Bethpage State Park's Black Course to host Polo Golf Junior Classic in June
Tradition-rich venue to host 43rd edition of only match play event on AJGA schedule
By Brian Weis
The American Junior Golf Association's Polo Golf Junior Classic will be conducted at the historic Bethpage State Park on the Black Course from June 27 to July 1.
The Polo Golf Junior Classic, now in its 43rd year, is steeped in history from noteworthy past champions to famed host venues. The annual match play event is the only true match play format event on the AJGA schedule. All but two years of the 43-year history have been played as match play. The top-32 boys and top-32 girls compete over four days in a round robin match play tournament styled after the PGA TOUR's World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play.
"Bethpage State Park is proud to host the 43rd edition of the Polo Golf Junior Classic at the legendary Bethpage Black, a jewel in our state park system," New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. "We are excited to showcase these talented young golfers here at our exceptional public golf course and expect that the display of their skills on one of the nation's most difficult courses will inspire more youth to discover the thrill of golf."
Some noteworthy past champions of the Polo Golf Junior Classic include, in the Boys Division, Tiger Woods, Trevor Immelman, Stewart Cink, Brian Harman, Morgan Hoffman, Akshay Bhatia and Matthew NeSmith. On the Girls Division side, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Ariya Jutanugarn, Heather Farr, Rachel Heck and Sierra Brooks.
2021 champion Nicholas Dunlap of Huntsville, Alabama, went on from the Polo Golf Junior Classic to win the 73rd U.S. Junior Amateur at The Country Club of North Carolina a month later and earn Rolex Junior Player of the Year honors for 2021.
The Polo Golf Junior Classic has occurred annually since 1978, with a variety of host venues over its tenure. Noteworthy past host courses have included Liberty National Golf Club, PGA National Resort and Spa - Champion & Fazio Courses, Sea Island Golf Club, and Innisbrook Resort- Copperhead Course.
The 2022 move of the Polo Golf Junior Classic to Bethpage Black marks the first time the event is being played on a public course. The Black Course is rich in tradition having hosted three major championships, two FedEx Cup playoff events and the upcoming 2025 Ryder Cup.
The course which opened in 1936 as part of the Depression Era public-works project that build Bethpage State Park burst onto the scene in 2002 with its first hosting of the U.S. Open. It was this year that a young Tiger Woods, who won the Polo Golf Junior Classic in 1991, captured his second U.S. Open title. The Black Course again hosted the U.S. Open in 2009 where AJGA alumni Lucas Glover took home the title. The 'extremely difficult course' recommended 'only for highly skilled golfers' also hosted the 2012 and 2016 FedEx Cup playoff event, The Barclays. AJGA alumni Brooks Koepka won the 2019 PGA Championship when the course hosted its first major in ten years.
"We are so excited to bring the longstanding Polo Golf Junior Classic to Bethpage Black," said AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin. "The partnership we have with Polo Ralph Lauren combined with the rich history of Bethpage Black is going to be a special treat for the field in 2022 and we cannot wait to help promote junior golf at such a historic venue as Bethpage State Park."
All proceeds from the 2022 Polo Golf Junior Classic will benefit the Natural Heritage Trust. For over 50 years, the Natural Heritage Trust has worked to preserve New York's public lands and enhance programs at state parks and historic sites. Learn more at https://www.naturalheritagetrust.org/.
This event also seeks to give back and grow the junior golf program at Bethpage State Park. The event will include an opportunity for junior golfers to interact with the top-64 juniors in the country through volunteering.
For more information about the Polo Golf Junior Classic please contact Emma Varela (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the AJGA Communications Department.
Learn more about the AJGA through Facebook, Twitter or at www.ajga.org.
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Revised: 03/16/2022 - Article Viewed 738 Times
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About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
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