Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Some of the best young golfers in the U.S. are hitting the greens this week in the Southern Tier.
The USGLL national championship is swinging into action at Traditions at the Glen on August 6-10.
"I'm looking forward to having a good time and playing golf with the California and New York teams and our Hazleton, PA team," said John Gerantriano, Sugarloaf, PA.
Four All-Star teams from across the U.S. are swinging to win the USGLL national championship: Conklin, NY, Sugarloaf, PA, Hazleton, PA and Long Beach, CA.
"It's great having the tournament right here. I can come up here to Traditions and practice all the time, so I know the course," said Riley Brown, Conklin.
The championship has never been held on the East Coast so organizers are very excited to host it at Traditions at the Glen.
"All of the kids can stay in one facility at Traditions. They are all on site all of the time. We have two practice greens, a driving range. All of our local sponsors have been awesome," said Rob Warholic, East Coast Director of USGLL.
Opening ceremonies were held on Monday along with practice rounds.
"My dad had me out on the course since I was about six years old," said Josh Provost, Hazleton, PA, "I'm looking to just put the ball out there straight and be competitive."
The USGLL is non-profit national program, based out of Long Beach, California. Six years ago, there was only one team in Long Beach. New York added on three years ago, says Warholic. Now the USGLL has grown now to 15 locations.
"This year in 2012, we've actually had an increase in 40 percent around the nation in girls joining," said Kevin Flanagan, President of the USGLL.
One of the girls is Ali Morallos of Long Beach, California. She is one of the top females in her age group and has even started golf at her middle school.
"I hope to be in the LPGA and be the world's number one and get a scholarship to Stanford University," said Morallos.
The Team Match Play format offers boys and girls the opportunity to compete at all levels. Players receive instruction in the etiquette and rules of golf, learn respect, integrity and teamwork.
"Their skills are actually amazing. I go out there and I struggle against the ten year olds and the twelve year olds. The majority of these kids are single-digit handicap kids," said Warholic.
The player motto is teamwork, respect and integrity:
We will always succeed with Teamwork.
We will always Respect our fellow players.
We will always maintain the Integrity of the game.
From the USGLL website
During their week in the Southern Tier, teams also will enjoy some activities from attending a Binghamton Mets game, mini-golfing at Chuckster's and a banquet at Traditions at the Glen.
Play tees off Tuesday, August 7 at Traditions at the Glen with a round robin qualifying event.
The top two teams will then compete for the championship Thursday, August 9.
The tournament is open to the public. Traditions at the Glen is located at 4101 Watson Boulevard, Johnson City, NY.