AREAWIDE – The Flint Junior Golf Association will begin its 76th season of play next Monday at golf courses around Genesee County.
About 625 kids in three divisions will tee it up at Spring Meadows, Clio, Briar Ridge, Swartz Creek, Beechwood Greens and River Forest for the first of six weeks of play. Other participating courses include Southmoor, Kearsley Lake, Goodrich, Copper Ridge, IMA Brookwood, Sugarbush, Vienna Greens, The Jewel, Davison, Genesee Valley Meadows, Flushing, Flint Elks Club, Warwick Hills, Atlas Valley, Flint Golf Club and the Captain’s Club.
The FJGA is divided into three divisions: a 5-hole division for boys and girls ages 8-11; a 9-hole division for boys up to 14 and girls up to 15; and an 18-hole division for boys and girls up to 18. Costs this year are $60 for the 5-hole division, $75 for the 9-hole and $90 for the 18-hole.
The top level is the Jack Nicklaus Group of the 18-hole division, which includes many of the area’s best high school golfers. That group has swelled to 89 entries this year, helped by a large increase in girls’ golfers.
“We have twice as many girls as before,” said Nicklaus Group supervisor Bill Hense. “It seems that girls are getting more interested in golf than the boys. We’re starting to see it in our program at least.”
The 18-hole division plays seven weeks, with its season-ending tournament Aug. 3-5 at Swartz Creek and Kearsley Lake golf courses. The Nicklaus Group again will have a three-week string of major tournaments – the Mancour Cup July 29-30 at Flint Elks, the Mallon Cup Challenge July 6 at Warwick Hills and the Henrickson Award July 13 at Atlas Valley.
Nicklaus Group golfers again will contend for the Steve Braun Cup, a season-long points race based on the PGA’s FedEx Cup that rewards players for consistency throughout the season. Swartz Creek’s Jack Weller and Davison’s Andrea Richards won the inaugural Braun Cup last year.