Tour Talk: The McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour

Written by Dunc Mills:

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” ……Franklin D. Roosevelt

When FDR uttered those very meaningful words, it seems doubtful that he had the McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour specifically in mind. Nonetheless, the meaning behind that quote captures the essence of junior golf.

The Tour was founded in 1996 based on the concept of providing a series of coordinated, well-run junior golf tournaments across the province to deliver the opportunity for junior golfers of any age to learn the ropes of what it takes to be successful in junior golf competition.  Over the last few years with the surge of interest in junior golf, partly as a result of the overall boom in the golf industry as we come out of COVID, having a platform the likes of the McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour has become even more valuable.  Alberta Golf has seen a fantastic increase in the numbers of kids taking up the sport, especially in the U15 and U13 age divisions. The Tour provides unmatched value for these young people to help them learn the joys and yes, the disappointments of playing in competition.

This is not to say that the Tour cannot provide tremendous experiences for junior golfers in the U19 and U17 age groups as well. Tour events are held in every corner of the province, giving virtually every junior the chance to compete in a tournament within a reasonable driving distance of their home.  We have an outstanding roster of host sites, featuring many of Alberta’s best golf courses that have hosted numerous provincial and national championships over the years.

What can young golfers expect when they make the commitment to enter a Tour event?  Many youngsters register in a Tour event for perhaps their very first taste of tournament competition, while other kids have already built impressive competitive resumes by the time they are 15 or 16 years old.

Benefits of the Tour:

  • Good Competition – Many competitors in ‘MacRoss’ events might struggle to break 80 or 90, but the winning scores at Tour events are often around par or better. Knowing that the winning score will likely be in that range gives players a benchmark they can aim for as they seek to improve their games.  There are always both gross and net score prizes in every age group, so all players have the opportunity to earn some prize money.
  • Making New Friends – With over two dozen events on a typical Tour schedule every year, many juniors will compete in several tournaments over the course of the summer. They will meet other kids in their age group from across the province and many of these fellow competitors become lifelong friends as a result of first meeting at a junior golf tournament.  There is no better feeling than beating one of your best friends and then sharing some laughs over a burger or a soft drink after the round.
  • Learning How to Play in Tournaments – There is an old adage in golf that the only way to learn how to play in tournaments is to play in tournaments, and it is very true. When you have to make those testy three-footers and you have to play by all of the Rules all of the time, it’s just not the same experience as going out for a casual game of golf with your buddies or your parents.
  • The School of Life – Golf is such a tremendous sport for helping to teach kids some very valuable life skills that will hold them in good stead for their entire lives. Junior golf isn’t all about pounding a golf ball 300 yards down the fairway, or making a 20-footer for a birdie.  Through golf, young people learn the value of hard work (practice), honesty (count all your strokes), perseverance (no one wins all the time), accountability (be willing to enforce Rules on other players), interpersonal skills (making new friends), and learning how to interact with adults (Referees). But one of the most important aspects of playing junior golf is that kids learn how to have FUN!

For over a quarter-century, the McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour has provided thousands of young Albertans with a great way to get on board in the world of junior golf competition.  It continues to be a fantastic platform for kids 8-18 to hone their skills, both on and off the golf course.  Registration for all Tour events is open at www.albertagolfjuniors.org

See you on Tour!

    Alberta Golf | Juniors Sponsors