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Local Youth Golfers Take to the Greens This Summer and Score Big

8/22/2017, 10:27 a.m. | Updated on 8/22/2017, 10:27 a.m.
This has been a stellar year of golf for Raquel as she is the reigning Chicago Public High Schools City ...
Local Golfers Raquel Simpson and Ahmad Raoul

Local Youth Golfers Take to the Greens This Summer and Score Big

CHICAGO (August 4, 2017) – Chicago youth golfers are achieving major accomplishments on a national level. Ahmad Raoul, a rising eighth-grader at William H. Ray Elementary School, recently won the 45th Boys’ Junior Amateur and Raquel Simpson, a rising sophomore at Walter Payton College Prep, won for the girls. The event was held at the historic Jackson Park Golf Course. Ahmad has competed in the tournament once before, finishing third place in the 44th Junior Amateur. He is coming off a win in June at the 62nd Midwest Golf Association National Junior Golf Championship in Lima, OH.

This has been a stellar year of golf for Raquel as she is the reigning Chicago Public High Schools City Champion, is the winner of two consecutive Illinois Junior Golf Association (IJGA) tournaments, and was runner-up during her last three tournaments.

In addition to playing golf, many youth look forward to caddying each summer because it provides an opportunity for them to earn money while working flexible hours, learn the game of golf, and be exposed to positive role models and community leaders.

The Western Golf Association’s (WGA) Youth Caddie Program, executed at Jackson Park Golf Course in partnership with the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance (CPGA), pulls students from across Chicago. During the summer, high school students receive training on how to assist golfers during their rounds. A caddie is considered a vital part of the game. Their responsibilities include carrying the golfer’s bag, pacing yardages, replacing divots, raking bunkers, and attending the flagstick. Caddying also affords many deserving students a chance to compete for full, four-year tuition and housing college scholarships through the Chick Evans Scholarship for Caddies.

Investing in youth golfers is a key driver for the CPGA. The group and a cadre of dedicated PGA-certified volunteer adult golf instructors gather on the greens at South Shore golf course to mentor students from Excel Academy of South Shore’s golf team. Boys and girls comprise the newly-formed high school team. The team also practices at GolfTEC where pros donate their time and expertise. CPGA plans to expand this program to other high schools throughout the city.

But students don’t have to wait until high school to begin formal training to learn and play the game. Youth 7-years-old and up can participate in the First Tee of Greater Chicago. Through after-school and in-school programs, First Tee helps shape the lives of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf. For more information and updates, visit www.ChicagoParksGolfAlliance.org, www.thefirstteegreaterchicago.org, and for the Chick Evans Scholarship visit www.wgaesf.org.