Top high school golfers coming to Lake Monticello

By Duncan Nixon

The Peggy Kirk Bell (PKB) Tour is returning to the Lake Monticello golf course on March 18 and 19 for the Commonwealth Girl’s Classic. This PKB tour event originally came to the Lake Monticello course by default when neighboring Birdwood 

The Peggy Kirk Bell Tour was established in 2007 to “increase participation and interest in girl’s golf.” Initially play was primarily in the Carolinas. Now, the Tour holds events throughout the country, staging over 100 tournaments a year. Tour events, like the Commonwealth Classic, are open to qualifying high school girls. The elite Bell Division of the Classic is open to girls who can demonstrate that they can consistently shoot 80 or below from the red, or standard women’s tees. At Lake Monticello, that would be a course of 5,051 yards. Last year, the elite players in the Bell Division of the Commonwealth Classic played from blended red, white (men’s) and gold (senior men’s) tees for a course distance of 5,800 yards, which slightly longer than the distance for the senior men at the lake.

The quality of play by these young women is evidenced by the winning scores in last year’s tournament. The low score over 36 holes was a very impressive 148, or four over par, on a very windy weekend. That 148 score was best by only one stroke.

One of the goals of the PKB tour is to increase visibility for elite young golfers and allow them to show their skills so that they may be able to attain college scholarships. The Tour’s website asserts that in 14 years, 1,400 graduates of tour events have played collegiate golf. Some graduates have even made it to the LPGA.

Volunteers from the Lake Monticello golf community will be assisting by spotting on some holes where needed and by driving golf carts to carry the participants from the green to the next tee box when there is a considerable distance involved. The players may accept these rides, but only these rides, as they are required to walk the course, tee box to green.

These young girls are good to watch as there are few errant shots and certainly no bad language that is often heard when duffers are transiting the course.

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