 40, and 50 feet. A player starts at 30 and
when she gets all 5 putts in the circle can move to 40 and then to
50. It can become quite tiring and frustrating but it requires you to
keep your focus and should result in better putting.
3. Being late. In my opinion it is just a matter of being prepared
and courteous to others.
4. Work on short game and your wedges. About 65% of your shots
will be from 30 yards or less. If that area of your game is sharp, it
will allow you to make mistakes in the other areas.
5. In our National Championship season of 2001, we had a 1 shot
lead over Duke as my # 1 player Reilley Rankin played the 17th
hole. She was in the rough about 200 yards from the hole, to a
small green with water in front. I remember wanting to tell Reilley
to lay up but I was choking so bad that I couldn’t get the words
out. I told her to “hit it good” and then could hardly bear to
watch. Reilley laced a 3 iron about 20 feet from the hole and then
2 putted for an easy birdie to give us a cushion going to the last
hole. Georgia ended up winning by 3 strokes for our only National
Championship in Women’s Golf. I still have never been that nervous
on a golf course.
Todd McCorkle- Head Women’s Golf Coach, Georgia
1. Characteristics in a golfer: good, positive
attitude, talent, solid support system
2. Favorite Drill: hitting 30 wedge shots
to 4 different target nets arranged at 30,
40, 50, & 60 yards (120 shots total).
3. My pet peeve:
a. Players who sulk because they didn’t
make the travel team that week.
b. Players who have their parents call to
talk about playing time.
4. Best Advice: “Go see how much fun you can have today”
5. The most memorable shot I’ve seen: Just happened a couple of
weeks ago at our home event. Lauren Smith, senior, hit a terriﬁc
shot into #17 at Forest Hills. We strategically placed our 2nd shot
in order to set up the 3rd shot. We had the yardage that we liked
and picked a target and hit right there. She then proceeded to
make the putt for birdie and take a 1 shot lead. Lauren came in
2nd 4 times two years ago and we redshirted her last year, so this
was very exciting to see her ﬁnally come out on top.
Trelle McCombs- Head Women’s Golf Coach, Augusta State
Georgia Junior Golfer
Up Close with Jennifer Adyorough
Georgia State Golf Association’s
By Steve Ethun, AJGA vice president
or the most part, Jennifer Adyorough is your typical 16-year-old girl.
When she walks the halls of Woodward Academy in College Park
each day with her friends, both her braces and love for MTV’s Laguna
Beach ﬁt in quite nicely. It’s when the bell sounds at 3:05 each afternoon
when she separates herself from those girls who head home to catch
Oprah. This is when she shows she’s different – when her friends are
working on their text-messaging skills on the couch, Jennifer is at the
range beating golf balls at The First Tee at East Lake.
Her efforts have paid off. She won the 2004 Georgia Girls’ Championship and was later named the Georgia State Golf Association’s top
player. She helped Woodward Academy win back-to-back state titles in
2004 and 2005 and was also the individual champion during this year’s
competition. Nationally, she plays a full summer schedule with the
American Junior Golf Association. She won an AJGA event in 2004 and
participated in seven events this past summer, including a third-place
Practice. That is what it will take, Jennifer admits while practicing
one Saturday at John A. White Park, another First Tee facility in Atlanta.
Practice is the one thing she needs to succeed – on the golf course, in
school, in life. It has always been that way. “I’m not the type of person
who gets everything right away, the type of person that things just
come easy,” she explains. “I have to practice. A lot. At everything.”
Her three-hour study
that up. This may be the
Stanford, Wake Forest
her radar for life after
studying business and
plans like a second
senior who has everything
sessions each night back
reason that schools like
and Vanderbilt are all on
high school. She loves
talks of her career
Jennifer’s commitment to
golf is much the same, and
It was ﬁgure skating,
though, that originally
brought her to golf. Skating
consumed much of her time
earlier in her life while living
in suburban Minneapolis, but a
bad fall and the broken leg that
followed ended the conﬁdence
and desire she needed to continue.
