volume 6/ issue 2/ 2.20.07
    from the fringe   view from chateau   teeing off   the gallery

Bruce Slovitt Receives Digger Smith Award

AJGA Hands Out Awards at Digger Smith Banquet

Continuing to Make Junior Golf Fun

New Srixon Qualifier Series Entry System

The Master's Master

AJGA News Briefs


AJGA Hands Out Awards at Digger Smith Banquet
Eight outstanding events honored for their service to the AJGA

The 2007 Digger Smith Banquet was held Friday, February 16, at Chateau Elan Resort in Braselton, Ga. This year, in addition to the Digger Smith Award, eight other American Junior Golf Association events from 2006 were honored for their efforts in going above and beyond in their respective categories.

The Media Award

The Cleveland Fox Affiliate came out to the Medicus Preseason Junior at Red Tail.

The Media Award was given to the Medicus Preseason Junior at Red Tail. A first-year event, the committee was able to secure multiple newspapers to cover the event, had a television station on site each day and did a live radio spot. In addition to event coverage during the tournament, the committee ran radio commercials leading up to the event and ran a four-page color spread in two local golf newsletters. In 2007, the event will be an open event.

The Hospitality Award

A magician delighted everyone at the Fidelity Investments Junior at Trump National.

The Fidelity Investments Junior at Trump National was honored with the Hospitality Award. Once arriving at the event, each player was greeted to a personalized locker in the members-only locker rooms. Inside their locker, each player found a course yardage book, a Trump National divot repair tool and a hole flag autographed by Donald Trump. Players and their families were treated with breakfast and lunch everyday, as well as a large cookout after the first round. The cookout included a pool party, a magician, hermit crab races, a cotton candy stand and a visit from The Donald himself.

The Volunteer Award

Volunteers came out in droves to the Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands.

The Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands received the Volunteer Award. Held over Fourth of July Weekend in Harbor Springs, Mich., the event was able to secure over 130 volunteers. Each day, these volunteers came out with a smile and gave up their holiday weekend to work with some of the country's best junior golfers. With 144 players in the field, the amount of volunteers was vital to the success of the event. As a reward for their efforts, Boyne Highlands Resort generously gave each volunteer a round of golf as their way of saying thank you.

The Junior-Am Award

The Mirasol Junior Championship continues to raise the bar in it's Junior-Am Fundraising efforts.

The Junior-Am Award was given to the Mirasol Junior Championship for the second straight year. The event was able to raise over $90,000. A portion of the proceeds was given to the Southern Florida PGA Section. The majority of the money raised went back to the AJGA Foundation.

Golf Professional of the Year Award

Jay Larscheid is interviewed by NBC during the 2006 ReBath Heather Farr Classic.

Jay Larscheid of Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz., was awarded the AJGA’s Golf Professional of the Year Award. He first started working with the AJGA in 2003 when the ReBath Heather Farr Classic was held at Longbow Golf Club. Since his relationship with the AJGA began, Larscheid’s support has never wavered. He committed his golf course to providing one ACE Grant Scholarship annually. He also solicited the town of Mesa for charitable contributions and was able to have the Mesa HoHokums join him in raising $2,500 a year. Larscheid’s relationship with the media is a huge part of making his event a success each year. He is able to help secure live radio and TV spots over a very busy Easter Weekend. Since beginning his tenure with Longbow Golf Club, Larscheid has been promoted to General Manager/Director of Golf. With his help and support, Larscheid ensures that all events put on in the Phoenix area are a success.

The Newcomer of the Year Award

Juniors were treated to a cookout and impromptu game of football at Boone Pickens Stadium.

The Newcomer of the Year Award was given to The PING Invitational. The tournament committee for this event put forth an outstanding effort, making sure that players and their families received all three meals each day. They had a walking scorer with each group. Tee markers were black and pink cowboy hats. There was a players-only lounge that had two X-Boxes, bean bag chairs and plenty of snacks. They ensured that there was music blaring on the driving range. It was certainly an event that the kids will look forward to going back to each fall.

The Invitational of the Year Award

Hiwan Golf Club made sure that the 2006 Rolex Tournament of Champions was better than ever before.

Invitational of the Year was awarded to the Rolex Tournament of Champions. This event is the oldest and one of the most prestigious on the AJGA schedule. Because of this, there is a lot of extra time and work that goes into it. The local committee at Hiwan, as well as the people at Rolex, made sure 2006 was even better than before. The committee was able to secure private housing for every junior who needed it plus some. They had a Junior-Am and silent auction that rivaled that of every other event in 2006. Media came out in large numbers and were excited about having the event in their area. The members of Hiwan Golf Club did everything they could to make this event special, from volunteering their time to participating in the Junior-Am.

The Tournament of the Year Award

A Bag piper called all participants to their carts during the Junior-Am and the Qualifier.

Houchens Industries Junior Open was awarded Tournament of the Year honors. In its first year of taking place, the event went above and beyond what was expected of it. They were able to raise over $55,000 for junior golf. All three meals, as well as snacks and drinks, were provided throughout the duration of the event to all participants and spectators. More than 90 volunteers worked to make sure everything went off without a hitch during the event. Highway construction signs were posted throughout the town that read “Welcome Houchens Industries Junior Open Participants.” Bag pipers were there to start the tournament and to call participants to their carts during the qualifier and the Junior-Am. The media attention that this event generated was also fantastic. They held a media day prior to the event in which 10 local members of the media attended. During the event, the media came out in droves. These are just a few of the things that made the Houchens Industries Junior Open Tournament of the Year.

These awards are given for two reasons. The first is to honor and show appreciation for those who put in such hard work throughout the year in order to make their event a success. The other is to inspire others. This is a chance for events to share what worked for them, while learning from others how to make next year even better. Hopefully the hard work that was put in place by these events from 2006 will raise the bar for all future tournaments.