When it comes to growing the game, I don’t think you can do much better than the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship sponsored by the PGA of America, the USGA and The Masters Tournament. It’s a brilliant idea, catching the imagination of players at an early age and hopefully addicting them to the game for a lifetime. Getting involved in the competition doesn’t require expensive full sets of clubs, or greens fees. Most public courses—and especially munis and park system courses—have a putting and chipping green that you can use for free.
My oldest son used to call this “standing golf”—as opposed to “walking golf,” which he noted was played on a course.
In the Drive, Putt and Chip Championship, girls and boys between the ages of seven and fifteen grouped in separate divisions in four age categories compete by driving the golf ball, chipping and putting. Competitors work their way through a series of local and regional qualifiers Regional champions in each of the divisions advance to the finals at Augusta National. Eighty youngsters in all will get the chance to compete in the finals.
The competition works on a point system, Driving points are awarded are based on distance. Chipping and putting points are based on how close the ball lands to the hole.
Eighty junior golfers, including thirty from Michigan will compete in the regional qualifier September 6, 2014 at Prestwick Village Golf Club in Highland, Michigan. Other players are from Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Canada.
Full press release below.
Junior Golfers Ready to Take a Shot at Augusta National Golf Club
Drive, Chip and Putt Championship Regional Competition is Saturday at Prestwick Village
A trip to Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters Tournament, is on the line Saturday for 80 junior golfers, including 30 from Michigan, when they compete in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship Regional Qualifier at Prestwick Village Golf Club in Highland, Mich.
One boy and one girl winner from four age groups will earn a spot in the National Drive, Chip and Putt Finals at the start of “Masters Week” on Sunday, April 5, 2015 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.
The event, which is a collaborative effort of the PGA of America, the United States Golf Association and The Masters Tournament Foundation, is in its second year and is intended to promote interest and participation in the game of golf. Tens of thousands of youth golfers from across the country began the national competition in local qualifiers presented in all 50 states. The Michigan Section of the PGA and the Golf Association of Michigan worked together to conduct the local Michigan qualifiers and will conduct Saturday’s regional at Prestwick as well. Michigan is one of 10 regional qualifying sites across the country, and the golfers competing here represent Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Canada.
Boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 15 will compete driving the golf ball, chipping and putting in separate divisions in four age categories. The regional champions in each of the boys and girls divisions from the four age categories advance to the finals at Augusta National.
Michigan girls competing include (age 14-15) Megan Jenkinson of Traverse City, Shikha Jha of Troy, Hunter Kehoe of Traverse City, Lizzie Pierce of Bloomfield Hills, (age 12-13) Ariel Chang of Macomb Township, Anika Dy of Traverse City, Danielle Staskowski of Washington, Madeline Yorke of Battle Creek (age 10-11) Rachel Hu of Northville, Maggie Pietila of Brighton, Karli VanDuinen of Muskegon, Chloe Wilcox of Portage, (age 7-9) Jillian Bartolec of Ada, Madilynn Buchler of Dearborn and Evelyn Deren of Northville.
Michigan boys competing include (age 14-15) Benjamin Fath of Rodney, Garrett Peterson of Clinton Township, Zach Place of Rapid City, Coalter Smith of Grosse Pointe Farms, (age 12-13) Garrett Bartolec of Ada, Haydon Chapman of Marshall, Tommy Sullivan of Grosse Pointe, Ian Zhu of Northville, (age 10-11) Tbone Codd of Brighton, Jacob Havican of Williamston, Perry Johnson of Bloomfield Hills, (age 7-9) PJ Maybank of Cheboygan, Drew Miller of East Lansing, Jeffrey R. Stalcup of Lake Orion and Troy Watson of Westland.
The competition starts on Prestwick’s award-winning practice range at 1 p.m. for the boys ages 14-15 and continues through a 4:30 p.m. start for the girls ages 7-9.