The Callaway Golf Junior Classic, hosted by The Country Club of the South in Johns Creek, Georgia, has been named the AJGA’s 2017 Open Tournament of the Year.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, charitable giving and volunteer base. Awards are also given to the events with engaged media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most improved event, best new event, best Junior Golf Hub Preview Series tournament, best ACDS Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Tournament awards for the 2017 season will be presented on-site at 2018 tournaments.
The Callaway Golf Junior Classic has been hosted by The Country Club of the South since its inception in 2009. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of longtime Tournament Chair Chuck Strong and his Tournament Committee, the Callaway Golf Junior Classic has provided a fantastic player experience year-after-year.
“We are delighted to be named the 2017 Open Tournament of the Year and realize so many other great events are deserving of this recognition,” said Strong. “This award would not be possible without Callaway Golf, the Tournament Committee, our loyal volunteers, various sponsors and The Country Club of the South’s Head Golf Professional Steve White and Superintendent William Oakley. I’m proud of the professional execution by our supporters and the AJGA and look forward to the 2018 tournament.”
In 2017, every player had a name plate on the driving range, saw their name on a PGA TOUR-like electronic scoreboard, received an additional backpack and duffel bag from Callaway and had walking scorers and standard bearers during the final round. Parents and players were also treated to three complimentary meals during the 54-hole event and a U.S. service member greeted pairings groups on No. 18 during the final round.
Callaway’s event involvement began in 2016 as a presenting sponsor. In 2017, Callaway became the event’s title sponsor, helping to take the tournament to new heights. Callaway recently added PGA TOUR professional and Atlanta-native Ollie Schniederjans as a tournament host for the 2018 tournament.
“We are very excited to receive the 2017 AJGA Tournament of the Year Award,” said Callaway President and CEO Chip Brewer. “I am very proud of our team. From day one, we made it our priority to host one of the best AJGA events on the schedule. We look forward to making next year’s events even better.”
Giving back has been a cornerstone of the Callaway Golf Junior Classic since it began. In nine years, nearly $420,000 has been given back to local charities and the AJGA’s Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant financial assistance program. In 2017, more than $60,000 was given back to Hire Heroes USA and the ACE Grant. In 2017, the Tournament Committee got creative with fundraising and organized a Helicopter Golf Ball Drop, raffling off chances to win an Atlanta Braves ticket package.
“Having a featured charity inspires sponsors, volunteers and our community to get involved with the tournament,” Strong said. “We’re happy to make a difference in the community and help relieve some of the financial burden of a national junior golf schedule for talented junior golfers.”
The AJGA previously honored the Callaway Golf Junior Classic with the 2011 Hospitality Award, 2012 Open Tournament of the Year Award, the 2013 Charitable Giving Award and the 2014 GM of the Year Award.
The AJGA will return to The Country Club of the South for the 10th year of the Callaway Golf / Ollie Schniederjans Junior Classic April 27-29 at The Country Club of the South.