“I look back at that and ﬁgure it
wasn’t meant to be,” she says while
taking a few practice swings during
her warm up. It was about that time
at age 10, however, when she started
tinkering with golf, and a move to
Atlanta – where the sport can be played
year round – helped make golf her sport
She tries to practice everyday after
school for three hours. She’s been known
to see a swing coach, a ﬁtness coach
and even a golf psychologist. Her parents
Shima (pronounced Shee-ma), a stay-athome dad, and Sharon, a nurse at Piedmont
Hospital, make up the rest of her support
system – in school, at the golf course and in
Georgia Junior Golfer
ﬁnish at the event in Rome, Ga.
Through all of this – school, golf, life – she still has time to give back,
particularly to those at The First Tee. Whenever she can, she comes to
the White Park First Tee to help with junior clinics on Saturdays. “Encouragement is the one word I would use to describe what I try to give,”
she says. “You’ll see kids walk right off the street just to give golf a try,
doing something better with themselves than if they were out wandering around. It’s a way I can show others all that golf has given me and
that I’m not all that different from them.”
But she is different, on the range anyway. When she arrives, she
parks in a different spot than most – she’s been at White Park enough to
know where the good spots are closer to the range. As she walks to the
range toting her clubs, a man pulls up in a cart with a milk crate full
of hand-me-down balls (everyone else gets a bucket, Jennifer gets a
crate). “You want these on the far end away from everybody?” he
asks with a smile. By now he already knows today is a practice day.
By the time she reaches “her” spot, heads are already turning.
And the crisp noise of her well-struck wedge is a welcome
change to the shanks that are careening in all directions
down the line.
“There aren’t that many young ladies like her,” Richard Trent, a First Tee part-time assistant professional,
explains. “We try to remind all the boys and girls that
her hard work and dedication is what it is all about.
She has some type of special light around her that
says, ‘I really enjoy playing golf and helping others.’”
She continues to hit balls for about 45 minutes
– an abridged session because she’s about to head
to the Tour Championship with her dad. She takes an
occasional break for a few methodical practice swings.
She talks about her cool new putter and how she’s been
practicing with it at home.
If she would only turn around – most eyes on the range
transﬁxed on her swing – she would start to realize how
special she is – in school, in golf, in life.
Up Close with Rob Bennett
By Steve Ethun,
AJGA vice president
ob Bennett’s dream of winning The
Masters someday is clearer than most
teenaged golfers who yearn for the most
coveted prize in golf – a perfectly tailored
green jacket. Never mind the fact that he
grew up in Augusta, or that he learned to
play in the shadows of Augusta National at
Augusta Country Club. He’s done more than
simply walk the fairways, he’s played them,
several times (it’s alright to be extremely
jealous at this point).
And there is more.
At the 2005 Masters, Rob landed a job
working the range, shagging golf balls
for the world’s best players. On a foggy
Tuesday morning, before most players
took to the course, Rob was approached
by Fuzzy Zoeller, whose caddie was unable
to make the loop. “I was like, ‘Heck yeah
I’ll do it,’” Rob explains of his answer to
Fuzzy’s question. “One minute I was sitting
there and the next I was hiking down the
ﬁrst fairway lugging a 50-pound golf bag
during a practice round at The Masters.”
This is just one of a many experiences of
being a golfer who grows in up Augusta.
“The National,” as the course is known to
natives, simply becomes part of the city’s
landscape, blurring into the madness of
Washington Road. But there is always
something special about being a golfer in
arguably the most famous golf city in the
world. “It’s really just the thing you do, you
know?” he says with a chuckle. “By living
here, golf is a part of your life. I remember
being 12 years old and just going to the
club from 8 a.m. until pitch black – it was
just unreal, the best times of my life.”
Rob was introduced to the game like
many, when his father Jim took him to the
course and let him take a few swings. “I
took to it pretty fast,” he says. “From the
beginning I felt like I could go anywhere I
wanted to with golf.”
The long days at “the club” and his
discipline with his studies have paid off.
