Kinkora opener for Optimist tour

The annual Fred Wellsby Junior Divot tour will visit six local courses between June 29 and July 9.

The annual Optimist Fred Wellsby Junior Divot Golf Tournament starts June 29, with the first of six rounds teeing off at Kinkora Golf Course.

The tour continues with rounds at the Fraserglen Golf Course (July 2), Cheam Mountain Golf Course (July 6), Cultus Lake Golf  Club (July 7) and Valley Golf Course (July 8).

The tour ends July 9 with a Championship Invitational at the Chilliwack Golf Course, with the overall winners from the previous six tournaments invited to play.

The Optimist Club of Chilliwack has coordinated this event for two decades, with organizers Glenda Standeven, Everett Worth and Julie Muirhead watching alums go on to play professionally.

The field is normally limited to golfers 15 and under, but this year’s tourney will allow 16 year olds. Golfers must be 16 or under at the time of the tournament and able to score 100 or better on a par three course.

“There are some great young golfers in our tournament — some who are shooting below par but also some who are scoring close to that 100 mark,” Standeven said. “We place them with their age group and peers so everyone has fun. And having net prizes means that even those kids who didn’t have their best day potentially win a prize.”

The youngest player to ever win was eight year old Eugene Wong, who is now a familiar name on the junior tours.

In all the years, only one girl, Samantha Kirk, has ever won the championship.

“We would really encourage young female golfers to sign up for this tournament,” Standeven noted. “Golf is not just a sport for boys, and we would love to have more girls join in the fun!”

Registration on June 29 starts at 11 a.m. and golfers start swinging at noon.

The $15 is payable on the day of the event and gets golfers a pop and a snack.

There are net and gross prizes in every age category:  nine and under, 10-12 and 13-16. Tournament rules are in effect, with no caddies allowed except in the nine and under division.

To pre-register, call or visit each of the golf courses, contact Standeven by email at gstandev@shaw.ca or phone her at 604-792-6638.