The 2013 Sertoma Junior Golf Tour will kick-off the 2013 season today at Spring Lake Golf Resort. The first event of the year is a two-day tournament.
"We're excited to be playing at Spring Lake Golf Resort," said Tour Director Andy Kesling. "We haven't been out there in a number of years, and it should be a real challenge for the kids."
Spring Lake Golf Resort is a big supporter of the Sertoma Junior Golf Tour through the McFarling Golf Tournament which raises money for scholarships for junior golfers in Highlands County.
"The staff out there does a great job and we're excited to be playing a two-day tournament to kick off the season," Kesling said.
The Sertoma Junior Golf Tour is for players with some knowledge and ability who want to improve their game under tournament pressure on a different course each week.
"We want any youngsters that play golf to come out and we can't thank our sponsors and the other courses enough because without their assistance, the Sertoma Junior Golf Tour wouldn't be near as successful," Kesling said. "This is a great way for youngsters to learn to play under pressure and how to deal with their emotions and the ups and downs in every round.
"I probably wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Tom McClurg, who started the Sertoma Junior Tour when I was growing up."
There are nine events on the Sertoma calendar, but just the top five scores are counted for season points standings, which allows players to miss several of the tournament to do things with their family and not have it count against them.
"We understand everyone has plans during the summer," Kesling said. "By taking the top five scores it gives them a chance to miss a few events and still have a chance to succeed."
The entry fee for each tournament includes lunch for the golfers.
There are different age groups with the boys 6-8 year olds playing six holes from the 200-yard marker, the 9-10 age group plays nine holes from the red tees, 11-12 year olds play nine holes from the white tees, while 13-18 year olds play 18 holes from the white tees.
Girls 10-under play six holes from the 200-yard marker, girls age 11-13 play nine holes from the red tees and the 14-18 age group play 18 holes.
The weekly tournaments, which usually attract 70 players, run through the summer with the Sertoma Tour Championship wrapping up the season Aug. 16-17 at Sun 'n Lake Golf Club. The next tournament after Spring Lake will be Thursday, June 20, at the Country Club of Sebring.
To sign up, call the Sun 'n Lake Golf Club pro shop at 386-4830, ext. 1, or e-mail Kesling at firstname.lastname@example.org.