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Divots: Tri-State Junior Golf worthy of helping to keep kids on course

August 27, 2011
  • Tim Koelble
Tim Koelble

Our economic times have taken a toll on most everyone in recent years.

As the days and months move along, little by little things get progressively worse.

The financial hits are everywhere from Wall Street to Bankruptcy Street to Foreclosure Street.

You know, it’s all the little guys like you and me who aren’t fortunate enough to be in the fast lane of professional sports making millions and millions of dollars annually.

The trickle-down effects of the economy are everywhere.

It’s even putting a sword into golf, specifically on the amateur side of the scorecard.

Yep, it’s one of the sports I really enjoy, both playing and covering.

Since 1994, the Tri-State Junior Golf Association has been at the forefront of summertime golf for youth ages 12 through 18. Five tournaments are usually conducted with a season-ending championship.

Until recently as financial contributions have dwindled, scholarship awards were part of the TSJGA.

The 2011 campaign recently concluded for the summer. Now comes the bad news, at least potentially.

When golfers walked off Beaver Creek, it might have been for the last time.

That is something neither I, nor director Bill Hoffman, want to see happen. The very last thing.

However, it takes time and money. Hoffman has given more than his fair share of time toward the group since taking over for the late Don Mowen, the original go-getter.

But the money is another issue. It takes nearly $1,000 to run each event when you factor in greens fees, lunch and trophies. Sponsorships have been few and far between, and quite honestly, this year was a stretch to get completed before particular people came up and kept things afloat.

Believe me, if I had the money I would fund the entire project.

I played golf at the ages of these youngsters, but not as part of an association like this. It would have been great back in those days to have structure.

There was never anything like a Titleist Junior Tour, an American Junior Golf Association or a Plantations Junior Tour when I grew up. All of these outlets for junior golfers give hope to the future.

We just need to keep it going on the local level.

There has to be one, two or more businesses or individuals around the Tri-State that would like to make a tax-exempt contribution.

I am 100 percent sure that if someone contacts Bill Hoffman at Beaver Creek Country Club about interest in the Tri-State Juniors, you won’t have a problem scheduling a meeting.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7376 or by email at koelble@herald-mail.com.

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