The Fort Worth Junior Golf Association conducts the annual Fort Worth Girls and Boys City Junior Golf Championships. The tournaments traditionally are in July and are free for all participants. There are no entry fees and no greens fees, and courses played include Fort Worth municipals and country clubs. There are eligibility rules, which a link can be found on the menu. The tournaments are open to boys and girls 7 to 18 years old. The boys tournament has been conducted since 1936 and the girls tournament since 1974. Thanks to the generosities of the City of Fort Worth and the country clubs, which donate their courses each year, there never has been a fee for participants.
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Ages 7-10 (Girls & Boys)
Girls and boys will play a two-day event at Rockwood Park Golf Course's par 3 course The River's Edge. Competitors will compete in a stroke play format over 6-holes for each round. Caddie's are allowed for this division only.
Ages 11-13 (Girls & Boys)
Girls and boys will play a two-day event at various courses. Competitors will compete in a stroke play format over 9-holes for each round. Caddies are not allowed for this division.
Ages 14-18 (Girls & Boys)
Girls and boys ages 14-18 have the option to compete in a two-day, stroke play event (Division II) or play for a chance to compete in up to four days of stroke play competition for the Championship (Division I). Competition will end and awards will be distributed at the end of the second round for those in Division II.
Players competing in Division I will play Rounds 1 and 2, followed by a cut to the field based on the total score for Rounds 1 and 2 and available space provided by the courses for Round 3. Competition will end after day two for all those who do not make the cut. For those who make the cut, players will be flighted into groups of players based on their total score from Rounds 1 and 2.
Players will play Round 3 at various courses based on their flight. After the third round, cuts to each flight may occur based on the available space provided by the golf courses who donated their course for the final round. Competition will end after Round 3 for those who did not make the cut within their flight.
All remaining players will play Round 4 at the same course to compete for awards within their flights.
Caddies are not allowed for this division.
Boys Tradition Began in 1936; Girls in 1974
A Fort Worth tradition began in 1936 when the first Fort Worth Boys Junior Golf Championship was conducted. None of the participants had to pay a greens fee that year, and they never have had to in the ensuing years.
Thanks to the efforts of the late businessman Marvin Leonard, with help from Dr. Alden Coffey, the tournament was started so that youngsters from all financial backgrounds could afford to play. Leonard, who founded Shady Oaks Country Club and Colonial Country Club, didn't want finances to prevent a youngster from competing for the city championship. Thus, the city's men's golf association supported the tournament during the formative years.
The city's municipal and country club courses have been host to the boys tournament ever since. The men's golf association eventually disbanded, and during the next few years the tournament struggled because of a lack of volunteers. After the tournament was canceled in 1972, one of the MGA's members, Wendell Conditt, with the help of PGA Tour player Jack Montgomery and Star-Telegram reporter Jim Trinkle revived the tournament in 1973. Conditt recruited many of his friends to help conduct the tournament, and the Star-Telegram stepped in as a major sponsor. Conditt had been helping with the tournament since 1959.
One of Conditt's friends, Guinn Phillips, soon began lending a helping hand and the Fort Worth Junior Golf Association was formed. Phillips eventually became a co-director with Conditt. The city and county clubs continued the tradition of charging no greens fees.
In 1974, the girls tournament was added with Benita Christensen becoming the director. The tournament was conducted at Diamond Oaks Country Club until Kimberly Jutt took over as tournament director in 1994 and served until 2004. The girls tournament expanded to the city courses and other country clubs. The current director is Madeleine Sulley.
In 1994, Wendell and Guinn stepped aside as directors and their sons, John Conditt and Martin Phillips, took over as the boys' directors. The Northern Texas PGA entered as a partner with the FWJGA and the City of Fort Worth's Golf Division in 2006 and helped conduct the tournament that year and in 2007. One of the changes in 2006 was conducting the boys and girls tournaments during the same week, and finishing on the same course. They played their final rounds at Colonial Country Club. However, to assure equal publicity for both tournaments, it was decided to again conduct the tournaments on separate weeks. Because of many other junior tournaments blossoming across the state and nation, the boys championship probably will never reach the record-high of the 715 participants in 1979. Yet, it continues to attract several hundred each year, including most of the city's best players. In 2009, the FWJGA again began conducting all aspects of the tournaments and Wendell stepped back in as the association's president. Charles Birkhold joined John Conditt as the boys directors and a few months later Bill Hatley became co-director. Nancy Pennell served as the girls director until retiring in 2013 and current director Madeleine Sulley took over. Wendell retired in 2014, and a medalist award was created to honor his devoted and long-time service.
