FORT MILL — It’s not quite the PGA tour, but for some kids, it may be a start.
The Fort Mill Junior Golf Association, based out of the Fort Mill Golf Club and Accelerated Golf, has started a regional tour for golfers’ ages seven to 18.
“It’s a way to play local competition without big cost,” said Brent Reneau, owner/operation of Accelerated Golf at Fort Mill Golf Club.
The tour started earlier this summer and will have four stops. The first stop was playing at Fort Mill Golf Club. From there they went to Waterford Golf Club in Rock Hill. Up next is the Tega Cay Golf Club and finally finishing the summer off with a tournament at the Palisades Country Club Aug. 11.
The tournament is divided up by age ranges with the teenagers playing each other over 18 holes and those 12 and under playing each other over nine holes.
Reneau said he hopes the tour will grow from its first event, which attracted 18 golfers. He already has 25 to 30 golfers signed up for the next tour stop.
“I feel like it has been successful so far,” he said. “As long as it keeps up we are going to keep doing it.”
Reneau said he hopes to expand the tour to not just play in the summer, but also in the fall and spring.
Sims Reeves, Olympic High School (N.C.) golf coach, who helps with the tour, said it gives kids something positive to do during the time they are out of school during the summer.
“We are trying to keep guys focused and improve their game year round,” he said. “The other thing is it lets us grow the game. We hope to grow it and have some quality competition. These guys are engaged for the summer. They aren’t out getting into trouble. We hope to teach them more than just golf, but life skills as well.”
Daniel Ortiz, Reeves’ No. 1 player for the Olympic boys’ team, is on the tour and said he enjoys the competition.
“I do it more for the experience,” he said. “I play against other No. 1 players from other schools and I saw the benefit they were getting from it.”
Winners at each event will get awards and the point leaders for the tour will be awarded trophies. There is a $30 fee to join the tour. The fee is waived for members of the Fort Mill Junior Golf Association. For more information or to register, call Reneau at 803-230-2853 or go to aga-fmgc.com.