Growing golf in Owatonna
Owatonna junior golfer Evie Vincelli, four, starts her swing at the first hole at Havana Hills Golf Course last week. Vincelli went on to win the age 4-6 division. Staff photo by Johnnie Phillips
The Owatonna Golf Booster Club (OGBC) held its annual Junior City Open this past week giving local golfers aged four through 12 the opportunity to compete and showcase their skills at Havana Hills Golf Course in Owatonna.
While trophies and local bragging rights were on the line for the junior athletes, the OGBC were excited to introduce new young players to the game while getting to watch long-time participants hone their skills before entering the teenage tournament ranks.
“I’ve been playing in the tournament since I was six, and I’ve been golfing since I was two. I really like meeting new people and just having fun golfing. I really like golfing with my dad and family too,” said Danica Hager, a 10-year-old junior competitor from Owatonna.
The Junior City Open tournament kicked off with the ages 4-6 athletes teeing off one Hole One with fans and families walking the course following the action.
Smiles and laughter were abundant amongst the field's youngest competitors, something that OGBC members Mark Langlois and Cooper Hager always look forward to come tournament time.
As the tournament progressed, age groups jumped up from 4-6, to 7-9 and 10-12.
With it brought the progression in skill and ability one could expect to see from young athletes who have competed for years to try and improve their game.
The tournament atmosphere breeds competition amongst the athletes, however, the overall goal of the Junior City Open is aimed towards building the game and giving local youth the ability to play into the summer.
According to the OGBC’s Cooper Hager, one of the best parts of the tournament is that it allows junior golfers to compete in an environment where they are surrounded by fellow athletes who are passionate about the game while also getting to test their skills amongst a field of their peers whom they will continue to compete with and against over the years to come.
If you are interested in introducing your children to the game of golf or involving them in the local golf tournament circuit, contact the OGBC at www.owatonnagolf.com.
The OGBC will host its next junior event at the Junior BIG Cup Scramble Tournament on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Owatonna Country Club.