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There’s a new, elite JR event this winter in the SE


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#1 Pinewood Golfer

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 12:17 AM

The Gator Invitational. Being held at The Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, MS the last weekend in February. Course hosts the PGA Tour Sanderson Farms Championship to rave reviews from the players. The Gator has been a regional scale high school team event in the past but is transitioning to a limited field individual Invitational. Will be done right—players and parents party (separate), breakfast and lunch for players both days, and some slick tee gifts (not your normal box of balls, head cover and a towel). Not to mention a field full of top 500 players. applications can be submitted at www.gatorinvitational.com. I’m happy to answer any questions.


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#2 heavy_hitter

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 06:02 PM

What age groups?  Boy’s Girl’s?

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#3 Pinewood Golfer

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 06:25 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:02 PM, said:

What age groups?  Boy’s Girl’s?

It’s a boys 13 & up event. I guess there could be a scenario where a younger kid could be selected, but not likely. May add girls at some point in the future.

Edited by Pinewood Golfer, 01 January 2018 - 06:26 PM.


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#4 heavy_hitter

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 06:29 PM

View PostPinewood Golfer, on 01 January 2018 - 06:25 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:02 PM, said:

What age groups?  Boy’s Girl’s?

It’s a boys 13 & up event. I guess there could be a scenario where a younger kid could be selected, but not likely. May add girls at some point in the future.

May want to put age group info on the web page along with yardages.  The more info the better.

Edited by heavy_hitter, 02 January 2018 - 09:52 AM.


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#5 Pinewood Golfer

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 06:38 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:29 PM, said:

View PostPinewood Golfer, on 01 January 2018 - 06:25 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:02 PM, said:

What age groups?  Boy’s Girl’s?

It’s a boys 13 & up event. I guess there could be a scenario where a younger kid could be selected, but not likely. May add girls at some point in the future.

May want to put age group info on the web page along with yardages.  The more infor the better.

We are working on building out our website. Trying to get word out right now. With PGA event it took a while to gain board approval for a weekend event. For those on here, the course plays as much as 7450 yards. We will likely play 6800-7000 given the time of year. As far as ages, we are looking for the best players we can get. We opened up registration 1 week ago and have about 30 applications. Among those are players from TX, LA, MS, AR, TN, GA, AL and OH. 2 top 100 players, 6 top 200, 10 top 500. Top 10 players in the classes of 2019, 20, 21 and 22.


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#6 leezer99

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 07:24 PM

Bold move... all the same weekend.
  • FCG Texas World Series Championship (13-18 year olds - junior world qualifier)
  • HJGT - five tournaments going on
  • FCWT - FCWT Open at World Golf Village
  • Dustin Johnson World Junior event
Best of luck.

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#7 Pinewood Golfer

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 07:41 PM

View Postleezer99, on 01 January 2018 - 07:24 PM, said:

Bold move... all the same weekend.
  • FCG Texas World Series Championship (13-18 year olds - junior world qualifier)
  • HJGT - five tournaments going on
  • FCWT - FCWT Open at World Golf Village
  • Dustin Johnson World Junior event
Best of luck.

No doubt. At the end of the day, it is what it is. The calendar is full. The event will stand on its own two feet in the way it’s executed. That’s what is impossible to illustrate online. Fortunately, for us, we’ve had a really good run of top level juniors through our club’s program (Bama x 2, Ole Miss x 3, Miss St x 2, Rhodes, etc). We have enough connections for the event to be a success. But we want it to be a top 5 event in the southeast within 5 years. We have the resources and plan to make it happen. Just need the kids to come in and go back to spread the word after they’ve participated.

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#8 leezer99

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 07:51 PM

View PostPinewood Golfer, on 01 January 2018 - 07:41 PM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 01 January 2018 - 07:24 PM, said:

Bold move... all the same weekend.
  • FCG Texas World Series Championship (13-18 year olds - junior world qualifier)
  • HJGT - five tournaments going on
  • FCWT - FCWT Open at World Golf Village
  • Dustin Johnson World Junior event
Best of luck.

No doubt. At the end of the day, it is what it is. The calendar is full. The event will stand on its own two feet in the way it’s executed. That’s what is impossible to illustrate online. Fortunately, for us, we’ve had a really good run of top level juniors through our club’s program (Bama x 2, Ole Miss x 3, Miss St x 2, Rhodes, etc). We have enough connections for the event to be a success. But we want it to be a top 5 event in the southeast within 5 years. We have the resources and plan to make it happen. Just need the kids to come in and go back to spread the word after they’ve participated.
Sounds awesome. Save us a spot in four years.  :lol:

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#9 twjames

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:46 PM

Is this an Invitational?

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#10 Pinewood Golfer

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:58 PM

View Posttwjames, on 02 January 2018 - 12:46 PM, said:

Is this an Invitational?

Yes. Field to be selected by tournament committee. Anyone is welcome to submit an application. Selections will be made to try and ensure the strongest field possible. www.gatorinvitational.com

Edited by Pinewood Golfer, 02 January 2018 - 01:20 PM.


