PGA, Masters, USGA Event Will Return to Club at Carlton Woods in September

Style Magazine Newswire | 1/2/2018, 2:54 p.m.
The PGA of America, The Masters organization and the United States Golf Association have together tapped The Club at Carlton ...
The awards ceremony at last year's AJGA event stressed both pageantry and service. The bags bottom right are examples of those gifted to active military and veterans by the young competitors themselves.

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (Jan. 2, 2018) -- The PGA of America, The Masters organization and the United States Golf Association have together tapped The Club at Carlton Woods to serve as host of a second consecutive Drive, Chip & Putt regional qualifier in 2018, adding to the Texas club’s national reputation as a major facilitator of amateur golf.

The 36-hole Club at Carlton Woods (www.carltonwoods.com) is now scheduled to play host to four major events in 2018:

• The AJGA Simplify. Boys Championship over Presidents Day weekend, Feb. 16-19;

• The Carlton Woods Invitational (May 1-3), now in its 13th year and firmly established among the nation’s top mid-amateur and senior amateur events;

• September’s Drive, Chip & Putt qualifier, where age-group winners advance to the national finals in Augusta, Ga., prior to the 2019 Masters Tournament; and

• The Jim West Challenge, the annual season-opening invitational for female collegiates, returning for to Carlton Woods this September for the third time.

“We’re honored to host all four of these events, which together serve amateur players of all ages across Greater Houston, the state of Texas and the entire country,” said Carlton Woods General Manager Steve Salzman. “Part of this ambitious tournament schedule is down to the fact the we have 36 championship holes here, a Tom Fazio course and another designed by Jack Nicklaus. From a practical standpoint, the infrastructure here allows events to take place without undue inconvenience to our members.

“But to be honest, these events wouldn’t be here year after year if our courses were not exceptional and our membership weren’t so involved and supportive of amateur golf. In each case, it’s the members who make these tournaments happen.”

The first event on the 2018 schedule, the AJGA Simplify. Boys Championship -- celebrating its 10th anniversary at Carlton Woods this February -- is particularly illustrative of this dynamic. Yes, several past winners of this event today compete on the PGA Tour, including Jordan Spieth and Ricky Fowler. But because the event is 90 percent funded by Club members themselves (Carlton Woods member Shane Heise is CEO of presenting sponsor Simplify.), it’s come to represent more than just an elite junior golf competition.

“All three of our own kids competed in AJGA events through the years, so we know how difficult and expensive it is to travel and play in these tournaments,” said Christine Dernick, a Carlton Woods member and head of the Club’s AJGA steering committee. “So we insisted on creating local qualifiers and exemptions for this event. With those in place, Houston kids would have the chance to compete with the best, right here at home.”

Dernick said the Club’s grass-roots involvement has also resulted in a unique tradition, whereby each of the 72 players is presented a patriotic-themed golf bag, along with two military-style dog tags. When the tournament is finished, these competition bags are donated to golfing members of the active military and veteran communities.

“When juniors finish on the Monday, they write a thank you note to someone in the military. They put that envelope in the bag, along with one of the dog tags,” Dernick explained. “We want the kids to recognize that they’re playing on these beautiful courses and getting the chance to compete because of sacrifices made by others. And you know what? They really get it. That’s another aspect of the tournament that we’re very proud of."