Accenture NW Arkansas Junior has been honored by the American Junior Golf Association with the 2022 Game Changer Award.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, charitable giving and volunteer base. Awards are also given to the events with engaged media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and golf course executive, as well as the most game-changing event, best new event, best AJGA Preview Series tournament, best Ninja Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Tournament awards for the 2022 season will be presented on-site at the 2023 tournament.
The Game Changer Award is given to an event that constantly improves the tournament experience each time it is held. The tournament has returned to the Bella Vista Highlands Course for its' second year. Preparing and setting up for a tournament requires a great amount of time and effort, in which all sponsors are happy to help with. Accenture, Arvest Bank and Visit Bentonville are all very active with pre-tournament planning and supporting the mission of the event. These sponsors support the AJGA's mission by contributing charitable proceeds to The First Tee of Northwest Arkansas.
"We are thrilled to receive this award! A lot of credit goes to Ruth Hatcher and her team of volunteers, of course. A big shout out to Greg Jones and his team, our superintendents, that get the course in great shape. We're just happy to have the events and look forward to continuing the partnership year after year with the AJGA and building upon it and making everybody happy."
Not only did the sponsors show their immense commitment, but the committee displayed their dedication as well. The event had a full committee which helped elevate the experience for everyone involved. The people who are a part of making the event happen, play a vital role in the event's success. The course staff members who work alongside the tournament have made it clear they put their whole heart into the process and exhibit great appreciation for all who attend. Bella Vista's membership also supported the tournament by filling 20 volunteer positions each day throughout the tournament.
The AJGA also gives back with "Project Zero". This project aims to alleviate costs associated with staff lodging, food/water, a medic and transportation to maximize the amount that goes to charity. For the Accenture NW Arkansas Junior, five categories showed success, with a total spend of only $300. This allowed for the tournament to give back additional proceeds that will continue to support the AJGA's mission.
At the 2022 event, Arvest Bank demonstrated hospitality and generosity by hosting a cookout for all Junior-Am and practice round participants and players. The kindness did not stop there. Their philanthropy, along with the support of Accenture and Visit Bentonville was proven by the total charitable proceeds being over $30,000 with half going to The First Tee of Northwest Arkansas. All sponsors, the committee and Bella Vista’s membership went the extra mile with the money raised and illustrated their devotion to junior golf.
It has been incredible to see the growth of this event within its' first two years of hosting an AJGA event. The support brought in through the sponsors and community plays a key role in the events' success. We can't wait to see how this event will continue to foster an exceptional tournament experience for our juniors.
The 2023 event returned to the Highlands Course on September 1st and was played through the 4th.