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#11 blaird

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 03:09 PM

Is this not the big high school event they have there every year?? I know they have boys teams and invite some of the top teams and top individual players. There are a few girls that play as well. I know a couple years ago the Thornberry kid shot quite a few under for two days. Think Wilson Furr and some of the other top jrs in the state played but didnt know kids from outside the state came over.

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#12 Pinewood Golfer

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 03:43 PM

View Postblaird, on 02 January 2018 - 03:09 PM, said:

Is this not the big high school event they have there every year?? I know they have boys teams and invite some of the top teams and top individual players. There are a few girls that play as well. I know a couple years ago the Thornberry kid shot quite a few under for two days. Think Wilson Furr and some of the other top jrs in the state played but didnt know kids from outside the state came over.

You're correct.  However, high school politics in southeastern states have made it nearly impossibly to field the caliber event--as a high school team event--that we would like to host.  For example, almost all schools in Alabama and Tennessee--regardless of whether they're public or private--play under the HSAA in their state for sports.  And those HSAA's don't allow their association's team to compete in another state against a school--in Mississippi, for example--that plays under an Independent school association as opposed to the HSAA in MS.

We grew the event as big as we could possibly get it last year.  We had 18 top 200 players and more than 3 dozen future college golfers.  It's just not feasible to continue to grow that success under the old format, so, as a Country Club, we've decided to host it in an individual invitational format and attempt to attract the best players in the country.

Just a week in, we have applications from the #1 player in their state (class of 2021) for MS, AL and TX.  We have the top 2019 players in AL and MS and the top player in MS for 2018.  Off to a good start.  Especially, as the poster above pointed out, given the competition on the calendar and the relative late start we got.

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#13 blaird

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 09:18 AM

View PostPinewood Golfer, on 02 January 2018 - 03:43 PM, said:

View Postblaird, on 02 January 2018 - 03:09 PM, said:

Is this not the big high school event they have there every year?? I know they have boys teams and invite some of the top teams and top individual players. There are a few girls that play as well. I know a couple years ago the Thornberry kid shot quite a few under for two days. Think Wilson Furr and some of the other top jrs in the state played but didnt know kids from outside the state came over.

You're correct.  However, high school politics in southeastern states have made it nearly impossibly to field the caliber event--as a high school team event--that we would like to host.  For example, almost all schools in Alabama and Tennessee--regardless of whether they're public or private--play under the HSAA in their state for sports.  And those HSAA's don't allow their association's team to compete in another state against a school--in Mississippi, for example--that plays under an Independent school association as opposed to the HSAA in MS.

We grew the event as big as we could possibly get it last year.  We had 18 top 200 players and more than 3 dozen future college golfers.  It's just not feasible to continue to grow that success under the old format, so, as a Country Club, we've decided to host it in an individual invitational format and attempt to attract the best players in the country.

Just a week in, we have applications from the #1 player in their state (class of 2021) for MS, AL and TX.  We have the top 2019 players in AL and MS and the top player in MS for 2018.  Off to a good start.  Especially, as the poster above pointed out, given the competition on the calendar and the relative late start we got.

Good deal. I am a high school coach and try to keep up with all the juniors in the state. I have also played with many of them in various events throughout the state. I know the Gator has a big name in the high school world and look forward to seeing it grow beyond that!!

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#14 Pinewood Golfer

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 10:28 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:29 PM, said:

View PostPinewood Golfer, on 01 January 2018 - 06:25 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:02 PM, said:

What age groups?  Boy’s Girl’s?

It’s a boys 13 & up event. I guess there could be a scenario where a younger kid could be selected, but not likely. May add girls at some point in the future.

May want to put age group info on the web page along with yardages.  The more info the better.

Wanted to give y’all a quick update. Through 2 Weeks of registration, we have 49 applicants. These players represent 12 states and 5 different countries (including USA). Of the applicants, 3 are top 100, 8 are 101-250, 12 are 251 to 500, 7 are 501-750 and 6 are 751-1000. That’s 23/49 that are top 500. We still have 2 Weeks left for registration and the expectation is that we will increase our numbers in each of these categories.

The field is limited to 54 players (60 at absolute most, but only if it enhances field), so as the numbers would suggest, it will be a very strong field—not only at the top, but with depth.

Would love for y’all to continue spreading the word. The effort for this first year is VERY organic, but this is just the beginning. By 2020, we expect all serious junior golfers to be familiar with this event.

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#15 TimberBeast

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:45 AM

View PostPinewood Golfer, on 04 January 2018 - 10:28 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:29 PM, said:

View PostPinewood Golfer, on 01 January 2018 - 06:25 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:02 PM, said:

What age groups?  Boy's Girl's?

It's a boys 13 & up event. I guess there could be a scenario where a younger kid could be selected, but not likely. May add girls at some point in the future.

May want to put age group info on the web page along with yardages.  The more info the better.

