The American Junior Golf Association has awarded the UHY Detroit Junior at Forest Lake with winning the 2019 Volunteer Award.
“All of us at Forest Lake, and especially our members and volunteers are thrilled to receive this very special recognition from the AJGA,” said Tournament Chairman, Rich Lynch. “While it’s for 2019, I think it also recognizes the outstanding volunteer effort and the way our club has embraced the AJGA since we hosted our first event in 2013.”
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 AJGA Preview Series tournament, best AJGA Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Tournament awards for the 2019 season will be presented on-site at the 2020 tournament.
The 2019 tournament featured one of the most robust volunteer bases on the AJGA schedule with more than 50 volunteers per day. Many of the volunteers are members of Forest Lake Country Club and come out each year to support the AJGA tournament on their course. Thanks to the numerous and dedicated volunteers, all positions were filled including, timing stations, hole-to-hole shuttles and spotters on most of the holes.
“I truly believe no member ever volunteers with an expectation to win an award; we do it for the players and their families,” said longtime volunteer Martin Zeoli. “To win, knowing how many tournaments are run by the AJGA, shows we are doing in our hearts what is best for these young athletes. We’re fortunate to belong to Forest Lake and this is our time to give back.”
The dedication for volunteering doesn’t stop at just filling the needed positions. Before the tournament each year, the volunteer committee for the event provides a complimentary cookout and training session. Volunteers receive training on their specific activities by the AJGA staff and the Forest Lake Country Club golf staff. All of this leads to many of the volunteers returning year after year to help with the event and many have been helping since the tournament began.
“I’d say that about 80% of our volunteers have helped each year since we started,” said Lynch. “I think this is a testament of how much they enjoy supporting our club and the tournament. A number of our volunteers have said to me this is their favorite week of the year.”
The AJGA returns to Forest Lake Country Club August 3-6, 2020 for the eighth UHY Detroit Junior at Forest Lake.