Jacksonville, Fla. - The volunteer base for the 2021 Junior PLAYERS Championship and the Billy Horschel Junior Championship have been honored with the 2021 Volunteer award by the American Junior Golf Association. This annual award honors a group of tournament volunteers who go above and beyond filling all volunteers roles and aiding the AJGA staff in accomplishing our mission.
Both The Junior PLAYERS Championship and Billy Horschel Junior Championship annually have 60 plus volunteers each day of the five day long events. The volunteers at each event man timing stations, shuttle players between holes, aid with registration, and stock coolers amongst other roles to keep the events running smoothly.
Each year, the AJGA's annual tournament awards distinguish the effort of supporters who make each quality tournament experience possible. In the Volunteer category, the award highlights annual community involvement in the event and the spirit of giving back. The honorees for these two events also annually donate their time to the PGA TOUR's PLAYERS Championship as well.
Jim McCarthy, along with his wife Liz, have been apart of The Junior PLAYERS Championship since its inception in 2007. Jim serves as the Volunteer Chair for the annual event held at TPC Sawgrass. In addition to his service as the Volunteer Chair the McCarthy's also open their home to AJGA staff and have everyone over for dinner to hear stories from past Junior PLAYERS Championships.
We have a great group of volunteers who enjoy seeing each other every year. In addition we all meet some great young men who play incredible golf. We have been fortunate to see some if the best golfers in the world today, like Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Matt Fitzpatrick, Joaquin Niemann, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith and Emiliano Grillo at our event. We knew they would be great. And we are proud to play a role in helping them earn a college scholarship and continue their careers.
Volunteers from both events donate not only their time, but also money to give back to the AJGA's Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant. Their help with putting coolers out each morning, picking up trash, and course breakdown in the afternoon allowed AJGA staff to maintain reasonable and reduced hours.
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 golf course executive, as well as the most game changing event, best new event, best Neuropeak Pro Preview Series tournament, best Ninja Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Tournament awards for the 2021 season will be presented on-site at the 2022 tournament.
Shelley Dickerson serves as the Volunteer Chair for the annual Billy Horschel Junior Championship presented by Zurich. Dickerson has been volunteering with the AJGA since the inception of the Junior PLAYERS and got involved in all the Jacksonville area events before heading up the Billy Horschel volunteer crew.
I have volunteered at the PLAYERS for 25 years and have volunteered at the junior players since it’s inception. I took on a bigger role at The ANNIKA with Jim [McCarthy] and had the opportunity to interact with the AJGA staff. I enjoyed being around the positive and talented young adults. They inspire me at every move. When Adam [Rogers] asked me to take on the Billy Ho, I didn’t hesitate as I knew I would love it. I have a great pool of volunteers who are willing to do whatever is asked of them. We are family and I find immense gratification in being part of this younger generation. The parents are so appreciative of what we do for their Kids and some become friends and I can follow their kids on social media, cheering them on! Volunteering for the AJGA events is going to keep me young! There is really no need to ever grow up! These young people are our future. There can be no better place to volunteer my time. I thank you all for the opportunity.
The Junior PLAYERS Championship makes it's 16th appearance on the AJGA schedule in 2022. The annual event brings together the top-72 boys from around the world to compete at the famed TPC Sawgrass on the Stadium Course. The event uses the same yardages and hole locations as The PLAYERS Championship, and emulates the atmosphere of the PGA TOUR event because of the large volunteer base the event recruits.
The Billy Horschel Junior Championship returns to the AJGA schedule for the 6th time this October 7-10. Horschel's event hosted last year on the Dye's Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass moves over to The Palencia Club and features the only modified stableford event on the AJGA schedule.