Junior Golf in New Orleans Building a Strong Foundation
In 2009, more junior golfers competed in competition in the New Orleans area than before Hurricane Katrina, and 2010 is setting the stage for continued growth.
During a time where declining golfers are becoming the norm in some areas, New Orleans is addressing the growth issues of golf with attention to our juniors. This is the true measure for long term growth of our game.
The health of junior golf is you reach all children of every age and every economic background. I am proud to say we are moving in the best direction I have seen since the days of Tommy Moore, Kelly Gibson, Pete Mathews and these three just touch the number of solid junior golfers from this era (no less than 12 juniors received college golf scholarships from this group) when New Orleans high schools had two division state champions at the same time.
The First Tee of Greater New Orleans
Lakewood Inner City Outreach Program
Lakewood Weekly Year Round Junior Program
Kelly Gibson Junior Golf Tour
Arrowhead Junior Golf Tour
US Kids Golf Tour
Gulf States Section PGA Junior Golf Tour
We will continue to see more opportunities for the youth of our area as the different golf facilities begin to ramp up their junior programs. There is a concerted effort among all to grow golf. It is a good time to be a junior golfer in New Orleans
I will be dedicating a lot of time to each of the tours and opportunities.
Next week I will present each tour’s schedules and background of each tour.
Kelly Gibson Junior Golf Tour Louisiana High School Girls Golf Classic
The newly formed Kelly Gibson Junior Golf Tour had their innaugural event at Pinewood Country Club in Slidell. Junior girls golf is an area where we need attention and Kelly Gibson, PGA Tour Veteran, tournament director Brad White, PGA and host PGA Professional James Leitz aimed their attention to this area with the First Annual Kelly Gibson Junior Golf Tour Louisiana Girls High School Tournament .
While coming off the coldest winter in decades, the juniors have seen few good practice days but this event is a great motivator to start the season. While we need the support of many, we could not grow our game without the support of corporate America. The impact makes a tremendous difference and they know their support is vital to our game. Steve Sawyer of Cox Louisiana and Kenny Braun of Breaux Mart have a long history of growing golf, they stepped up in a big way for the girls and I personally thank all who take this position.
NOTE: Louisiana High School Girls Golf counts the two best scores of team.
Mount Carmel – New Orleans – 162
Pair Noibanchong – 81
Alexis Vega – 81
Rachel Faila – 98
St. Thomas More – Lafayette – 167
Hannah Schorr – 76
Leigh Morgan Ortego – 91
Lauren Aillet – 94
1st – Hannah Schorr – St. Thomas More – 76
2nd -Jennifer Nguyen – Salmen – Slidell – 80
Arrowhead Junior Golf Tour
This up-and-coming junior tour is under the new direction of Owen Seiler of New Orleans, another big plus for New Orleans junior golf.
You can see the interest in junior golf is getting more solid with 26 high schools represented from both Louisiana and Mississippi.
The event held at Beau Chene in Mandeville, LA hosted by PGA Golf Professional Fred Schroeder was won by Tupelo by an impressive 10 strokes.
Tupelo High School Captures Beau Chene High School Classic
Tupelo High School fired a first day total of 303 to open a fourteen stroke lead and coasted to two day total of 614 to capture the second annual Beau Chene High School Classic. Tupelo was led by the tournament medalist Wilson Reeder who fired a second round 69 for a two day total of 147 (78-69). Tupeloâ€™s Fletcher Johnson finished in a three way tie for second at 148 (73-75), one shot back. Noah West, 154, and Nick Rainey, 165, also contributed strong rounds for the tournament champions.
The tournament was dominated by the play of the Mississippi teams. Northwest Rankin of Brandon, Mississippi shot 624, (321-303) and finished alone in second place. Itawamba Agricultural (318-313) of Fulton Mississippi and Oak Grove (317-314) of Hattiesburg Mississippi finished tied for third at 631. Catholic High School (319-320) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana finished fifth at 639 and Jesuit High School (325-312) of New Orleans, Louisiana finished sixth at 631.
Feeder birdied five holes on Sunday on his way to the weekend low round of 69. Back to back birdies at 14 and fifteen gave him his margin of victory. Two time Louisiana state champion Myles Lewis of Jesuit (74-74) and Leighton Greer (73-75) of Madison Central were tied with Fletcher Johnson of Tupelo for second place at 148.
|Beau Chene High School Classic 2010|
|St. Louis Catholic||358||320||678|
|St. Thomas Aquinas||387||377||764|