Highlights from Golf Ontario’s inaugural Golf Jam, Sept. 11 at Hawk Ridge Golf Club in Orillia.
Video: Golf Jam 2016
Inaugural Golf Ontario/Golf Barrie Golf Jam a huge success
ORILLIA— Golf Ontario and Golf Barrie unveiled a new concept on September 11 with the first Golf Jam, hosted by Hawk Ridge Golf & Country Club in Orillia. The day, geared at junior golfers under 14 years of age, was a huge success as 64 players comprised 16 teams to take part in the day’s events.
“Golf Jam is a program that we’ve partner with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport to create and provide to kids across the province. It aims to engage local golf clubs and promote fun family, friends and fitness all in a team environment,” said Mike Kelly, Golf Ontario Executive Director.
The day broke down into two components: a CN Future Links Skills Challenge and a nine-hole alternate shot team golf competition. Half of the teams took to the course, while the other half competed in the skills challenge, before swapping after lunch.
“I believe we continue to create and inspire new ways for kids and families to get into golf but this just blew my mind,” added Kelly. “Based on the reaction from coaches, kids and parents, I see this as a home run! I see it going to different communities across Ontario in future years because it is a great way to bring the province together.”
Kelly’s optimism was echoed by coaches and parents who attended the day. “Golf Jam is a great introduction for players who have participated in our camps, clinics and leagues to be involved in potentially their first tournament,” said Ryan Star, Coach at Geared to Golf. “There are a lot of players who haven’t crossed paths with one another so we hope that there are a lot of new friendships by the end of the day.”
“The day has been fantastic!” Remarked Kevin Potter, a parent attending the event. “What Golf Ontario is doing for the kids is awesome! It is great to see the team sprit and everyone has a smile on their face today! The team competition was a lot of fun. It was well put together and we had a great time playing the alternate-shot format.”
Those sentiments also trickled down to the young golfers themselves who not only enjoyed the golf and skills challenge, but also the fun and games that made up the rest of the day.
“Today has been great especially since we just started school and have been really busy,” said Abigail Dove, 11-years-old from Brooklin. “To have all of these fun things to do like golf with friends, bouncy castles, and play games has been great to enjoy!”
“My favorite part of the day was golfing on the course. I played awesome and so did the rest of my team. Golf Jam has been good and lots of fun. I like it!” Added Aiden Hodgkinson, 8-years-old from Brooklin.
While the emphasis on the day was squarely around fun the teams did want bragging rights as the inaugural Golf Jam champs. When all of the scores were tallied there was a three-way tie between Whistle Bear GC (Peyton Costabile, Andreas Diogenous, Owen Lipskie and Aiden Shan), Barrie CC (David Simon, Andrew Laurin, Olivia Stoggart and Matthew Simon), and TTGA (Alissa Xu, Sopia Xu, Arthur Wang and Joline Truong) who all finished with a score of 21 Stableford points to share the gold medal.
Golf Ontario/Golf Barrie would like to thank all of the golfers, teams, coaches and parents who participated in the event and hopes to see everyone next year, as the event gets bigger and better.
Golf Ontario and Golf Barrie are proud to present Golf Jam 2016
ORILLIA — Golf Ontario’s first Golf Community, Golf Barrie, has nearly completed its inaugural season. The initiative has had a presence at more than 30 events throughout the spring and summer and introduced more than 20,000 people to the game of golf.
A key learning from Golf Barrie has been the importance of programs that bridge TRY, LEARN, and PLAY stages of development.
To wrap up the summer, Golf Barrie, in association with Golf Ontario, is inviting junior golf programs from across Ontario to join them for a day of House League style golf, a format that fits naturally as a transition from the LEARN to PLAY stages. The one-day event is called Golf Jam.
House League style junior golf introduces the individual nature of competitive golf, while maintaining the fun team atmosphere offered by other sports.
Golf Jam will take place on September 11 at Hawk Ridge Golf & Country Club in Orillia, one of the Golf Barrie partner clubs. Teams from golf clubs, other sports or even just friends, are encouraged to sign up. Teams will be made up of four players, between the ages of 8-12, including both boys and girls. Each team is permitted one coach to help them as they play a nine-hole round.
The format is simple: two players from the team will hit drives on a given hole, while the remaining players will hit the second shots. The team will continue to alternate shots until both balls are holed, with the lowest score counting.
To encourage both existing and new players to take part in the Golf Jam, there will be multiple divisions including a novice flight for new players. Teams will also receive a skills clinic with a PGA Professional, participate in a full run through of the Future Links Skills Challenge, receive a unique team jersey, BBQ lunch and the opportunity to win amazing prizes.
“Golf Ontario is committed to supporting local golf junior league formats, or other club designed approaches, that bridge the steps between TRY, LEARN and PLAY experiences for young golfers,” said Andrew Moss, Golf Ontario Director of High Performance.
“Golf Jam will be an exciting wrap up to the summer golf season, with a fun format of House League style junior golf. It is a great way for clubs to celebrate a successful season of junior golf!” added Moss.
For more information or to register your team(s) visit: www.gao.ca/golf-jam