A record 100 tournaments will be played in more than 28 states and Puerto Rico in 2013. At least 16,362 playing opportunities will be available as juniors compete to earn college golf scholarships.
As junior golfers seek to earn Performance Based Entry status and entrance into AJGA Open tournaments (66), players can compete in IMG Academy Preseason Series events (12), Gary Gilchrest Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events (10), and TaylorMade-adidas Golf Qualifier Series events (57).
Invitationals are the highest level of competition, and 12 championships will showcase the world’s best players at premier venues, which include courses that also appear on college and professional golf schedules. Tour professionals continue to support the AJGA, including National Chairmen Annika Sorenstam and Hunter Mahan, and several other alumni who will host AJGA tournaments.
IMG Academy Preseason Series
The IMG Academy Preseason Series is designed specifically for AJGA members who have had limited acceptances into multi-day AJGA events. This series offers members the opportunity to start building PBE status before application deadlines arrive for summer Open and Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
In 2013, AJGA members will have 12 opportunities in seven states to compete and earn PBE status prior to the start of summer. The first event of the IMG Academy Preseason Series is the Preseason Junior at Vinoy, Feb. 16-18, at Vinoy Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the final event of the series will be the Preseason Junior at Nemacolin, May 31 – June 2, at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort’s Links Course in Farmington, Pa.
For members on the West coast, the Preseason Junior at Marshallia Ranch in Vandenberg, Calif., and Preseason Junior at Oak Valley in Beaumont, Calif., are scheduled for April, while Florida also hosts two events. North Carolina, Texas, Illinois, Michigan and Georgia will host one event each.
Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series
Opening opportunities to young AJGA members, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series will feature 10 events in eight states during the 2013 season.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series is specifically designed for boys and girls, ages 12-15, and presents opportunities for younger players to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments. The Series concludes with the Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Perennially a favorite, the Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star returns to WindStone Golf Club (June 3-6), while new entries include the Junior All Star at Talbot (July 22-25) and Junior All-Star at Forest Lake presented by Tom Holzer Ford (August 5-8). In total, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series will provide more than 1,000 playing opportunities to juniors.
The 2013 schedule will feature 12 Invitationals played in eight states at some of the nation’s top courses.
Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, Mo., returns to the AJGA schedule to host the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, June 10-14. Heralded as the top course in Missouri by Golf Digest, Dalhousie Golf Club previously hosted the Dalhousie Junior Championship in 2007 and 2008. The course was the site of the 2009 Rolex Tournament of Champions, the AJGA’s longest-running tournament.
The Wyndham Cup heads West in 2013, as The Bridges of Rancho Santa Fe will host the annual team match play competition, July 15-18. Located in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., The Bridges of Rancho Santa Fe is a world-class, private 18-hole, par-71 golf course. Surrounded by the coastal hills of San Diego, the course’s dramatic terrain and signature bridges will be the backdrop for the nation’s top junior golfers from east and west of the Mississippi River.
As the PING Junior Solheim Cup returns to the United States, the biennial two-day match play event will be contested at The Inverness Golf Club in Denver, Aug. 12-14. With its unforgiving slopes, rolling hills and deep bunkers, The Inverness Golf Club will provide a challenging layout for the event modeled after the LPGA Tour’s Solheim Cup.
Support from professional golfers
The AJGA will continue to have strong support from professional golfers in 2013, with old and new events alike highlighting the schedule. The ANNIKA Invitational will return to Reunion Resort and celebrate its fifth year, Jan. 18-21, with Annika as the host. Hunter Mahan also continues his involvement with the AJGA and will host the Under Armour® / Hunter Mahan Championship (April 19-21), which returns to TPC Craig Ranch for the first time since 2009.
One of the oldest events on the AJGA schedule, the Aaron’s / Bob Estes Abilene Junior boasts an impressive list of past champions, which includes Scott Verplank and Phil Mickelson. The tournament will return to Abilene Country Club’s Club Course, July 15-18, for the event’s 32nd year.
Juniors will head to Southern Trace Country Club for the David Toms Foundation Shreveport Junior, July 22-25. Toms, an AJGA alumnus, is a 13-time champion on the PGA TOUR and will host the event for its second year. Also in the lineup is the E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf. Vaughn Taylor will host the event at Jones Creek Golf Club for the third consecutive year, July 29-Aug. 1.
Juniors get the Tour experience
Among the premier venues on the schedule are six courses that host professional events on the PGA, LPGA and Web.com Tours.
The Puerto Rico Junior Open sponsored by Sport Link is scheduled for Jan. 18-21 at the Trump International Golf Club’s Champion Course. Set on 1,000 acres of land with views of the Atlantic Ocean, the course was designed by Tom Kite and has hosted the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open since 2008.
The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf (Aug. 28 – Sept. 1) will be held at TPC Sawgrass, home of The PLAYERS Championship, while the host of the 2012 Web.com Tour Championship, TPC Craig Ranch, will host the Under Armour® / Hunter Mahan Championship, April 19-21.
The FJ Invitational is set to celebrate its 12th year and sixth year at Sedgefield Country Club, June 10-14. Designed by Donald Ross, Sedgefield Country Club hosts the PGA TOUR’s Wyndham Championship, where former AJGA junior Webb Simpson won his first TOUR title in 2011.
The ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior is scheduled for June 17-20 at Mission Hills Country Club’s Dinah Shore Tournament Course, which hosts the LPGA’s Kraft Nabisco Championship. The ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior will be played for the 32nd time and was named the AJGA Tournament of the Year in 2011.
Seven college venues will host the AJGA in 2013, giving juniors the opportunity to experience the college golf environment first-hand.
The Traditions Club at Texas A&M will host the Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions (March 28-31) during Easter weekend for the fifth year in a row. Also making a return to the AJGA schedule is ASU Karsten Golf Course, home of the Arizona State golf programs and the PING Phoenix Junior at ASU Karsten (June 3-6).
The Memorial Junior presented by Border Energy (July 15-18) will be played at The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, which has hosted 10 men’s NCAA Championships as well as the AJGA’s Rolex Tournament of Champions (1999, 2007). The Scarlet Course was ranked No. 7 on Golfweek’s list of Best Campus Courses, while ASU Karsten was ranked No. 29.
The AJGA will once again add a bevy of new courses to the schedule, providing continued access to some of the best venues in the country, including The Bluffs Country Club & Resort in St. Francisville, La. Topping out at more than 7,100 yards, The Bluffs Country Club & Resort has previously hosted the SEC Golf Championship and U.S. Senior Challenge.
Midwest players will gain a pair of new venues in Michigan’s Forest Lake Country Club (Junior All-Star at Forest Lake) and Mistwood Golf Club (Midwest Junior Players Championship), located in the greater Chicago area.
Making an appearance on the AJGA schedule for the first time since 2006, Sea Island Golf Club will once again welcome players to its seaside links as it hosts the Davis Love III Junior Open (July 22-25) on the Plantation Course.