PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – John Valder, PGA head professional at Trump National Golf Club – Washington, D.C., has hosted some notable events in his seven-year career at the facility. As far as he's concerned, though, the 38th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Hotel Fitness will be the most prestigious since he has arrived.
"We have hosted some very big events at our club, including the Middle Atlantic PGA Professional Championship in 2011 and the Virginia Amateur in 2007," said Valder, who is in his second season as PGA head professional. "But in my mind, the Junior PGA Championship is the biggest event we have hosted. It's going to be special."
The 18-hole Championship Tournament Course, which will host the 38th edition of the Championship from July 30–Aug. 2, fronts entirely on the Potomac River.
The club opened in 1993 as Lowes Island Golf Club, was eventually purchased by Donald Trump in 2009 and completely renovated by Tom Fazio. Valder explained that the Championship Tournament Course will offer a stern, but fair test for some of the best junior golfers in the country.
"The fairways aren't extremely narrow, and the greens aren't especially small, but it will be firm and fast, and that will definitely test the field," said Valder. "The course features both parkland and links course-type holes, as well as a variety of terrain that will offer different challenges to the players."
Valder and the staff at Trump National Golf Club have been eager to host one of the nation's premier events in junior golf since it was announced as the host site in the fall of 2012.
"The staff here at Trump National Golf Club is really looking forward to hosting this Championship," said Valder. "We are very proud of this facility and this Championship will be a true reward for all the hard work that has gone into making it a success."
One of golf's major championships for juniors, the Junior PGA Championship is where the best in the world get their start. Begun in 1976, the Championship has been a popular stop on the national junior circuit for many of today's PGA and LPGA touring professionals.
The 72-hole Championship will feature a 54-hole cut to the low 30 boys and 30 girls, including ties.
Each year the field includes past winners of the Championship, PGA Junior Series event champions, PGA Section winners, many of Polo Golf and Golfweek's top-ranked players, and selected national junior tournament winners.
In 2012, Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand became the first girls' division champion since Inbee Park to claim back-to-back titles, while Robby Shelton of Wilmer, Ala., claimed the boys' title at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Golf Channel will present a one-hour highlight show of the Championship, with the initial airing on Thursday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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