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Summer 2014 • 29
More than Just a Championship
Junior golfers competing at the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships face a tough field July 19-29 at PGA National Resort and Spa. A number of special events are scheduled to ensure their experience is unforgettable!
The Opening Ceremony and Orient is mandatory for all golfers. Led by bagpiper, the highlight is the parad of fags, representing each country with a participating junior golfer. This orientation is important as golfers are informed about local rules and rulings that happen frequently.
Golfers have the chance to see wh can go long off the tee in the Long Drive Competition. Preliminaries take place during their offcial practice rounds where they
take their distance off the tee on a designated hole to qualify. The top boys and girls advance to the fnals where they compete for awards. This fun event spotlights the top fnishers and attracts hundreds of spectators after play one evening.
Golfers can experience an unforgettable evening of glow-in-the dark putting Optimist-style in the Glow Ball Event. A nine-hole course is set in the dark with the holes lit and hundreds of glow sticks and necklaces decorating the course. This is not just for the participants, but for their siblings too.
The Junior Golf program hosts two team events in conjunction with the Championships. The Parent-Child Classic is a two-player team event consisting of a junior golfer and a parent, stepparent, sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle. A tournament is held each week. The World Cup Tournament is a one-day, 18-hole competition featuring two-player teams representing their nations.
A video arcade room is set up for players to spend time at night with their friends and play video games, foosball and air hockey. All games are free of charge to participants and their families. The Dive-In movie night allows golfers to cool off in the pool and watch a movie after a long hot day. ParTee time gives the golfers a chance to have fun with their new friends before packing up and heading home.
An educational seminar is conducted to offer a more serious off-the-course option for the older divisions. The content is designed o help the junior golfers improve their game. Past presenters have ncluded nutrition experts, swing coaches and college coaches. The golfers in the boys and girls 16-18 divisions compete in three rounds of golf before a cut. Those making the cut compete in a final round and those who do not, get the chance to play for fun on a team during a co-ed consolation event.
Trophies are awarded for the top three golfers in each age division, Last Day Low Round, and any hole-in-ones. The award ceremony gives the golfers a chance to congratulate their friends and provides a great photo opportunity for their families!
The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships is much more than just golf. It is about meeting new friends from all over the world and making memories that will last a lifetime!
Summer2014 Magazine.indd 29 5/27/14 6:01 PM