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*Pre-Release by WSCGA*
The Women’s South Carolina Golf Association Junior Foundation and the Green Valley Country Club will host the Green Valley Girls Classic on Saturday and Sunday, May 20 & 21. The Classic is open to the top girl golfers from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. The format will be 36-holes of stroke play over two-consecutive days. The field is open to girl’s aged 10 – 18, and will be flighted based on score following the first round. The Classic is contested at 5724 yards, which will be more than a challenge on this George Cobb designed layout.
Green Valley was completed in 1958 by the world-renowned architect, George Cobb, and went through a major renovation project led by Tom Jackson in 2001. Eighteen spectacular holes of golf are situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and meandering through the natural terrain of the Reedy River Valley. The Reedy River is a factor on 10 holes with small lakes on 5 others.
The Classic was the brainchild of Green Valley’s head golf professional, Preston Harris, and member David Townsend, also the father of junior golfer Beth Ann Townsend. Harris said the idea came after realizing an event like this didn’t exist yet for girls in South Carolina, “We wanted to have a top-notch, girls-only event that would bring in the best players from our neighboring states.” He referenced that girls golf is growing exponentially and, “we know that many of these girls aspire to play college golf so we wanted to create an event that was just as challenging as a college tournament and to make this a showcase for college coaches to have an opportunity to see the girls compete.”
In South Carolina alone, high school girl’s golf has increased in participation from 500 just two years ago to over 1000 girls in the 2015-2016 school year.
Townsend added “Our intention is to grow this into something special for junior girls and their parents. We also want to take advantage of this being one of the last junior event many girls will participate in since they’ll graduate a couple weeks later.” Townsend said, “We are excited about the local support that we have received from not only the members of Green Valley but from the ladies and gentlemen from other courses in the area. The WSCGA reached out to their members to help gather monetary donations and volunteers.
Another highlight of the Classic is that a prominent female golfer will be honored during the dinner. This year’s honoree is Jamie Michala, a PGA profes
sional in Greenville, SC. Jamie began her Junior Golf in New York, and won the NY State Women’s Amateur Championship in 1986. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Jamie competed for the SMU women’s golf team and contributed to two top five NCAA team finishes. After six years working under Dick Harmon in Houston, Jamie moved to South Carolina as the head golf professional at Thornblade Club. Jamie’s great stories and golf perspective will delight both players and parents.
62 girls will be competing in the Classic. The girls from South Carolina will receive ranking points for the SCJGA Junior Rankings and the girls from North Carolina will receive ranking points for the Tarheel Youth Golf Association. All participants are eligible for rankings from the National Junior Golf Scoreboard and the top 5 South Carolina finishers will earn an exemption into The Blade Junior Classic which will be held at the Thornblade Club. Round 1 will be played with a 1:30pm Shotgun Start and Round 2 will utilize an 8:30am Shotgun Start.
About Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour:
The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour is an initiative of the Triad Youth Golf Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation aimed at increasing learning and playing opportunities for youth golfers. Based out of Greensboro, North Carolina, the PKBGT offers affordable, high-quality nationally ranked girls’ golf tournaments designed to prepare junior girls’ golfers for high school and collegiate golf. The PKBGT is the nation’s largest “girls’ only” junior tour with over 500 members in 2016 and over 450 girls playing in or committed to collegiate golf. Learn more about the tour at pkbgt.org or by contacting Tour Director Mike Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-347-8537.