Recently, he was named an HP Scholastic
Junior All-American by the American Junior
Golf Association. He ranks third in his
senior class at the Academy of Richmond
County and scored an 1150 on the SAT. On
the golf course, he’s amassed seven top15 ﬁnishes in national junior competition.
Rob’s game has progressed with age, with
his best season coming in 2005. He inked
three top-10s in ﬁve AJGA events, with
a tied for fourth at the Ringgold (Ga.)
Telephone Company Junior Classic when he
posted a 68-71-74—213 tournament total.
“It was all about conﬁdence with me this
year,” he says. “I’ve learned that if you’re
not conﬁdent, you’re not going anywhere.
My ﬁnish at Ringgold was the jumpstart I
needed to know that I can beat these guys
if I keep working hard.”
you want and not to let anyone stop you,”
he says. “There are more times than I can
remember that I’ve been frustrated, and
that is the rough part of golf. But you have
to get through the rough parts to get to
the high points, to reach your goals.”
As more of Rob’s goals are checked off
his list, he takes one step closer to slipping
on the jacket he’s dreamed so much about.
He has now signed a National Letter of
Intent to play for the defending National
Champion Georgia Men’s Golf Team,
joining best friend Michael Green, also from
Augusta. By heading to Athens, Rob has
many things to look forward to, including
the conﬁdence that he has the game to
play for one of the nation’s premier golf
“I’ve realized – and younger players
need to realize – that you can do anything
Georgia Junior Golfer
Georgia Junior Golfer Clearinghouse
Check out the GSGA
www.georgiapga.com • 678-461-8600 • 800-474-2911
Georgia PGA Junior Tour
The Georgia PGA Junior Tour is heading into its ﬁfth season
after another successful year in 2005. All tournaments are 36hole events for juniors ages 12-18 that have not yet attended
Membership is $100 to join the Georgia PGA Junior Tour and
the entry fee for each tournament is $125. Membership is valid
January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2006. The membership
fee must be received prior to acceptance of entry to the ﬁrst
tournament in which the junior wishes to play. Only 500
members are being taken in 2006.
Valdosta Junior Classic
Valdosta Country Club
February 18-19, 2006
West Lake Junior Classic
West Lake Country Club
July 10-11, 2006
Wilmington Island Junior Classic
Wilmington Island Club
March 11-12, 2006
Birch River Junior Classic
Nicklaus Golf Club @Birch River
July 17-19, 2006
Landings Junior Classic
Landings Golf Club
April 1-2, 2006
Doublegate Junior Classic
Doublegate Country Club
July 25-26, 2006
Cateechee Junior Classic
Cateechee Golf Club
April 22-23, 2006
Callaway Gardens Junior Classic
Callaway Gardens Resort
August 12-13, 2006
The Georgian Junior Classic
The Frog @ The Georgian Resort
April 29-30, 2006
Forest Heights Junior Classic
Forest Heights Country Club
September 16-17, 2006
UGA Junior Classic
University of Georgia Golf Club
May 13-14, 2006
Kinderlou Forest Junior Classic
Kinderlou Forest Golf Club
October 7-8, 2006
The Georgia Club Junior Classic
The Georgia Club
May 31-June 1, 2006
Georgia Vets Junior Classic
Georgia Veterans Golf Course
October 21-22, 2006
Stone Mountain Junior Classic
Stone Mountain Golf Club
June 27-29, 2006
Jekyll Island Golf Club
December 2-3, 2006
Westﬁeld Georgia PGA Junior Championship
Wallace Adams Golf Club, McRae • June 5-6, 2006
The Championship is open to juniors who are 18 and under
through the ﬁnal round of the National Championship on
August 13, 2006 to be held at Westﬁeld Companies Country
Club in Westﬁeld Center, Ohio.
Age Divisions – Holes Played
Ages 12 & Under – 18 holes (1 day) - $35
Ages 13-15 – 36 holes (over 2 days) - $60
Ages 16-18 – 36 holes (over 2 days) - $60
Note: Entries are accepted on a ﬁrst come, ﬁrst served basis
this year. No qualiﬁers will be held.
