Golf News for Friday, September 27, 2013 | Growth Of The Game

American Junior Golf Association achieves pace-of-play goals

BRASELTON, Ga. -- The American Junior Golf Association announced Wednesday on Golf Channel's Morning Drive that it achieved a four hours and 17 minutes average pace of play for the 2013 season.

Implemented first in 2002, the AJGA's pace-of-play policy establishes an "overall time par" for each course played, which is geared toward the ability of nationally-competitive junior golfers playing in threesomes. In 2012, the AJGA averaged four hours and 23 minutes. With the decision to allow distance measuring devices at AJGA tournaments in 2013, a goal was set at four hours and 19 minutes for 102 nationwide competitions.

"We are incredibly proud of these results," said Stephen Hamblin, AJGA executive director. "One of the first questions AJGA juniors ask in the scoring tents is, 'how fast were we?' One of the best benefits is also that they aren't just playing fast at our events: they are taking fast play back to other junior golf events. We are developing golf's next generation to contribute to an industry solution."

The AJGA maintains records of each competitive round, conditions and hole-by-hole difficulty, and closely examines all factors which contribute to playing a fair, but fast, round of golf.

The AJGA Kansas Junior at Buffalo Dunes, contested at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course in Garden City, Kan., turned in the fastest overall average with a pace of three hours and 50 minutes. The pairing of Emily Campbell of Carrollton, Texas, Daniela Darquea of Quito, Ecuador, and Courtney Dow of Frisco, Texas, played the first round in three hours and 23 minutes. The group tied for the fastest round of the year but was also its most successful: Darquea won the event and her playing partners both tied for second.

The low round under four hours was played by Wes Artac of Kingwood, Texas. Artac fired a 10-under-par 62 to win the Genesis Shootout presented by the Valero Texas Open at Fair Oaks Ranch Golf & Country Club - Live Oak Course.

In 2013, the AJGA played an average of six minutes faster at the 43 events which were played at repeated venues and formats as in 2012. Additionally, among those venues, the boys and girls scoring averages improved (Boys: 76.40 in 2013 compared to 76.78, Girls: 78.35 compared to 79.27 in 2012).

At all AJGA tournaments, the Tournament Committee designates six holes on the course as timing station checkpoints. Typically checkpoints will be on Nos. 2, 5, 8, 11, 14 and 17. Volunteers are stationed at the green of each timing checkpoint and use a color-coded card (green, single red or double red) to indicate a group's gap time relative to the group in front of them and relation to the designated overall time par on the course.

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About the American Junior Golf Association
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 6,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 50 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.

Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Stacy Lewis, Vicky Hurst, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel.

For more information on the AJGA Pace of Play sponsored by Leupold®, please contact Abby Liebenthal of the AJGA Communications Department or visit the AJGA's pace of play website.