By Landon Pederson, Communications Intern
Pictured (Top left-right): Tennoshin Ogawa (Japan), Ritwick Jain (India), Keshav Sharma (India), Sera Tadokoro (Japan), Samantha Huang (China), Yunjie Zhang (China)
(Bottom left-right): Pongpalin Lapvisuttisin, Yong Sherng Hui (Malaysia), Guentae Kim (South Korea), Xue Wen Luo (China)
IJGA players compete in the E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf
10 players from the E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf were students of the International Junior Golf Academy. The IJGA is a full-time boarding school that combines golf training, education, and competition inside and outside of the classroom. The IJGA first opened its doors in 1995 when only six students were enrolled. Since then, the academy has grown to more than 140 full-time students.
“We educate the kids not only in the classroom, but also on the golf course,” said Kyle Wolfe, Director of Player Relations for the IJGA. “We do all sorts of training to turn them into not only great golfers, but great human beings as well.”
In its 19th year, 28 countries are now represented by the students of the IJGA. The academy, based in Hilton Head Island, S.C., allows players from different countries to pursue their passion for golf while discovering cultures other than their own. The academy also provides a social life and necessary academics for their students in order to help prepare them for their futures. According to the IJGA, over 90% of the students have earned scholarships to play competitive golf.
“We want our players to play against some of the best players in the country and a lot of times that means AJGA tournaments,” Wolfe said. “Being able to come out to play in these tournaments in front of college coaches is really big for them. It’s definitely great exposure for them to get into the college education system.”
Champions receive specialty belts
Along with their championship trophies, S.M. Lee of Buford, Ga., and Carly Burkhardt of Greenville, S.C., each received a hand-crafted belt for their win at the 2014 E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf.
The “Sly Fox” of Jones Creek Golf Club
AJGA and Jones Creek Golf Club staff, juniors and parents encountered a small fox during the Qualifier and tournament rounds. During the AJGA Qualifier, the fox ran in the middle of the fairway and stole a player’s ball. AJGA and Jones Creek Golf Club staff arrived at the course the morning of the first round to find a deep hole buried on the green of No. 5. Players received relief from the hole and was ruled as Ground Under Repair. The fox didn’t steal any other balls or dig any more holes, but he did make several other appearances in bunkers and the woods throughout the rest of the tournament.