Junior golfers compete at Drive, Chip and Putt local qualifier hosted by TPC Sawgrass


TPC Sawgrass hosted a Drive, Chip and Putt local qualifying event on Saturday, May 5 that offered junior golfers a chance to play with their peers and advance to the subregional competition, scheduled for Aug. 25 at World Golf Village in St. Augustine.

Founded in 2013 by the Masters, USGA and the PGA of America, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is a joint initiative and a free nationwide junior golf development competition, with participants ranging in age from 7 to 15. Junior golfers who advance through the local, subregional and regional qualifying stages earn a chance to play in the National Finals at Augusta National prior to the Masters.

The qualifying event at TPC Sawgrass featured more than 200 juniors, initiating THE PLAYERS Championship week and an exciting contest amongst the future of golf. 

Kaitlin McDonald, a Youth Development Manager at North Florida PGA, said Drive, Chip and Putt is about reaching young golfers and growing the game.

"It's a competition," she said. "They compete at the local level — this is our first local of the year — first, second and third from here in each age division will advance to the subregionals."

McDonald also noted that she would have loved to compete in the event when she was younger.

"If I had known about [Drive, Chip and Putt] when I was younger I definitely would have done this," she said.

This qualifier was the first of more than 290 local qualifiers nationwide, with an entry deadline of five days before. Boys and girls have chances to try in all 50 states throughout the months of May, June, July and August.

The end result for the qualifier at TPC Sawgrass and others to follow is that 80 finalists — 40 boys and 40 girls — will make it to Augusta National next spring.

For more information on the Drive Chip and Putt Championship, visit www.drivechipandputt.com.