By Marlon Bray, AJGA Communications
Oasis in the Desert: Welcome to Longbow Golf Course
The Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club is a 54-hole stroke play competition. Longbow Golf Club is playing host to the tournament for the 11th year. Nestled in the unique desert landscape of Mesa, Ariz., Longbow is a Ken Kavanaugh designed course that was built in 1997. "Voted one of the top five 'Player Friendly Courses' in the area, Longbow has become a must play. The desert links style layout is a unique experience for all caliber of players." – Jay Larscheid, Director of Golf at Longbow Golf Club.
Former AJGA and LPGA player remembered
Heather Farr was an Arizona native who played in the early years of the AJGA. She was victorious at the second-annual Polo Golf Junior Classic in 1979 and the 1982 Rolex Tournament of Champions. Farr earned Rolex Junior Player of the Year honors in 1980 and 1982 and was named a Rolex Junior All-American five times. After three years at Arizona State University, where she was two-time All-American and three-time All-Conference performer, Farr qualified for the LPGA Tour in October 1985. At the time she was the youngest player to qualify at the age of 20.
In 1989, she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 24. During her comeback to the Tour in the fall of 1990 she was diagnosed with cancer in the back of her skull and on her vertebrae. Farr died November 20, 1993. Heather Farr has been honored with many awards both during her lifetime and posthumously.
Players see greatness before stepping on course
Greeting players as they come to the clubhouse at Longbow Golf Club is the Walk of Champions. This unique feature showcases all former champions of the tournament. Of the 30 past champions, 27 earned Rolex Junior All-America accolades in the same year. Hunter Mahan (1999) and Paula Creamer (2003) were named Rolex Junior Player of the Year following wins at the Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club. Both have gone on to have successful professional careers alongside Amanda Blumenherst (2002), world No.1-ranked female golfer Inbee Park (2005) Mina Harigae (2006), Kimberly Kim (2007) and 2013 LPGA Rookie of the Year Moriya Jutanugarn.
Shooting par to shooting arrows
Tournament participants and their families were in for a unique treat at Friday night’s dinner. Members of The Paseo Vista Archery Club came out to the course for an exhibition and demonstration. Everyone at the evening’s cookout had the opportunity to try their luck at archery.
Drop from the top for hole-in-one
Saturday night put a new twist on hitting a hole-in-one with the Helicopter Ball Drop. During the week’s events, patrons of the tournament had the chance to purchase golf balls for charity. Proceeds of the drop go to the AJGA’s ACE Grant as well as area junior golf organizations. Over 150 golf balls were dropped from a helicopter into a hole. Prizes were awarded to the first three hole-in-ones.