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Junior


Bauchou, Curtis win


Junior Valentine titles


Forest resident Zackary Bauchou won the boys division while Glen Allen’s Caroline Curtis picked up the girls crown in the Junior Valentine Invitational played at Hermitage Country Club.


Bauchou shot 71-75 to win the boys division by three shots over Thomas Walsh who turned in rounds of 71-78. Hermitage member and defending champion Mark Lawrence shot 75-75 in his title defense to finish alone in third.


In the girls division Caroline Curtis shot rounds of 76-77 to win her first Valentine crown. Curtis is a former age-group winner of the US Kids PGA Golf Invitational.


IT ALL STARTS HERE T


BY RYAN KING


here has never been as many options available for area junior golfers in terms of competitive golf. For top players who are experienced and looking to impress college coaches there are national junior tours like the AJGA and IJGT. Regionally there is the MAPGA Junior Tour and the College Prep Golf Tour, both playing all of their tournaments in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Peggy Kirk Bell Tour out of North Carolina has been immensely popular with girls.


But what if your junior player is just turning the corner and hasn’t played any competitive golf yet? Where do they go to learn basic tournament rules and conduct and scorekeeping?


Since 1997, the Richmond Junior Golf Tour has provided an introduction to competition for junior players in Richmond and surrounding areas. The tour is run by longtime operator Jamie Fagan, a former winner of the Middle Atlantic PGA’s Junior Leader of the Year award(2009) and the PGA General Manager of Petersburg’s Dogwood Trace Golf Course. Fagan and his staff of volunteers have provided juniors the opportunity to slowly develop and learn the nuances of competitive golf. There are basics that every junior needs to know and understand before


34Virginia Golf Report • Spring 2013 • www.virginiagolfreport.com


they can step up and play on the bigger stage. No parent wants their child to be overwhelmed in terms of playing ability and basic rules. A new golfer thrown into a group with a couple of experienced players could be costly and hurt in the confidence department. When a junior moves up from the RJGT to play in either bigger state run junior events or regional tournaments they will be prepared and ready. Fagan has leaned heavily on area golf courses to open up their facilities so that juniors are getting exposure to all different types of courses. The RJGT has also been sponsored by Pearson Honda for many years allowing Fagan to keep entry fees affordable compared to many junior tours around the country. Many of the top junior players who have gone on to play at the high school and even collegiate level started on the RJGT. It proves to Fagan and the volunteers that they really are making a difference. It’s important for kids in golf, like other sports, to start out in an environment that fits their playing ability. Players need to progress naturally and not feel intimidated.


The Richmond Junior Golf Tour provides that. Area Junior Golf Tours


With all of the options available to juniors, where does an aspiring junior golfer start their competitive career?


RICHMOND JUNIOR GOLF TOUR Spring-Summer-Fall Series *One day events at area private and public facilities. Cost: $35(12-18) $25(8-11)


www.RichmondJuniorGolfTour.com


MAPGA JUNIOR TOUR June-August


*One day tournaments played around the Mid-Atlantic region. Cost: $65 (12 and over) $35(10-11)


www.MAPGA.COM


COLLEGE PREP GOLF TOUR Year-round


*Monthly 2-day tournaments held at top golf courses in the Mid-Atlantic region. Cost: $170 per event www.Collegeprepgolftour.com


PEGGY KIRK BELL GIRLS’ TOUR Year-round


*Mostly 2-day events held in South(NC, SC, VA, GA) Cost: $125-$185 www.PKBGT.org


VSGA JUNIOR GOLF CLUB Ages 13 and under *9-hole tournaments held throughout the state of Virginia Cost: $17 www.VSGA.ORG


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