This past Saturday HJT were on the road once again with our talented group of Junior Golfers. This time to the splendid Red Tail Golf Club in Sorrento,FL and it proved to be yet another eventful visit. New players joining us, weather delays and in between some exceptional golf shown by a number of juniors of all ages. We certainly made the most of the day!
We start as usual with a big HJT welcome to new players joining us for the first time. Thank you for being with us and supporting our tour, we hope you felt welcome Ann Burel, Brian Eckert, Micah Fockler, Reese Sosa and Cooper Coon and we hope to welcome you back to another HJT competition at some point soon.
Red Tail GC right now is in excellent condition. Fairways are good and greens are in fine shape. As the condition improves we are now getting to see just how tough the golf course can play if you are a little errant off the tee. It’s certainly a golf course we are happy to have added to our rota this year and while some of our players may struggle to post their best score there we are happy to see we always get great numbers turning out to play our Red Tail events so clearly everyone can see the benefit in challenging yourself on a tough stage. Well done to every one of our players yesterday for your resilience and determination.
We began play at 1.30 from Tee number 1, unfortunately just after 2.45 the weather prediction turned a little nasty and for safety of all it was necessary to recall all players from the course to the nearest point of shelter. As a Scot I’m quickly realizing that this is what summer golf in Florida often looks like and so far this week every Junior Golf competition I have followed in our State has suffered from these delays. 35 minutes passed before the skies cleared and we could resume play. Unfortunately as late afternoon progressed, and just as our first few groups finished, it became clear that we would have to issue another weather recall.
Sitting around the clubhouse is of course not much fun for golfers who want to be out playing but safety will always be our priority. A late afternoon delay brings into play other factors too, as well as an expected restart time we now also have to consider, based on where our players were at the time of delay, IF everyone in the competition will have enough light remaining to finish 18 holes. On this occasion it was felt that it would not have been possible to do so and therefore it was fair to all players, regardless of where they were when the delay was called that we call the day’s competition as a 9 hole event and we present medals based on their completed front 9 score. The results are as follows:
Old Tom Morris Flight:
Our most senior flight of players and it was a very close call; Special recognition goes to Curtis Douglas in 3rd place who returned an impressive front nine 38 (+2). Great to see you back in the mix Curtis! Runner-Up Caden Fockler who had a splendid 37 (+1) on the front nine and an even better back nine total of 36 for a 73 overall. Caden has worked so hard to gain this consistency and its great to see him playing with such confidence, well played Caden!
Our medalist and eventual winner at Red Tail GC is a debut player. Making his first HJT appearance and what a way to start , Brian Eckert of Mt.Dora took the prize with an even par score of 36 strokes. Congratulations to Brian from everyone at HJT on a great score and for showing us some exceptional golf in challenging conditions.
The Young Tommy Morris Flight:
Our mid-age flight saw two players playing together each battling to post a good score. It was a great pity that the weather meant we could not see most matches through to a conclusion as this one in particular was shaping up to be a great one to watch. I was lucky enough to follow this group for a few holes and both of these young players demonstrated everything that is good about the game we all love. They are both fast developing junior golfers with great attitudes, determination and a level of talent that we all know only comes from working hard to improve their game.
When we determined their front 9 totals it stood at previous HJT medalist Cash Luck on 39(+3) and making her debutant appearance with HJT, Ann Burel on 37(+1) and so the medal for this one goes to Ann. Congratulations from us all Ann, it was a pleasure to watch some of your play and we hope to see you back with us again soon!
The Bobby Jones Flight:
Our youngest challengers compete in this flight and today we welcomed players as young as aged 9 through 12.Just as the other flights played out there were two competitors in this one who stood out as possible medal winners. Both of these talented young players are regular HJT event players and both have improved their game hugely since we first watched them play. Katie Allen from Fruitland Park works hard every opportunity she gets to improve and develop her game and its really beginning to show when it counts, in competition golf.
Rhett Kirkland is showing how practice, a great attitude and an ability to just have fun out there will bring rewards…that and a fine touch around the greens combined with a great putting stroke meant Rhett took the medal yesterday with a 47 to win by just 2 from Katie. Congratulations Rhett from all of us at HJT…you have now been successful in winning 3 HJT events and going forward you will now be promoted into our Claret Jug Flight exclusively for 3 times or more medalists. (Claret Jug Flight subject to player entry numbers at each future event)
Once again it was unfortunate that we could not have seen all players in this flight play to a conclusion but unfortunately it was not to be due to the weather. Well done to all players regardless of score posted for showing great resilience under tough circumstances.
So there we have it, an eventful day to be sure! The weather played its part in many ways with delays and unfortunately there’s nothing any of us can do about that. Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding. Thank you also to Gage Hodges and his team at Red Tail GC…Gage your course was great but please fix that weather for us next time! Seriously though thank you Red Tail and we look forward to returning again on Saturday August 22nd.
A quick footnote to add. As many of you are already aware the fine looking Claret Jug Trophy (above) is always on display at each event we host. As many new players join us they ask how it can be won? We thought it might be timely to remind everyone of the simple criteria we have used to create the rules. There are only two requirements to be in a position to play for The Claret Jug at our end of year Champion Golfer of the Year event (Saturday December 5th – Venue To be Announced)
First requirement is you must be an HJT Member Player. Membership costs $50 but does entitle you to a $10 entry fee reduction in EVERY event you enter so very quickly saves you $$$’s.
Second requirement is that you play in a minimum of 8 HJT events prior to the December competition.
That’s really all there is to it. Our end of year event as always will be flighted by age and the Claret Jug Trophy and title of Highlander Junior Tour Champion Golfer of the Year 2020 will be awarded to the player who shoots the lowest score.
If you are currently playing with us and want to become a member you can do so by clicking the link HERE
Our next two events are coming up and are available for registration now. Next saturday we return to an old favorite of ours at Eagle Ridge GC in Summerfield, FL. Tee times from 12.30pm on that one and the following week its our first visit to what we believe is THE number one venue in Florida (The Golf Channel experts agree too!) Mission Inn Resort and the historic 1917 gem they call El Campeon at Howey-in-the Hills, Florida. If you can join us for either of these you can register HERE
Thank you again everyone who joined us at Red Tail GC. We appreciate your support and look forward to welcoming you back to another of our competitions soon.