Local Sports

Sertoma golf on tap

As the school year begins to wind down and temperatures begin to climb, plans for summer come to mind. For youngsters, ages 6-18, interested in golf, the Sertoma Junior Golf Tour offers a weekly opportunity to improve their games.

“It’s always exciting for summer to arrive and to get the kids out on the golf course working on their games,” said Sertoma Junior Golf Tour Director Andy Kesling. “We want to provide them the opportunity to learn the game the right way and to build the game of golf.”

The summer season starts with the annual Adult/Child Kickoff Classic on Sunday, June 1, at Sun ‘n Lake Golf Club.

A two-person scramble format will be used in the 18-hole event which costs $75 per team. A dinner and awards banquet will be held after the round in the Island View Restaurant.

The Adult/Child scramble begins at 1:15 p.m. on June 1 with a shotgun start.

“This is a great event,” said Kesling. “It gives families a chance to spend quality time together on the golf course and enjoy a great meal and banquet after the round.”

The Sertoma Junior Golf Tour officially begins on June 12 at the Country Club of Sebring.

The weekly tournaments run for 12 weeks with the Tour Championship on Aug. 15-16, the final event of the season.

There is a one-time registration fee of $35 per child for the Sertoma Junior Golf Tour and weekly greens fees of $20 for juniors playing 18 holes. For nine holes the fee is $15 and for six holes the cost is $12. Lunch is included in the greens fees.

This is the 21st year for the Sertoma Junior Golf Tour and Kesling has come full circle.

“I played on the first Sertoma Junior Golf Tour back in 1994,” Kesling said. “I’ve watched it grow from when I played in it until now and I’ve enjoyed running it the last eight years.

“I love working with the kids, seeing them improve and going on to have success playing golf in high school and college.”

The Sertoma Junior Golf Tour helps youngsters develop their games by learning to hit different shots on various types of course under a variety of conditions.

“Golf is a great sport and it teaches kids to persevere, overcome adversity and sportsmanship,” Kesling said. “They learn the proper etiquette and how to manage their games under pressure.”

The weekly tournaments averaged 60 players last year.

“We’re growing and getting bigger each year,” Kesling said. “I know our talent pool in all of the age groups is getting better each summer.”

The Bluffs will host the June 19 event, while the Bill Jarrett Championship will be held at River Greens on June 25-26.

The best five out of nine scores during the summer will count with point totals accumulating.

The Tour Championship is a two-day tournament and counts double points.

All golfers who play in at least five out of nine events plus the Tour Championship will receive a trophy at the awards banquet on Aug. 16.

For more information or to register, contact Kesling at andy.kesling@gmail.com, or contact the Sun ‘n Lake Golf Club pro shop at 385-4830.

“We’re looking forward to a great summer of golf,” Kesling said. “I’m looking forward to seeing some new faces as well the familiar ones and I can’t wait to get the season started.”