The theme song to "Toys 'R' Us" commercials rings in my head every time I receive a press release for the 2009 Pepsi Lakes Junior Cup.
"I don't want to grow up....."
When it comes to golf, I think most in the general public wish they were back in high school. Last week area girls' golf teams played Grand View Lodge's The Preserve on Thursday, The Pines on Friday and then squeezed in a round at The Legacy Courses at Cragun's on Saturday.
At what cost? They had to miss school.
Area course owners, all of them, have been generous with allowing area high schools to host invitational and conference meets on their courses as well as use of their course facilities and sometimes personnel for practice.
Another such example is the Pepsi Lakes Junior Cup. For $30, a player can join the tour and play five of the top-rated courses in the state this summer.
The first tour date is 3 p.m. June 7 at Madden's Classic. The next four stops include Grand View Lodge's The Preserve (2 p.m. June 28), Grand View Lodge's The Pines (2 p.m. July 12), Deacon's Lodge (2 p.m. July 26) and The Legacy (2:30 p.m. Aug. 9).
The Junior Cup is open to boys and girls ages 13 through graduating seniors. It is open to players from golf teams of Brainerd, Crosby-Ironton, Pillager, Staples-Motley and Pequot Lakes. Summer residents are also eligible to participate.
"There aren't any real changes from last year other than we're hoping to get more players to each event," said tour director Chris Foley, head PGA professional at Madden's Resort. "I thought last year went great. The players who participated had a good time and I heard a lot of nice things from the parents. It was a nice event."
Each resort course will have a "team" consisting of up to 10 boys and five girls. Players will be divided equally among the courses with priority given to players living in proximity to the resort and players that work at the respective resort courses. One PGA professional from each course will be the team captain.
"I plan on doing it again this year," said Brainerd junior Sean Halverson. "I think it's a really good idea. It gets a lot of kids playing competitive golf and you get to play some of the nice courses we have around here for such a cheap fee."
Halverson was the individual winner at The Classic and The Legacy last season. He said the big draw for the Junior Cup is its competitive nature.
"There is a big difference between playing competitive golf against people and just going out and playing a round," Halverson said. "Any chance you get to play competitively is going to help."
Individual medals will be awarded for the top five boys and top three girls at each site. Team scores will be tallied through the season to determine a team winner. Members of the winning team will receive medals and a Traveling Cup will be awarded to the corresponding resort.
The cup is on display at The Classic, whose team captured the inaugural season title last year.
Players can sign up for the Pepsi Lakes Junior Cup by visiting www.chrisfoleygolf.com/lakesareajrcup. Also, high school golf coaches should have registration information for their players. Registration deadline is May 31. At the time of registration players are asked to sign a player code of conduct, which deals with sportsmanship, dress code and course behavior.
jeremy millsop, sports writer, may be reached at jeremy.millsop@brainerd dispatch.com or at 855-5856.5
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