Top amateurs, juniors spend afternoon at San Gabriel

Sixty juniors and four top amateurs gathered at San Gabriel CC Thursday for the SCGA Foundation’s Junior Golf Clinic. The juniors, who were from four different junior golf programs in Southern California, received instruction on driving, chipping and putting while participating in challenges along the way to pick up points. The individual from each organization with the most points at the conclusion of the day had the opportunity to golf two holes on the course with one of the amateurs.

Scott Travers, 2010 SCGA Amateur Champion, was one of the four amateurs to participate in the event.

“It always feels good to give back,” he said. “The greatest thing is when you show someone how to do it and then they do it correctly. That’s the most rewarding part.”

Along with Travers, 2006 State Amateur Champion Jordan Nasser, 2006 Mid-Amateur Champion Robert Funk and 2011 UCLA top recruit Preston Valder volunteered for the event. For some of the juniors, just meeting these amateurs, let alone playing with them, was a highlight.

Rising high school junior Patrick Ona, a member of the Tiger Woods Learning Center, has been reading about Preston Valder in local newspapers for years. Thursday, Ona not only had the opportunity to have Valder critique and compliment his swing, but also got to play holes 1 and 18 at San Gabriel with him (pictured top).

After competing in chipping, putting and driving contests, Ona emerged as the point’s leader amongst all Tiger Woods Learning Center participants. He was then partnered with Valder for the closing activity.

The juniors also had the opportunity to hear the amateurs answer questions about balancing golf and education, and get tips on how to achieve their goals.

All four amateurs competed in this past weekend’s SCGA Amateur Championship, also held at San Gabriel CC.

The SCGA Foundation would like to thank its sponsors Nestle and the Haralambos Company for supporting the junior golf clinic by helping everyone keep cool with a generous supply of beverages, water and ice cream donations.  Special thanks goes out to the San Gabriel CC members, staff and volunteers for hosting the event.

The mission of the SCGA Foundation is to sponsor the education and character development of Southern California youth through the game of golf.