AJGA PING Junior at Mirasol Kicked Off Five-Event Swing

The Sunrise Course, home to the PGA TOUR's Honda Classic, to play host to inaugural event

A PGA TOUR stop will test 84 junior golfers when the AJGA brings the inaugural PING Junior at Mirasol to the Country Club at Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., June 1-4.

“The kids are the future of the game so it’s important to support them,” Director of Club Operations Mike Lane said. “We’re looking forward to hosting some of the best junior golfers in the United States at our club.”

Home to the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic through 2006, the recently opened Sunrise Course is one of the most challenging sets of holes in the state.

“It’s a wonderful facility,” AJGA Tournament Director Derrick Farnham said. “The course is very pristine. It’s an amazing opportunity for AJGA juniors to play on the same course that hosts the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic.”

Designed by renowned course architect Tom Fazio, the layout combines the wetland features associated with Fazio’s designs in South Carolina and green complexes comparable to Donald Ross’ designs at historic Pinehurst No. 2. Fazio’s masterpieces have been consistently ranked among America’s Top 100 in Golf Digest and Golf Magazine.

“Being at a facility like this one is just unbelievable,” AJGA Vice President of Operations Bobby Powell said. “The architecture of the clubhouse is amazing. And any time you play at a Tom Fazio design, you get a great quality course. It speaks volumes when the PGA TOUR is also playing on the course. Any time we’re at the same venue as a TOUR event, you know it’ll be a wonderful tournament.”

While enjoying the incredible facility, the juniors will be challenged in their short game. By all accounts, steep bunkers and extensive greenside collection areas could cost juniors strokes.

“The course tests all aspects of the short game,” Lane said. “The greens can repel an errant shot, and after walking to the greens, your ball could be 40 or 50 feet away. You must be precise with your irons to make a birdie. The course tests the imagination. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of shots the juniors play.”

After watching the Honda Classic in March, juniors will have the opportunity to compare their games to that of the professionals.

“It’ll be very challenging for the juniors,” Powell said. “And it will be interesting for them to see where they are driving the ball in relation to the professionals.”

AJGA PING Junior at Mirasol Quick Facts
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Date: June 1-4, 2004
Field: 84 girls and boys ages 12-18.
Format: 54-hole stroke play; 18-hole qualifier June 1 at Mirasol Country Club
Course: The Sunrise Course a the Country Club at Mirasol
Course Opened: 2003
Par: 72
Yardage: 7,407
Designed by: Tom Fazio
Noteworthy: The Country Club at Mirasol will play host to the PGA TOUR's Honda Classic through 2006... Home to Golf Digest School's National Headquarters, which attracts some of the world's most prominent golf students and instructors