What is the FWJGA?
The Fort Worth Junior Golf Association conducts the annual Fort Worth City Boys and Girls City 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.
Dates set for 2016 boys and girls championships;
AJGA Performance Stars to be rewarded
The dates for the FWJGA's Boys and Girls City Junior Golf Championships have been set. The girls' three-day tournament will be July 11-13 and the boys' four-day tournament will be July 18-21. Online registration will begin May 1. Championship Flight winners of the girls and boys tournaments will earn 4 Performance Stars from the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). The girls' second and third finishers will earn 1 Performance Star, and the boys' second through fifth finishers will earn one Performance Star. Go here for more information about the AJGA.
The girls schedule, beginning July 11: 18-hole players -- Walnut Creek G.C. Oak Course and Woodhaven C.C. with the first tee time at 7 a.m. at each course. The number of registered players will be divided in half for each course. Tuesday, July 12 -- the 36 (approximate) players with the lowest scores from the first day will play at Ridglea Country Club's South Course with tee times beginning at 8 a.m.; The next 36 (approximate) players will form Division II and will begin play at 7 a.m. at Pecan Valley River Course; the players who did not qualify for Division I or II will form Division III and begin 9-hole competition beginning at 7 a.m. at Sycamore Creek G.C. Wednesday, July 13 -- Division I will begin play at 8 a.m. at River Crest Country Club; Division II will begin play at 7 a.m. at Diamond Oaks Country Club and Division III will begin play at 7 a.m. at Sycamore Creek G.C. The girls who register for the 9-hole division (which is separate from Division III) will begin play Monday at Shady Valley C.C., beginning at noon.; they will play Tuesday and Wednesday at Sycamore Creek G.C. with first tee times beginning at 7 a.m.
The boys schedule schedule, beginning July 18: 18-hole players -- Monday (July 18) --: Meadowbrook G.C., Rolling Hills C.C., Woodhaven C.C.; 9-hole players -- 11-13-years-old -- Sycamore Creek G.C.; 8-10 -- Rivers Edge. First day, stroke play to decide divisions and/or flights.
Tuesday (July 19) -- Division I (app. 60 lowest scores from Monday) -- Ridglea C.C. South Course; Division II -- River Crest C.C.; 4th to 7th flights (match play) -- Pecan Valley Hills; 8th to 12th flights (match play) -- Hawks Creek G.C.; 11-13 (match play) -- Sycamore Creek G.C.; 8-10 -- River's Edge.
Wednesday (July 20) -- Championship and First flights -- Shady Oaks C.C.; Second and Third flights -- TBA; 4th-12th flights (match play) -- Diamond Oaks C.C. 11-13 (match play) -- Sycamore Creek G.C.; 8-10 (stroke play) -- Rivers Edge.
Thursday (July 21) -- Championship through Third flights -- Colonial C.C.; 4th-12 flights (stroke play) -- Walnut Creek Oak Course; 11-13 (match play) -- Sycamore Creek G.C.; 8-10 -- River's Edge.
Doug Higgins, 1942 champion, passes away
Doug Higgins Sr., the 1942 champion and longtime supporter of junior golf, died July 8, 2015. Mr. Higgins, 88, attended Texas Wesleyan University, where he lettered in golf and basketball. He was golf director at Diamond Oaks Country Club for several years and was an enthusiastic promoter of the FWJGA boys championship. He also helped the girls tournament start at the club, where it was held exclusively for several years. Mr. Higgins was a former PGA Tour player and business associate with Arnold Palmer. His two sons, Doug Jr. and Brad, also competed in the boys junior tournament.
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 in 2013. 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, Nancy Burk, Frances Busch, Randy Cairns, Martha Campos, 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, Ann Gilley-Hemphill, Melissa Gower, Joe Hancock, Bill Hatley, Linda Hicks, Jim Hilton, Gail Hitt, Brain Hutchins, Jan Jackson, Diane Johnson, Gere Johnson, Gay Joyner, Judy Knifong, Martha Kolb, Marty Leonard, Martha V. Leonard Fund, Wade Lewis, Harold Lockman, Kevin Long, Rick Lopez, Eugenia Ludwig, Jan Marsell, Debbie Martinak, Ben Matheson, Dr. Don Matheson, Leah McCann, Jackie Meinen, Lyndle Motley, Rick Murr, Marilyn Neely, Larry Nelson, Marcus Newton, Dee Norris, Mike Pennell, Nancy Pennell, Orville Persons, Darrell Peters, Pat Peters, Karen Petrie, Martin Phillips, Chad Potts, Roberta Reeves, James Renfro, Sheila Rowland, Pat Ryan, Sandra Ryan, Piper Sanders, Barbara Smith, Karen Stepp, Mary Stembridge, Kevin Sulley, Madeleine Sulley, Dale Thelan, Kate Tran, Dale Thelen, Lee Trevino, Cameron Webb, Mike Wells, Lela White. Note: Congratulations to volunteer Harold Lockman, who at 80 had shot his age 647 times as of July 9, since he turned 67. Yes, he has played and is playing a lot of great golf.