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Area Golf: Opportunities plenty for junior golfers

Lakes area junior golfers will once again be seeing stars this summer. As part of the Lakes Junior Cup, which begins 2 p.m. Sunday, area players will be playing Grand View Lodge's The Pines, The Classic at Madden's, Deacon's Lodge and one of the ...

Lakes area junior golfers will once again be seeing stars this summer.

As part of the Lakes Junior Cup, which begins 2 p.m. Sunday, area players will be playing Grand View Lodge's The Pines, The Classic at Madden's, Deacon's Lodge and one of the Cragun's Legacy Courses. Combined the number of stars those four courses have accumulated over the years and the Brainerd lakes area might have its own constellation.

An anticipated 80 players will compete in different age divisions for bragging rights. But all players will likely come out winners having played all four courses for the entry fee of $50.

"The purpose of the Cup is to provide access to and competition on the best courses in the lakes area," said Cup coordinator Chris Foley. "Players aged 13 through graduating seniors from around the area, including summer residents are eligible.

"The opportunity to play these courses, as well as experience some good competition are the big draws."

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The Cup opens at The Pines Sunday. The second round will be played 3:30 p.m. July 19 at The Classic. July 26 the Cup will visit Deacon's Lodge with the final round scheduled for 3 p.m Aug. 9 at Cragun's Legacy Courses.

To register interested players may visit the Chris Foley Golf School website www.chrisfoleygolf.com and click on the Schedule a Lesson tab.

Unlike in previous years, the Cup will be individual play only with medals being awarded for the low individuals each week during the awards banquet Aug. 10 at the Legacy Pavilion.

For something more skill intensive, Deacon's Lodge will be hosting a local qualifier for the Minnesota Drive Chip and Putt competition June 30.

The top three competitors from each boys and girls divisions will advance to the Aug. 12 subregional qualifier at Oxbow Country Club in Oxbow, N.D.

Age divisions for this event are 7-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15. Registration for this event will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 24 and participants must be preregistered.

"This is a very well-run event and we're one of 10 local qualifiers," said Deacon's Lodge head PGA professional Mark Neva. "This event is endorsed by the United States Golf Association, PGA of America and Augusta National. The PGA is kind of spearheading the project as a grow the game initiative. Jon Tollette (executive director of the Minnesota Section PGA) and Kathy Swanson (director of member services and player development) will be here to help administer the tournament."

The Regional qualifier will be Sept. 12 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska with the national tournament at Augusta National in Augusta, Ga.

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One other local junior event that is fast approaching is the July 6 Celebrate America Junior Golf Tournament at Crosswoods Golf Course in Crosslake.

This nine-hole event is open to all players 18 and younger. The very youngest of players will play on the Par 3 Course, while the older juniors will compete on the back nine of Crosswoods.

Entry fee to the 16th annual event is $10 for the Par 3 course and $15 for the other tournament. Players may preregister by calling the Crosswoods proshop at 218-692-4643.

Age division winners will receive a trophy and all players receive a door prize.

Crosswoods will also host a July 8 mini-golf tournament at Whistling Wolf.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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