In recent years, there has been much opportunity for the youth in our community to gain exposure to the game of golf with the assistance of an instructional program for those who wish to learn the game from professionals. Additionally, a competitive void has evolved to challenge the skill sets of already established junior players through tournament play.
Competitively speaking, families navigate through the GAO Junior Pathway system in the attempt to piecemeal summer tournament schedules together. Up until now, this could only be accomplished by registering with junior tours elsewhere beyond the borders of Lambton County. Parents of children committed to tournament golf essentially need to travel to Windsor-Essex, London-Middlesex or the GTA and Golden Horseshoe area to compete.
Recognizing this and to address these shortcomings, a group of local stakeholders have become keenly interested in revamping the Sarnia-Lambton junior golf landscape through the creation of the Lambton Junior Golf Tour.
A group of like minded people who wanted to change this scenario convened and we met for our first organizational meeting to promote the development of a local junior golf series. Present at that meeting were Dr. Michael Rocca, Head Golf Professional at Huron Oaks Cameron Rankin, Manager of the St.Clair Parkway Golf Course Karen Grant and CEO and GM of Indian Hills Golf Club Ken Hoare. A consensus was reached that we would strive to establish a local junior tour that would address the deficiencies of our local junior golf scene.
We had the great fortune of forging a partnership with the SMAA and in the process had the great pleasure of adding SMAA President Lynn LeFaive to our planning committee with the intention of reintroducing golf as an SMAA offering. The SMAA is no stranger to golf and has both an established and storied history locally with junior golf. We have corresponded and gained valuable insight from other established junior tours and look to incorporate their structure to ensure our events operate successfully and provide participants with fun and positive experiences. Furthermore, we are currently in the process of securing the support of local PGA of Canada members to assist with the execution of LJGT events.
We received the most welcome news from CFP, Christopher Rocca of IG Wealth Management confirming the Investor’s Group’s intention to support our initiative as a corporate sponsor. With consideration of their financial commitment towards this endeavour, we are proud to announce the genesis of the Lambton Junior Golf Tour (LJGT) presented by IG Wealth Management for the 2023 season!
Registration opportunities to juniors will be offered in keeping with the core values and mission statement of the SMAA.
Our intention from the onset is to identify the skill level of each registrant by implementing an initial combine event. This event will give organizers the opportunity to examine each player’s competency in all areas of golf.
With the results of that combine, the outcome will be the establishment of 3 cohorts identified as those who are tournament ready, those who would benefit from an instructional component before initiating tournament play and those who will be exclusively offered an instructional component with the opportunity to qualify for the LJGT 2024 season at a season ending combine. Instruction sessions will be held in conjunction with and prior to the commencement of each tournament event.
Players who qualify as tournament ready will participate in four 18 hole tournament events. On those same dates, those deemed eligible to participate in a shortened 9 hole tournament format will commence their outing with instruction first followed by 9 holes of golf . Volunteers will be on site officiating with knowledge of the rules governed by the R&A and Golf Canada.
Will be the following:
The age of participants will be determined based on their age as of the closing registration date.
We hope to provide participants with a great value proposition and sponsorships will help facilitate that goal. We want to ensure participants have an enjoyable golf experience whereby food and beverage will be provided and regardless of tournament outcomes each participant leaves with at a minimum of an entry gift bag and with the additional opportunity to win performance based prizes. The funds derived from our sponsorship campaign will directly fund the prize tables at each event and our objective is to operate a net zero balance proposition. Ultimately, the funds LJGT generates goes to the junior golfers.
At the moment we are planning to have a season-long points race using a FedEx Cup style point system. Trophies will be awarded to the winners of each age group category at the conclusion of the series. Individual tournament winners will be awarded trophies with the tournament sponsor namesake. Lastly, as noted earlier the season ending combine will also include 2024 LJGT exemptions and prizes will be awarded to those who have shown the most improvement since the season opener combine. The intention of awarding such prizes is to encourage skill development and to reward those who have remained engaged in this endeavour during the course of the golf season.
Currently we have 2 outstanding tournament/event sponsorship opportunities available for $1,000 dollars and also have hole sponsorships valued at $200.
Recognition of all sponsors will be through our website, on course signage throughout the series, social media and print media platforms.
Tournament/event sponsors will also have the added benefit of having their corporate name included on the trophies presented to the winners of their dedicated event and recognition of their support during the awards ceremony. Their signage will be on prominent display at the registration/results table.
Hole sponsors will have traditional hole sponsorship signage on the course at the combine and during tournament play for all 5 events.
We look forward to an exciting summer of junior golf locally here in Lambton County and hope you would give strong consideration towards supporting this inaugural season of LJGT!
If you are interested in becoming a tournament/event sponsor or hole sponsor and would like more details/specifics, please feel free to contact Dr. Michael Rocca at email@example.com.