Organizations like the Maine State Golf Association and First Tee of Maine make a major impact on junior golf in this state, but quietly the Junior Golf Card has been doing something very special since its inception in 2011.

Founded by the Croteau Family of Auburn, the Junior Golf Card, which costs a member $29, provides discounts at 21 Maine golf courses and two ranges.

“We started playing golf together,” said Brian Croteau about he and his son Brendon, a 15-year-old freshman at Edward Little High School in Auburn. “It was expensive, especially for kids. So Brendon came up with the idea of creating a Junior Golf Card. It’s like an (American Lung Association Golf Privilege Card) for kids, 17 and under.”

They went to courses with their idea and asked for discounts, which generally are 50 percent off the standard greens fee. There are time restrictions for members at many golf courses, meaning the youngsters may use their cards some days in the afternoon only on weekends. Brendon Croteau, who was No. 3 man on the Edward Little golf team last fall, a second team All-State hockey player for EL this past winter and a member of the EL JV lacrosse team this spring, is the major recruiter for Junior Golf Card memberships, which exceeded 100 last year. His father, Brian, and grandfather, Ron Croteau, are his support team.

Participating golf courses are: Apple Valley, Boothbay, Brunswick, Cobbossee Colony, Dunegrass, Fox Ridge, Maple Lane, Martindale, The Meadows, Nonesuch River, Pine Acres, Point Sebago, Prospect Hill, Riverside, Sable Oaks, Spring Meadows, Toddy Brook, Turner Highlands, Valhalla, Western View and Willowdale. Ranges are Roy’s in Auburn and Tee ‘n Tee Golfland in Westbrook. First Tee of Maine and Golf and Ski Warehouse in Scarborough are sites at which the Junior Golf Card can be purchased.

The Junior Golf Card has helped financially to support the Auburn/Lewiston YMCA’s Camp Connor and the First Tee of Maine.

“It was not easy getting this started,” Brendon Croteau said. “First Tee of Maine executive director Ron Bibeau has been helping a lot.”

“I talk to my teammates and opponents about this,” Brendon Croteau said about his high school golf matches last fall. “I also got the word out online and on Twitter.”

A website ([email protected]) and a telephone number (207-713-3879), provide information on how to join the the Junior Golf Card.

News and notes

• The Maine Chapter of the New England PGA has announced its 2013 awards winners. Brian Bickford of Valhalla in Cumberland is the “golf pro of the year.” Rob Travis of Bangor Municipal is “assistant golf pro of the year.” Ron Bibeau of First Tee of Maine is “junior golf leader of the year.” Matt Blasik of The Ledges won the Bill Strausburgh Award. Tom Moffat of Cape Arundel won the Horton Smith Award. Anne McClure of The Woodlands won “teacher of the year.” Doug Van Wickler of The Woodlands won “merchandiser of the year (private).” Gary Soule of Samoset won “merchandiser of the year (resort).” Travis Bibeau and Moffat were recipients of section awards in their respective categories.

• The MSGA Scholarship Committee announced this week 12 new recipients of MSGA scholarships for the 2013-14 school year, bringing the total amount of scholarships awarded to nearly $1.3 million

Since its inception in 1950, the MSGA Scholarship Fund has assisted 503 Maine students with the costs of their higher education.

New recipients selected this week will receive $1,500 for the 2013-2014 academic year, renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study at a potential total of $6,000 per Scholar.

Funding comes from donations as well as through membership and entry fees paid by MSGA players, along with the support of MSGA member golf clubs. The Charlie’s Maine Open Pro-Am, sponsored by the Augusta area auto dealerships of Charlie Shuman, is the single biggest fundraiser for the Scholarship fund.

Tax-deductible donations are always welcome, and may be sent to MSGA Scholarship Fund, 58 Val Halla Road, Cumberland, ME 04021.

The 2013 MSGA Scholars are: Sam Grindle of Deer Isle, who is also the recipient of the Winchenbach Award as the top scholar among the new recipients; Kyle Bickford of Cumberland, who will also receive the Davis Richardson Memorial Scholarship, in memory of MSGA’s long-time scorer and promoter of golf; Thomas Murray of Bangor will receive the Rock Labbe Award in memory of Rock Labbe, who was instrumental in starting the MSGA Scholarship endowment; Spencer LaPierre of Gorham receives his award on behalf of the New England Senior Golfers’ Association.

The rest of the recipients are as follows: Peter Carley of York; Wyatt Foster of Howland; Joshua Pepin of Kennebunk; Colton Davis of Bryant Pond; Tyler McDevitt of Morrill; Chris Hillier of Bangor; Joshua Bailey of East Vassalboro; Edward Socker of Camden.

Additionally, Meghan Bickford of Cumberland will receive her award for this year on behalf of the Women’s Maine State Golf Association, and Brad Myers of Buxton is the recipient of a $500 one-time Golf Contributions award for his outstanding participation and involvement in golf.

• The 49th annual Paul Bunyon Tournament is seeking entries for its June 1 and 2 event at Kebo Valley in Bar Harbor and Penobscot Valley in Bangor. Information is available at www.bunyongolf.com The entry deadline is today.

• The Maine Chapter of the New England PGA will conduct tournaments Tuesday at Prout’s Neck, May 28 at Purpoodock and a Pro-Lady on June 3 at Poland Spring.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.