May 11—The GO Junior Golf Series that has been running for nearly two decades for junior golfers in western Kentucky will have its 18th season this summer. The series is sponsored by Worth Insurance Group/Chick-Fil-A.
“Time goes by fast,” said Mark Price, the founder and director of the series who still coordinates and puts on the twice-weekly tour events.
“Last year went well, there was a slight drop off after the COVID years, but we still had over 200 registered last year,” Price said.
This year’s GO Series will feature 15 tournaments and is open to all juniors 18 years old and under. The GO Series will open May 25 at The Bridges of Henderson. The first Owensboro-Daviess County event will be at Windridge Country Club on June 5. The southern series championship will be July 13 at Hopkinsville Golf & Country Club. The northern series championship will be July 17 at The Country Club of Owensboro.
The GO Junior Golf Series caters to both the advanced golfer by getting them ready for the upcoming high school season competition, while implementing age-appropriate tee boxes and maximum stroke limits for the developing golfer in the younger divisions.
There are divisions for 8-under (three holes), 9-10 (six holes), 11-12 and 13-15 (nine holes), 13-15 and 16-18 championship (18 holes).
“The two things we want to focus on are we want to make it a good entry point for those starting with the stroke maximum and the tee boxes,” Price said. “We had a lot of new golfers sign up for that, and we get parents and grandparents involved with the younger ones.
“A lot of high school coaches are using our program to get their players ready for tournament golf. We’ve had a really good turnout the last five years in the high school age groups. Look what Ohio County did last year, a lot of those kids had been in the GO Tour. When Breckinridge County won a couple of years ago, they had kids who had been in the GO Tour.”
Ohio County was the boys Region 2 team champion last fall. Breck County won the boys regional title in 2020.
The GO Tour has seen a lot of growth from Bowling Green and Hopkinsville golfers.
“One of the exciting things about this is you can see the talent come out, especially in the younger divisions,” Price said.
There are former GO Series golfers who are in college now or older, who sometimes help with tour events.
“If we have a 55 to 70 person field, we’ve got to have four to five people helping,” Price said. “I go out and start the little kids, we like to have a volunteer on the course to answer questions. If we have a 9-hole course we can do it with two or three. We’re always looking for volunteers to help, just couple of hours at either spot.”
After doing the GO Series for nearly 20 years, Price has a pretty good system working.
“We’re working on a lunch menu for the kids, we have snacks for the 9-10, 8-under divisions,” Price said. “When they sign that scorecard they know what that means, it’s snack time.
“We’re always trying to find ways to do things differently. When we schedule pairings, it’s done by hand, it takes time, but we want certain people to play with others. We don’t want beginners to play with somebody who’s been playing four or five years. We want them to play where they feel comfortable. At the championship level we match up people playing well, it helps make the tournaments move smoothly. We want to get the most optimal pairings, it helps people starting out who need more time.”
Registration information is available at www.gojuniorgolfseries.com.