By Emily Larabee, AJGA Communications
For the Haas family, roots run deep at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro. The Wyndham Championship course has played host to father-son duo Jay and Bill Haas for years, and now, the PGA TOUR duo is giving back to the greens that have given so much to them.
Before heading to Pennsylvania to participate in the U.S. Open, Bill stopped by Sedgefield Country Club to support junior golf in their first annual Haas Family Invitational.
“To host this event at Sedgefield Country Club here in Greensboro in the Triad area, we couldn’t be happier,” Bill said on Sunday .
With seven appearances in the PGA TOUR’s Wyndham Championship, Bill Haas is no stranger to the course. His father, Jay Haas, played in the Wyndham Championship 22 times during his PGA TOUR career.
“I was fortunate growing up with my uncle to teach me the game and to give me the opportunity to play,” Jay said of Bob Goalby, who won 11 PGA TOUR titles and the 1968 Masters.
Along with the father-son duo, Bill’s uncle, Jerry Haas, has coached golf at nearby Wake Forest University for 18 seasons. “Golf is the Haas family business,” Bill said.
By hosting this event, the Haas family seeks to help these junior golfers grow on the golf course. “These kids seem to be much more confident, more accomplished. They get to play in events like this, and when they are playing the competition side of it, it prepares them for another level,” Bill said.
When reflecting on Bill’s AJGA past, Jay says he strove for his son to grow beyond the game of golf. “For Bill, I told him any competition he can play in is good for him going forward, but the end result is growing up in many ways, not necessarily as a golfer, but as a person,” Jay said.
For AJGA players, the Haas Family Invitational encompasses what it means to compete at one of the highest levels of junior golf. AJGA players like Andrew Kozan say they go their whole AJGA career hoping to win this tournament.
“This is pretty much the PGA TOUR for us teenagers, but most of have been playing golf our whole lives just dreaming about the opportunity to get out there, and we are trying to make it happen,” said Kozan, who is making his second start in this event.
The Haas family has a true passion for the game of golf and they would like to pay it forward to all of the other junior golfers out there. “There is someone starting you in the game, somebody that is kind of putting their arm around your shoulder and leading you forward, so it is an easy decision to give back. It’s a no brainer. It’s a lot of fun to see the kids today and to hopefully influence their success in the future,” Jay said.