Wanted to give y'all a quick update. Through 2 Weeks of registration, we have 49 applicants. These players represent 12 states and 5 different countries (including USA). Of the applicants, 3 are top 100, 8 are 101-250, 12 are 251 to 500, 7 are 501-750 and 6 are 751-1000. That's 23/49 that are top 500. We still have 2 Weeks left for registration and the expectation is that we will increase our numbers in each of these categories.

The field is limited to 54 players (60 at absolute most, but only if it enhances field), so as the numbers would suggest, it will be a very strong field—not only at the top, but with depth.

Would love for y'all to continue spreading the word. The effort for this first year is VERY organic, but this is just the beginning. By 2020, we expect all serious junior golfers to be familiar with this event.

Hope y'all can find a way to get girls added in the future, we are only a couple hours away on the Coast and would be interested for sure.


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#16 heavy_hitter

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 12:52 PM

View PostTimberBeast, on 09 January 2018 - 10:45 AM, said:

View PostPinewood Golfer, on 04 January 2018 - 10:28 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:29 PM, said:

View PostPinewood Golfer, on 01 January 2018 - 06:25 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:02 PM, said:

What age groups?  Boy's Girl's?

It's a boys 13 & up event. I guess there could be a scenario where a younger kid could be selected, but not likely. May add girls at some point in the future.

May want to put age group info on the web page along with yardages.  The more info the better.

Wanted to give y'all a quick update. Through 2 Weeks of registration, we have 49 applicants. These players represent 12 states and 5 different countries (including USA). Of the applicants, 3 are top 100, 8 are 101-250, 12 are 251 to 500, 7 are 501-750 and 6 are 751-1000. That's 23/49 that are top 500. We still have 2 Weeks left for registration and the expectation is that we will increase our numbers in each of these categories.

The field is limited to 54 players (60 at absolute most, but only if it enhances field), so as the numbers would suggest, it will be a very strong field—not only at the top, but with depth.

Would love for y'all to continue spreading the word. The effort for this first year is VERY organic, but this is just the beginning. By 2020, we expect all serious junior golfers to be familiar with this event.

Hope y'all can find a way to get girls added in the future, we are only a couple hours away on the Coast and would be interested for sure.

These events are much harder for girl's than guy's to fill an entire field.

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#17 blaird

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 03:01 PM

View PostTimberBeast, on 09 January 2018 - 10:45 AM, said:

View PostPinewood Golfer, on 04 January 2018 - 10:28 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:29 PM, said:

View PostPinewood Golfer, on 01 January 2018 - 06:25 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 01 January 2018 - 06:02 PM, said:

What age groups?  Boy's Girl's?

It's a boys 13 & up event. I guess there could be a scenario where a younger kid could be selected, but not likely. May add girls at some point in the future.

May want to put age group info on the web page along with yardages.  The more info the better.

Wanted to give y'all a quick update. Through 2 Weeks of registration, we have 49 applicants. These players represent 12 states and 5 different countries (including USA). Of the applicants, 3 are top 100, 8 are 101-250, 12 are 251 to 500, 7 are 501-750 and 6 are 751-1000. That's 23/49 that are top 500. We still have 2 Weeks left for registration and the expectation is that we will increase our numbers in each of these categories.

The field is limited to 54 players (60 at absolute most, but only if it enhances field), so as the numbers would suggest, it will be a very strong field—not only at the top, but with depth.

Would love for y'all to continue spreading the word. The effort for this first year is VERY organic, but this is just the beginning. By 2020, we expect all serious junior golfers to be familiar with this event.

Hope y'all can find a way to get girls added in the future, we are only a couple hours away on the Coast and would be interested for sure.

Where at on the coast?? I coach girls golf at a high school down here

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#18 TimberBeast

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 03:15 PM

View Postblaird, on 09 January 2018 - 03:01 PM, said:

Where at on the coast?? I coach girls golf at a high school down here

We are in Ocean Springs.

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#19 leezer99

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 12:17 AM

Looks like this tournament is also a qualifier for the FCG Callaway World Championship. Nice job guys.

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#20 Pinewood Golfer

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 09:06 PM

View Postleezer99, on 20 November 2018 - 12:17 AM, said:

Looks like this tournament is also a qualifier for the FCG Callaway World Championship. Nice job guys.

Yeah, they reached out to us yesterday. Cool to see it catching on. Honestly, I can’t imagine many guys in our field wouldn’t get in if they wanted. We are at 18 top 100 players and 35 college commits out of about 70 applications received. Things are going well


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#21 kekoa

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 02:51 AM

Can my 8 y/o enter.  He hits it 300.

All kidding aside best of luck. I hope the tournament is a huge success.

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#22 heavy_hitter

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 09:30 AM

View Postkekoa, on 21 November 2018 - 02:51 AM, said:

Can my 8 y/o enter.  He hits it 300.

All kidding aside best of luck. I hope the tournament is a huge success.

Been drinking?

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