In December, everything is about the Grand Finale for Global Junior Golf at Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy.
After one year of dedication and hard work, the top GJG players, such as the winners of a GJG Tour event or top two nation picks find themselves teeing off at the Grand Finale the Greg Norman Academy Junior Invitational. The tournament is a 54 hole WAGR ranked stroke play event that has a maximum of 72 players.
The Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy is the title sponsor of the Grand Finale and is opening their gates of their prestigious facility to the juniors. 2015 was the first edition of the Greg Norman Academy Junior Invitational at Barefoot Resort & Golf. The Course stretches out to 7035 yards asking for every skill level to claim the title at this very challenging course. Leonor Bessa from Portugal and Illari Saulo from Finland made history and were the first winners of the Global Junior Golf Grand Finale.
Global Junior Golf would like to thank Mr. Jose Fernandez, CEO of the Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy and his team for all their efforts and preparing this outstanding event.
GJG: Mr. Fernandez, time flies and here we are again…this year even with a stronger field and players coming all the way from Australia. (http://www.globaljuniorgolf.com/Greg-Norman-Academy-Junior-Invitational-Entrylist.html ) In total we will be welcoming 20 nations! This is quite an excitement, please share what the Greg Norman Academy Junior Invitational is about and what amenities the players will receive during the event or logistical efforts you make?
JF: Greg Norman Academy Junior Invitational is an outstanding event created to allow many nations and individuals to compete at their best. This young tournament has become one of the greatest events to attend for national and international players. GNCGA has gone above and beyond to host this great Grand Finale sanctioned by the Global Junior Golf. Players will be lodging at one of the best hotels in North Myrtle Beach and will play one of the best, if not the best, golf course in North Myrtle Beach.
GJG: The event has becoming in the meantime a frequent visited event by College Coaches, what can you recommend to the players, which are not yet engaged in the college recruiting process to look for or how to approach them?
JF: I recommend players to commit to their shot routines and trust what you have worked on to get to GNAJI. Coaches always look for commitment, attitude, and great course behavior. If you have not started the process of being recruited by a college, please approach any member of the GNCGA and we will assist you in this. Coaches will be around our campus and they are here to assist you.
GJG: How many colleges will be visiting during the event? And do you know already which will attend?
JF: We have more than 15 coaches committed to attend our event this year. Some of the invitations went to Coastal Carolina University, Charleston Southern University, University of South Carolina Aiken, College of Charleston, Duke University, University of North Carolina, Wake Forest University, Jacksonville University, Lynn University, Duke University and many more!
GJG: Top facility, very challenging course at Barefoot Resort, family like atmosphere and a full approach to a Golf Academy: Maybe you can introduce the Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy to the GJG participants first time attending and what your institution is about or differentiates from others:
JF: I’ll be glad to introduce our state of the art facility and what Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy has as a mission. GNCGA was created to meet the needs of junior, amateur, and professional players that are seeking to improve their game, life, and mentality to achieve their dreams in this great sport. We are in the best place, Barefoot Resort and Golf, where students can play 4 signature golf courses designed by the best course designers in the world: Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Tom Fazio and Pete Dye. Our driving range has more than 340 yards each way that allows students to work on all the aspects of their game. Our indoor facility has a Gym with all CYBEX equipment, one of the best on the market, and 3 hitting bays equipped with a V1 coaching system and Trackman. This allows us to watch our players’ analytics to a tee in order to assist them in the best possible way. Our Fulltime program allows national and international students to attend for a full academic year, with our college prep academic system students have the opportunity to start school in August, September or October and also in January, February or March.
GJG: The Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy is used to the atmosphere being around great players, not just with your patron Mr. Greg Norman or some of your tour players, but would you say is a key value to become successful as a tour player?
JF: GNCGA strongly believes that the environment one surrounds themselves in will dictate the outcome of the people in it. That is why we ask our players to behave at all times with proper manners, encourage them to have good behavior on the golf course, the right attitude and of course good character. Portraying this gives an outstanding result…we take pride in our lemma: "CREATING BETTER PEOPLE ON AND OFF THE GOLF COURSE”.
GJG: Nutrition is a key value in professional sports and maybe sometimes cheating on the off days. We see you will again spoil the juniors during the event and make a little culinary tour through Myrtle Beach: Would you like to give us already an insight, what you have organized for the juniors?
JF: Nutrition is now one of the most important things for athletes. With the proper training and nutrition, one will have the correct energy to maintain the concentration and commitment required throughout the whole round. We will have great food throughout the event and dinners will be created with great culinary standards. We will also have awesome activities so all the players and the families attending will have the privilege to enjoy them. We will be eating at the Greg Norman Australian Grille, this is the only restaurant Mr. Greg Norman has in the world.
GJG: Why have you decided to host the Grand Final and partnered with Global Junior Golf?
JF: GNCGA believes that by creating better opportunities for our young golfers allows us to give back and leave a legacy for the ones to become number one in the world in the future. We are committed to assisting young golfers that want to succeed in life and we will always support them. Partnering with Global Junior Golf has been a great adventure, and with almost the same goals we have committed to grow the game for all junior golfers.
GJG: The last question; What club selection are you hitting of hole number 1, 9 and 18?
JF: Number 1 is a Par 4 that requires accurate shot due to the tee box alignment, since is not a long hole I will suggest players to hit a 3 wood on the tee. As for as the club selection, it is your choice, but keep it mind 240 yards for males and 195 yards for females.
Number 9 is a Par 5 with a wide fairway so hitting your Driver will be the best option, but remember that just because it is a par 5 with wide fairway’s you will try to kill the ball, so staying on the fairway is one of the keys to this game.
Number 18 is a Par 5 that will require a hole management routine, there is an option of hitting the driver to the right side of the fairway and laying up on the second shot or try to hit it over the waste bunker to see if you can hit this green in two, both plays well executed and will result in a great opportunity for a birdie.
Thank you so much for this great opportunity, everyone have safe travels and will see you here next week!
GJG: Mr. Fernandez, thank you for being part of the GJG family and promoting junior golf.
Big hugs and see you in Myrtle beach!
Learn more about the Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy and take the tour at: www.gncga.com