By Mark Wehrman EBS CONTRIBUTOR
This year over Labor Day weekend Big Sky Resort Golf Course will once again host the American Junior Golf Association. The AJGA is the gold standard for junior golf in the world. While hosting this event over the past two years, we have seen players from several different countries, as well as the top junior players from the United States compete annually.
These young individuals are competing at the highest level with aspirations of competing at the collegiate level and possibly even on tour someday. The field is set at 78 players after the qualifier which takes place on Sept. 3. Some players will qualify in advance and there will be roughly 100 players trying to earn the last 12 spots in the field through the Sept. 3 qualifier.
After a Friday practice round the official tournament will take place over three days with 54 holes of stroke play taking place Sept. 5 through Sept. 7. I encourage you all to come out and watch as spectators are welcome and there is no entry fee to enjoy watching golf being played at the highest of levels.
The AJGA tournament has turned into my favorite week of the year. This says a lot because there is a tremendous amount of work and time that goes into hosting this event. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The experiences I have had over the last two years while hosting, are stories that I will be telling forever.
Just recently, I gave a lesson to a young female who is qualified for the event already and has been in town for a couple of weeks to practice and get to know the course in advance. It shows you how serious these young golfers are about their games. She has played two rounds so far from the white tees, and has carded rounds of 69 and 71—that is 4-under-par in two rounds.
While there isn’t much I can tell this young lady about the game, as she is sound in every aspect, I do enjoy asking her questions about how she approaches certain shots and the way she visualizes the execution we talk about feel, target, and the overall strategy of scoring. Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that she just turned 14 years of age. I know, catch your breath, because she is truly amazing.
I hope you all take the time to come watch these talented young men and women play the game with such grace, power, and precision. With the setup and administration of the AJGA staff you feel like you are live at an actual tour event. This event has turned into the pinnacle of our golf season with the golf course always being in fantastic shape with fast greens, challenging rough, and beautifully manicured turf thanks to the tireless work put in by our golf course superintendent, Sam Woodger, and his staff. Junior golf has always been the future of the game and we cherish the opportunity to uphold that legacy her at Big Sky Resort Golf Course!