No better place to be envious than a place littered with green fairways and green greens. I'm talking about a golf course, of course.
The past several days, witnessed several major accomplishments on the junior circuit and returned to the office thinking of all the potential in our midst.
Take the girls division for instance. Sydney Snodgrass of Harrisville turned in a course record 3-under-par 67 at the Golf Club of West Virginia during a stop on the Top Flite Junior Tour. During the fall, she will have to adapt to the high school level as she enters her freshman year at Ritchie County.
One high school golf coach I chatted with last year made a valid point in recommending a separate girls division for the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission state tournament. The current setup does not distinguish girls champions from boys champions.
Who knows if it will ever happen, but maybe the WVSSAC can follow the lead of Brad Ullman, who serves as the director of junior golf for the West Virginia Golf Association. Ullman and his staff hope to generate interest among the female portion of youth golf by awarding a Girls United Bank Low Round of the Day at each Top Flite Junior Tour stop. Of the 11 tournaments, Snodgrass has captured four such titles, including three in as many days to begin this week.
Thursday's Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Association also featured a low round turned in by a girl for the 12-under age division. Adeena Shears of Elizabeth played the front nine at Worthington Golf Club, taking only 41 strokes to finish her round. Folks, we're talking a 12-year-old who is just entering the seventh grade at Edison Middle School.
That same afternoon in the boys division, 15-year-old Trent McCutcheon from Parkersburg South High School came up just 15 yards shy of driving the green on the 303-yard, 10th hole.
Oh to be young again with all that ability.
According to the story, his amateur status had been reinstated. I thought how common is this?
According to WVGA executive director Ken Tackett, it's quite common. The range of applicants can range on average anywhere from three to eight in any given year.
"What you see a lot is you get a guy who has been an assistant pro who starts the program and says this isn't for me," Tackett said. "Also you get guys like Jonathan Bartlett, who tried the mini tours and felt it wasn't for them. They enjoy playing amateur golf.
"Normally (after applying for reinstatement), the waiting period is no more than two years and lot of times just a year."
Earlier that same week at The Greenbrier, resort owner Jim Justice announced he would grant an exemption to the winner of the State Am into the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic. Upon hearing the news, Tackett and his staff were ecstatic.
"Now that it's happened, it makes sense," Tackett said. "It doesn't surprise me because Jim Justice is first class and he understands the history of amateur golf. He played in a State Am and he gets it.
"He understands that we've had a State Am for 91 years, including 86 at The Greenbrier - he understands the parallel and that there is a lot of history."
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org