Olive Branch Country Club golf professional Daniel Yeargin is getting ready to again welcome some youthful, but quite talented golfers to tackle his course in September.
The Olive Branch course has again been named on of 12 locations where the PGA Jr. League will hold a regional competition for golfers age 13 and under. The winner will be qualifying for the 2019 PGA Jr League Championship.
It’s the second year that Olive Branch has played host, and Yeargin said it speaks volumes about the local course that the PGA would want to return for this year.
“A lot of these other courses that are on the list to host these tournaments are some big time country clubs that are very established and very prestigious,” Yeargin said. “They have tournaments like this a lot, but for us to one of 13 courses in the nation to have this is beyond words.” At each of these tournaments, four co-ed All-Star teams of junior golfers will compete to earn one of 12 spots in the final tournament held Oct. 11-14, at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Olive Branch regional is where the four teams representing Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana and Kentucky will play over the two days of the tournament.
Yeargin describes Jr. PGA golf as the Little League of golf.
“Each country club that decides to do it has a team of anywhere from 12-15 kids,” Yeargin said. “You play other courses in the area. Depending on the record, every team has a chance to put all-stars in. That all-star team will compete against other all-star teams. There’s a district, a state, and then the regionals that we are hosting.”
Among the teams that have qualified will come one from Memphis, which did not happen last year, Yeargin said, who described the setup as a “round robin match play” event.
“Each team will play each other once and they’ll play 18 holes Saturday and play nine again on Sunday,” Yeargin explained. “They will play a scramble against each other.”
While the focus of the PGA Jr. League is primarily on the developmental nature of its Spring/Summer and Fall Recreational Seasons, the PGA Jr. League postseason presents competitive golfers a fun and aspirational finish to Spring/Summer Season play.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.