Georgia Junior Golfer
GEORGIA STATE GOLF ASSOCIATION
(770) 955-4272 • (800) 949-4742
41st Annual Georgia Junior Championship: June 19-21
The Landings Club, Savannah
Open to juniors ages 14-17. Must be a Georgia resident and
a GSGA member or dependent of a GSGA member. The ﬁeld
of 144 is determined by handicap index. Cut to low 70 and
ties after 36 holes. Entry fee: $50.00
27th Annual Georgia Girls’ Championship: June 19-21
Open to female juniors ages 9-17. Must be a Georgia
resident and a GSGA member or a dependent of a GSGA
member. Players with handicap indexes of 14.4 or less
compete in the championship ﬂight (54 holes). Indexes
of 14.5-18.4 can choose championship ﬂight or their age
division (36 holes, beginning June 19). Indexes over 18.4 play
in age divisions: 15-17, 12-14 and 9-11 (9 holes/day). Entry
32nd Annual Junior Sectional Program: late May - July (see
ad on back cover)
The GSGA Junior Sectional Program provides juniors of all
levels and ages a chance to experience competitive golf.
• One-day events held throughout the state in late May - July
• No pre-registration necessary
• Entry fees are just $10 per event
There are seven geographical sections that each conduct 4-5
events per season. Eligibility: Ages 17 and under as of the
date of the ﬁrst sectional event. Must be Georgia residents
and play in the section in which they reside. Age Divisions:
Boys 16-17, 14-15, 12-13 and 11-under (9 holes). Girls 14-17
and 13-under (9 holes). Top ﬁve boys and top two girls in
each age division win trophies and top ﬁve boys and girls
earn points toward qualifying to represent their section in
the statewide Challenge Match.
For schedules and information, visit www.gsga.org.
Georgia Junior Sectional Challenge Match: July 24-25
Fields Ferry Golf Club, Calhoun
U.S. Junior Amateur Qualiﬁer: June 26
Athens Country Club
U.S. Girls’ Junior Qualiﬁer: June 27
Braelinn GC, Peachtree City
Entrants for the U.S. Junior Amateur and Girls’ Junior must
not have reached their 18th birthday by July 22. Entries must
be submitted to the USGA. Enter online at www.usga.org
Georgia Junior Golfer Clearinghouse
Junior Golf Planner
American Junior Golf
www.ajga.org • 877-37
The American Junior
Golf Association will
conduct 75 national
junior golf tourname
around the United Sta
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Atlanta Junior Golf Association
Call Aroha Fanning at
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Format: 18 hole scramble
Participants: 144 players (boys and
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Teams: 36 teams, four players per
Age: 10 - 17 years old
Augusta Area Junior Golf Association
Call Michael Carlisle at
Sea Pines R
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Player Donation: $40
Donations go directly to help the
Georgia Junior Golf Foundation
and Atlanta Junior Golf Association
For more information, contact:
Junior Golf Resour
PING American College Gol
f Guide - www.collegegolf.
The Young American Gol
f Guide - www.youngam
United States Golf Associa
tion - www.usga.org
Golf Parent for the Future
JuniorLinks.com - www.ju
GOLFSTAT Prep Report www.golfstat.com
NCAA - www.ncaa.org
Junior Golf Scoreboard www.njgs.com
Golfweek - www.golfweek
PGA Tour Su kshops
Clinics and w
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Georgia Junior Golfer
Georgia Junior Golfer
HP SCHOLASTIC JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN
Academy of Richmond County
GPA 94.631 Rank in Class: 4/237
St. Simon’s Island, GA
GPA 98.69 Rank in Class: 1/395
The Lovett School
GPA 96.471 Rank in Class: N/A
Georgia Junior Golfer
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROPER
By Cutts Benedict, head PGA professional,
arely, if ever, will you play a round of golf,
where you won’t be faced with a variety of
chip shots. Being a good chipper is essential to
shooting low scores.
