Wednesday, August 18 – Nike Golf Junior Day
The word “golf” originated from the acronym “Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden,” if one is to believe common folklore. Now, however, ladies are in no way excluded from the game, as proven at today’s Nike Golf Junior Day at the JELD-WEN Tradition.
Although the first part of the day was solely dedicated to a children’s clinic, with both families and an entire section of the Boys and Girls Club attending, starting at three-o-clock ladies were given their chance to shine. Paired with a male high school golf champion from any Oregon school and a Champions Tour professional, six girls raging from juniors in high school to freshmen in college participated in a five-hole competition.
The Nike Golf Junior Shootout, an annual event at the JELD-WEN Tournament, gives students who excel both on the course and off it a chance to play and mingle with the pros.
Fred Funk’s team took the win this year, with Mike Reid’s team in a close second (originally tied for first, the tie was broken with a chip-off) and John Cook’s in third. Prizes were awarded to those who placed, but for the participants the real reward was being able to play with such successful and experienced golfers.
Making said golfers so available to the public is one of the greatest parts about the program, according to yearly JELD-WEN Tradition attendee Jay Black.
“Last year I was able to talk to Fuzzy Zoeller, something that would be unheard of in just about any other sport,” says Black. “He was so funny and down-to-earth; it made the tournament such a unique experience.”
With professionals wandering the course in between rounds, one is almost guaranteed to meet someone whose name is on the scoreboard. The most accessible place to find them is on the driving range or after a round.
Golf has come a long way since, if we are to believe the old wives tale, the prohibiting of women in the sport. Not only does it now include women, it also makes a point to extend even the hand of a professional out to the children. Nike Golf Junior Day was a success of epic proportions this year and one can only hope that junior golfers, and participants in any sport, for that matter, will be included in such events in the future.