Top linksmen named for junior golf campaign

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The top two golfers in the girls Tour division of the Union County Junior Golf Academy-Tour were champion Emily Williams, left, and runner-up Veronique Grand.

(Photo submitted)

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Travis Brake, left, and Chris Borjas were the champion and runner-up respectively during the 2019 Union County Junior Golf Academy-Tour season for the Tour boys.

(Photo submitted)

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Mason Rausch claimed top honors for the Union County Junior Golf Academy-Tour in the Academy boys division.

(Photo submitted)

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Sarah Beckhoff was the girls Academy division winner on the 2019 Union County Junior Golf Academy-Tour.

(Photo submitted)

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The Union County Junior Golf Academy-Tour recently concluded its 2019 season with a tournament that named championship and runner-up linksmen.

Travis Brake won the Tour boys title, while Chris Borjas was the runner-up.

Emily Williams and Veronique Grand finished first and second respectively during the Tour girls division.

Sarah Berkhoff was the Academy girls champ, while Mason Rausch captured top honors in the Academy boys.

Eli Morris, who serves as co-director of the program, was pleased with the season.

“The improvement of our golfers that we see from repetition and practice is always the most exciting part of our program,” he said. “The biggest improvements we see are in decision-making and short game.

“We ran an extra clinic with (co-director) Ken Collett this season that focused completely on the short game,” said Morris. “We see a lot of junior golfers cost themselves strokes because of alignment and touch around the greens.”

The program averaged between 25 and 30 golfers spread throughout the Tour, Academy and Premier divisions.

The Tour division was for those ages 13-17, while the Academy category was for those ages 10-12.

Younger golfers participated in the Premier division.

As in the previous 16 seasons, the purpose of the program was to allow junior golfers in Union County the opportunity to brush up on their games.

“The main goal for our junior golfers is to compete in tournament play, improve their skills (swing and short game) and learn about course management,” said Morris. “We want our golfers to be prepared to compete in middle school and high school events.

“The big push every season is pace of play,” he said. “Golf is very unique because you share the course with other players.  This makes it vital to efficiently move around the course.  We also take pride in the fact that we are able to run this program close to home.”

Young golfers have an opportunity to play on some of Union County’s best courses with their peers in tournament play to prepare them for their school teams, or even recreation play.

“They can learn the basics of golf, proper swing mechanics and golf etiquette, all while having fun with their friends,” said Morris.

He also had special praise for his co-director.

“I always think our biggest asset for our juniors is Ken,” said Morris. “He has played a big role in our program for nearly 15 years.

“He does a terrific job working with junior golfers and we are very thankful to have him with us,” said Morris. “His work allows each golfer to get one-on-one instruction at our clinics as well as out on the course in tournament play.”

While this season’s numbers were very manageable, Morris said he wants to grow the program.

“We are always looking for ways to reach new junior golfers,” he said. “We want our families to know that we are a great option for beginners just learning the game as well as those who are advanced and looking to improve their game.

“We feel this is a great opportunity for boys and girls to get excited about golf and meet other players from around the county.”



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