With the 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship scheduled to culminate with the National Finals this April at Augusta National Golf Club, the United States Golf Association, Masters Tournament and the PGA of America announced that registration for 2017 National Finals qualifying, which begins this May, is now officially open on the event’s website, www.DriveChipandPutt.com.
Now in its fourth year, this fun, free and nationwide youth golf development initiative invites boys and girls, ages 7-15, to participate in local qualifying opportunities set in all 50 states throughout the months of May, June, July and August. Boys and girls will enter to play across separate divisions in four age categories, with scoring centered around golf’s three fundamental skills (Drive, Chip and Putt). Top performers at the local level will advance through subregional and regional qualifiers in July/August and September, respectively. From these qualifiers, 80 finalists – 40 boys and 40 girls – will earn an invitation to the National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 2, the eve of the 2017 Masters Tournament.
“The joy of success on a child’s face after making a great chip shot or sinking a 12-foot putt is why the USGA is actively engaged in this program,” says Tom O’Toole Jr., president of the USGA. “We know success leads to confidence, and confidence leads to a lifelong love of our game. With local qualifiers in every state, we can foster a new community of young golfers who cannot only compete together, but inspire each other – just as they inspire us.”
“The more smiles we see from participants each year through the Drive, Chip and Putt program, the more satisfaction we feel in doing our part to grow the great game of golf and sharing its wonderful lessons,” said Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament. “This is possible through a unique and collaborative effort with two invaluable partners, and we all hope the fun had by children and families across the country will inspire even more kids to take a step toward making golf the game of a lifetime.”
“Drive, Chip and Putt is for every kid, everywhere and every ability to have the opportunity to follow their dream,” said PGA President Derek Sprague. “We have seen tremendous growth, as this popular initiative has resonated with kids across the country. PGA members and PGA Sections are excited to host and oversee the local, subregional and regional Drive, Chip and Putt qualifiers, with a local qualifying event in every state and all 41 PGA Sections.”
Local qualifying for the 2017 National Finals will begin Sunday, May 8, 2016, at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and continue through the summer at 256 sites across all 50 states. The regional qualifying events in September are set to take place at 10 championship host sites, including:
- Baltusrol Golf Club (Site of the 2016 PGA Championship)
- Hazeltine National Golf Club (Site of the 2016 Ryder Cup)
- Medinah Country Club (Site of the 2012 Ryder Cup)
- Oakmont Country Club (Site of the 2016 U.S. Open)
- Pinehurst Resort (Site of the 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open)
- Riviera Country Club (Site of the 1995 PGA Championship and 2017 U.S. Amateur)
- Southern Hills Country Club (Site of the 2007 PGA Championship)
- The Country Club (Site of the 2022 U.S. Open)
- The Olympic Club (Site of the 2012 U.S. Open)
- TPC Sawgrass (Site of THE PLAYERS Championship)
The full breakdown and schedule of 2017 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship qualifying is as follows:
Local (May/June/July/August): 256 host sites spread throughout all 50 states
3 juniors advance in each age/gender category from every venue
Subregional (July/August): 50 host sites spread throughout 31 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 2, 2017): 80 total participants at Augusta National Golf Club
The current third season of the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship will conclude on the eve of the upcoming Masters Tournament, with 80 junior golfers competing at Augusta National on Sunday, April 3. 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 and ticket information, please visit www.DriveChipandPutt.com.