ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — Young people from around the Wiregrass swung into summertime by participating in the Elba Country Club Junior Open.
Nineteen participants ages 11 to 18 played in the golf tournament.
Tournament Director Mark Wicker took over three years ago.
“Giving the kids an opportunity to play. Kids that are just now beginning to play and kids showing that there’s an interest,” Wicker said. “It’s not a big, big sport. You see it on TV but it’s not your big teams like football, your basketball, your baseball. It’s always been important to me and that’s my motivation to keep it up and keep it going. Show people even though we’re a small town, Elba, small golf course, golf is still going on here and they can still play the sport and they can still be successful at it.”
While the older groups were finishing up, younger players told WDHN what they liked so much about the event.
“I like that I’m playing with other people but that it’s also an individual tournament,” girls 11-12 participant Kayden Moseley said. “It’s also fun having my dad as my caddy. It was just awesome.”
“The course and the competition,” boys 11-12 participant Clayton Kayser said “I mean it’s fun.”
They also shared what they love about the sport.
“You can be playing hard all day and when you’re in your lowest moment you can just hit one of the best shots and it’s like ‘alright back to hitting good shots again,’” boys 11-12 participant Cayden Machen said.
“I just think the tournament and playing golf is really fun and I hope other people in my age group come out and play,” Moseley said.
Wicker’s goal for the tournament is for kids to keep practicing their game even when school is out.
“It’s very important in golf to keep up our game,” Wicker said. “Plus our season just ended in May so it’s very important for them to continue to play throughout the year instead of putting their clubs down and not picking them up again until January or February.”
Participants got free lunch and their parents were able to ride with them on the course to watch them play.
For next year’s tournament Wicker hopes to have five to ten boys and girls in each age group.