The Strategic Communications / Justin Thomas Junior Championship presented by Phocus has been named the recipient of the 2017 Most Improved Tournament of the Year Award by the American Junior Golf Association.
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 the most improved event, best new event, best Junior Golf Hub Preview Series tournament, best ACDS Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Tournament awards for the 2017 season will be presented on-site at 2018 tournaments.
“It really means a lot to all the sponsors and committee people involved,” said Mike Thomas, Tournament Chair. “They are the ones who made this happen. It’s a testament to our membership and how they have gotten behind this event.”
The Strategic Communications / Justin Thomas Junior Championship presented by Phocus tournament committee, led by Mike Thomas, Justin Thomas’ father, rallied around the tournament in 2017. Tournament host and PGA TOUR player Justin Thomas attended the event and spent time interacting with the players in the tournament field, as well as sponsors and players in the Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament. Thomas spent one hole with each Junior-Am group as they played their round and conducted a clinic for tournament and Junior-Am participants on the driving range.
In addition to Thomas’ increased presence for the event, the volunteer base increased and members of the club came out to support the tournament. Due to the committees increased activation, the tournament gave $30,000 back to the First Tee of Louisville, the Kentucky Junior Golf Foundation and the AJGA’s Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant.
“I think the committee’s goal is to make this the best event in the country,” said Mike Thomas. “We want to do this by making it the best experience possible for the players and parents both and also by continuing to benefit the charities involved.”
In its second year, the event took a leap forward in providing players, parents and staff with a better overall experience. In 2018 the tournament committee looks to increase the experience surrounding the tournament as the field strength continues to grow and more money is raised to give back to charity. The Strategic Communications / Justin Thomas Junior Championship presented by Phocus returns to the 2018 schedule, April 20-22.