Tournament Schedule Finalized
The dates of the official Optimist qualifying tournaments have been finalized. In 2009, there will be 56
Optimist District qualifying tournaments in 34 states and four Canadian provinces.
The Optimist District qualifying season kicks off in the Atlantic Central District
on April 25 with a qualifier at Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point, NJ. Qualifying
tournaments continue throughout April, May and June, with the majority taking
place the last half of June. Many Districts also hold a series of local pre-qualifying
tournaments that determine which golfers advance to the District finals.
Junior golfers who participate in Optimist District tournaments compete for the
opportunity to qualify for the summer Optimist International Junior Golf Championships
at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. A set number
of qualifying spots in each age division are granted to each District tournament.
Please take a moment to review the information on your District qualifier by locating
your tournament date on the Master Calendar of District qualifying tournaments
here for the schedule). Each District has a designated page on
the Optimist International website listing the tournament date, location, age
divisions offered, entry fee and more. Please contact Andy Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (800) 500-8130, ext. 209 to change or add any information on your District's
page. It is also important to provide a way for golfers and parents to register
for your qualifier. The Optimist Junior Golf database has the ability to
create a customizable Tournament Entry Form for your District qualifier that can
be saved as a PDF file and made available for download from the Optimist International
website. Please contact Andy Hudson for additional details.
Qualifying Method Reminder
New in 2008, the qualifying method established by the Optimist Junior Golf Committee continues for the 2009
Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. The goal of the Committee
is to create a championship event at PGA National that will serve as many junior
golfers as comfortably possible and that will have the greatest chance of being
completed in its entirety. This goal was achieved in 2008.
As was the case last year, each District is granted a set number of qualifying
spots in each age division for all Optimist qualifying tournaments. The number
of 2009 qualifying spots designated to a District are determined based on the
number of junior golfers who participated in that District's qualifier last year.
Please review the District Qualifying Cover Sheet that was mailed to you in October
to determine the exact number of qualifying spots for which your District is eligible
this year. A duplicate copy of this sheet will be e-mailed to each of the
District Chairs again within the next few weeks. And, a hard copy of this
sheet will also be mailed to all District Chairs in April along with the OIJGC
player registration packets.
2009 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team
The 2009 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team is a special award recognizing the academic accomplishments
of junior golfers who are past participants of Optimist International championship
tournaments or District qualifiers.
The team will consist of four golfers who will be between the ages of 16 and 18
as of the last day of the 2009 OIJGC (August 2, 2009). Junior golfers selected
for the team will receive an automatic exemption into the championships and complimentary
registration. The exemption includes an invitation to participate in the
2009 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships without having to play in
a qualifying tournament. The team will also be introduced on stage during the
Applications for the Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team are currently being accepted
and are due no later than April 11, 2009. As a District Chair, you are encouraged
to spread the word about this program to past participants of your District qualifier.
For more information, click
Palmer Golf Supports Optimist Championships as Sponsor of Long-Drive Contest
Showing its support of aspiring young golfers, Arnold Palmer Golf Management has signed
on as the exclusive sponsor of the Long-Drive Contest at this summer's Optimist
International Junior Golf Championships at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm
Beach Gardens, Florida.
Each summer more than 650 junior golfers ages 10-18 come to the courses of PGA
National to compete in the Optimist championship event. Throughout their stay,
golfers have the opportunity to participate in a number of competitive and entertaining
events in addition to tournament play. The Palmer Golf Long-Drive Contest is
the pinnacle of these events, with golfers, their families and guests gathering
to watch the competition as finalists combine power and control at the tee.
Junior golfers will attempt to qualify for the 2009 finals during their practice
rounds on July 24 for ages 10-15 and July 29 for ages 16-18. The Palmer Golf
Long-Drive Contest finals will take place on July 26 and 31 for ages 10-15 and
Pull Cart Usage
A common question from District Chairs, parents and golfers involves the use of
pull carts during the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships.
Please see below for a letter from last year's Junior Golf Committee.
