Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

March 18, 2012

EKJGA Walmart tour ready for tee off

ASHLAND — Executive director Tom Cooksey is always looking for ways to make the Eastern Kentucky Junior Golf Association’s Walmart Tour more beneficial and enjoyable for junior players.

Year five of the EKJGA fits the bill.

Among the new features for 2012 will be an Adult/Junior event for the May 19 season opener, free instructional clinic and more flexible registration program.

The kickoff tournament at Sandy Creek will include an Adult/Junior division which allows juniors to play with a parent or other relative such as a grandparent, uncle or aunt.

“We have so many parents that play (golf),” Cooksey said. “They are out there watching their kids compete in tournaments. Why not have them play together as a team?”

Cooksey got the idea from an annual Father/Child state championship conducted by the Kentucky Golf Association, for which he currently serves as vice president.

“It’s tremendously popular,” Cooksey said. “It’s been so big, we have to use two golf courses to host it. Hopefully our version will be a fun thing and they can enjoy it.”

 On April 21, the EKJGA is offering an instructional golf clinic at Hidden Cove Golf Course in Grayson Lake State Park.

The clinic is free of charge to EKJGA members and will be limited to the first 50 who request enrollment. Individual and group instruction will be given by PGA Golf professionals Steve and Missy Kennedy. They will cover all phases of the game including full shots, chip shots, bunker play and putting.

The clinic will last approximately two hours (10 a.m. to noon). Afterwards, free pizza and drinks will be provided to all participants.

If 50 EKJGA members do not sign up, non-members will be allowed to participate for $10.

The EKJGA is open to boys and girls who reside in, or attend school in the Boys 11th and 12th regions and the Girls 10 and 11th regions as defined by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Cost for membership is $60 per year.

Beginning this year, the EKJGA Walmart Tour is offering online registration for the 10 tournaments. Membership deadline is still April 15.

Cooksey said about 20 EKJGA alumni are now playing college golf.

“That’s pretty impressive when you think that five years ago you probably had two or three,” he said. “I firmly believe if you give kids with desire an opportunity, they will make something out of it.”   

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.   

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