The American Junior Golf Association presented its annual Digger Smith Award to Terry Finger, Tournament Chairman of the AJGA’s Junior All-Star at Hilton Head, and recognized him for his outstanding contributions to junior golf. A resident of Hilton Head Island, S.C., Finger accepted the award Saturday at the Digger Smith Awards Banquet, held at Château Élan Resort.
The Digger Smith Award, which has been presented annually since 1991, praises an AJGA advocate for his/her longtime service and dedication to junior golf. Recipients are devoted to the AJGA Mission and Purpose of developing young men and women through competitive junior golf. Award winners not only set a standard for excellence, but they also continue to raise expectations each year.
The award is named in honor of AJGA Chairman of the Board J.R. “Digger” Smith, who has dedicated himself to the AJGA and junior golf for more than three decades.
“Digger has been so instrumental in the success and mission of the AJGA and making sure that the AJGA sticks to its Mission,” Finger said. “It’s humbling and great to receive an award named after someone who’s done so much for junior golf.”
Finger began volunteering at the AJGA’s Hilton Head Island tournament in 1992 before accepting the role as Tournament Chairman in 1999. Since then, Finger has been an instrumental part of the AJGA’s growth and success, both on a local and national level.
Finger’s event continues to offer the complete championship experience to players and their families. By participating in the tournament’s Care for the Course activity, making his home available for private housing, and organizing tournament cookouts at Harbour Town, Finger has created and nurtured relationships with everyone involved with his tournament.
On a national and industry level, Finger helped secure the funds necessary to endow the AJGA’s annual Intern Recruiting Weekend – a three-day interview process the AJGA utilizes during its internship hiring process.
“I really believe in the Mission. I think the Mission is really vital and seems to be at the core of every decision the AJGA makes,” Finger said. “People my age didn’t have junior golf when we were growing up. I think that golf on any level is a microcosm of how people should conduct themselves in all aspects of life.”