2016, 2017 PGA Junior golf championships to be held in Scottsdale

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The PGA Junior League Golf has announced the 2016 and 2017 tournaments will be held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.

This year’s championship will be played Nov. 19-21, on the Raptor course.

Eight PGA Junior League Golf Teams that advance out of the Regional Championships in September and October will contend for the title. The 10-player teams, matching East vs. West regions, will compete in a two-person-scramble format, with coaches allowed to substitute players every three holes, so that all team members can participate, according to a press release.

A key initiative of PGA REACH, the PGA of America’s charitable arm, PGA Junior League Golf is a fun, social and inclusive opportunity for boys and girls ages 13 and under to learn and enjoy the game.

Children play on teams with friends and wear numbered jerseys, learning golf with professional instruction and direction from PGA and LPGA teaching professionals.

“The PGA of America is delighted to bring the PGA Junior League Golf Championship to the beautiful Southwest and Grayhawk Golf Club,” said PGA President Derek Sprague, in the release. “This is yet another example of how PGA Junior League Golf is furthering its mission to connect kids with the game in a fun and recreational environment.”

Grayhawk has been the site of the PGA Tour’s Frys.com Open, Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf, Williams World Challenge and the Thunderbird International Junior.

The Tom Fazio-designed Raptor course at Grayhawk offers a challenge that commands a player’s respect through a game of risk and reward, the release stated. The par-72 course unfolds over the gentle hills and across shaded natural washes typical of this corner of the Sonoran Desert. Last Fall, Mr. Fazio collaborated with Dennis Wise on a redesign and relocation of Hole Nos. 15, 16 and 17.

“We’re honored to host the 2016 PGA Junior League Golf Championship,” said Grayhawk Golf Club PGA Director of Golf Joe Shershenovich, in the release.

“Growing the game of golf is a goal that we all share, and this program accomplishes that objective under the enthusiastic guidance of PGA Professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience to pass on to the next generation of golfers. Grayhawk has a long history of hosting competitive tournaments at the highest level of play. When they compete here in November, we look forward to providing each team with the same prestigious experience that the world’s best receive.”

In PGA Junior League Golf, children play regular-season matches from April to July. They then assemble into 10-player, all-star teams that compete in sub-regionals for a chance to earn a spot at one of eight regionals. In 2015, Team California captured the Championship in a scintillating playoff over Team Georgia, according to the press release.

Superstars Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson serve as Official PGA Junior League Ambassadors.

PGA Junior League Golf is one of the game’s fastest growing programs, with teams in all 41 PGA Sections and 48 states. Last year, 30,000 boys and girls participated on 2,500 teams nationwide. Over the last two years, PGA Junior League Golf participation has grown by 233 percent.

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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