by Colvin Hedgepeth and Caleb Barron, AJGA Communications
The Cleveland Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play competition played on the par-72 course at Red Tail Golf Club in Avon, Ohio from June 19 – 21, 2012. The event features 71 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 17 states and three countries.
TREASURES IN THE TRAILER
Michelle Carpenter thought she’d simply be spending Monday morning playing golf with a few fellow volunteers and getting to know a talented junior player; she was wrong. After devoting countless hours to the Cleveland Junior Open during the past four years, Ms. Carpenter walked away with multiple memorable mementos.
As a reward for carding the longest drive on the women’s side in the Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, Carpenter received a hat signed by Annika Sorenstam, national chairman of the AJGA. Her luck didn’t stop there. Carpenter won another cap in the Junior-Am raffle, except this hat flaunted the signature of 2012 U.S. Open champion, Webb Simpson. The timing couldn’t have been more ironic, as not even the AJGA staff was aware that such a gem was traveling in their trailer.
SCHOOL’S NOW IN SESSION
It may be summer break, but many juniors tried their hand at teaching Tuesday afternoon as kids from The First Tee of Cleveland ventured to Red Tail Golf Club for a golf clinic. Several AJGA juniors paired up with the youngsters to give swing lessons, while other groups worked on their putting skills. First Tee of Cleveland provides guidance on development beyond the green, as one junior knows from personal experience.
Jennah Ramonsky of Akron, Ohio, has participated in The First Tee program for six years, and currently works as an ace participant. The program operates at different experience levels, ranging from birdies to Ace, with the highest level devoted to projects focusing on school, work, golf and life. Ramonsky often tutors the younger kids in their golf development, but really enjoyed seeing the birdies interact out of their element and with her junior competitors.
The social activity was a hit among all, as juniors, staff and Fir st Tee visitors buzzed favorably about the afternoon clinic. Juniors mentioned that it was fun to work with the kids and get perspective on how they had personally developed in their golf game over the years, all the while spreading their knowledge.
Veteran volunteer Michelle Carpenter shows off her signed Webb Simpson hat.