Although many kids are currently spending their days frolicking in the snow, sipping hot cocoa and bundling up to keep warm, it won’t be long before the smell of freshly cut grass and warm sunshine permeates the air.
While spring remains a few months away, it’s never too early to begin thinking about getting your child signed up for a fun outdoor activity. Drive, Chip & Putt certainly fits the bill as an ideal way to get a junior started in golf or strengthen their passion for the game. Drive, Chip & Putt is a skills competition that tests three important aspects of golf in a fun, competitive atmosphere contested at some of the nation’s most prestigious venues, many of which have hosted major championships.
Recent age-group champions have even gone on to qualify for some of the USGA’s preeminent championships, including the U.S. Women’s Open.
Since its inception in 2014, the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship has proved to be an overwhelming success as a way to grow the game. This skills competition offers boys and girls ages 7-15 a chance to have fun and compete, with the ultimate prize being a trip to Augusta National Golf Club to compete in the finals the Sunday before the annual Masters Tournament.
The USGA, the Masters Tournament and The PGA of America officially launched the 2018 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship by announcing the local qualifying schedule for the competition’s fifth year. The schedule includes dates and locations for participants to compete in local qualifiers across the country with the opportunity to advance to the National Finals at Augusta in April 2018. The full qualifying schedule can be found on the event’s website at www.DriveChipandPutt.com.
Online registration is scheduled to begin on Jan. 25.
Drive, Chip & Putt is a free youth golf development initiative for junior golfers in four separate age divisions: 7-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15, for girls and boys. The competition begins with local qualifying in all 50 states between May and August. Top performers at the local level will advance through subregional and regional qualifiers at some of the country’s best championship venues in July/August and September/October, respectively. The top 80 performers – 40 boys and 40 girls – earn an invitation to the National Finals at Augusta National on Sunday, April 1, the eve of the 2018 Masters. The event is televised by Golf Channel.
Each of the finalists also get the opportunity to observe the first official Masters practice round on April 2.
Expanding this year to 268 total sites, local qualifying is scheduled to begin Saturday, May 6 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The breakdown and schedule of 2018 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship qualifying is as follows:
Local (May/June/July/August): 268 host sites throughout all 50 states
3 juniors advance in each age/gender category from every venue
Subregional (July/August): 53 host sites throughout 33 states
2 juniors advance in each age/gender category from every venue
Regional (September/October): 10 host sites in 10 regions
1 junior advances in each age/gender category from every venue
National Finals (April 1, 2018): 80 total participants at Augusta National Golf Club
The regional qualifying events in September and October are set to take place at 10 championship host sites on the following dates:
Sept. 3, 2017: Pinehurst Resort (Site of the 2014 U.S. Open and 2014 U.S. Women’s Open championships)
Sept. 9, 2017: The Olympic Club (Site of the 2012 U.S. Open and 2021 U.S. Women’s Open championships)
Sept. 16, 2017: TPC Sawgrass (Site of The Players Championship and 1994 U.S. Amateur Championship)
Sept. 16, 2017: Muirfield Village Golf Club (Site of the Memorial Tournament, 2013 Presidents Cup and 1992 U.S. Amateur Championship)
Sept. 16, 2017: Southern Hills Country Club (Site of the 2007 PGA Championship, 2001 U.S. Open Championship)
Sept. 17, 2017: The Club at Carlton Woods (Site of the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship)
Sept. 24, 2017: The Honors Course (Site of the 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship)
Sept. 30, 2017: Interlachen Country Club (Site of the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open Championship)
Sept. 30, 2017: Torrey Pines (Site of the 2008 and 2021 U.S. Open championships)
Oct. 1, 2017: Winged Foot Golf Club (Site of the 2006 and 2020 U.S. Open championships)
For a full list of qualifying venues at the local and subregional level, or for more information about the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship, including official rules, registration and ticket information, please visit www.DriveChipandPutt.com.