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Elite golf camp caters to future college players, parents

Junior golfers and their parents looking for high-level instruction, an entry into the world of college golf and a clearer understanding of the recruitment process have a special opportunity in Las Vegas next month.

College Golf Experience (CGX) is bringing a weekend camp to Desert Pines Golf Club and Las Vegas Golf Club Dec. 4-5. It will be the first camp of its type to feature instruction and opportunities to interact with coaches from both the defending men’s and women’s NCAA championship teams.

Kory Henkes (women’s coach, Mississippi) and Blaine Woodruff (associate men’s coach, Pepperdine) will be joined by Laura Ianello (women’s coach, Arizona) and Armen Kirakossian (associate men’s coach, Arizona State) during the camp.

They will provide on-course individual and small-group instruction, lead education sessions for players and parents, and provide general insight about what it takes to become a successful college golfer.

“Every junior golfer deserves a transformational experience,” CGX founder Joshua Jacobs said of the program’s goal. And whether players are elite or recreational players, “They are going to have an amazing experience.”

Jacobs knows more than a little about golf camps. He’s been doing this for nearly 20 years, first at TGA Premier Junior Golf, where he oversaw 2,200 camps, mostly for recreational players. He started CGX earlier this year to cater to elite players and college coaches.

Although the coaches are not there to recruit, they do get a close look at players, get to know their families and get a better understanding of a potential fit for their programs. And the players and their parents get insight into the recruiting process, how to select the right school, and what to expect when they do arrive on a college campus.

The cost for the camp isn’t cheap — $1,495 — but Jacobs said the payoff and knowledge gained is worth the investment.

The camp is open to juniors ages 10 to 18. There is a 40-person limit, allowing the camp to be small enough for each participant to get time and instruction with every coach.

Interested players and parents can find more information at collegegolfx.com.

Financing the season

Professional golf can be an expensive proposition for those fighting to make it to the PGA or LPGA tours. So when a nice paycheck arrives, it can make a big difference in easing the burden on travel, meals, caddies and other expenses.

Taylor Montgomery hit the jackpot last week, successfully defending his title at the Nevada Open. The $31,000 winner’s check will make the upcoming Korn Ferry Tour a whole lot easier, he said.

“Winning the Nevada Open is terrific because I can basically play and pay for 75 percent of the events right off the bat next year with the check that I just won, which is very nice,” he said. “I am excited to start playing next year.”

The win in Mesquite is a nice ending to a year which ended in heartbreak — twice — for Montgomery, the former UNLV standout.

Montgomery finished 26th on the Korn Ferry Tour points list — one spot shy of earning a promotion to the PGA Tour. He then finished 26th in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, a three-tournament event to give an additional 25 players PGA Tour cards.

Montgomery finished the Nevada Open at 17-under 199, two shots better than Californians Joe Fryer and Drew McCullough.

“It’s always nice to get a win,” Montgomery said. “I would say my play was very sporadic, but I got the job done.”

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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