This annual event as initiated by the South Carolina Junior Golf Foundation several years ago in conjunction with the Can-Am Days which are celebrated every spring on the Grand Strand. It began as an opportunity to invite our young northern friends to South Carolina for a dose of Southern Hospitality coupled with some quality competition and it has quickly become an event of international importance. In 2010 we included the top 8 girls from each delegation as well which has been a tremendous hit!
This past spring marked the 19th Annual Can-Am Junior Team Matches. Sixteen years ago, the Can-Am Junior Matches were rescued by the Wachesaw Plantation membership when Bay Tree, the original site, closed. By offering financial support and eventually the Wachesaw Plantation Club course itself, the competition matching Canada’s top 16 junior players against South Carolina’s top 16 junior players became an exciting yearly event. Wacheasaw has agreed to host these matches through 2023 and, as we hoped, continue to host the top tier boys and girls from Ontario and South Carolina!
In the first 19 years, the Can-Am Junior Team Matches have seen over 80 South Carolina junior golfers who had participated in these matches go on to play competitive golf at the collegiate level. The matches have also witnessed a player make five birdies on the front nine and yet make the turn at two down and even seen seven-hole birdie stretches. A select few of these youngsters have followed up their Can-Am competitions with NCAA National Championships a FedEx Cup Title and President’s Cup Team Member!
WHO: The top eight junior boys and girls from the Province of Ontario will take on the top eight junior boys and girls from South Carolina.
WHAT: The objective is to establish and maintain an annual junior golf competition between the Province of Ontario and the State of South Carolina in celebration of our great relationship.
WHERE: Wachesaw Plantation Club, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
WHEN: The tournament will take place the third weekend of March which is during the Can-Am Days Celebration (March 16-18, 2018). There will be practice rounds conducted on the Friday prior to the matches, for the juniors to get in a round prior to tournament play.
WHY: The state of South Carolina enjoys a special relationship with Canada, especially the Province of Ontario. Canada is by far one of our largest trading partners. For that reason, many Canadian businesses have relocated to South Carolina to take advantage of the favorable economic climate. Myrtle Beach, in particular, has become a destination for thousands of Canadians during the winter holiday break in March and many believe Myrtle Beach to be the “Golf Capital of the World.”
The South Carolina Junior Golf Foundation was created by the South Carolina Golf Association in 1995. The Foundation will be utilizing this event to solicit sponsorships from both American and Canadian businesses and individuals in excess of the costs of the event. Any moneys derived from the tournament will be used to promote the game of golf in South Carolina through programs conducted by the South Carolina Junior Golf Association.
The South Carolina Golf Association was founded in 1929 and the South Carolina Junior Golf Association was established in 1990. The SCJGA was established to promote and enhance the opportunity of young people to be introduced to the game of golf. Through our 17 chapters we are reaching over 1,500 young people each year, many of which would have never had the chance to play the game.