WEST ENFIELD, Maine — Mike Clendenning, the co-owner and pro at Barnes Brook Golf Course, is getting set to conduct a Maine Junior Golf Tour this summer.
The tour, for boys and girls ages 11 to 17, is an outgrowth of the Maine Junior Golf Club, which had a tournament series at Barnes Brook.
This year, four other area clubs have become involved, creating the tour.
“We had some area golf courses ask about expanding our program a bit,” said Clendenning. “They were all really interested in holding an event and getting it off the ground.”
In addition to Barnes Brook, which still will host the bulk of the events, Hillcrest Golf Club in Millinocket, JaTo Highlands Golf Club in Lincoln, Hidden Meadows Golf Course in Old Town and Katahdin Country Club in Milo will host one tournament apiece.
The series starts July 1 at Hillcrest, followed by the second event July 2 at Barnes Brook. Tournaments will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays through Aug. 13, except for July 22.
Each tournament will be 18 holes each day, except for the 11-12 age division, which will play nine holes.
The exceptions are two special events for players ages 13-17 included in the tour, the Midseason Championship on July 15-16 and the Year-End Championship on Aug. 12-13.
The Maine State Golf Association has conducted a junior tour for a few years, but the closest ones are Clinton Golf Course, Lakewood Golf Club in Madison, Rockland Golf Club and Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.
“We had a travel team to try to get to some of the MSGA events [last year],” said Clendenning, who had 68 golfers in his Maine Junior Golf Club last year and averaged 37 players in the club’s events. Those players became the base for the travel team.
“What we found out was the parents and the kids really wanted this [local tour],” Clendenning said.
So, over the winter he talked to people at other clubs to find out who was in and what kind of schedule they could work out.
Junior Club members have come from as far away as Newport and Houlton, according to Clendenning, and he feels the same thing may happen with the tour.
“It’s a good central location for [Aroostook] County and the Bangor area,” he said.
Players will compete by gender in three age divisions: 11-12, 13-14 and 15-17. The fee is $20 for 18 holes, $35 for the 36-hole tournaments and $15 for the youngest division’s nine-hole tourneys. There is a dress code and a code of conduct that must be followed.
Players must register by the Friday night before each event, and players can play one, some or all of the events.
“We know everyone’s summer schedule is different,” said Clendenning, chuckling.
Clendenning said he also has worked out a deal with the MSGA that competitors on his tour can earn points with the MSGA to have the opportunity to qualify for Maine’s team in the New England Junior Golf Championship.
To register or get more information, call Clendenning at 207-732-3006.
Tour schedule: July 1, at Hillcrest GC; July 2, at Barnes Brook GC; July 8, at Hidden Meadows GC; July 9, at Barnes Brook GC; July 15-16, Midseason Championship, at Barnes Brook; July 23, at Barnes Brook GC; July 29, at Katahdin CC; July 30, at Barnes Brook GC; Aug. 5, at JaTo Highlands; Aug. 6, at Barnes Brook GC; Aug. 12-13, Year-End Championship, at Barnes Brook GC