Growing the game of golf | AspenTimes.com

Growing the game of golf

Dear Editor:

I am glad to see the high school team getting the golf coverage it deserves.

I would like to make the public aware of some of the contributions that the Aspen Junior Golf Foundation made to the local community.

First, we had 75-plus of the top junior golfers in the country competing in Aspen at our annual AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) event. David Oraee from Greeley fired rounds of 66-64-70 – 200 total. He broke all standing records within the AJGA. These records were previously held by Tiger and Phil M. that have lasted 17 years. This was great exposure for our local kids and also helped stimulate Aspen’s local economy during offseason by bringing kids and parents to Aspen/Snowmass.

Second, we hosted a free baseball clinic with former Major League Baseball players (that had over 100 kids participating from the valley). This was one of the biggest successes for juniors this summer. The clinic provided hands-on learning, autographed baseballs, hot dogs and sport drinks to the kids, all at no cost. The following day, Aspen Junior Golf provided a free golf clinic open to the public, with PGA Tour player Chris DiMarco (three-time winner), Champions Tour Player Denis Watson (Senior PGA Winner plus two tour events) and Susie Berning, former LPGA Player (three-time U.S. Women’s Open Winner).

Third, “The Tour In The Rockies” provides competitive golf tournaments and playing opportunities for juniors in the valley. Two of the top three players on that tour are the top two Aspen High School players. I am glad to see that the Junior Tour is a worthwhile endeavor after seven years of overseeing it. We are now seeing positive growth once again on both the boys and girls high school golf teams.

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Finally, our partnership with the Shining Stars this summer was our foundation’s highlight. The opportunity to help those kids is now an important part of our agenda.

Growing the game of golf and providing opportunities is what we are about at Aspen Junior Golf. I want to personally thank all the juniors, volunteers, parents and individuals that continue to support junior golfers.

Alden Richards

Aspen Junior Golf

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