Juniors Must Register for Overton Park Open by July 7

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 10:46 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Only a few spots remain for any youngster in the Mid-South to play in the Overton Park Junior open which is 100% free of charge.

It’s open to juniors ages 8 to 17 regardless of where they reside.

Players must register here by Thursday, July 7.

“It started 74 years ago. So it’s one of the oldest junior events in the country, " said Vince Alfonso, a seventy-something golfer who now mentors aspiring players at Memphis Athletic Ministries.

Ke’Moni Milligan is one of the 200 Mid-South area junior players who hope to tee it up when the OPJO takes over the newly renovated Overton Park Golf Course on Monday, July 11.

“Why do I play golf?,” Ke’Moni wondered aloud and then said, “It really gives me something to do where I’m not sitting around the house like not doing anything. Not only that but it keeps my mind focused, priorities straight and makes me have a breather outside the house.”

Jada Olende has dreams of trying out for the golf team at St. George’s Independent School and has practiced golf in a limited way.

She said the Overton Park Junior Open looks like a place to enjoy the game and make new friends.

“This will be my first. So I’m just going out there to have fun with a positive attitude,” Jada said.

The City of Memphis Division of Parks and Neighborhoods has made junior golf a priority.

In order to grow the game and offer as many young people as possible the opportunity to play, green fees are free of charge to all juniors aged 17 and under.

“It’s free for all children under 17 not only at this course (Overton Park) but all city courses in Memphis are free to children under 17. That’s something a lot of people don’t realize so we’re really promoting junior golf in the best possible way. There’s no obstacle to being able to play junior golf in Memphis, Tennessee,” Alfonso said.

Jada says the free green fees seem like an enlightened and far-sighted policy for the many children in the community who could never afford even a minimal greens fee to practice or entry fee to play the OPJO.

“Not everybody can afford to just pay these fees all the time. I think it’s very inclusive and Memphis is being aware of everybody’s situation. I think golf is a great sport to keep everybody included in It’s like a family. It’s very fun,” Jada said.

Overton Park Conservancy and the City of Memphis re-opened the 9-hole course on June 24 after a $2 million dollar renovation that redesigned all nine green complexes, added new practice greens, and created new obstacles across the course with sand traps and natural grass.

Private gifts paid the vast majority of the costs to renovate the beloved 9-hole Overton Park course that opened in 1906 and will now host a new generation of golfers on freshly grown fairways and greens.

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