By Noël Couch, Communications Intern
The AJGA has a rich history of long-running tournaments it has hosted at the same clubs each year. Players reminisce on the years they have played in those events and remember the courses, the staff, and the clubhouses they have visited before. There is something special about those annual events, however, there is nothing as exciting as a first-time event. This year, the AJGA hosted an inaugural event at Butte Creek Country Club. The AJGA intern team six traveled to Chico, California, where the new event was held. The word defining the week was “exceptional.”
The staff at Butte Creek Country Club was exceptional from the start. Not only were they accommodating of our staff and players, but they were engaged and enthusiastic about the tournament as well. Assistant Golf Professional, Derrick Schultz, set the pace for his staff during the week. They worked well with the AJGA staff to ensure that players, parents, and spectators were all happy. From the window in the golf shop, Schultz was able to look out and watch as the juniors teed off No. 1 and finished each round on No. 18. He described it as a nice change of pace to look out and see the juniors playing, and to see their PING golf bags lined up next to the putting green. Many of those PING bags are AJGA champion PING bags, as the field is filled with many impressive players.
In addition to the exceptional play during the tournament, Schultz was also impressed with the players’ exceptional divot patterns. He says their divot patterns are better than those of club members. The AJGA prides itself on its strict divot repair policy, as well as the Care for the Course Party it hosts at each tournament. The AJGA strives to leave the course looking better than it did when players arrived. It is important to show respect for the course and for the staff that has graciously allowed the tournament to be held on its grounds. The AJGA intends to leave each course looking exceptional.
The inaugural Bishops Gate Golf Academy Junior Open was certainly an exciting one. The tournament was competitive and the atmosphere was electrifying. There may not be anything more exciting than a first-time event, but annual events are always thrilling and filled with great memories as well. The AJGA hopes to create a new tradition at Butte Creek Country Club where all staff members can once again work together to put on another tournament for players and spectators that is simply… exceptional.