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.
“We are thrilled that the 25th anniversary Wyndham Cup was recognized as Invitational of the Year for 2014,” said Alyson Johnson, senior vice president of marketing and communications, Wyndham Worldwide. “It is an honor to be part of this exciting event which showcases golf’s bright future, and we applaud the efforts of the AJGA staff, the tournament committee, the staff at Old Sandwich Golf Club and of course, the talented junior golfers who worked hard to earn their spots in this prestigious event.”
The 25th anniversary showcased the exciting history of teamwork, camaraderie and sportsmanship, and offered a retrospect of how the Wyndham Cup lineage has ascended the collegiate and professional levels. Leading up to the event, a nostalgic promotional campaign featured top moments in the event’s history and testimonials from Wyndham Cup alumni like Hunter Mahan, Morgan Pressel, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth. Onsite, the grounds at Old Sandwich Golf Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the Coore & Crenshaw-designed venue of the 25th anniversary event, were adorned with historical signage outlining memorable matches and pairings.
To commemorate the 25th year, members of the first-ever Wyndham Cup hit the ceremonial tee shots during the Opening Ceremonies. Former West Team members Kellee Booth, who holds the AJGA girls record for most career AJGA wins, and Lisa Cornwell, now an on-air personality at Golf Channel, attended alongside East Team member Stephanie Neill and Heather Bowie, who competed for both the East and West Teams. The group shared with players how the event had evolved into a world-renown event featuring FJ Live Scoring, electronic scoreboards, team PING bags, red and blue team Polo Ralph Lauren uniforms, team FootJoy shoes and team hashtags that have taken the friendly rivalry to the digital world. Through social media channels, online conversation doubled in 2014 and increased the use of the tournament hashtag by 85 percent. Hashtags, including “Go East” and “Go West,” garnered more than 1,594 tweets, 985 contributors, making more than 3.3 million impressions on Twitter. The event Facebook album reached 42,098 users and engaged 14,117 accounts, while the tournament blog received more than 1,000 views daily.
The tournament coincided with the 75th playing of the Wyndham Championship. Golf Channel was on-site at Old Sandwich Golf Club to interview key players in the anniversary including Wyndham Championship Tournament Director (and former Wyndham Cup captain) Mark Brazil, and Cornwell who made her return to the AJGA. Video footage captured at the Wyndham Cup was played during the Wyndham Championship in August.
Also highlighting the 2014 tournament was the announcement that Wyndham Worldwide would endow an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant to support junior golfers who lack the financial resources to play a national junior golf schedule. Johnson was on-site during the Opening Ceremonies to present AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin with the first contribution.
The 2015 Wyndham Cup will be played at Old Town Club in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, June 27-30.