By LYDIA BERGLAR
U.S. Kids Golf, a national organization that promotes opportunities for young golfers across the country, is kicking off the Chattanooga Local Tour at the Trenton Golf Club on March 19.
For boys and girls ages 5-14 from the local area, this tournament is also stopping at six other golf clubs in the nearby area: LaFayette Golf Course, Old Fort Golf Club, Valleybrook Golf & Country Club, Olde White Oaks Golf Course, Ridgewood Golf Club, and Fall Creek Falls Golf Course.
J.D. Williams, head pro at the Trenton course, said that the club is happy to host the event. This is the second year of the Chattanooga Local Tour, which also stopped at Trenton during its inaugural tour.
The tour is coordinated by Rick Timm with U.S. Kids Golf. He has taught golf for 40 years and holds a PGA Tour lifetime membership. He is passionate about providing opportunities for young golfers and their families.
“When I was a kid,” Timm said, “We didn’t have many of these options. I want to create a lifetime interest in the sport and make sure kids have these opportunities. U.S. Kids Golf wants to create fun, family memories, through golf. In golf, you only need one person – you’re playing against the golf course – but it’s also the number one social sport in the world.”
The group has been running tournaments for over three decades, and it is known for hosting the world’s largest junior golf tournament at Pinehurst, N.C.
In addition to the Chattanooga tour, Timm also coordinates a Nashville tour. “We hold them on Sunday afternoons when kids are not in school,” said Timm.
He continued, “One thing that makes this tournament unique is that we have different age divisions. Usually, a ten-year-old might play against a 12-year-old, but we have 14 different age and gender divisions.” The tour uses age appropriate yardages.
As the organization’s website explains, local tours provide “players the opportunity to qualify for U.S. Kids Golf multi-day events through our Priority Status system. Players may qualify for events such as State Invitationals, Regional Invitationals, International Championships, and our U.S. Kids Golf World Championships in Pinehurst, NC.”
Timm works to find courses that are junior-friendly, saying, “If they’re able to support junior golf at their facility, it’s a very easy conversation.” Trenton Golf Club is one such facility. “We want to keep rates low for families, and we find courses that are gracious enough to give us tee-time for the kids,” said Timm.
In keeping with their family-centered mission, U.S. Kids Golf encourages parents to participate as caddies.
To register your child for the tournament, visit www./tournaments.uskidsgolf.com/tournaments/local-tours.