Golden Bear Golf Club head golf professional Jeremy Steiner credits the idea for the Golf Etc. High School Invitational to a couple of high school golfers from Hilton Head Christian Academy and South Aiken.
"A couple of kids came to me and said there was no team high school event on the island," Steiner said. "We sat down and I said, 'What do you want?' "
That was in September. By the end of October, the ball was rolling.
The Golf Etc. High School Invitational is a two-day tournament to be held Feb. 23 and 24 at the Golden Bear Golf Club.
Fourteen teams from South Carolina and Georgia -- including Beaufort High, Hilton Head Island High, Hilton Head Prep and host Hilton Head Christian Academy -- will play 36 holes on Saturday and another 18 holes on Sunday on the par-72 course. As in college tournaments, the top four scores on each team will count.
According to Steiner, area PGA officials have volunteered to be rules officials, and Will Mann, a former Carolinas PGA and PGA of America president, will speak to the players at the pre-tournament dinner on Friday. On Sunday, the winners will receive golden jackets.
"There's nothing else like this," Steiner said. "We wanted something unique and different and that's exactly what we've come up with."
Steiner says the event will feature a "very strong field" in it's first season, boasting seven individual golfers who will go on to play for Division I schools.
"It's an invitational and we recruited teams," Steiner said. "It's a string field for the first year, and I think it'll get even stronger for next year."
JPGA GOLFERS SWEEP AT KIAWAH
Scotland's Ewen Ferguson of the Junior Players Golf Academy on Hilton Head Island, who was the only competitor to shoot under par both days of the tournament, fired a 2-under 142 to win the Boys 15-8 Division of the Kiawah Island Jr. Challenge held Feb. 9 and 10 at the Cougar Point Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
Ferguson edged JPGA classmate and Bluffton resident Bryson Nimmer by a stroke.
In the Girls 15-18 Division, winner Isidora Quevedo of the JPGA, also a Hilton Head Prep 10th-grader, shot a two-day total of 150, with 25 total pars and 4 total birdies.
The JPGA's Anita Uwadia, also a Hilton Head prep ninth-grader, shot a 157 to finish second.
MEADOW GETS A PASS
Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy product and former Alabama standout Stephanie Meadow has been given an amateur exemption to the LPGA Kraft Nabisco, the first major of the season.
SPENCER-WHITE WINS IJGT EVENT ON HOME COURSE
Bluffton's Charlie Spencer-White, a full-time student at Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy, fired rounds of 74 and 72 to edge Hilton Head Island's Will Miles and Sense Chaowalit of Bangkok, Thailand, by a stroke last weekend to win the Boys 15-19 Division of the International Junior Golf Tour's two-day, 36-hole event at Bluffton's Colleton River Plantation.
Spencer-White, 16, had a home-course advantage. He has been a member at Colleton River since the age of 9.
"It felt great (to win)," Spencer-White said in a release. "I am really happy that I played well at my home course. This is a great way to start the season, and I hope to keep improving and keep getting better."
In the Boys Under-14 Division, Tennoshin Ogawa of Japan, also an IJGA student, posted rounds of 73 and 81 then needed extra holes to defeat Ben Reichert.
Moyu Sasaki of Tokyo, also an IJGA student, shot 77 and 71 to defeat classmate Cake Phuchanbanchob of Thailand by three strokes in the Girls Under-19 Division.
IJGT HEADED TO KIAWAH
The IJGT will hit take to the tee at Kiawah Island this weekend.
The IJGT Carolina Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort -- a two-day, 36-hole event on the Ocean Course and Turtle Point -- will feature some of the top junior golfers (ages 9-19) from the Southeast. The tournament includes three divisions: Boys 15-19, Boys Under-14 and Girls Under-19.
The tournament is nationally ranked by the American Junior Golf Association, Golfweek and Junior Golf Scoreboard. This is the first of four IJGT majors during the spring season.
Send golf news and notes to sports editor Mike McCombs at email@example.com.
GLF ETC. HIGH SCHOOL INVITATIONAL
Feb. 23-24, Golden Bear Golf Club, Hilton Head Island
Format: Top four scores count, 36 holes Saturday, 18 holes Sunday
Teams: Aynor, Beaufort High, Bishop England, Chapin, Dutch Fork, Hilton Head Christian Academy, Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head Prep, Irmo, Lexington A, Lexington B, Savannah Christian, South Aiken, West Ashley