Not only is it vital to master the fundamentals
of proper chipping technique, but it is also a must
to understand the management of proper club
selection. Choosing the correct club will allow for
a greater margin of error, making for the highest
rate of consistency.
The goal of “minimum air time and maximum
ground time” is the basic premise to selecting the
correct club. Chipping to a spot that is 3 to 4 feet
onto the green and allowing for the ball to roll to
the hole is the best way to achieve this goal.
The primary factors in selecting the correct club
Distance from the edge of the green to the
hole (the amount of green you have to play
The lie of the ball (what kind of lie you
have) -is the ball lying on ﬂat ground, uphill
or downhill; and is the ball lying in long or
Is the green soft or ﬁrm?
Is the green ﬂat or is there some slope uphill
You must carefully consider all of these factors
prior to choosing the club.
The overall, general
“Rule of Thumb” is:
Short Chips: Use a pitching wedge,
gap wedge or sand wedge.
An example of how club selection could
change based on the distance to the hole.
Georgia Junior Golfer
Long Chips: Use a 7-iron or 8-iron.
The fundamentals of basic chipping technique begin with a good set-up. Following are the factors
that must be included in a good set-up to chip well:
1. Ball Position
Placed in the middle to back of the
stance (opposite the right toe for a
right handed player).
The feet should be fairly narrow and
positioned slightly open (to the left for
a right handed player).
Distributed 80% to 90% on the left
4. Distance from Ball
Stand closer and taller to the ball than
normal and choke down on the club
for added control.
he hands / handle of the club must be positioned
ahead of the ball, to the left, to “de-loft” the
club to give the chip shot consistent roll.
Remember, the chipping “stroke” is similar to that
of a putt. The stroke is made by moving the shoulders,
with the feeling that there is very little use of hands
or wrists. The path of the club should feel straight
back and straight through (like a putt). The hands /
handle of the club should remain ahead of the clubhead during the stroke. The body should remain
fairly still, with a slight pivot or weight shift.
Georgia Junior Golfer
Play Like Pros
Which comes ﬁrst,
? It is a common
question. Many believe that you need
conﬁdence for success, but if so, how do you
develop conﬁdence? How do the pros do it?
By Jackie Cannizzo and Dr. Rick Jensen
n our experience training and coaching
professional and amateur golfers of all ages and
skill levels, the answer we have found is to start
small. Build lots of small successes and you will
To build success in golf, start with a disciplined
approach to practice, which includes:
1) speciﬁc and achievable goals for each practice session
2) regular, scheduled practice
3) feedback from your coach
4) repeating the same motion thousands of times.
Start with putting. To become a better putter,
create a realistic goal and practice schedule. Next,
pick a drill and set a goal. For example, try to
make 10 four-foot putts in a row without a miss.
If you miss one, start the drill all over. If you can
only make seven or eight in a row, then the next
day set your goal to improve on that number. Stick
Georgia Junior Golfer
with it until you reach your goal of 10 putts in a
row and you will have your ﬁrst small success.
Get feedback from your coach if you have
difﬁculty reaching your goal. After several weeks
of this kind of disciplined practice, you will be
able to make 50 four-foot putts in a row without
a miss! This is what gives you conﬁdence when
playing on the course and leads to your success.
Apply the same principle when hitting
golf balls on the range. Start with a swing
fundamental that you want to improve, set a goal
and plan your practice. Consider the “takeaway”
fundamental. Find a target on the range and hit
it ONLY thinking of the takeaway. Your teacher
or coach should be able to tell you what the ball
will do if you master that skill, like direction of
the ball or the ball ﬂight. Sometimes it may be
that you practice the drill without hitting a ball
or that you want to strike the ball a certain way.
Practice until you achieve your goal. This is
how tour players practice. They start with one
thing to master and they repeat it over and over,
thousands and thousands of times until they feel
like they have it.
