AJGA Headquarters host Memorial Day weekend event
The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) National Headquarters are located at Château Élan in Braselton, Georgia. Each year, the course allows the AJGA to host two tournaments proving opportunities to juniors in the Southeast region and offering the opportunity for all full-time staff members and interns to be involved.
Similar to many communities, the AJGA has many volunteers who are willing to help with all parts of the tournaments. Interns and volunteers were a key part of this event, helping out with everything from setting up, timing, and shuttling groups of golfers to scoring, spotting and breaking down the course at the end of the day. Pictured below is AJGA Member Services Coordinator Kellie Smith, who volunteered during the weekend’s events by updating FJ Live Scoring and recruited family members to serve in other posts.
End of intern training week
The Preseason Junior at Château Élan was all-hands-on-deck for the staff, as 53 brand new interns ran their first AJGA event. Interns were paired up and followed a group each day, getting hands-on experience with rulings and Pace of Play. The event serves as a test run before teams leave Braselton this week and run tournaments on their own throughout the country this summer.
Château Élan History
Resort & Winery was founded by Dr. Don and Nancy Panoz, owners of Elan Corporation. Elan Corporation was the first Irish company to offer a public-stock offering in the United States that specializes in drug delivery and technology. The company operated a research center in nearby Gainesville, Georgia, and after tasting wine made from local Georgia grapes, the family decided to invest in 3,500 acres of land in Braselton. After opening the winery, the Panoz’s opened the resort and golf course and quickly became one of Atlanta’s premier resort destinations and began to win numerous awards for their wine.
IMG Academy Preseason Series
The Preseason Junior at Château Élan is part of the IMG Academy Preseason series. This series is designed to help junior golfers by using a Performance Based Entry (PBE) system. The AJGA uses this PBE status to determine which players are accepted into specific tournaments. Generally, players who are new to the AJGA or have played in limited tournaments use qualifiers and Preseason Series events to gain status for entry into open tournaments. The field of preseason events has expanded from three in 2001 to 13 events in 2014.
Around the World
While the American Junior Golf Association attracts juniors from across the nation in addition to many different countries, the same can be said for the intern team at the AJGA. At the Preseason Junior at Château Élan, 16 states and five different countries were represented in the field of 72 boys and 24 girls. Among the juniors, Georgia was the most represented state with 33 players while Tennessee was second behind with 11. Seven out of the 53 summer interns also hail from Georgia. Twenty-nine states are represented among the 2014 intern class along with three different countries, including England, Sweden and Mexico.
Thanks to troops
In honor of Memorial Day, juniors were asked to write thank-you notes to the U.S. military troops. For the final round, veteran Sgt. Clifton Shedd of Winder, Georgia, came out to Château Élan Resort. Shedd was drafted in 1970 and served in Vietnam for the U.S. mortuary. His responsibilities included locating, identifying and returning the remains of soldiers who were sacrificed in the war. One thank-you note, written by Spencer Hackert of Branderburg, Kentucky, read: “First of all, I would like to thank you personally for fighting for our great nation. With your willingness to fight for our nation, kids like me and others have the ability to go after our dreams.”