Players who have competed in AJGA tournaments the first few weeks of the summer have most likely noticed a new addition the tournament schedule of events. “Care Fore the Course” parties are now an integral part of an AJGA tournament week, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
Many players and parents have participated, but for those who are unfamiliar with one of the AJGA’s newest initiatives, let us explain. The AJGA is proud to host its tournaments at some of the country's best golf courses. We came to realize that to keep hosting tournaments at these courses, an initiative needed to be put in place to keep the courses in the same great condition they were found. In order to help educate and promote the proper respect of its host golf courses, the AJGA developed the "Care Fore the Course" campaign.
The initiative, launched in conjunction with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association and the PGA of America, is comprised of several key points. The AJGA believes education is the first step to ensuring proper golf course respect. To teach players proper etiquette, videos will be shown describing the correct way to fix a ball mark, repair a divot and rake a bunker at Player Meetings. This meeting will be attended by the course's superintendent, who will touch on course features, environmental qualities and careers in golf course maintenance.
So players can implement what they have learned, the AJGA has been hosting “Care Fore the Course” parties at each tournament, usually after the second round. Armed with buckets of sand and divot tools provided by HP, players head back out on the golf course to fix ball marks and refill divots, including those on well-worn driving ranges. AJGA staff members help lead the charge, and it takes about an hour to cover the entire course.
So far, “Care Fore the Course” parties have been a rousing success. Players (and even some parents!) have jumped at the chance to thank host golf courses. At the Junior All-Star at Lake Havasu, there were more players wanting to participate than there were golf carts to hold them. Host facilities have been more than appreciative of the gesture – Red Tail Golf Club in Avon, Ohio, site of the SAP Junior Open, even suspended member play during the “Care Fore the Course” party because everyone there believed in the initiative that much.
The AJGA is dedicated to this initiative and expects all members to take great pride in the host facilities. We encourage all players to take part in more “Care Fore the Course” parties throughout the summer and hope that proper golf course maintenance is not soon forgotten!