The AJGA Huntsville Junior has been honored by the AJGA with the 2021 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 general manager, as well as best new event, best Junior Golf Hub Preview Series tournament, best AJGA Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Tournament awards for the 2021 season will be presented on-site at 2022 tournaments.
The Game Changer Award, formerly known as the Most Improved Award, is given to an event that continuously improves the overall tournament experience. The 2021 AJGA Huntsville Junior did just that after rejoining the AJGA schedule for the first time since 2016.
"The course, athlete experience and southern hospitality that extends past the golf course is what makes the AJGA Huntsville Junior so special. Making sure these young athletes have an incredible experience both on and off the golf course is what really matters."
Head Golf Professional, Brad Story, was a key factor in the success of the 2021 AJGA Huntsville Junior. Story was very engaged during the planning process and the tournament itself, ensuring that the event would run as smoothly and best as it could.
"We are very excited to receive the Game Changer Award from the AJGA. For us to make such a splash year one was really cool. With only one event getting this award each year, you know that your staff, golf course, and town made a huge impression."
The event also had a full committee that dedicated their time and energy into making the event a great experience for juniors and their families. There were volunteers on-site every day, helping the AJGA staff keep pace on the course, stock water coolers, and provide smiles and encouragement.
"The committee of volunteers made last year special," said Story. "If it weren't for them, this event wouldn't have happened. They think of and cover all details, and nothing is left undone."
The 2021 event included a successful Junior-Am tournament, which raised over $50,000 for the Huntsville Hospital Foundation and AJGA Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant. Representatives from the Huntsville Hospital Foundation were on-site to receive their donation.
The benefiting charities for the 2022 event will include Youth on Course and the Village of Promise, a local Family Advancement Center founded to address the needs of children and families in distressed, high-poverty neighborhoods.
"We are honored to receive the AJGA’s Game Changer Award, which is a direct reflection of the support we have received from the Huntsville community for our charities—the Huntsville Hospital Foundation last year and Village of Promise this year. Credit also goes to our hardworking committee and generous sponsors, led by the Huntsville Sports Commission and Huntsville Country Club. Our tournament’s success is a great example of what a powerful force for good the game of golf can be."
The 2022 event returns to Huntsville Country Club and will be played from May 5-8. The Game Changer Award will be presented on-site.