Young golfers from age 10 to 18 are vying for a trip to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and national honors as the Southern Maryland Optimists conduct their annual Junior Golf Championships.

The Bay Net visited the site of the fourth of five nine-hole golf tournaments at Breton Bay Golf and Country Club and talked with some of the golfers trying to win the chance to compete in the national championships in Florida later in July.

Young Alex Hoffner, a junior at Northern High School in Calvert County said he was looking forward to the competition.

“If we win, we get to play in the Districts and then if we’re good enough, we might make it to Florida,” the golfer said.

Mom, Tina Detwiler was all smiles as she waited to enter her 14-year-old son in his very first tournament. “He was on the high school golf team, but there were eight seniors so he didn’t get to play in the tournaments, just practice,” Said Detwiler.

Her son, Steven seemed to take the whole thing in stride. When asked how good a golfer he was, the young man shrugged and said, he could play as well as his father.

Event organizer, Bobby Parlett, had his hands full with last minute registrations and trying to get the 30 or 40 golfers out on the course. “How do you like my controlled chaos?” he asked smiling.

Parlett indicated that the Southern Maryland Optimists are challenged to submit qualified golfers each year to compete in the Maryland/South Delaware District Tournament. “We started holding these mini qualifiers about ten years ago. So far this year we have qualified nine golfers.”

In this tournament, Parlett indicated that three more golfers would qualify and at the last tournament, planned for Thursday, June 12 at Wicomico Shores in Mechanicsville. The expects to have the final three golfers qualify making the region’s contributions to the district tournament total 15.

Golfers may register and compete in all five tournaments for only $15 per tournament. Those interested in the June 12 event may call Parlett at 301-870-9656 or email him at Registration forms may be picked up on the day of the event at Wicomico Shores on June 12 before 3 p.m.