The 23rd annual Rolex Girls Junior Championship, contested at The Country Club of Rochester in Rochester, New York, was honored with the 2014 Media Award by the American Junior Golf Association. The tournament, which ran June 9-13, was recognized for outstanding media participation and coverage before, during and after the event across a variety of platforms.
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 the highest media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most improved event, best new event, best Junior All-Star tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Tournament awards for the 2014 season will be presented on-site at the 2015 tournament.
“This award is a great testament to the storied traditions of The Country Club of Rochester as a keeper of the game,” Media Chairman Greg Smith said. “Being in a golf capital of the world there is a deep appreciation of life’s values and character-building essence surrounding the game of golf. We focused our media storytelling efforts on how the AJGA nurtures those values in the younger generation.”
The media campaign began in fall of 2013 by announcing The Country Club of Rochester as site of the 2014 event, adding to the club’s rich championship history. The course has previously hosted the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in 1962 and two U.S. Women’s Open Championships (1953 and 1973).
Driven by the efforts of Media Chairman Greg Smith and committee support led by Tournament Chairman Mark Gianniny, the tournament covered every spectrum of media coverage. The Country Club of Rochester hosted a media day on May 1, 2014, and despite cold temperatures brought on by the 2014 Polar Vortex, the event garnered a great turnout from local newspapers and TV outlets, and featured live footage on the local NBC affiliate, WHEC-TV.
The Rolex Girls Junior Championship also earned the distinction as the only AJGA event to have a professionally-produced television commercial. WHEC-TV created a commercial that ran two weeks leading up to the event, promoting the incredible talent of the field. Coinciding with the Wegmans LPGA Championship hosted the same summer in nearby Pittsford, New York, the commercial was well-received and heightened local interest and spectatorship.
During the tournament, local and national media coverage included Golfweek, Global Golf Post, Golfworld, C&C Worldwide, Rochester Golf Week, Rochester Homepage, the Democrat & Chronicle, Worldgolf.com, WHEC-TV NBC and WHAM ABC.
In addition to successful media coverage via traditional avenues, the Rolex Girls Junior Championship received strong social media participation. Using the #RolexGirls hashtag, the tournament made 643,233 impressions on Twitter and reached 130,337 accounts with 325 tweets throughout the week.
“As Chairman, I’m very proud that the Rolex Girls Junior Championship was chosen for this award, however, all honor and praise should go to Media Chairman Greg Smith who gave his time, dedication, professionalism and heart to this effort,” Tournament Chairman Mark Gianniny said. “Hosting the 2014 Rolex Girls Junior Championship was an honor in itself. We look forward to 2016 when The Country Club of Rochester will host the 25th
anniversary of this great event.”
The 2015 tournament will be played on the Dogwood Course at The Country Club of North Carolina, June 8-12.