Two junior golf tours that operate in Eastern Ontario, including the St. Lawrence Seaway, Kingston and Quinte regions, have teamed up.
Rather than compete, the PLAY Junior Golf Tour and the St. Lawrence Junior Golf Tour have created a partnership that will allow players from each tour play the other tour without an additional membership fee.
“The more opportunities junior golfers have, the better chance they will become life-long golfers, whether competitive or recreational,” said Chris Veltkamp, founder and director of the PLAY Junior Golf Tour. “It is not about competition between tours or golf courses. It is about all tours and golf facilities cooperating to encourage kids to play golf.”
Mary-Stewart Ross, director of the St. Lawrence Junior Golf Tour, said the future of the game depends on grassroots programs, and credited Golf Ontario for its support of junior golf programs across the province. “This partnership will definitely give junior golfers throughout Eastern Ontario lots of chances to play golf with kids of their own age and ability,” Ross said.
Both tours are part of the new Golf Ontario Junior Ranking system.
The St. Lawrence Tour has been played for three decades in the region from the Thousand Islands through to the Quinte Region and serves golfers aged 10-18. Among the tour alumni are former PGA TOUR members Jon Mills and Matt McQuillan, and LPGA winner Brooke Henderson.
Centred in Prescott but offering a tournament schedule that extends from Kingston to Ottawa in 2016, the PLAY Junior Golf Tour is a grassroots development tour with competitive and coaching opportunities for children ages 4-18. 2016 Web.com Tour winner Brad Fritsch is an ambassador for the tour.