E.A. Sports Today

Juniors skills game planned

Calhoun County Tour backs Drive/Chip/Putt contest for local juniors later this season, details coming soon

By East Alabama Sports Today

Inspired by the popularity of the national Drive, Chip & Putt initiative, the Calhoun County Golf Tour is throwing its backing to a local version of the junior skills competition to be introduced later this season.

While details are still being worked out, the Calhoun County Drive/Chip/Putt will be a free competition to challenge local juniors ages 7 through 15 that will mimic the national event that just enjoyed another successful finish at Augusta National prior to the Masters.

The plan is to hold qualifying events at Anniston Country Club, Cane Creek Golf Course, Pine Hill Country Club and Silver Lakes with a yet-to-be determined number of players from three age divisions advancing from each venue to the finals scheduled for Cider Ridge Golf Club. The dates for qualifiers have yet to be determined, but they’re likely to be in June or July with the finals in late July or early August.

Players should start looking for more details around May 1, but they can expect to register at the courses involved or a dedicated email address.

“We’re just piggybacking on what they’re doing (on the national level) to get more juniors to play,” organizer Matt Rogers said. “Even if you don’t know how to play, come on and try; this might get you interested.

The County Tour’s event, while mimicking the national format, has no connection to the national event. Rogers, whose daughter Bel has participated in the national competition since its inception, encouraged juniors to play in the national local qualifier at Silver Lakes later this season.

“I don’t want to take anything away from the national event,” Rogers said. “We’re just trying to encourage play. I know it’s tough to get to the next level. We’re trying to get them to play better golf instead of just playing golf.”

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