GAYLORD, Mich. -- Junior golfers who dream of playing on a college team but were not recruited, or had no opportunity to show off their skills to coaches, will have a unique opportunity to do so at Treetops Resort Aug. 9-11.
The occasion will be the first ever pairing of the Top 50 Junior Midwest Championship, a tournament Treetops has hosted for the past several years, with a skills competition called The Combine using the TrackMan golf radar technology that pinpoints and predict player's ball-striking ability.
Treetops officials said they expect Michigan State Spartan golf coach Casey Lubahn, University of Michigan Assistant Coach Nick Pumford, and Chester Vandenberg of Cornerstone University to be on hand to evaluate the players.
The TrackMan Combine is one of golf's hottest new technologies, said Jason Guss, a PGA teaching professional and partner in Treetops' highly rated Rick Smith & Jason Guss Golf Academy.
"With this TrackMan Combine, you take a ball striking test and it gives you points based on the yardage you achieve and your accuracy to the yardage," Guss said. "What we know is there is a direct correlation between the points you get and the level of golf you will play. Any person over 80 points pretty much has a tour player's ball-striking ability."
Guss said the points players achieve are a good indicator of that player's ability to compete at the Division I or Division II college level.
"There are kids out there who were never recruited by anyone, and if he comes up here and does this combine test and scores 75 points then the Michigan State coach might say Holy Cow, how come we never heard of you," Guss said. "It's hard for kids to get in front of a college coach, and now they will know the time and date these coaches are going to be here, and they will be able to come to the Michigan TrackMan Combine and the tournament and show off their skills."
One success story is all its going to take to turn the event into a gigantic success, Guss said. The Trackman Combine is rapidly become the video game of choice for PGA Tour players as they try to beat the highest posted scores by their peers, Guss said.
Kevin McKinley, Treetops' director of golf, said the tournament is the year-end event for the top junior golfers. While a majority of the players normally come from Michigan, this year the event is again open to players from any state. The TrackMan Combine testing at a cost of $100 will take place Aug. 11 and will be scheduled around the tee times for the junior tournament. Although players are encouraged to enter both events they can sign up for one or the other.
"It's kind of a neat merger of the Top 50 junior tournament and the TrackMan," McKinley said. "It's also a great opportunity for the kids."
McKinley said it's not unusual for a young player to put up a decent tournament score by scraping around the golf course posting good numbers. The TrackMan tests, however, are definitive.
"TrackMan doesn't lie," He said. "With TrackMan you know for sure the ball striking ability of a player."
Players can sign up for the tournament and other events throughout the weekend by logging on to: http://www.top50jrtour.com/TournamentScoring/ProShopQuickSelect.aspx
They can also sign up for the Michigan Combine by calling 877-382-6242 and selecting option 6. The results of the Combine tests and the tournament will be available to coaches in print and online. The 36-hole Midwest Championship will be staged on the resort's Tradition golf course.
The event will also include dinner for the players on Saturday night and the coaches are expected to attend.
Treetops is a year-round golf and ski resort that offers 81 holes of championship golf. The golf academy under Rick Smith and Jason Guss is Michigan's only three-time recipient of GOLF Magazine's prestigious award as a Top 25 Golf School in the Nation.
Treetops also offers downhill skiing on 23 slopes, tubing, a PSIA and AASI-certified winter sports school, and a full array of children's daycare and learn-to-ski programs. Treetops offers a full-service spa, conference and meeting facilities, indoor and outdoor pools and whirlpools, tennis courts, kids' programs and an array of accommodations options.
More information on Treetops can be found at www.treetops.com or by calling 877-382-6242.
Resort & Golf Marketing