Another great drill is the eleven-ball drill for
chipping. Take eleven balls and pick a hole to
chip to. When you chip the eleven balls, take the
ﬁve closest and the ﬁve away from the hole and
the last ball (the eleventh) should be your average
for that chip. It may ﬁve feet, so again you should
do this drill until you master it. FYI, a tour player
will have short chips within two feet of the hole
on average! Do this with all length chips. When
you feel conﬁdent that your chips will be within
a certain distance from the hole, you will feel
conﬁdent you can lower your scores.
If you follow this disciplined approach
to practicing, you will build skills that will
give you conﬁdence and lead to your future
success. If you have skill and conﬁdence, you
can achieve any goals you put your mind to.
Dr. Rick Jensen is the President of Performance Enhancement
Center in Boca Raton, Florida. He works extensively with touring
professionals on the PGA, LPGA, Senior PGA and Nationwide tours.
Jackie Cannizzo is the Director of Instruction at the Country Club
of Roswell. She coaches many juniors in the area and was named
the Georgia PGA Junior Golf Leader for 2005.
GSGA Girls Golf
Several activities, offering instructional
and playing opportunities for junior
girls of all ages and skill levels, are
already on the calendar for the GSGA
Girls Program in 2006. There will
be three GSGA-sponsored events in
addition to several junior clinics that
Girls Program participants will be
invited to attend at no cost.
By Stacy Easley,
manager rules and
practice facility and conclude the event
with a clinic.
The annual Atlanta Golf Show tees
off the 2006 season by offering a junior
The last GSGA showcase event will
coincide with the annual Georgia
Girls’ Championship, which takes
place June 19-21. The event offers
four age divisions: 9-11 (9 holes),
12-14 (18 holes), 15-17 (18 holes) and
the Championship Division. The age
divisions compete June 19-20, with the
Championship division competitors
clinic on Sunday, February 26 at the
Gwinnett Center in Duluth. With a
paid adult admission, juniors will be
admitted free to the Atlanta Golf Show
on Sunday afternoon to take part in a
fun interactive clinic and much more.
playing all three days. GSGA Girls
Program participants will be invited to
participate in a special event leading up
to the championship. Further details
will be posted on the GSGA website
later this spring.
In March, the GSGA Girls Program
will travel to the University of Georgia
Golf Course in Athens to experience
the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic
– one of the country’s premier events
on the collegiate golf circuit. Girls
will have the opportunity to walk
the course during the ﬁnal round
and watch players from some of the
nation’s top-ranked golf programs. At
the conclusion of play, golfers from the
University of Georgia squad will offer
juniors a tour of their state-of-the-art
The GSGA Girls Program committee
will continue to add events as the year
goes on. An up-to-date list of activities
and additional details can always be
found at www.gsga.org or by calling
the Georgia State Golf Association at
(800) 949-4742 or (770) 955-4272.
Are you ready to grow your
game in 2006? The Georgia
State Golf Association can
The GSGA Girls Program is in full
swing and planning an exciting slate of
golf events for the upcoming season.
2006 GSGA Girls Program
Calendar of Events
The Atlanta Golf Show Junior Clinic
Sunday, February 26, 1:00 -3:00 p.m.
Gwinnett Center, Duluth
University of Georgia Liz Murphey
Sunday, March 26
Final Round of Collegiate Classic a.m., Clinic
University of Georgia Golf Course, Athens
BellSouth Classic Clinic for Juniors
Saturday, April 1 4:30 p.m.
TPC at Sugarloaf, Duluth
Atlanta Charity Championship
hosted by Nancy Lopez
Eagle’s Landing Country Club, Stockbridge
Georgia Girls’ Championship
Augusta State University Junior Clinic
First Tee of Augusta
The GSGA Girls Program looks
forward to helping you grow your
game in 2006. See you out on the golf
The Georgia State Golf Association is excited to announce the 1st Annual Georgia/South Carolina Girls Challenge Match. The
matches will be conducted between the two states on July 29-30, 2006. The Georgia team will be selected from the GSGA
Girls Championship, with the low 4 ﬁnishers earning spots on the four person team.
