The American Junior Golf Association crowned its first unsigned male seniors event champion in 2012 at Stallion Mountain Golf Club in Las Vegas. YongLiang Shao of China may have taken the tournament title, but half of the players in the field also claimed the real award of the event: playing college golf.
Forty-four of the 78 players (56 percent) who competed in the 2012 unsigned male seniors event are now playing on a college golf team, according to those who confirmed with the AJGA and Junior Golf Scoreboard.
With the tournament preceding the national convention for the Golf Coaches Association of America in Las Vegas, 42 coaches visited the golf course to recruit. Of those coaches, eight subsequently added players from the field to their rosters.
A true example of the AJGA Mission at work, hear from juniors who participated in the 2012 event and went on to play college golf.
“I played in previous AJGA tournaments so I was used to seeing coaches, but I had never seen so many coaches per player before. Right after I played, I heard from some coaches that I really hadn’t thought I would have heard from. I didn’t end up going to any of those schools, but to hear from those coaches and see the interest that came after the tournament, it gave me a new level of confidence. As a player who hadn’t signed yet, I read the description of the tournament and thought ‘wow, that was perfect for me’ and any other unsigned senior would love an event like this.” – Ryan Elmore (Berry College) finished T9
“It was a really cool event and a great opportunity to showcase our skills to coaches. It was nerve-racking, but it helped me personally play in front of coaches and play with nerves, so overall it was a really positive experience. After the event, I was talking to more schools than before. It was nice having more options since there was a lot of variety in the type of schools that were at the tournament like DI, DII, local, not local. The event helped me play college golf.” – Drew Nelson (Dominican University) finished T3
“I did not meet my current coach at the event, but he did watch me almost my whole second round, and luckily I played pretty well. I e-mailed him right after the tournament and he wrote me back a very long e-mail detailing why I should come play for him. My process was taking a visit, talking to other schools and eventually deciding in February that Oglethorpe was a great fit for me.” – Mack Paulson (Oglethorpe University) finished T50
“The event was amazing because I could play in front of coaches I did not even know had slots open on their rosters. It was a lot of pressure hitting shots with six coaches watching, but I proved to myself and to them that I could handle the pressure and post a good score.”– Andy Germann, (Air Force Academy) finished T3
In 2013, this opportunity will extend to junior girls, as the first AJGA Boys & Girls Senior Championship will be conducted in Las Vegas, Dec. 6-8, simultaneously with the second annual AJGA Boys Senior Championship. Stallion Mountain Golf Club will host the boys and girls event, while the all-boys field will compete at Angel Park Golf Club’s Mountain Course. College coaching staff will be well represented as the events will coincide with the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) men’s coaches convention and the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WCGA) convention held annually in Las Vegas.
To apply, please complete the application here.