Wednesday, August 18 – Nike Golf Junior Day
Having the opportunity to play at Crosswater is pretty special, but to be able to play the course with two Champions Tour professionals is an experience like non other.
On Wednesday, I had the distinct honor to walk with one of the pairings in the Nike Golf Junior Shootout.
The shootout consisted of 12 high school and/or collegiate golfers. One boy and one girl were paired up with a pro and they played a total of four holes. It was set up as a scramble format, and the top three of six teams were to advance to the fifth, and last, hole.
Standing in the concessions tent on the first tee, I could tell some of these younger golfers in my group were feeling the pressure, being that they were playing with the likes of Jeff Sluman and Jay Haas.
At the same time, these teenagers were very engaged and listened very closely to what Haas and Sluman had to advise. I was even able to get some helpful pointers just by paying attention to what they were saying.
Walking inside the ropes and being close to the players, I was able to observe how the Tour pros interacted with the younger stars and vice-versa. Haas was usually cracking a few jokes to relax his playing partners, while Sluman was helping his group by determining how much brake there would be on a fifteen-foot putt for birdie. Either way, the pros showed these rising stars a fantastic time.
Unfortunately, neither Haas’ nor Sluman’s group advanced to the playoff hole, as they both finished tied for fourth place at two-under-par.
But no matter the outcome, these young, talented players seemed very proud to have had the chance to tee it up with some of the biggest names in golf.