Georgia Junior Golfer
By Kevin Bailey,
personal golf ﬁtness
Flexibility is very important in golf! It is the amount of
movement, uninhibited by range of motion restrictions,
that a golfer needs to play golf to his or her fullest potential.
Optimal range of motion in the muscles is very essential to
an effective golf swing. When there is limited range of motion in one muscle group, then the body has to compensate
in another area in order to achieve the golf swing.
An example of this is that a golfer with tight hip joints
will compensate with excessive rotation in the lower back,
spine, or shoulder joint to accomplish the golf swing. This
continuous compensation will lead to overuse in those areas
which will result in injury. As a golfer’s ﬂexibility improves,
he or she will become more consistent and ﬂuid with their
golf swing and the risk of injury will be minimized.
Stretch #1- Double knee to chest
This stretch is good for the lower back muscles. Lie on your
back and pull both legs toward your chest. Keeping your
lower back on the ﬂoor. Once you feel a comfortable stretch
in your lower back, hold your legs with hands and resist as
you gently push your legs into your hands for ﬁve seconds.
Immediately draw your legs a little closer to your chest. This
helps the lower back to relax even more and increases the
range of motion in the lower back. Repeat this process 3-5
Stretch #2- The glute/hip stretch
This stretch is for the glute muscles and the hips. Lie on
your back and bring both knees to your chest. Take your
Georgia Junior Golfer
right leg and cross your left knee. Place your hands around
the back of your left knee and pull it toward your chest.
Hold the stretch for about 10-15 seconds, or until you feel
the muscles relax. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Your glutes and hips should feel looser which will enable
you to reach sufﬁcient hip turn in the golf swing.
Power training in golf directly relates to clubhead
speed. The more clubhead speed that one generates in his
swing, the further the ball will go. Power equates to how
fast one can exert maximal force from the golf club to the
ball in the golf swing, which will determine the distance
of the shot. Power training should only be performed
after the body has acquired sufﬁcient ﬂexibility, stability,
and strength, in order to hit consistent accurate shots and
reduce injury. If that order is broken, then the golfer will
run the risk of hitting longer shots with no accuracy or
consistency. This phase of golf ﬁtness will still place demands on the body to stabilize, but also improve the body’s
timing as well which is essential in the golf swing. The
exercises here also focus on the development of power in
the trunk, hips, and rotator cuff muscles. As these muscles
perform more efﬁciently, the need of using your arms to
accelerate the club for more power will decrease.
Exercise - Medicine Ball Power Swing -this exercise
simulates the golf swing.
Begin from the position of the address stance. Hold a
the back swing
motion. Immediately move into
At the top of the
reverse the direction and perform
the power swing
as though you
were a left-handed golfer (or a right-handed golfer if you
are left-handed). Maintain proper golf swing form. If you
feel that your swing is being altered, use a lighter weighted
You should perform this exercise for 2-4 sets of 10-12
repetitions. Make sure that you warm- up by doing 10-12
repetitions without the medicine ball.
Starting a Tournament on the Right Foot
How to Start a Tournament on the Right Foot
By Scott Gordon, junior golf director, GPGA
In last years magazine, I wrote about the “Seven
Simple Rules of the Scoring Area”. This year, I want to
focus on the seven steps you should take before starting
When preparing for tournament golf, the two
most important areas you need to pay attention to
are starting and ﬁnishing your round properly. Being
on time and starting properly are equally important
as handing in your scorecard. If you are not on
time, you will not have the chance to even turn in a
scorecard at the end of your round.
Following the seven simple steps before your round will get you
started in the right direction to complete a successful round.
Be on time for your tee time!!
The Rules of Golf state that it is the player’s
responsibility to be ready to play at their stated
tee time. I suggest you arrive at your starting
tee 10 minutes prior to your posted time. Too many
times I see juniors arrive at the tee one or two minutes
prior to their tee time. The starter has a lot to go over
in a short period of time, so it is important to be ready
Introduce yourself to your fellow
competitors. You will be spending the
next four hours with them, so you might as
well know who they are.
