A sure sign that summer is almost here is the start of the Sertoma Junior Golf Tour season which begins with the Adult/Child Kickoff Classic.
The Adult/Child Kickoff Classic is an 18-hole two-person scramble played on the challenging Deer Run course at Sun ‘n Lake Golf Club on May 26.
The cost is $75 per team and that includes green fees, cart, range balls, and an awards dinner after the round.
“The Adult/Child Kickoff Classic is a good way to get out on the course with a family member or friend and a great way to start the summer season,” said Sertoma Junior Golf Tour Director and Sun ‘n Lake professional Andy Kesling.
“After the round we enjoy a great dinner, give out awards and go over a lot of information about the Sertoma Junior Golf Tour. It’s a great event to play in especially if you’re new to the Sertoma Tour.”
The one-time registration fee to play on the Sertoma Junior Tour is $35 for all age groups.
The summer junior golf season gets rolling with the 44th annual Bagwell Junior Golf Classic June 1-2 at River Greens Golf Club.
Even though the Bagwell is not an official Sertoma event players will receive five points toward their Sertoma Junior Tour standings.
“We recommend junior golfers participate in the Bagwell Junior Golf Classic because it’s a great tournament and one that’s been around for a very long time,” Kesling said.
The Sertoma Junior Golf Tour’s first event is at Spring Lake Golf Resort June 10-11.
“We’re excited to be playing at Spring Lake Golf Resort,” Kesling said. “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.”
The two-day tournaments are worth double points and are ones that junior golfers should plan on competing in.
A good aspect of the Sertoma Junior Golf Tour is that it allows for families to enjoy vacations without diminishing their youngster’s chances of winning their age group.
Out of the nine events, the best five are taken and added to the season-ending Sertoma Junior Tour Championship.
“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 each of 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 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.”
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.
To sign up, call the Sun ‘n Lake Golf Club pro shop at 386-4830 ext. 1, or email Kesling at firstname.lastname@example.org
“We’re excited about the summer golf season and I love seeing these young players learn about golf and improve their games,” Kesling said. “The younger you learn a sport the easier it is to enjoy at a high level.
“We’re looking forward to a great summer and some quality golf.”