The History of San Diego County Junior Golf

After shuttling kids to and from Los Angeles to play in junior tournaments, John Brown and an original group of 50 young players started their own tournaments at the then Mission Valley Country Club in 1952. Two years later John asked a friend, Lou Smith, to take over day-to-day operations, which she did as Executive Secretary until 1986. John Brown became and remained President of the San Diego County Junior Golf Association for the next 33 years, then handed responsibility over to Norrie West, who remained President until 1993. Lou Smith passed on the torch to her daughter-in-law Joan Smith, who served the Association and its members for 40 years before retiring in the year 2000.

They, and a group of loyal volunteers gave kids the chance to play affordable golf and grow as individuals along the way. The original charter of the Association designed by John Brown and Lou Smith has remained relevant-and held up for 60 years:

 

History of the Junior World Golf Championships

It was February, 1968 when John W Brown, A.S. "Lou" Smith and Norrie West decided the San Diego Junior Golf Association would host the Junior World Golf Championships. The three had discussed the idea of organizing a tournament where juniors from all parts of the world could come together to play golf and share in cultural exchange.

The following is taken from the 1968 Junior World Program created by Norrie West:
 

  • The idea behind the Junior World Golf Championships is simply "YOUTH." The San Diego County Junior Golf Association is founded on the principle of serving young people, in the hope that by doing so today's youth will have a better chance of creating the world we all want. The Junior World tournament is an international extension of that principle. We believe that by bringing together young people from all parts of the world and all parts of our nation, we are helping to bring about greater understanding among people of differing cultures and values.

     

In its inaugural year, 475 juniors participated in the event representing seven countries and 20 states. Today, the tournament has grown to 1200 participants representing 56 countries and 42 states. The IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships is the largest international event in the world and is unique for its international representation and cultural diversity. The Junior World has enjoyed representation from the following countries and territories since 1968:

  • America Samoa
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • England
  • France
  • Gambia
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Lebanon
  • Mariana Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • New Guinea
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Northern Ireland
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Rarotonga (Cook Islands)
  • Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)
  • Saipan
  • San Marino
  • Scotland
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sri lanka
  • St. Lucia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tahiti
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Virgin Islands
  • Zambia