FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017
JACKSONVILLE AREA GOLF ASSOCIATION
ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF
2018 “FIRST COAST AMATEUR”
-Arnold Palmer-designed Hidden Hills Golf Club to host championship’s second playing,
Jan. 13-15; Mid-amateur competition added-
JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Jacksonville Area Golf Association (JAGA) today announced the 2018 First Coast Amateur will be played Jan. 13-15 at Hidden Hills Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla.
The championship is 54 holes of stroke play and ends on Monday, Jan. 15th, the Martin Luther King holiday. All competitors will vie for the First Coast Amateur title. New in 2018 will be an additional mid-amateur competition for those age 25 and older.
Last year’s inaugural tournament was played at Amelia National Golf and Country Club in nearby Fernandina Beach, Fla. It attracted some of Florida’s top junior and amateur talent, as well as collegiate/amateur golfers from around the country and many of the best from North Florida.
In all, 77 players competed, with 11 states and at least four countries outside the U.S. represented. Golfers from Brewton Parker, Charleston Southern, College of Charleston, Florida State, Florida Tech, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida, Ole Miss, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Purdue, University of South Carolina and St. Francis participated.
In January, Brandon Mancheno of Jacksonville fired a 13-under-par 203 total to win by six shots over Jayson Ledger (UCF) and Greyson Porter (FSU). The current Auburn University freshman did not record a single bogey over the 54 holes. He did hit one tee shot out of bounds but managed to make par despite the errant shot.
Hidden Hills Golf Club is an Arnold Palmer Signature layout that Mr. Palmer was once a co-owner of. In the early 1970s it played host to the PGA TOUR’s Greater Jacksonville Open, the forerunner to THE PLAYERS Championship. Among the TOUR winners at Hidden Hills were Gary Player, Tony Jacklin and Don January.
Hidden Hills stretches to 6,900 yards and is known for its elevation and intriguing curves, contours and rolling fairways, a setting unique in Florida. The fairways are lined by majestic pines and oaks. The owner and general manager of Hidden Hills is Russ Libby, who was recently elected President of the Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA.
The First Coast Amateur is sponsored and conducted by JAGA, which promotes Jacksonville’s top-level amateur competitions every year.
“JAGA invites golfers from our area and around the country to visit Jacksonville in January for the second First Coast Amateur,” said Fred Seely, president of JAGA. “Last year’s inaugural championship, which was also played over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, fit very nicely into the winter competitive schedules of many of golf’s top amateur, junior and collegiate players. We look forward to hosting those who played last year and welcome new contestants to the tournament’s new home at Hidden Hills.”
Players who wish to enter the JAGA First Coast Amateur may do so by going to www.jaxareagolf.org and clicking on the First Coast Amateur link on the home page.
Established in 1954, JAGA celebrates its 64th year in 2017. It is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (4) corporation comprised of over 40-member golf clubs located in the Northeast Florida area. JAGA’s mission is to promote golf and goodwill through tournaments and related events and activities. It conducts 10 tournaments, including five championship events and five others that feature team formats. JAGA manages a scholarship program that annually provides college funding for 27 area students. Since 1974 the program has generated approximately $1.7 million in financial aid to approximately 300 students.