US Kids Golf adds Brevard to Tour Schedule
The US Kids local golf tour has arrived in Brevard County. As part of the nationwide regional spring tour, six Space Coast clubs will host the new competitions that will be held at Duran Golf Club in Viera, Turtle Creek in Rockledge, and Viera East in Viera.
The local tour will give youth golfers ages 5 through 14 a chance to advance their golf experience in age-appropriate competition and play on properly scaled course yardages. They will now be able to compete on familiar courses close to home.
At the local tour level, kids can gain their first exposure to competitive golf, earn priority status for championship events, and meet new friends while learning the game of golf. The top five finishers in each age group will receive priority status which can bring invitations to play state and regional events, leading to national qualifying.
“This is the last piece of the puzzle I wanted to complete,” said Justin Blazer, Director of Instruction at Duran’s Academy of Golf, who is responsible for bringing the new initiative here to Brevard and will be the US Kids Local Tour Director.
Since joining the staff at Duran in 2014, Blazer has been instrumental in promoting youth golf throughout the Space Coast area.
Two years ago he established the PGA Junior league and along with Matt Morrison, Duran PGA pro brought the annual Drive, Chip and Putt (DCP) competition to Duran 2 years ago. The DCP is a skills initiative designed to give junior golfers the opportunity to compete in age and gender divisions at local, regional, and statewide levels, leading to a trip to Augusta, Ga. for national competition.
Both programs have seen tremendous support among competitive junior golfers from throughout Brevard. “I think the impacts here in Brevard will be tremendous,” said Blazer. Blazer currently coaches more than 50 competitive players, four of whom are ranked in the top 50 in their divisions on the US Kids Junior tour.
He also works with 15 collegiate players, the majority of whom got their start on the US Kids Local Tour when they were younger.
“This opportunity will now give more kids here a jump start into learning the game. The experience will pay off when these kids reach high school level and perhaps allow more of our local players to be in state tournaments.”
“It’s rewarding to watch these kids progress from learning to play the game, to playing in the PGA Junior League to now being able to compete in individual tournaments,” Blazer added.
Head PGA pro at Suntree Country Club, Jeff Pratt, who is currently working with many youth players here in Brevard, said he is really happy that Justin has taken the lead for this national initiative for the local kids.
“It’s really great that the kids in our community can now be a part of this. These kids are the future for the sport and it’s nice we can watch them compete locally,” Pratt added.