Miami Sports Day

Seely On Golf: JAGA Meeting Held at Historic Palatka Golf Club

This month’s JAGA meeting graced one of the nation’s most original Donald Ross courses. The Palatka Golf Club retains much of the 1925 design and it’s a challenge even thought the tips barely hit 6,000 yards.

Palatka annually has one of the nation’s top amateur events and a name you’ll know played this year in the Azalea: Nathaniel Crosby. He’s a former U.S. Am winner and yes, the son of the late Bing Crosby.

• Looks like a field of about 80 for the 59th annual JAGA Senior this week at Windsor Parke.

• The Deane Beman Award is presented at the annual JAGA/PGA golf banquet and the award itself is a stunning bowl donated by Underwood Jewelers’ Clayton Bromberg. You can see it in the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club pro shop, where current honoree Herb Peyton placed it.

• Former Web.Com Tour publicist Jeff Adams will work with JAGA Amateur Championship chair Bob Streightiff at this year’s championship at Queen’s Harbour.

• Former Selva Marina pro Tim Peterson isn’t taking it easy in retirement — he’s setting up a golf program in two middle schools. He needs golf balls — not new, but playable — and you can donate yours through your club’s JAGA directors.

• The JAGA Match Play Championship and junior events will be in good company this year. The Atlantic Beach CC, which has the two championships, was chosen for the October 3-9 Web.Com Championship. Planning is underway headed by Tournament Director Adam Renfroe and ABCC General Manager Ron Stone, who once was GM at Inverness CC in Toledo.

• You’ll see some future big names here Sept. 1-4 in the Junior Players Championship. If you were at the 2010 tournament, you would have seen a guy named Jordan Speith tie for second place. It’s at Sawgrass this year.

• The best junior in the state might be Brandon Mancheno of NAS. He recently won the AJGA event at Innisbrook over a big-time field.

• Congrats to Sawgrass for their great Beach Club renovation. Next of the list: the golf clubhouse, pretty much the same now as it was in the mid-1970s when it was built.

• Pro Tim Cooper has moved down the road from Deerwood to take over as head pro at Deercreek.

• From the emails: “What are JAGA’s boundaries?” Answer: The bylaws say “NE Florida and SE Georgia” which leaves it somewhat wide open. Current membership goes west to Suwannee CC, south to Marsh Creek and north to many Nassau clubs. No Georgia at the moment though the Kids Bay course was a past member.

• Plantation’s renovation is on schedule for an October reopening. The routing will pretty much stay the same but many small changes. The architect is Greg Letche, formerly with Nicklaus Design and now with Ernie Els Design. The original designers: Arnold Palmer and Jacksonville’s Ed Seay.

• The Stadium course closes right after the May 10-15 Players for a massive renovation. The Valley Course will be open. Big change in the Stadium layout will be making it possible to drive the green on the par-4 12th hole. The big mounds in front of the green will be replaced by a lake.

• Two more names to read about. Past JAGA Amateur winner Sean Dale of UNF and past Gate Invitational winner Colin Monagle of Sawgrass qualified for the McKenzie PGA Tour in Canada. It’s part of our PGA Tour.

• Comments? I’m at fs4569@comcast.net

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