Former Xavier College Prep standout Lily Worden is playing golf these days for Amherst College in Massachusetts.

practice. Normally I’d be with her. It was nice to know she’s thinking about me, even though it was 35 degrees here and she’s hitting balls in the sunshine.” If you ask Scott McNevin, executive

For JGAA alum Worden, her journey led to Amherst


ily Worden has been a permanent fixture as a member of the Junior Golf Association of Arizona since entering her first

tournament in 2011. After graduating from Xavier College Prep in the spring of 2017, as well as teeing it up for the last time with the JGAA, Worden headed east to study and play golf at Amherst College in Massachusetts. “As I was looking into different

colleges, the father of a good friend who I play golf with all the time suggested I should look at liberal arts colleges back east,” Worden said. “Amherst is a good fit for me, so it turned out to be a good tip.” Worden grew up playing alongside

First Tee of Phoenix

her father and younger sister, among other friends and competitors. And as the conversation continued, the theme of family, friends and golf as a game of relationships emerged as the driving force behind Worden’s journey. Although golf is an individual sport, Worden explained that she “spent a lot of time” and “grew up” with people she met playing golf at JGAA tournaments. “It’s a social sport where you naturally

make connections,” she said. “It opens doors to relationships. I met some of my biggest advocates and friends through golf. My sister, Eve, texted me yesterday to say she’s going out to

“The new location at The

adds Wigwam The First Tee of Phoenix, which is sponsored and operated by the Thunderbirds, announced today it will open a new junior golf programming site at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park. The new location will supplement the existing programming location in that area at Palm Valley Golf Club, which is just to the south of the Wigwam in Goodyear.

Wigwam ensures our members living in the West Valley have a top-notch facility to learn and grow,” said Herman Lewkowitz, board chair for The First Tee of Phoenix. “The Wigwam is an incredible facility and will give the young people of our communities the opportunity to not only learn to play the great game of golf, but also learn nine core life skills that will prepare them for success in life.” The First Tee of Phoenix is a

non-profit organization created by the Thunderbirds for the purpose

34 | AZ GOLF Insider | SPRING-SUMMER 2018

director of the JGAA, forging community relationships is part of the plan. “The competitive tournaments we host

are just part of developmental goals of the JGAA,” McNevin said. “We also educate, motivate and inspire juniors to become leaders within their communities.” One of those ways is the Junior Ambassador program, which gives JGAA members a taste of civic duty and responsibility by volunteering at special events. The Guest Speaker program allows JGAA members to gain real- world insight from prominent local golf and business leaders, and College Golf Night provides valuable insight into the demands and complexities

of being a student-athlete. Each year the panel of experts includes men’s and women’s golf coaches from ASU, UA, Grand Canyon and NAU. Visit to learn more about

the JGAA and how it can become positive influence for your junior golfer, both on and off the golf course. n

of providing affordable access to golf and golf learning facilities for young people throughout Maricopa County. The First Tee of Phoenix offers classes, special monthly family events and tournaments as part of its programming. The addition of The

Wigwam brings to 16 locations throughout the Valley for the First Tee of Phoenix, including

The Legacy, Talking Stick, TPC Scottsdale, Desert Mirage, Papago, Longbow, Lone Tree, San Marcos, Cave Creek, Encanto/Palo Verde, Aguila, Valley Golf Facilities, Augusta Ranch and Briarwood Country Club.

The Thunderbirds were

founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. Consisting of 55 active members and more than 250 life members, the Thunderbirds host the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and have raised more than $121 million for Valley charities, including the First Tee of Phoenix. Annual membership to the

First Tee of Phoenix is $100 per child. The First Tee of Phoenix also accepts equipment and membership donations. Sign up by visiting www.TheFirstTeePhoenix. org, or by calling (602) 305-7655. n


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46