Optimist Links Newsletter

January 2010

Don't Forget to Submit your District Tournament Logistics Form

The deadline to submit 2010 District tournament information to Optimist International is January 30. Please make sure we have the most up-to-date information on record about your District tournament. To download a copy of the District Tournament Logistics Form, click here

If you do not submit your 2010 tournament information by January 30, your District will be classified as an "At Large" District. This means junior golfers who live in your District will be required to travel to another District's qualifier (ages 14-15 & 16-18) or will be able to apply for the championships through the "At Large" application process (ages 10-11 & 12-13).

Thank you to the following Districts who have already submitted their 2010 tournament information!


Atlantic Central
California South
Central Ontario
Dakotas-Manitoba-Minnesota (Canada)
Dakotas-Manitoba-Minnesota (USA)
East Missouri
Indiana South
Midwestern Ontario
North Florida
Pacific Central (Northern Nevada)
Pacific Southeast (California)
Pacific Southeast (Hawaii)
South Carolina
South Texas (West)
Southern Wisconsin
Southwestern Ontario

New and Improved District Golf Chair Page

Please take a moment to visit the new and improved District Golf Chair page.  You can also access this page by typing golf.optimist.org/chair into your web browser.  Please make a note of this webpage for future reference.  On this page you will find links to the District Chair newsletter, a section containing important manuals & forms and other items. 
A new section has been added called the "District Qualifying Tournament Tool Kit."  This section contains sample forms, confirmation e-mails, a registration/accounting workbook, sample District tournament information sheet & hard card, and tee times & results workbooks.  This information is designed to assist you in conducting your District tournament.  All of these items are samples only and may be edited to suit your individual needs.

Online Registration for District Qualifiers

In an effort to allow Districts to offer online registration for their qualifying tournaments, District Chairs are encouraged to set up a PayPal account.  An informational packet has been developed that provides detailed information about how to register for a PayPal account and how to set up online registration via the Optimist Junior Golf website.  To download the packet, click here.  To view the end result of how online registration will look to golfers and parents, feel free to visit the East Missouri District Junior Golf page at golf.optimist.org/emo.

Qualifying Method Reminder

By now, you should be familiar with the qualifying method that began in 2008. The method, as determined by the Optimist Junior Golf Committee, provides Districts with a set number of qualifying spots for each of the age divisions offered in its qualifier. The number of qualifying spots are determined in advance based on the number of junior golfers who participated in that District's qualifier in the summer prior. If you have not already done so, please read through the 2010 District Manual and other information sent to you earlier this year.  And, refer to the District Qualifying Cover Sheet for your exact number of qualifying spots (by age division) for 2010.  If you have questions about the qualifying method, please contact the Optimist Junior Golf office at golf@optimist.org or 800-500-8130, ext. 209.

Inaugural Optimist Golf World Cup

The Optimist Junior Golf Committee announces a new event that will be held in conjunction with the 2010 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. The Optimist Golf World Cup will be a one day, 18-hole team competition featuring two-player teams representing their nations. Optimist Golf World Cup participants will consist of players who are also competing in the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. This new event is sure to generate extra excitement during THE OPTIMIST and it will be an honor for players to participate under their country's flag.

Team USA and Team Canada will be selected by the Optimist Junior Golf Committee. Selection will be based on a junior golfer's past results in the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. Optimist Junior Golf will contact potential participants individually.  International teams will consist of players who are selected by their national federation or association. 
For more information, click here.

2010 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team

The 2010 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 2010 OIJGC (August 1, 2010). Junior golfers selected will receive an automatic exemption into the championships and complimentary registration. The exemption includes an invitation to participate in the 2010 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships without having to play in a qualifying tournament. The team will also be introduced on stage during the international championships.

Applications for the Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team will be accepted beginning February 1 and are due no later than April 10, 2010. As a District Chair, you are encouraged to spread the word about this program to past participants of your District qualifier. For more information, please visit golf.optimist.org.  The information and application packet will be available for download in late January.

Volunteer News

Congratulations to all of you who were involved in making the 2009 Tournament of Champions a success at Orange County National in Orlando this past November!

We always get plenty of feedback from the participants and their families and this year was no exception. Players continue to compliment us on all the great work that the volunteers do both on and off the golf course. The Tournament of Champions, while small in comparison to the summer championships, continues to get great support from our members. Thanks again for all you do for the program. We have now signed agreements to move the Tournament of Champions to Disney's Palm Golf Course at Walt Disney World, Florida, in 2010.

We will be needing more help than ever from our volunteers this coming July. The Optimist Junior Golf Committee has decided to add an 18-hole team competition beginning in 2010.  It will be run on transition day between the two groups departing and arriving. It will involve two person teams playing in a best ball format. We will need marshals and scorers to make this happen! The new event will be named the Optimist Golf World Cup. See the article above for more information. 

We will again be bringing in USGA rules officials to work directly with our volunteer marshals. This program has worked very well! It allowed us to have an excellent group of rules officials that not only made rulings on the courses but also held rules clinics for our marshals and got them directly involved with on-course rulings. We will also be running a rules clinic for the younger age group. Try to attend and a lot of good information is provided.

I had a chance to visit some other junior golf tournaments in the past few months. It is always good to see how other organizations run their events, but I also think they learn from us! I visited with some parents of junior golfers who have played in Optimist events in the past and they were very complimentary of the Optimist Golf program, especially the tireless work of our volunteers.

The summer event continues to grow in popularity around the globe. We continue to get new countries applying for spots in the event. We are networking ourselves around the world to make sure that kids everywhere have an opportunity to participate at the local level.
The success of our program really does count on the continued support of our volunteers. I cannot stress to you enough the importance of involving more people in your District events and bringing them to the international championships. The Junior Golf Committee and staff, along with your input, have no shortage of good ideas to make things better for the players and their families. We just need the manpower to make them happen!

The Optimist Junior Golf Committee and staff certainly appreciate all that you do for the program. Please mark your calendars for the championships at PGA National this summer, July 22-August 1. We will need more Optimist volunteers than ever to continue to make the Optimist Golf program one of the best in junior golf!
Bob Patterson       
Tournament Director

Financial Relief for OIJGC Volunteers

In an effort to provide financial relief and recognition for volunteers and District Chairs who attend the international championships, the Optimist International Board of Directors has approved the Junior Golf Committee's proposal for the following items for the 2010 OIJGC:
(1) Breakfast: all Optimist volunteers and District Chairs will be provided breakfast, at no charge, for all days they attend the international championships.  This extra meal is in addition to lunch, which will continue to be provided for all tournament volunteers. 
(2) Hotel Discount: all Optimist volunteers and District Chairs who attend the international championships, and who stay at PGA National, will receive a $20 per room-night/cottage-night reduction from the established nightly rate.
(3) Volunteer Play Days:  a set number of tee times will be available for Optimist volunteers to play golf for free in the afternoons during the international championships.  Tee times will be limited based on tournament play and course availability and will be made through the Optimist volunteer office. 

2010 Tournament of Champions

The 2010 Optimist International Tournament of Champions will be held October 30-31, 2010, on Disney's Palm Golf Course at Walt Disney World, Florida.  Disney's Palm Golf Course has received an excellent rating of 4 stars by Golf Digest and is one of the host courses of the Children's Miracle Network Classic, the longest running PGA TOUR event in Central Florida.  Stay tuned for more information on the Tournament of Champions or visit the event website by clicking here.   

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