Golf Bag: Kids, LPGA Coming to Town
Three players from Pinehurst have qualified. They are brothers Joshua and Zachary Martin and Hailey Crider.
The seventh annual event is the largest golf tournament for kids ages 4 through 12 and will be staged at Pinehurst Resort's No. 3, 4 and 5 courses, Mid Pines Golf Club, Talamore Resort and Midland Country Club.
The courses will be shortened to gender and age-appropriate lengths (between 1,100 and 5,600 yards) in accordance with the U.S. Kids Golf Personal Tee Learning Program.
Following practice rounds and opening ceremonies on Wednesday, the three-day stroke play tournament begins on Thursday with rounds of either nine or 18 holes, depending on age groups.
The U.S. Kids Golf World Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition, will be held Sunday, July 30, on Pinehurst No. 2, with the top 12-year-olds squaring off in a U.S. versus International match play event.
"There's never been as much anticipation for the World Championship as there is for this year's tournament," said Dan Van Horn, founder and president of U.S. Kids Golf. "The best golfers want to play on outstanding courses, and young juniors are no exception. The opportunity to play where so many historic championships have been contested has created a new level of excitement for this event."
North Carolina is well represented in the tournament with a number of players having qualified or received invitations based on exempt status. Qualifiers were held at Rocky River Golf Club in Concord and Hillandale Golf Course in Durham.
Joshua Martin of Pinehurst and Larry Han of Raleigh led North Carolina to the boys' team championship last year at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va.
Martin shot 343-34-33 -- 101 to win the boys age 8 bracket by six shots. Han shot 69-71-72--212 to win the boys 11 by two strokes.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for Pinehurst to perpetuate the game to the next generation," said Don Padgett II, president of Pinehurst. "It highlights our commitment to growing the game, to family golf and promoting the future of this great sport."
LPGA T&CP: The LPGA winds up its Teaching & Club Professionals Championship on the day the kids get started.
The 54-hole event being played on Pinehurst No. 8 runs Monday through Wednesday, July 24 through 26, with a large field of elite players seeking the national championship. The tournament has been held at Mid Pines Golf Club three times in recent years and has provided some excellent competition.
Moore Men: The Moore County Men's Amateur Championship returns to Foxfire Resort Aug. 19 and 20.
Sherrill Britt, who regained his amateur status following a 17-year tenure as a professional, captured his second title in three years in 2005 when he won at Little River Farm Golf Club.
The championship, which is open to all amateur male golfers age 16 and older, is 36 holes of stroke play with the field flighted after Saturday's round. Golfers do not have to reside in Moore County.
There are three divisions for golfers including Open, Senior (ages 55-64) and Super Senior (ages 65 and older). The entry fee is $85.
Britt opened last year's event with a 67 from the regulation tees at the newly renovated Little River Course that gave him a five-shot cushion over the field, then moved back to the championship flight on Sunday where he shot a 74.
His score of 141 was nine shots better than that of runner-up Dale Ring.
Ryan Fox, who interrupted Britt's run with a win in 2004, tied with Garland Yates at 151, 10 strokes back.
For information or to enter the event, call Dick Wilson at 944-2757.
Find a Course: A new Web site/blog has launched to focus on tucked-away and oft-overlooked golf courses.
OffTheBeatenCartPath.com is the creation of golf writer and publicist Craig Distl. It is designed to highlight golfing options that seldom see the media spotlight.
The site regularly posts short reviews of courses, along with photo albums.
Readers are encouraged to post comments or check in with their own opinions.
"Although not the latest and greatest, golf courses on OffThe-BeatenCartPath.com are well worth a visit," Distl said. "These are places to be appreciated for their character and genuineness. Sometimes your most memorable rounds are off the beaten path."
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