The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip will host Vietnam’s first-ever Junior Golf Tour of Asia (JGTA) event this December 18-20 with the aim of helping young Asian talent along the path to success.
The award-winning Greg Norman-designed links layout will be the venue for the inaugural JGTA Junior Aspirations at The Bluffs in a ground-breaking tie-up with the JGTA, a key feeder for the US college golf system via the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) performance-based entry (PBE) status. The event will thus open a window for leading juniors from Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia to pursue college golf opportunities in the USA.
Over the course of three days, competitors will pit their wits against the course and each other as they vie for ranking points on the JGTA Order of Merit. At the end of the JGTA season, which comes to a close next June at the JGTA Championship Invitational at Sheshan International Golf Club in China, the top-60 players on the ranking list are awarded AJGA PBE status.
The ultimate aim for members of the field will be to collect enough points over the duration of the season to qualify for the JGTA Junior All-Asia Team, which names the top-10 ranked boys and top-10 ranked girls on the order of merit – designating them as the region’s elite college prospects and attracting recruiting attention from US college golf coaches.
“Our mission is nothing less than to develop junior golfers into successful collegiate athletes and future champions of the game,” said JGTA managing director Phil Tozer. “Since our inception in 2017, over 30 JGTA juniors have earned golf scholarships and membership has grown to over 300 junior golf families from more than 15 countries.”
The announcement of the JGTA ranking tournament at The Bluffs is another major filip for a course that is used to hosting some of golf’s most sparkling talent in a competitive context, having staged the Ho Tram Open in 2015, an Asian Tour event won by Sergio Garcia. While the youngsters competing in December will be rawer than Garcia and co, the tournament promises to be equally significant in terms of building local interest in the game and supporting the development of junior golf.
“We are absolutely delighted to be bringing a JGTA event to The Bluffs,” said The Bluffs’ general manager Garry Dixon. “The college golf system in the US is rightly seen as a hothouse for some of the biggest names in the game and the JGTA can provide a convenient fast-track to that route for promising golfers in Asia. It’s a great innovation and it is exciting for both us and the Grand to be welcoming these guys to Ho Tram in December.”