It was February 1968 when John W Brown, A.S. “Lou” Smith, and Norrie West decided the San Diego Junior Golf Association would host the Junior World Golf Championships. The three had discussed the idea of organizing a tournament where juniors from all parts of the world could come together to play golf and share in cultural exchange.
The following is taken from the 1968 Junior World Program created by Norrie West:
The idea behind the Junior World Golf Championships is simply “YOUTH.” The San Diego County Junior Golf Association is founded on the principle of serving young people, in the hope that by doing so today’s youth will have a better chance of creating the world we all want. The Junior World tournament is an international extension of that principle. We believe that by bringing together young people from all parts of the world and all parts of our nation, we are helping to bring about greater understanding among people of different cultures and values.
In its inaugural year, 475 juniors participated in the event representing seven countries and 20 states. Today, the tournament has grown to 1250 participants representing 56 countries and 42 states. The IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships is the largest international event in the world and is unique for its international representation and cultural diversity. Names like Notah Begay and Tiger Woods have been crowned champions.
Next month, in mid-July, kids from all over the world will descend on courses from Torrey Pines to La Costa around the San Diego area to compete against their world peers.
The Northern California Junior Golf Association held its regional qualifier on Saturday, May 29th at the Haggin Oaks Golf Course and qualified dozens of children for this unique event.
The MacKenzie Golf Course is, without a doubt, the player’s course at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex. Designed by the mastermind behind Augusta National and measuring a respectable 6,991-yards from the back tees, this nearly 90-year-old track, originally designed by world-renowned architect, Alister MacKenzie, is a true test of golf for the low handicapper.
Congratulations to all the qualifiers (and possible alternates) that punched their ticket to Southern California next month. Greater Sacramento qualifiers include Sacramento’s Brady Siravo, Elk Grove’s Jayden Lizama, Folsom’s Armaan Khan, West Sacramento’s Tanner Solis, El Dorado Hills’ Drake
Wilson, Rocklin’s Kaylyn Noh, Sacramento’s Petra Lee, Granite Bay’s Serene Kim and El Dorado Hills’ Vaanya Behl.