What is the FWJGA?
The Fort Worth Junior Golf Association conducts the annual Fort Worth City Boys and Girls Junior Golf Championships. The tournaments traditionally are in July and are free for participants. There are no entry fees and no greens fees, and courses played include Fort Worth municipals and country clubs. There are eligibility rules, which a link can be found on the menu. The tournaments are open to boys and girls 8 to 18 years old. The boys tournament has been conducted since 1936 and the girls tournament since 1974. Thanks to the generosities of the City of Fort Worth and the country clubs, which donate their courses each year, there has never been a fee for participants. Registration for the tournaments begin May 1.
Dates set for 2014 championships
Dates for the 2014 FWJGA Boys and Girls City Junior Golf Championships have been set. This year, the boys tournament will be July 7-8-9-10 and the girls tournament will be July 14-15-16. Online registration for the boys, which has been free to participants since 1936, and the girls, which has been free since 1974, will be May 1. As always, dates could change because of various circumstances.
Diamond Oaks Ladies Golf Association
donates to the FWJGA
The Diamond Oaks Ladies Golf Association donated $11,500 to the Fort Worth Junior Golf Association at its Christmas party on Dec. 11. The DOLGA donated the check from the proceeds from its Diamonds In The Rough tournament, with help from sponsors Ruben Aguirre and Emily Nelson of Golf Galaxy. Staff members of the FWJGA are pictured from the top, left to right: Charles Clines, Bill Hatley and Charles Birkhold. Also from the FWJGA from left to right on the bottom row are Leslie Clines and Wendell Conditt, longtime director who retired this year. In the middle is Ruben Aguirre, owner of Metro Gold and Silver and a sponsor of the DOLGA. Members of the DOLGA are from right to left: Nancy Murr, Suzi Gallemore, Judy Tapscott, Barbara Smith and Louise Goodwin. The FWJGA, which is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that relies on volunteers to conduct is annual Fort Worth City Junior Boys and Girls Golf Championships. Donations help offset, among other things, the costs of trophies, fliers and brochures.
New medalist award honors
Wendell Conditt, longtime director
Wendell Conditt retired as FWJGA executive director before the 2013 boys and girls championships after being the guiding hand of the Fort Worth Junior Golf Association since 1973. The FWJGA, comprised of volunteers, honored him by awarding the first Wendell Conditt Medalist Award to the girls and boys champions. The award will be presented each year to the player with the lowest first-round score in each tournament. Wendell presented the boys award this year after the final round at Colonial C.C. He's pictured at right with the award.
Wendell began his involvement with the boys tournament when the Fort Worth Men's Golf Association, which included the city's country club members, conducted the tournament. The free boys tournament began in 1936 at the behest of businessman Marvin Leonard, with help from Dr. Alden Coffey, with its purpose of giving all boys, no matter financial standing, a chance to play in a tournament.
The men's association disbanded in the 1960s, but had enough money remaining for Wendell and good friend Guinn Phillips to conduct the tournament for a few years. Several of Wendell's friends also contributed to help keep the tournament going. However, the contributions eventually ran dry and the tournament wasn't conducted in 1972.
Jack Montgomery of Fort Worth, a PGA Tour competitor and who had a sentimental attachment to the tournament, helped Wendell resurrect the boys tournament in 1973. Not only did Montgomery help raise money, he also bagged a donation of wieners and chili, and helped conduct the younger boys at Sycamore Creek. He skipped playing in the Western Open to donate his time.
''That year, we gave away about 10,000 chili dogs,'' Wendell said. ''We gave those kids chili dogs as long as they could eat them.'' Because there were few junior tournaments at that time, the boys tournament would attract large numbers, even more than 700 players, which is one reason so many chili dogs were consumed.
Before the age of computers, Wendell, Guinn and Star-Telegram sports writer Jim Trinkle often would be figuring results and pairings until midnight.
There were several businesses that stepped in to help the tournament, and one of the biggest supporters has continued to be Marty Leonard, daughter of the tournament's founder Marvin Leonard. The boys permanent trophy is named after him.
Woodhaven assistant pro Bobby Seaholm acted as tournament chairman when Montgomery became involved and, Wendell said, Seaholm was instrumental in getting the Star-Telegram to sponsor the tournament. In fact, the tournament became known as the Star-Telegram tournament to participants until the newspaper ended its sponsorship in the '90s. Also, Coca-Cola has supplied drinks to the boys and girls competitors for many years.
Wendell was instrumental in adding the FWJGA girls tournament in 1974, which was played only at Diamond Oaks C.C. for several years under the directorship of Benita Christensen. Over the years, there have been several volunteers who have been crucial in the organization's ability to conduct the tournaments.
Wendell had talked about retiring for a few years, and he and Guinn had handed over many of the duties to their sons, John Conditt and Martin Phillips, in the '90s. However, after a few years, Martin stepped aside and Wendell jumped back in as the director. Stepping entirely away from a tournament, Wendell said, has been difficult. The tournament has been a big part of Wendell's life for many years. And it still was when he announced he was retiring before the 2013 tournament.
Wendell has been the backbone of the tournament, and has been instrumental, along with Marty Leonard, in ensuring the country clubs and the City of Fort Worth have continued to provide their support by donating their courses for the girls and boys tournaments to make this a truly unique tournament -- the largest free junior tournament anywhere. Wendell also has had his friend, PGA great Lee Trevino, involved in helping raise money, which mainly goes for trophies.
Wendell's influence and guiding hands will be missed.
Present and past volunteers, staff and sponsors: Jim Barrett, Darren Baucom, Donna Berry, Chuck Birkhold, Ann Brown, Frances Busch, Randy Cairns, Arlene Clark, Charles Clines, Leslie Clines, Colonial Country Club Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of North Texas, John Conditt, Wendell Conditt, Gere Cozby, Vada Cushman, Pat Evans, Rudy Flores, Betty Floyd, Jim Ford, Suzi Gallemore, Melissa Gower, Bill Hatley, Jim Hilton, Gail Hitt, Brain Hutchins, Diane Johnson, Gere Johnson, Gay Joyner, Judy Knifong, Martha Kolb, Marty Leonard, Martha V. Leonard Fund, Kevin Long, Euginia Ludwig, Jan Marsell, Debbie Martinak,, Ben Matheson, Dr. Don Matheson, Larry Nelson, Marcus Newton, Dee Norris, Mike Pennell, Nancy Pennell, Orville Persons, Darrell Peters, Pat Peters, Chad Potts, Roberta Reeves, Pat Ryan, Sandra Ryan, Barbara Smith, Karen Stepp, Mary Stembridge, Kate Tran, Dale Thelen, Lee Trevino, Cameron Webb, Mike Wells, .