by Colvin Hedgepeth and Caleb Barron, AJGA Communications
Many juniors play in tournaments simply to gain performance stars or catch a glimpse from college coaches. A select few hit the links for reasons beyond golf status; several juniors in our field this week are playing to support a particular charity through the Leadership Links program. AJGA initiated Leadership Links to offer juniors community service incentive and the chance to make a difference through volunteering. Juniors can raise funds for their cause in the form of single donations or per-birdie pledges.
Jalen Griffin of Ambler, Pa., works with Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, a charity close to his heart as a family friend has the disability. Griffin posts a per-birdie pledge of $10 and records a total contribution of $1,028 to CURE Epilepsy. He and his mom also promote the cause to local country clubs to spread awareness and garner single donations.
“It took me awhile to figure out what charity to work with, I wanted to do something different,” Griffin said. “My mom’s friend has a son with several disabilities so I decided to partner with a charity relating to his case; I felt for him so I decided Cure Epilepsy would be a great charity to get involved in.”
Griffin had a special fan arrive at the end of the second round; his 6-year-old family friend came to cheer him on in the last four holes. Griffin admits that playing to benefit CURE Epilepsy motivates him to kick his game up a notch and rewards him beyond the scorecard. He struggled on the front nine in the second round but ended on a high note thanks to his encouraging audience.
“Every time I make a birdie, it’s cool to know I’m helping him out and other people that have epilepsy,” Griffin said.
Jackie Rogowicz of Yardley, Pa., dedicates her efforts to the Jack Nicklaus CureSearch cause, and has raised $530 through donations for a young girl diagnosed with cancer. She finished tied for fourth with a three-day tournament total of 229. Jesse Hazam of Mechanicsburg, Pa., has contributed $430 to CureSearch; he posted the low final round score at the William Penn Junior Championship with a 1-under-par 69.
Jalen Griffin has raised more than $1,000 toward CURE Epilepsy through the Leadership Links program.
The Old Stonewall
Through the meandering country roads of eastern Pennsylvania sits an escape from the hustle and bustle of the northeast. The Stonewall North Course was only built ten years ago, but feels much more antiquated. Constructed for members who preferred to use golf carts, the North Course features a trademark stone wall, difficult putting greens and an old-English feel.
Much of the course has kept in line with tradition by simply renovating the facilities already in place. At the North Course, the cart barn is an actual barn; the clubhouse was built in the 18th Century. Fairways were cut from the cloth of a dairy farm. A nearby American flag has only 13 stars.
Playing a round of golf at the North Course is to get in touch with your inner colonial patriot – a return to a simple game during a simple time.
The 18th hole at Stonewall provides a unique background.