Golf News for Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Growth Of The Game

Junior Golf Association of Arizona celebrates 30th anniversary

PHOENIX -- Arizona's leading junior golf program, the Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2013. Established in 1983, the JGAA is dedicated to providing young people the opportunity to learn, mature, compete and grow through the game of golf. The non-profit is commemorating its milestone with a new logo, special activities, programs and events, while highlighting key moments in the organizations history.

The JGAA's 30th anniversary golf season will feature cameos from prominent former members, such as Chez Revie, Ted Purdy, Michael Thompson, Charlie Beljin, Kayla Mortellero, Brianna Espinoza, Erin Groeneveld and Melanie Boyles at celebratory programs and events. The anniversary kicked off in June via the JGAA's Instagram and Facebook pages as part of a "30 Days of JGAA" promotion, where fans and followers can experience the top 30 moments in JGAA history.

Leading the special event list for 2013 is the annual JGAA Awards Party slated for November. Preceding the Awards Party was the 12th Annual JGAA 100 Hole Golf Marathon. As part of their fundraising efforts, the JGAA hosted the 100 Hole Golf Marathon on September 21, where participants golfed 100 holes, collecting pledges for each hole completed. The JGAA fundraised over $85,000 and will continue to accept donations through 2013 to benefit their scholarship programs.

Also, the JGAA introduced a Referral Program encouraging golf pros and course employees to educate their junior players about the JGAA and how they can get involved in tournament play and other developmental programs. When a new member joins as part of this new program, they will receive $10 off the annual JGAA membership fee.

"Golf is a game for life," said JGAA Executive Director Tom Cunningham. "We want to provide a solid foundation for junior golfers and impact their lives in a positive way."

The idea for a statewide junior golf association was first conceived in the spring of 1981. The main goal was to maintain and improve the standards of amateur junior golf in the state of Arizona. Support from The Thunderbirds and the Arizona Golf Association helped make the idea a reality. The JGAA was incorporated in August of 1983 and hired their first Executive Director, Tim Greenwell, in November of 1985. The JGAA was formally launched at the 1986 Phoenix Open and since then, it has grown tremendously and established itself as one of the premier junior golf associations in the nation. The JGAA maintains a membership of some 1,200 members and produces approximately 100 tournaments and activities a year.

Since its inception, the JGAA has provided top-level tournament play, beginner and introductory competition, as well as rules and etiquette programs for all of its membership. They have worked with and developed many top junior players, many of which have gone on to make golf their professional occupation.

About Junior Golf Association of Arizona
Founded in 1983, the Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) is a non-profit organization that introduces Arizona's youth to the game of golf and helps junior golfers develop golf and life skills through educational programs and tournaments. In addition to developmental programs and assisting Arizona golf courses with their junior programs, the JGAA conducts more than 100 programs and activities, including etiquette clinics, tournaments, and college prep seminars throughout Arizona each year. The JGAA awards two scholarship funds annually to high school senior members of the JGAA for their college education - the Tres Arnold and the John Wolfinger Memorial College Scholarships. Celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2013, JGAA's strong belief in teamwork and cooperation continues to guide the organization and is instilled in all of its members.

Ian La Cava
The Artigue Agency for Junior Golf Association of Arizona