The 2021 Iowa Junior and Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship will look different than previous years – but only by a day.
Both championships, set to be held at Ames’ Coldwater Golf Links June 21-23, will be contested over 54-holes in three days. In the past the event has been a 36-hole championship over two days for the oldest age divisions.
Most of the IGA’s major championships are 54-holes championships and both the Men’s and Women’s Rules and Competitions committees felt that the Iowa Junior and Girls’ Junior Amateur should mirror those events.
“This change was done first and foremost to elevate the status of the championship. Moving to a 54-hole event mirrors our other major events, like the Iowa Amateur, Women’s Amateur, and Senior Amateur,” said IGA CEO/Executive Director Chad Pitts.
It is also worth noting that the Iowa Junior and Girl’s Junior Amateur will have one division (18 & under). This was a change that the committees felt would elevate the event and make it unique to juniors in Iowa, as it reflects what the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship currently looks like, where 14 and 15-year-olds truly compete with 17 and 18-year-olds.
“It was a very tough decision to eliminate the younger age divisions from this championship. As the Allied Golf Association of the USGA we wanted our state junior amateur to more closely resemble that of the national championship, which does not have age divisions,” added Pitts. “Plus, these kids all play high school golf against one another no matter if they are freshman or seniors, so we feel that part won’t be very foreign to them at all.”
Although we know that this may discourage some younger players from participating right away, we hope that it gives them something to look forward to as they develop as players.
“The hardest part was eliminating the very young age divisions – the 13 and under divisions – because we know those kids are very unlikely to enter the event now,” said Tom Christensen, immediate past chairman of the IGA Rules & Competitions Committee. “Thankfully, our state has a wealth of playing opportunities for the youngest golfers with the Iowa Section PGA Junior Tour, so we will work to promote those events even more than we have in the past.”
Did you know – The Iowa Golf Association recently obtained two new permanent trophies that will include the names of each champion from the past going forward. We are excited to unveil those at this year’s championship.