By Drea Braxmeier
Manager of Media Relations
After months of preparation, the AJGA staged the 22nd showing of the Annual Meeting. What started as a lasagna dinner in 1985 at Executive Director Stephen Hamblin’s home for current tournament chairmen has grown into something much greater.
The AJGA’s Annual Meeting is an opportunity for Tournament Chairmen, Sponsors, Golf Course staff and other Friends of the AJGA to gather, share their thoughts and ideas, educate themselves on all things AJGA and most importantly, enjoy the company of others who make AJGA events possible.
The weekend began Thursday, February 15 when guests arrived at Chateau Elan Resort in suburban Atlanta. Thursday night, the basement of the AJGA National Headquarters was transformed into something magical for Casino Night. Food and drinks were served amongst the card tables. It was a night for everyone to meet, mingle and set the mood for the rest of the weekend.
VP of Tournament Development Jason Ross during a breakout session.
Friday started early and with a lot of promise. After breakfast was served, all veteran guests and AJGA staff members had a Brainstorming Session where they discussed a variety of different topics. This discussion was held in order to form ideas of ways the AJGA could better service its members and sponsors. New guests of Annual Meeting held a breakout session to learn about the AJGA and its practices.
After the morning’s sessions, a golf outing was held at Chateau Elan Resort’s Woodlands Golf Course. This was an opportunity for tournament directors to meet with those who would be helping them make their specific events a success. For those not wishing to play golf, an outing to the Carriage House for lunch and a trip to the Outlet Malls was held.
Friday’s highlight was the Digger Smith Banquet. After a successful 2006 tournament season, nine awards were presented to the best of the best. Bruce Slovitt was honored with the Digger Smith Award, the highest honor given by the AJGA each year. The Digger Smith Award is presented to an individual whose service to junior golf goes above and beyond the call of duty. After seven years of service and over $461,000 raised through fundraising for the AJGA, Slovitt tragically passed away in an automobile crash last summer. His wife and five children were on hand to receive the award on his behalf.
Saturday was full of more breakout sessions. A session entitled AJGA Best Practices was presented by the 2006 Tournament Award Winners. A Fireside Chat was led by Hamblin and Digger Smith, chairman of the Board of Directors. Chief Advancement Officer Bob Miller, Development Manager Amanda Pelfrey and Parent and Friend of the AJGA Tom Barton led a session on the impact of the ACE Grant. These were all very educational and helped those in attendance learn more about some of the great practices of the AJGA.
The afternoon was again filled with another round of golf played at The Legends Golf Club. Those wanting a different option were treated to lunch in Midtown Atlanta followed by a tour of the High Museum.
"A Night with the Stars" wrapped up the 22nd AJGA Annual Meeting.
Saturday night wrapped up with the Tournament Chairmen’s Dinner themed “A Night with the Stars.” Dinner and dancing were highlights of the night with awards being presented to the winners of Saturday’s golf outing.
Sunday morning began quite early for some as airport shuttles started running at 4:50 a.m. During the rest of the morning, tournament directors and tournament chairmen met to discuss their specific events.
With all guests back home,now is the time for the AJGA to reflect upon what was accomplished and put these ideas into action. The Annual Meeting will continue to be a mainstay with the AJGA and hopefully will continue to inspire and re-energize all those who make AJGA tournament such a wonderful success.