The First Coast has landed six junior golfers on the inaugural “Team Florida,” the top-40 junior players in the state chosen by the Florida State Golf Association based on performance in FSGA and USGA championship, and who have also exhibited sportsmanship, etiquette, integrity and passion.
Carson Brewer and Kaitlyn Schroeder of Jacksonville, Campbell Kennedy of St. Augustine, Andrew McLauchlan of Neptune Beach, Phillip Dunham of Ponte Vedra Beach and Miles Russell of Jacksonville Beach, along with the other 34 players, not only earned recognition but also qualified for financial assistance to offset the costs of competition such as travel, lodging and equipment.
Those who qualify for USGA national championship are eligible for additional assistance.
In the first year in the program, the FSGA will provide more than $50,000 of support to junior golfers.
Forty players between 13-18 years old will be selected each year.
The First Coast residents on the first Team Florida, with their high-school graduation year in parentheses:
• Kennedy (2022): Has seven Florida Junior Tour top-10 finishes, with six top-fives and a victory, and played on the Junior Florida Cup, where he went 3-0. Kennedy signed with the University of South Florida.
• McLauchlan (2022): Won two FJT events and won the 2018 Florida Junior Match Play and finished second in 2019. He signed with Wake Forest.
• Brewer (2023): Reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Junior Amateur and was the runner-up at the Florida Junior Boys and the state Four-Ball. He also helped Ponte Vedra High win a record seventh state golf championship. Brewer has committed to Florida State.
• Schroeder (2023): Advanced to the quarterfinals at the 2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, won back-to-back Florida Junior girls titles in 2019 and 2020 and won the 2021 First Coast Women’s Amateur. She has committed to Alabama
• Dunham (2026): Won four FJT 9-12 year-old titles, including the 2018 Futures Championship, and was fourth in the 2021 Florida Junior Boys.
• Russell (2027): Won his first FJT 13-15 event at the University of Florida Golf Course, won the 2021 FJT Futures Championship with a closing 66 and has finished among the top-five in 20 of 21 FJT starts.
Golf coalition rebrands
A golf industry coalition to promote more access to the game has changed from “We Are Golf” to “Make Golf Your Thing.”
The coalition provides support to the six cross-industry work groups dedicated to making golf accessible to all (education and skill development, talent acquisition, procurement, human resources, youth & adult player development, and marketing/communications). Additionally, the coalition contributes to advocacy efforts for legislative and regulatory issues of importance to the industry.
“The golf industry is comprised of more than two million people who wake up every day giving their all to a game that is growing and evolving,” said Rhett Evans, Chairman, American Golf Industry Coalition Executive Leadership Committee & CEO, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
For more than a dozen years since its founding, the American Golf Industry Coalition has lobbied the federal government on behalf of the sport’s $84 billion economic impact, $4 billion charitable impact and more than 2 million jobs in the U.S.
The coalition also works to amplify tangible examples of key initiatives at both the grassroots and industry workforce level and advocate in support of issues that impact the industry at the state and federal level.
For information, visit golfcoalition.org. The American Golf Coalition is a division of the St. Augustine-based World Golf Foundation.
PGA Junior registration begins
Registration is open beginning on Feb. 1 for the PGA Junior League.
There are 13 First Coast golf clubs and facilities that will host PGA Junior League teams: Deerwood, San Jose, Queen’s Harbour, Jacksonville Beach, the TPC Sawgrass, Sawgrass Country Club, Marsh Landing, Palm Valley, Timuquana, Eagle Harbor, Magnolia Point, South Hampton and the PGA Tour Golf Academy at the World Golf Village.
Last year, a record 64,000 junior golfers, led by 2,700 coaches, participated nationwide. The Junior League provides juniors with coaching and numbered jerseys, competing in a two-person scramble format in two age divisions, 14-17 and 13 and under.
The minimum age varies by facility.
For information on the area clubs offering PGA Junior Leagues and starting dates for competition, visit pgajrleague.com.
JWGA designates charity
The Jacksonville Women’s Golf Association selected The Way Free Medical Clinic in Clay County as its fundraising beneficiary for the 2021-22 season, and this week presented the clinic with a check from member contributions for $10,230.
The Way is operated by a team of community-minded volunteers including physicians, nurses, and others, supported by a small staff and provides thousands of medical treatments each year to uninsured, low-income residents of Clay County. The Way is a cost-effective, local community answer to the barrier of access to healthcare for those who lack the financial resources.
"On behalf of our patients and volunteers at The Way Clinic, I am very grateful to the Jacksonville Women's Golf Association for their generosity and caring for the uninsured residents of Clay County. This significant contribution will make a huge impact on our ability to provide free medical care to those who otherwise would go unserved," said Don Fann, Executive Director of The Way Clinic. In a statement.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Six First Coast junior golfers make FSGA 'Team Florida' for performance, sportsmanship