Drive, Chip and Putt Championship promotes golf for children


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Justin Blazer, Director of Instruction at Duran Golf Club, gives a young golfer tips on her approach.

photo courtesy of Duran Golf Club

The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship cleverly focuses on youth and is aimed at growing the game of golf through focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf.

Founded in 2013 by the Masters Tournament, United States Golf Association and the PGA of America, boys and girls compete in separate divisions in four age categories: ages 7 to 9; 10 and 11, 12 and 13 and 14 and 15 years old. A nationwide program, local participants advance to play in sub-regional and regional qualifiers, culminating in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals held annually the Sunday before the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga. 

On April 2 this year, a group consisting of 80 boys and girls will participate in the national finals.

This year also is special locally because for the first time, local youths may compete in the first round at the Duran Golf Club.

“Duran Golf Club and the Brevard County area is loaded full of young golfers and I know many of them are very excited to be able to participate this year at a local facility instead of having to travel to a site,” said Mathew Morrison, PGA head golf professional at Duran Golf Club, who is spearheading the competition at the club.

Duran takes pride in always being a leader in junior golf on the Space Coast, Morrison said.

“Golf is a game for the ages; it can teach our junior golfers some of life’s greatest lessons and values such as patience, persistence, respect, attitude and sportsmanship.” 

Locally, youth golfers will be tested on three skills — driving, chipping, putting — and awarded points based upon how they do. Winners advance to the sub-regional and then a regional qualifying site with the end goal of making it to the final site at the 2018 Masters in Augusta that is nationally televised.

Registration now is open for the May local qualifiers’ event with no entry fee. 

Players may sign up at drivechipandputt.com and select Duran Golf Club as one of the local qualifying sites. Additional information may be obtained by checking the Duran Golf Club website at durangolf.com where there is a link to the registration site as well.