Read the local rules sheet that
you are given by the starter. Most
tournament starters will go over the local
rules with the group, but it is a good idea to read
and understand them on you own. Different golf
organizations use different local rules and every golf
course has something different to offer, so make sure
you understand them. If you have any questions, ask
them now, it might help you save some strokes on the
When given scorecards, make sure
you do not have your own scorecard.
Mark your golf balls so they are
identiﬁable. This is very important, because
Identify your golf balls with your
The starter will usually give you a fellow
competitors scorecard, but make sure that is the case
when you are given a card.
many people play the same type of ball you play.
When you are searching in the trees for your ball and
you ﬁnd two #1 Top-Flite Tour Deep balls with no
markings, how can you be certain which is yours if you
did not mark your ball? That is a tough lesson to learn
when the rules ofﬁcial tells you your ball is lost because
there is no way to know which is your ball.
Make sure you have no more than
14 golf clubs in you bag. Everybody
remembers what happened to Ian Woosam a
few years back in the British Open, you don’t want
that to be you!
Georgia Junior Golfer
Navigate Junior Golf
The national junior
golf landscape can
your way through it
and a compass.
Your preparation is
your practice and
determination to succeed.
Do that and you are off
to a good start. Now, let
your journey begin.
By Steve Ethun,
AJGA vice president
AJGA Open tournaments. These
qualiﬁers expose junior golfers to
competition from outside of the
Other entry points to the
national junior golf scene are
qualiﬁers for the USGA and PGA
Junior Championships. Don’t be
discouraged if you don’t make it
through your ﬁrst few qualiﬁers.
Each qualiﬁer gives you experience
that will help you in future events.
Keep trying and you will continue
to improve until you ﬁnally make
it through that door and onto the
national stage. Meanwhile, keep
column your compass,
because it is meant to
point you toward the
ost junior golfers start on the
local level. Club tournaments and
local junior golf association events
offer a great deal of tournament
experience. Through its Junior
Sectional Program, the Georgia
State Golf Association offers
affordable one-day events during
the early summer. Play on your
school’s golf team. That offers a
valuable opportunity to compete
with other local junior golfers
and build your ability to perform
under pressure. Once you feel
comfortable on the local level,
making the leap to statewide
competitions is a great next step.
There are excellent state
competitions such as the Georgia
State Junior Championships and
the Georgia PGA Junior Tour,
as well as American Junior Golf
Association Qualiﬁers – oneday events that provide quality
competition, while providing an
opportunity to earn entry into
Georgia Junior Golfer
Your age may determine your
next step. Younger junior golfers
(ages 12-14) might focus more on
regional tours and, if their game is
ready, begin adding a few national
events to their schedules. The
American Junior Golf Association
offers entry-level national events
through the Nike Golf Junior AllStar Series (ages 12-15), and the
Ashworth Junior Series (ﬁrst-time
AJGA players). The Southeastern
Junior Golf Tour is one of many
regional and national tours that
provide high-level competition,
while offering AJGA exemptions
for its top ﬁnishers.
Older junior golfers (ages
15-18) may consider playing a
consistent regional and national
schedule, facing other top juniors
from around the country. The
Clearinghouse pages provide a list
of the top national events.
The AJGA is where you will ﬁnd
the highest level of competition.
AJGA Open tournament ﬁelds
are ﬁlled through a Performance
Based Entry system, where juniors
earn Tournament Exemptions
and Performance Stars with good
ﬁnishes in state, regional and
national junior golf events.
Juniors who play consistently
well on the national level may earn
spots in AJGA Invitationals – when
you earn an invitation to these,
you have climbed junior golf’s
highest peak. This is where Georgia
junior golfers such as Charles
Howell III, Brian Harman, Ryan
Hybl and Vicki Goetze made names
At times, you may feel that
navigating your path through the
world of junior golf is as difﬁcult as
succeeding once you get there. Use
the resources you have, including
the Clearinghouse pages in this
publication, as well as your golf
professional and the AJGA Player
Then, with practice and hard
work, you may someday ﬁnd
success at all levels of junior golf.