The Greenbelt Golf Association made their way to The Greens of Altus on Thursday morning for the second stop of their annual junior golf league, and the turnout this year exceeded expectations.
There were 85 golfers who showed up for tournament play, but the tournament brought roughly 250 people to the City of Altus. The pro shop was packed with enthusiastic kids and proud parents as the tournament kicked off, but it did not take long for the kids to hit the tees and show off their impressive swings.
This is only the second year for the association in Altus and large numbers have participated. The organization gives kids a chance to golf in tournament play without paying extremely high fees, but according to Altus organizer Heath Barnett, it is not just about the competition.
“It’s about the experience more than anything else,” Barnett said. “It’s great for these kids to get out there and golf with other kids without having to pay high tournament costs.”
For the kindergarten through third-grade girls, Colee Cox placed first, Harley Carrasco placed second, Natalie Pierce placed third and Brantley Seal placed fourth. All the girls are from Childress, Texas.
For the fourth- and fifth-grade girls, Natalie Blonien of Altus placed first, Maggie Cook of Memphis placed second, Laila Taylor of Childress placed third and Braylee Brooks of Memphis placed fourth.
For the kindergarten through third-grade boys, Cutter Bruce from Childress placed first, Tyler McGee from Childress placed second, Straton Galyean from Childress placed third and Weston Simmons from Quanah placed fourth.
For the fourth- and fifth-grade boys, Noah Perricone from Altus placed first, Isaiah Jalomo from Quanah placed second, Rhpy Owens from Shamrock placed third and Hutton O’Neal from Quanah placed fourth.
The association has helped young golfers get used to the competitive side of the sport as well as improve their play along the way by putting them in situations they have to use all their golfing knowledge to escape. Barnett, who played golf in college on a scholarship, said when he was in school there was not one golfer in class 1A that competed in the state of Texas that did not come through this program.
In fact, just this past school year, there were 28 players from the association that competed for their high schools in state competition. Out of the 28, there were two team winners and two individual winners for a total of 12 state champions. When Barnett played in high school, there were 23 state champions and 15 players who played college golf on scholarships.
There are seven towns in this area that host a tournament. The Roaring Springs tournament was Monday, Altus was Thursday, Clarendon will be June 13, Shamrock on Thursday, Quanah on June 20, Memphis on June 23 and Childress will close out the league June 27.
The total number of participants in the entire league is about 300 kids, and while the tournament has come and gone for Altus, kids are encouraged to sign up, participate and have a blast on the green.
For more information, contact Barnett at 580-706-0571.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.