Upcoming AJGA Tournament at Sugarloaf Golf Club
August 12, 2021
The American Junior Golf Association, or AJGA, is a nonprofit premiere junior golf association committed to the development and growth of individuals who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The organization focuses on developing golfers to their highest skills level and preparing members for their college golf careers rather than fostering the recreational side of the sports.
The AJGA has run elite tournaments for junior golfers in the United States since 1978; in fact, in 2020, the AJGA held 101 tournaments for its 7,300 junior members and 1,000 collegiate coach members.
This August, the AJGA will be holding the Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Sugarloaf Golf Club for the tenth time, with help from sponsors Junior Golf Hub, an online networking website founded to help athletes and their parents navigate the road to college golf. Both male and female golfers ages twelve (the age minimum for AJA events) to nineteen will participate in the tournament, two of which are from Maine: Eli Spaulding and Ruth Weeks. There are 18 states and 3 different countries represented that Juniors have traveled from to participate in this tournament.
When asked about the upcoming AJGA Tournament, Sugarloaf Golf Club’s Head Professional Zach Zondlo said, “It is one of the most challenging AJGA events in the country, which brings out some of the best young golfers. Last year we witnessed one competitor, Calen Sanderson of Pennsylvania, shoot the course record of 66.” For comparison, the course is generally considered par 72.
Zondlo at the 2017 AGJA Tournament.
Preparations are already underway, starting with the topdressing and verticut last week, which Zondlo explains “will allow for the greens to be in immaculate condition once the competition starts.” Additionally, many members of the Sugarloaf summer staff have signed up for volunteer tasks, from spotters to timing stations and even manning the water rovers.
As Maine’s premier golf destination, the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Sugarloaf Golf Club is happy to host the American Junior Golf Association for the tenth time, providing golfers with stunning panoramic mountain views making for an unforgettable place to play. Best of luck to all involved!
Please note that the Sugarloaf Golf Club will be closed to the public for the American Junior Golf Association Championship from August 23 through August 26.
Q&A with AJGA’s Tournaments Coordinator Sydney Della Flora
Q: How does the Sugarloaf Golf Course compare to other tournament venues?
A: The Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Sugarloaf presented by Junior Golf Hub is our only tournament we host in Maine, and I can confidently say this venue has some of the best views on our tournament schedule. This course is also extremely challenging for players, which brings a competitive and exciting atmosphere at the event.
Q: What makes Sugarloaf a destination AJGA keeps coming back to?
A: The committee, golf course, staff, and sponsors are the biggest reason why we return to Sugarloaf Mountain Resort year after year. From the helpful and professional course staff to the support of the Coca-Cola, the city, and Junior Golf Hub, we truly would not be able to do it without them. One thing the AJGA looks for when picking venues is not only the conditions of the golf course, but also the people we work with, and Sugarloaf proves every year that they go above and beyond with both things.
Q: How would you describe the atmosphere at an AJGA tournament?
A: The AJGA’s mission of being dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf, is something you see come to life at all our events. Juniors who participate are looking to play golf at the collegiate level, and they, without question, have the skills to do so. AJGA tournaments are a huge way to interact with college coaches, and help juniors make those connections early on. Everyone on-site, from my staff to the juniors and parents, are professional, positive, and looking to make the tournament the best it possibly can be.