About Me

header ads

A Quick Stroll Down Junior Golf Memory Lane

The first thing Dennis Montecillo did after a pioneering stint in the 1974 San Diego Junior World Championships as the sole Philippine representative was to convince his parents, lawyer Manuel and Amalia Montecillo, to put up a competition for local kids that would prepare them for the bigger stage. Amalia who later on became more popularly called as Mommy, did more than that.

Not only did she organize an annual summer circuit for boys and girls. She also brought together parents and sponsors for a common cause of breeding international champions that eventually became a solid organization called the Philippine Junior Golf Association that later on became the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines.

Jungolf in the Philippines is believed to be the forerunner of all associations in the region.

Soon that same year when the young Dennis Montecillo arrived from a competition in America, the jungolf dream was born. The very first competition of Jungolf was played at the Wack-Wack West Course in Manila, which drew about 130 participants, aged 17 below, from the different corners of the country.

For the next 45 years, junior golfers from the Philippines made the country proud in several golf tournaments around the world. The names of Frankie Minoza, Carito Villaroman, Ramon Brobio, Angelo Que, Gerald Rosales, Jennifer Rosales, Miguel Tabuena sprung like mushrooms, making the country proud with victories in various fronts.

Even the country’s top CEOs and business heavyweights once played in junior golf tournaments in their childhood. Cito Lorenzo, Sandy Prieto-Romualdez and Tony Zara all have fond memories trying to win the trophies for their parents and families.

True to its commitment of arming junior golfers with the necessary skills they needed to putt against other golfers in the international scene, Jungolf did not limit its scope within the boundaries of the country.

To further provide its members with the much-needed exposure, Jungolf expanded its coverage and opened its doors to foreign players through the creation of the Asian Junior Golf Confederation in 1978 with Mommy Montecillo at the helm.

With the organization of the Confederation, junior golfers in the Philippines were given the avenue to be exposed to the different putting styles of their Asian counterparts as they played against junior players from Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore.

Jungolf members immediately showcased their skills as they exceeded the expectations of the association when three of its players, Gil Ababa, Abe Rosal Jr. and Tony Boy Asistio, bagged the 15-17, 12-14, and 11 under titles respectively in the staging of the first ever Asian junior golf tournament in 1978.

The exposure and training provide by the Jungolf as well as the support and encouragement of the Philippine government further bolstered the putting talents of the country’s young players, who have began collecting trophies for the Philippines in several golf tournaments around Asia and the rest of the world.

Since its inception, Jungolf has produced golfers who turned professionals, which include Frankie Minoza, Eddie Bagtas, Carito Villaroman, Ramon Brobio, Mario Manubay, Noli Kempis, Gil and Cesar Ababa, Antolin Fernando, Danny Zarate, Vince Lauron, Bong Lopez, Norman Sto. Domingo, all of whom turned pro in different stages of their careers.

It also boasts of amateurs who have become members of the National Golf Team. They are Gerald Rosales, Angelo Que, Cookie Lao, Juami Rocha, Gerald Cantada, Abe Rosal, Marlon Dizon, Jun Cedo, Boy Blue Ocampo, Tony Boy Asistio, Ruby Chico, Carmelette Villaroman, and Aileen Rose Yao to name a few.

Developing Philippine Golf’s Next Generation

To develop Philippine junior golfers through basic instruction and high level competition in national and international tournaments