Inaugural city junior golf tourney on the tee

A serious investment in the future of Fort Dodge golf begins here on Tuesday with the inaugural city junior championship at the Country Club.

The 18-hole event – sponsored by Carpet World Flooring America – starts at 8 a.m. Age groups for this year’s tournament will be 13-14 and 15-18, though FDCC professional Judd Gibb envisions a bigger, broader field in the years to come.

”We really want to get the ball rolling and stir up some excitement about competitive junior golf in Fort Dodge,” said Gibb, a former Dodger player himself who moved back to town with his wife and two children this summer. ”There is such a rich local tradition of talented players and teams at the prep level.

“Something like this would have been a big deal here (in the past), and the goal is to see it grow into a tournament that gets as many kids involved as possible (down the road).”

Gibb admitted the field isn’t large for 2013, but ”it’s more about exposure and putting ideas into action” the first time out.

”I see this as a multi-day event eventually, and I know Lakeside will be on board (in the years to come),” Gibb said. ”They’re as excited about it as we are (at the FDCC). Pat Leiting (at Carpet World Flooring America) approached us about sponsorship and really saw this as a tremendous opportunity to bolster junior golf locally.

”I want to see golf become a priority among Fort Dodge kids again, Dodgers and Gaels alike. It’s been that way before, and I truly believe it can be again.”

Players are only being charged $12 to participate, with lunch included in the entry fee. Tee times are still available through 9 a.m. by calling 955-8551.

Golfers must live within city limits to be eligible.