By Mark Wehrman
EBS Golf Columnist
For the first time ever, the American Junior Golf Association is coming to the state of Montana, holding a tournament over Labor Day weekend in Big Sky. The AJGA is the gold standard for junior golf and provides the toughest competition for elite junior golfers to compete at a high level, while they attempt to take their game on to the collegiate level.
There are currently more than 6,900 members of the AJGA and over 100 tournaments conducted nationally each year. More than 300 AJGA alumni now play on the PGA and LPGA tours, with over 830 victories between them.
This tournament will be conducted over four days with a qualifying round during the morning of Friday, Aug. 31, and an official practice round that afternoon for all qualifying participants. The main event will commence on Saturday with three days of 18-hole competition, ending with an awards ceremony following the last round of competition on Labor Day. The tournament will be open for spectators to attend, watch and follow players during their rounds. Due to these special circumstances many volunteers are needed each day to help out with various tasks, such as spotting balls, walking with groups, shuttling players to and from the course, and crowd control, among other tasks.
Approximately 20 volunteers will be needed each day and if you’re interested in volunteering please contact the Big Sky Pro Shop at (406) 995-5780 to sign up. Volunteers will be provided lunch each day, as well as drinks and snacks while inside the ropes—it’s also an opportunity to see some spectacular golf up close, right here in Big Sky. Notable tournament participants from Montana will include Ryggs Johnston from Libby, who has committed to Arizona State University, and Joey Moore from Billings who’s committed to play at San Diego State University. Locals from Bozeman High School and Big Sky native, TJ Nordahl, will also be competing over Labor Day weekend.
Big Sky Golf Course is an 18-hole, Arnold Palmer designed, championship course that sits at over 6,200 feet in elevation in the heart of Meadow Village. It boasts a large practice facility with two putting greens, a practice green and bunker, and 20 large natural grass hitting stalls. There is also a clubhouse with a fully stocked pro shop featuring lots of brand name apparel and equipment, PGA professional staff, and the Bunker Deck and Grill, open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Mark Wehrman is the PGA Head Professional at the Big Sky Golf Course.