Sunday night played host to a banquet welcoming the best junior golfers from all over the world and kicking off the penultimate tournament on the American Junior Golf Association’s schedule, the Polo Golf Junior Classic. Played at the PGA National resort in Palm Beach, Florida, this tournament brings all of the best golfers together for two days of stroke play and, if you make the cut, 3 days of match play. It’s a special experience, playing at the home of the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic and world-famous three-hole stretch known affectionately as the Bear Trap. Even more special is what this tournament means to so many junior golfers. For many, the Polo Golf JC is the final tournament of their junior golf careers. Spend a few moments watching these young men and women work their way around the course, and you can tell how bittersweet it is to play this event. It marks the end of this chapter of their lives. For three of Bishops Gate Golf Academy’s own, this is their reality.
The AJGA always talks about “The Mission,” and for so many of those high school seniors, this week is the culmination of that mission. After five days of tournament play, BGGA senior Gaby Coello will shift her focus to the University of Georgia, and Ana Paula Valdes will start getting ready to join Clemson University. And last but certainly not least, Karen Miyamoto will turn her attention to finalizing her choice of college. What this all means is there is never any real end; there are only next chapters. Yes, it is bittersweet. Yes, it is mostly memories now. The sadness of closing one chapter, however, is quickly replaced by the excitement of venturing out into a brand new world. It is a world full of new friends, new memories, new places. It is the excitement of turning the page and writing the next chapter. Yes, it is a new beginning.