The policy for the international championships for 2009 remains unchanged: golfers
in the boys and girls 10-11 division only are permitted to use pull carts.
Golfers in all other age divisions must carry their golf bags. No exceptions.
PLEASE NOTE: District Chairs are empowered to adjust rules regarding pull
cart usage at their District qualifying tournaments. You are encouraged
to follow the same policies as the international championships, but you may
allow pull carts in any/all age divisions as you see fit based on the difficulty
or conditions of the golf course, extreme weather, etc. To be fair to
all participants, you should notify everyone of your decision on pull cart usage
well before the date of your qualifying tournament.
Dear Junior Golfers and Parents:
The Optimist Junior Golf Committee is aware of several other golf organizations'
rules on pull cart usage at their junior tournaments. Due to the size
and scope of our championship tournament, pull carts are only allowed for the
boys & girls 10-11 divisions at the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships.
Golfers in the boys & girls 12-13, 14-15 and 16-18 divisions are required
to carry their golf bags. This policy is a condition of the competition
and there are no exceptions.
During the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships, tournament administrators
are faced with the task of coordinating play for up to 400 golfers on as many
as four golf courses per day. Optimist International staff and volunteers
provide extensive transportation during the championships including shuttling
golfers to and from the driving ranges & practice greens, rental van transportation
for golfers & spectators involved in a shotgun start, and immediate &
effective course evacuations during dangerous weather situations.
The logistics involved in transporting this many people are extremely challenging,
even under the best circumstances. The priority is-and always will be-on
the safety of the young participants and spectators. The Committee feels
that the current policy best ensures this outcome.
The Optimist Junior Golf Committee reviews all Optimist Junior Golf policies
and procedures (including pull cart usage) on an annual basis. The Committee
is aware of other organizations' rules regarding pull carts and will make future
policy changes that are in the best interest of the Optimist International Junior
Golf Championships and its participants.
The Optimist Junior Golf Committee
Please note: Golfers in the boys & girls 10-11 divisions only who wish to use a
pull cart at the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships must use a
pull cart provided by Optimist International and may not use their own equipment.
For more information, click
Planning for this year's Optimist International Junior Golf Championships is swinging into high
gear! The 15th annual event will take place from July 23 to August 2 at PGA National
Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, the home of the PGA TOUR's Honda
Over the years, we have been very fortunate to have outstanding support from our
network of volunteers. We are, once again, going to need an effort from all of
you to make sure that The Optimist continues to be on the "must-play"
list for junior golfers and their families.
We are sure that you know at least one person who would like to become involved
in the international championships. It may be a person who has helped you at the
District level or someone who is new to the program. Regardless of their interest
in golf, we need them! The Junior Golf program has become a huge success within
the Optimist International organization due to the commitment of volunteers. Please
let other Optimists know about the program and how they can get involved.
At last year's event we introduced some new opportunities for volunteers to work
with the players. We will be continuing and expanding these opportunities at this
year's event. Everyone seemed to enjoy the new responsibilities and taking even
more ownership of our event!
A volunteer packet will be sent in April to District Chairs and other volunteers
from last year's international championships and Tournament of Champions. Feel
free to send copies of these materials to other potential volunteers. Volunteer
schedules are completed on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure to return
your application as soon as possible so that you are not shut out of your favorite
assignment. Remember, you don't have to be a golfer to be a good volunteer...just
someone who enjoys working with kids and helping out. We have a little something
As in years past, we will be sending the volunteer application by mail. The final
information and volunteer schedules will be sent in June by e-mail only (unless
you specify that you would like to receive this information by regular mail).
This saves on postage and copying costs and also allows you to receive this information
We look forward to seeing you, along with some new faces, at this summer's Optimist
International Junior Golf Championships!
Schedule of Events for 2009 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships
The schedule of events for the 2009 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships is in the process
of being finalized. The event will take place July 23-28, 2009 for the boys
& girls 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15 divisions and July 28-August 2, 2009 for the
boys & girls 16-18 divisions. For a detailed schedule of events, click