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GAP Junior Program

The Golf Association of Philadelphia has conducted Junior events in the Philadelphia area since 1914 — the inaugural year of its Junior Boys’ Championship. Several additions to the Junior tournament schedule throughout the years led to its present form.

In 1949, the Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship was created to serve as a championship for Juniors ages 10-14. Both the Junior Boys’ Championship and the Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship feature a stroke play qualifying round followed by match play.

Additional Junior championships include the Junior Team Championship (run concurrently with the first round of the Junior Boys’ Championship); the Jock MacKenzie Memorial, annually held at Sandy Run Country Club; and the Francis X. Hussey Memorial, annually held at Rolling Green Golf Club.

Given the game’s growth, the Golf Association of Philadelphia added the Christman Cup in 2000. Originally open to the region’s Top 30 players, the Christman Cup expanded its field size to 60 in 2007 to give more Juniors an opportunity to compete under Championship conditions. The event is now open to 78. The Christman Cup also serves as two of the four rounds that comprise the Harry Hammond Award.

The Harry Hammond Award serves as the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Junior stroke play championship. It is given to the player with the lowest aggregate score total from the Junior Boys’ Championship qualifying round, Jock MacKenzie Memorial (new in 2007) and two rounds of the Christman Cup.

In an attempt to enhance its Junior program, the Golf Association of Philadelphia created a Player of the Year Award in 2000. Robert Galbreath, Jr. of Huntingdon Valley (2005-06) and Billy Stewart of Llanerch (2000-01) earned the honor in consecutive years. Cole Berman of Philadelphia Cricket Club won three straight titles from 2012-14.

In 2002, the Golf Association of Philadelphia joined Davis Sezna to create the Deeg Sezna Four-Ball. The event, in honor of Mr. Sezna’s son Deeg, who lost his life in the Sept. 11 tragedy, matches a junior with a partner at least 21 years old and an age differential of 10 years. The Deeg Sezna, a salute to mentors, is held annually and is now played using a selective drive/alternate shot format.

Added in 2004, the Pre-Junior Event, for players 11 years of age or younger, focuses on rules, etiquette and course conduct. Following that instruction, a six-hole shotgun tournament is held followed by an awards ceremony and lunch. It takes place annually at Philadelphia Cricket Club (St. Martins Course). However, because of high demand, a Pre-Junior Event will also take place at Merchantville Country Club in 2017. Fathers can play alongside their sons, ages 17 and under, in the Father & Son (Younger).

The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine spotlighted Junior golf in its Spring 2014 issue.