AJGA event to celebrate 10th year where golf’s greats are honored
BRASELTON, Ga. – The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and the ANNIKA Foundation will host the 10th ANNIKA Invitational USA at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida, January 12-15, 2018.
“The ANNIKA Invitational USA and World Golf Village are natural partners on a number of levels,” said Annika, a 2003 inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame and current co-chair of its Selection Commission with Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. “Giving participants an opportunity to learn more about golf’s great history is a logical extension of our ‘More Than Golf’ programming, a key component of our event since its inception.”
Since 2009, the ANNIKA Invitational USA has been one of the AJGA’s premier all-girls Invitationals. Each year, Annika is deeply involved in all facets of the event. Annika and her family get to know the players at the welcome dinner, the ANNIKA Clinic sponsored by Rolex and the “More Than Golf” seminar which features segments about nutrition, fitness, media relations, course management and the college admission process. She is also a staple at the Callaway Golf Junior-Am, sending off the amateurs and awarding them after the round. When tournament play is completed, she’s there to greet the junior competitors as they walk off the 18th green. Annika’s personal touch with all members of the ANNIKA Invitational USA field sets the event apart from others.
The ANNIKA Invitational USA always leads off the ANNIKA Foundation’s annual global series of all-girls junior events. Others are played in China, Sweden and Argentina.
The AJGA will travel to World Golf Village for the first time since 2002, as the Slammer & Squire course hosted AJGA tournaments from 2000–2002.
Located in St. Augustine, Florida, the World Golf Hall of Fame is the centerpiece of World Golf Village, and is the ultimate golf vacation destination and a true paradise for fans of the game. In addition to the Hall of Fame, the World Golf Village is home to the flagship Renaissance World Golf Village Resort, the PGA TOUR Golf Academy, IMAX Theater and two championship golf courses including the Slammer & Squire and the King & Bear.
The host course, the Slammer & Squire, was designed by architect Bobby Weed along with Hall of Fame Members Sam “The Slammer” Snead and Gene “The Squire” Sarazen. The course opened to the public in May 1998, featuring two distinct nines with generous fairways, contoured greens and plenty of water hazards along with impressive views of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The Slammer & Squire course was the host site of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, a PGA TOUR Champions event, and has hosted an array of other golf events including the LPGA Senior Tour’s Handa Cup from 2006–2009 and presently, two qualifiers for the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship.
Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003, Annika’s playing career was legendary. She won 89 career tournaments around the world, including 72 on the LPGA Tour and 10 major championships. Annika was also named the Rolex Player of the Year a record eight times and her 13-under-par 59 remains the only sub-60 score in the history of the LPGA Tour.
“After leading a true Hall of Fame playing career, Annika has continued to devote her time to further improving the game of golf, which is proven by her initiative with the ANNIKA Invitational USA,” said Jack Peter, President of the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum. “We like to think Annika is ‘coming home’ to the Hall of Fame with this year’s tournament at World Golf Village. The ANNIKA Invitational USA is sure to give the girls competing in the tournament an aspirational look ahead at where their legacies may someday live – in the World Golf Hall of Fame.”
Past champions of the ANNIKA Invitational USA, including Alison Lee, Céline Boutier and Angel Yin, have gone on to successful collegiate and professional careers. Yin recently competed as a member of the 2017 U.S. Solheim Cup Team.
The 2018 ANNIKA Invitational USA will begin Friday, January 12 with a tournament practice round and the Callaway Golf Junior-Am. Tournament rounds will run from 8:15-10:05 a.m. Saturday, January 13 to Monday, January 15.
About the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum
The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum celebrates golf and preserves the legacies of those who have made it great. The Hall of Fame & Museum, located at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida, serves as a steward of the game through engaging, interactive storytelling and exhibitions featuring artifacts, works of art, audio, video and photography significant to the history of golf and its members. The Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution and is allied with 26 national and international golf organizations, including The European Tour, LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A and USGA. To learn more about the World Golf Hall of Fame or to lend support, visit www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org.
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 6,600 members from 50 states and 55 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
TaylorMade-adidas Golf became the AJGA’s National Sponsor in 2016 after more than 25 years of support. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Ralph Lauren became the AJGA’s second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 600 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Justin Thomas, Stacy Lewis, Ariya Jutanugarn , Alison Lee, Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.