AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Now that school is out, young golfers have the chance to participate in a summer golf tournament to keep them on par with their game.  

The Hootie and the Blowfish Summer Chapter Series is a tournament experience for junior golfers happening in 14 different areas across South Carolina. The program has been a huge success since it began more than 20 years ago.  

The junior golf tournament kicked off early Tuesday morning.

From now until early August, junior golfers from ages seven to eighteen will play with their fellow golfers and compete for a chance to be named an All-Star.

“We conduct one-day tournaments for all the junior golfers in the area,” said Michael Carlisle, director of the Aiken County chapter of the series. “And, actually, we’re the Aiken chapter, so we bleed out into Richmond and Columbia county and get a lot of the Georgia players to play in these events also.”

Coach Michael Carlisle has served as Aiken County chapter director for decades.

He tells us the tournament allows junior golfers to play close to home at very little expense to their family. 

“Hopefully, they go on to bigger and better things from here,” said Carlisle. “And they’re motivated to keep on playing and practicing.”

Kipp Madison has played the tournament for five years.

“It’s very fun. Mr. Carlisle does a great job with these tournaments,” said Madison. “Overall, it’s just a great tournament for kids to get into. Just, like, learning how to play the game – it’s just fun for everyone.

Many of the junior golfers say they enjoy working on their goals while playing alongside friends.

“I think just taking it as far as I can,” said junior golfer Tyler Newsome. “That’s, I think, my goal.”

Coach Carlisle says he’s watched the tournament turn out a lot of great players throughout the years.

“A lot of tour players got their start here,” said Carlisle. “Charles Howell, Kevin Kisner, Scott Brown, Vaughn Taylor- all those guys started out just like these other little fellas out here playing and made it all the way to the PGA tour. We’ve got a good track record of turning out good players and giving them a good venue to have fun also.”

He tells us it’s the spirit of the young players that keeps the tournament alive year after year.

“They pretty much provide all their own motivation,” said Carlisle. “They enjoy playing. We have a lot of players looking to make it to college to play like a lot of previous players have done here.”  

For more information about the Hootie and the Blowfish Summer chapter series and how you can get involved, visit The Hootie Series.