Junior golf programs have been an essential avenue for young golfers who love the game. College scholarships and the potential of a professional career are strong incentives. Familiar names such as Jim Furyk, Phil Michelson, Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr all progressed through the ranks of junior golf. Our own Harbor Hills golf professional Tom Leimberger has been highly successful in bringing junior golf tournaments to our community.
One such tour is the Mid-Florida Junior Golf Tour recently played in Harbor Hills. The tour began play as the Marion County Junior Golf Tour in 2013. In the fall of 2016, courses included those in Lake, Sumter, Citrus and Alachua counties. Harbor Hills Country Club, Juliette Falls and Black Bear were added in 2018.
Daya Shaktawat, Chris Tatro and Trip Watkins were among the youngsters that rose to the challenge and won their divisions. At nine years old, Daya posted a 43 for 9 holes! The Harbor Hills Junior Golf Summer Program recently completed another successful season. “Inspiring young golfers is critical to growing the sport,” Tom explains. “Kids who enjoy the game are more likely to become golfers for a lifetime.”
First Academy of Leesburg has named Harbor Hills as the home course of their high school golf team. 16 year old Ethan and 10 year old Trevor Orobitg are First Academy students who live in our community and have been working with Tom for many years. The first of five First Academy matches to be played at Harbor Hills is on September 3rd. The public is invited to come out and support youth golf and cheer on our hometown kids! For more information and tournament dates, call the Pro Shop at 352-753-7711.