DRIVE, CHIP & PUTT
Drive, Chip & Putt Registration Now Open January 21, 2015 | Augusta, Ga. By USGA, Masters Tournament, PGA of America

Kelly Xu (center) was the Girls 7-9 champion in the inaugural Drive, Chip & Putt Championship. (Augusta National Golf Club/Rusty Jarrett)

The Masters Tournament, United States Golf Association and the PGA of America today announced that qualifying registration is now officially open on the event’s website, www.DriveChipandPutt.com.

This free nationwide youth golf development initiative is open to boys and girls ages 7-15, competing in separate divisions in four age categories. In its third edition, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship will open qualifying locations throughout all 50 states during the months of May, June, July and August. Top performers at the local level will advance through sub-regional and regional qualifiers in July/August and September, respectively. The top 80 performers – 40 boys and 40 girls – will earn an invitation to the National Finals at Augusta National on Sunday, April 3, the eve of the 2016 Masters.

“PGA Professionals in each of our 41 PGA Sections are committed to growing the game and making a positive impact on the lives of youth throughout the country,” said PGA of America President Derek Sprague. “We believe the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship will continue to play an integral role in encouraging more youngsters to experience a game they can enjoy for a lifetime.”  

“Our vision for Drive, Chip and Putt is to inspire a new generation to choose golf as a recreational sport,” said Tom O’Toole Jr., president of the USGA.  “By focusing on the three essential skills that build confidence, we’re showing boys and girls that it’s fun for everyone to learn, to discover and celebrate success.  We hope to foster that feeling of achievement, knowing it connects golfers of all ages to a global community.”

“We believe the incentive to ultimately qualify for a trip to Augusta National will motivate kids to take part in this wonderful program and take another step toward making golf a game of a lifetime,” said Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament. “Based on the smiles we continue to see from the participants, and the outpouring of support and encouragement we hear from countless people who share our love for the game, I am completely confident this program will continue to improve, expand and inspire.”

The 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship qualifying schedule is as follows:

Local (May/June/July/August): 255 host sites spread throughout all 50 states

3 juniors advance in each age/gender category from every venue

Sub-Regional (July/August): 50 host sites spread throughout 45 states

2 juniors advance in each age/gender category from every venue

Regional (September): 10 host sites in 10 defined regions

1 junior advances in each age/gender category from every venue

National Finals (April 3, 2016): 80 total participants at Augusta National Golf Club

The current second season of  the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship will conclude on the eve of the upcoming Masters Tournament, with 80 junior golfers representing 30 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces competing at Augusta National on Sunday, April 5. Golf Channel will broadcast the event live.

For more information about the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, including official rules, a full listing of qualifying sites and registration information, please visit www.DriveChipandPutt.com.