Former winners include Mark Brooks, a PGA Tour competitor who won the 1996 PGA Championship among other titles; Hunter Haas, a former standout and Big 12 champion at the University of Oklahoma and the 1999 USGA Amateur Public Links champion; and Lindy Miller, a former PGA Tour competitor who became the Director of Golf at Mira Vista Country Club. Many former winners have gone on to enjoy successes as amateur and professional players. The girls tournament also has had its share of talented players, including Angela Stanford. The four-time winner of the girls title is a winner of the LPGA Tour and was the runner-up in the 2003 Women's U.S. Open.
Medalist Award Honors Wendell Conditt, Longtime Director
Wendell Conditt retired as FWJGA executive director before the 2013 boys and girls championships after being the guiding hand of the Fort Worth Junior Golf Association since 1973. The FWJGA, comprised of volunteers, honored him by awarding the first Wendell Conditt Medalist Award to the girls and boys champions in 2013. The award will be presented each year to the player with the lowest first-round score in each tournament. Wendell presented the boys award this year after the final round at Colonial C.C.
Wendell began his involvement with the boys tournament when the Fort Worth Men's Golf Association, which included the city's country club members, conducted the tournament. The free boys tournament began in 1936 at the behest of businessman Marvin Leonard, with help from Dr. Alden Coffey, with its purpose of giving all boys, no matter financial standing, a chance to play in a tournament.
The men's association disbanded in the 1960s, but had enough money remaining for Wendell and good friend Guinn Phillips to conduct the tournament for a few years. Several of Wendell's friends also contributed to help keep the tournament going. However, the contributions eventually ran dry and the tournament wasn't conducted in 1972.
Jack Montgomery of Fort Worth, a PGA Tour competitor and who had a sentimental attachment to the tournament, helped Wendell resurrect the boys tournament in 1973. Not only did Montgomery help raise money, he also bagged a donation of wieners and chili, and helped conduct the younger boys at Sycamore Creek. He skipped playing in the Western Open to donate his time.
''That year, we gave away about 10,000 chili dogs,'' Wendell said. ''We gave those kids chili dogs as long as they could eat them.'' Because there were few junior tournaments at that time, the boys tournament would attract large numbers, even more than 700 players, which is one reason so many chili dogs were consumed.
Before the age of computers, Wendell, Guinn and Star-Telegram sports writer Jim Trinkle often would be figuring results and pairings until midnight.
There were several businesses that stepped in to help the tournament, and one of the biggest supporters has continued to be Marty Leonard, daughter of the tournament's founder Marvin Leonard. The boys permanent trophy is named after him.
Woodhaven assistant pro Bobby Seaholm acted as tournament chairman when Montgomery became involved and, Wendell said, Seaholm was instrumental in getting the Star-Telegram to sponsor the tournament. In fact, the tournament became known as the Star-Telegram tournament to participants until the newspaper ended its sponsorship in the '90s. Also, Coca-Cola has supplied drinks to the boys and girls competitors for many years.
Wendell was instrumental in adding the FWJGA girls tournament in 1974, which was played only at Diamond Oaks C.C. for several years under the directorship of Benita Christensen. Over the years, there have been several volunteers who have been crucial in the organization's ability to conduct the tournaments.
Wendell had talked about retiring for a few years, and he and Guinn had handed over many of the duties to their sons, John Conditt and Martin Phillips, in the '90s. However, after a few years, Martin stepped aside and Wendell jumped back in as the director. Stepping entirely away from a tournament, Wendell said, has been difficult. The tournament has been a big part of Wendell's life for many years. And it still was when he announced he was retiring before the 2013 tournament.
Wendell was been the backbone of the tournament for many years after his retirement, and was instrumental, along with Marty Leonard, in ensuring the country clubs and the City of Fort Worth continued to provide their support by donating their courses for the girls and boys tournaments to make this a truly unique event -- the largest free junior tournament anywhere. Wendell also has had his friend, PGA great Lee Trevino, involved in helping raise money, which mainly goes for trophies.
Wendell passed away in December 2018. His influence and guiding hands will be missed.
1936 -- Homer Chokas
1968 -- Paul Darwin
2000 -- Casey Carnes
1974 -- Lisa Kimbro
1998 -- Stephanie Dukes
2022 -- Makenna Junkin