BRASELTON, Ga. – The American Junior Golf Association announced its spring 2016 schedule on Tuesday, September 29, with 39 events and more than 3,600 playing opportunities in 11 states.
The schedule features more professional Tour player involvement with the addition of an event supported by AJGA alumnus Justin Thomas. Notable highlights include a second Senior Showcase event, newly-sponsored Golf Performance Center Preseason and ACDS Junior All-Star Series, and AJGA Open events.
The remainder of the 2016 schedule will be released in December 2015.
Hunter Mahan, Annika Sorenstam and Phil Mickelson continue their support of the AJGA during the spring while Justin Thomas will host an AJGA event for the first time near his hometown at The University of Louisville Golf Club in Simpsonville, Kentucky.
A three-time AJGA champion and two-time Rolex Junior All-American, Thomas helped the University of Alabama win the 2013 national championship and is now No. 74 in the World Golf Rankings.
Mahan will host the Under Armour® / Hunter Mahan Championship presented by Baylor Medical at Stonebriar Country Club’s Fazio Course for the third consecutive year. The 1999 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and three-time Rolex Junior All-American has six PGA TOUR wins and is No. 46 in the World Golf Rankings. Mahan serves as an AJGA National Chairman with Annika Sorenstam, also a spring schedule tournament host since 2009.
The ANNIKA Invitational returns to Reunion Resort’s Watson Course in February where the field annually features top AJGA players as well as players from two other ANNIKA Foundation-run events in Sweden and China. In addition to competition, the international field also enjoys getting to know Annika, one of the most accomplished golfers in the world with 72 LPGA victories and eight Rolex Player of the Year awards.
Also on Presidents’ Day weekend is the CB&I Boys Championship at Carlton Woods, the AJGA's longest-running, boys-only tournament on the Fazio Championship Course, ranked No. 6 in Texas by Golf Digest. The Club at Carlton Woods boasts top competition on the course and player fun during the entire week, interwoven with patriotism and community support.
Mickelson is a longtime supporter of the Thunderbird International Junior, a Memorial Day staple on the AJGA schedule, held at Grayhawk Golf Club’s Raptor Course in Scottsdale, Arizona. The three-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year helped initiate the tournament in 2000, and the Phil & Amy Mickelson Foundation continues its support more than 15 years later.
Innisbrook Resort will host four events in 2016, including the debut of a spring seniors-only event. The Senior Showcase Championship in February fits between the early and regular NCAA signing period for the Class of 2016 graduates and will be open only to those graduating seniors who have not yet committed to play college golf.
The event model has proven successful since 2011 with the Winn Grips / Butch Harmon Senior Showcase Championship. It is held each December opposite the college golf coaches’ conventions in Las Vegas, and nearly 60 percent of participants have accepted a college golf playing opportunity and financial aid.
Golf Performance Center Preseason Series
In 2016, Golf Performance Center, one of the Northeast’s leading golf academies, will support the AJGA’s Preseason Series, designed specifically for members who have not yet played or been accepted to an AJGA tournament. This national junior golf platform offers new and returning members the opportunity to build Performance Based Entry status before summer Open and ACDS Junior All-Star Series events. Alumni of the Golf Performance Center Preseason Series include 2014 Rolex Junior Player of the Year Andrea Lee, Alison Lee, Brian Harman and Patrick Reed.
The Golf Performance Center Preseason Series adds two events in 2016, including first-time venues The Ole Miss Golf Club in Oxford, Mississippi, and The Ranch Golf Club in Southwick, Massachusetts.
Among the returning venues are longtime Texas hosts Cimarron Hills Golf & Country Club in Georgetown, and Jordan Spieth’s boyhood course Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas, as well as Worthington Manor Golf Club ranked ninth as Golfweek’s “Best Courses You Can Play” in Maryland.
American College Development Services (ACDS) Junior All-Star Series
ACDS, an association that guides student athletes through their junior careers and prepares them to make the transition to NCAA athletics, will support the 2016 ACDS Junior All-Star Series, including six spring events. The ACDS Junior All-Star Series is a collection of events specifically designed for boys and girls, ages 12-15, to develop their skills and build Performance Based Entry status. Notable alumni of the ACDS Junior All-Star Series include Rolex Junior Players of the Year Sam Burns (2014), Jordan Spieth (2009), Peter Uihlein (2007), Alison Lee (2013) and Inbee Park (2002).
New ACDS Junior All-Star Series venues include El Conquistador Golf & Tennis’ Cañada course in Oro Valley, Arizona, and Bentwater Yacht & Country Club in Montgomery, Texas.
Returning hosts include Longaberger Golf Club, No. 1 on Golfweek’s “Best Courses You Can Play” in Ohio, and Forsgate Country Club’s Palmer Course, No. 19 on Golf Digest’s “Best Courses” in New Jersey.
AJGA Open events
A jam-packed Easter weekend follows tradition with AJGA Open events in Arizona, Florida and Texas. Longbow Golf Club will conduct the 13th annual Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club while Innisbrook Resort will host the ninth TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Innisbrook. Horseshoe Bay Resort repeats as host of the AJGA Junior at Horseshoe Bay.
Georgia follows a similar longtime model as The Country Club of the South will host the Wells Fargo Junior Classic presented by Mizuno for the eighth time in Roswell, and the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr., Rome Classic will celebrate its 15th anniversary in Rome after a one-year hiatus from the schedule.
The Sunshine State hosts a return to the EaglesDream Golf Academy Junior Championship at Timacuan Golf & Country Club to lead things off in January, and The Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes in Longwood, Florida, will debut an event in April.
Follow news and tweet about the 2016 schedule on Twitter with #AJGA2016.