Notah Begay III Junior National Championship
Boys: Nov. 4-6, 2023 | Girls: Nov. 9-11, 2023
Koasati Pines at Coushatta, Kinder, LA
Considered to be one of the best Championships in Junior Golf, the Notah Begay III Jr. Golf National Championship will take place this upcoming week showcasing the talent of over 300 of the top ranked Junior golfers in the country. Each year over 3,000+ boys and girls try to qualify for this event. Some of the young participants have gone on to play College Golf and even Professional Golf later on. This is the fourth year that there will be an all-girls and an all-boys tournament held separately.
Founded in 2020, the Notah Begay III Jr. Golf National Championship Series is a three-tier qualifying system with two, 2-hour broadcasts on Golf Channel. Players will need to earn their way into the Championship which is hosted at Coushatta Resort in Louisiana every November. The three stages of qualifying are Local, Regional Finals, and lastly, the National Championship.
Qualifying for the Championship:
Local events qualify players into the Regional Finals Tournament. Players that are not exempt into the regionals will have to play in a local event to move onto the regional tournaments. Local events are perfect for players that want to play in 36-hole tournaments with competitive fields. They are made up of both 18-hole and 36-hole tournaments across the United States and Canada, giving Juniors the ease of participating close to home. The Local Stage is a great platform to introduce players to the game of golf. These events have been decreased in price despite the rising cost within the industry. Local Events may vary in price and players can compete in events as low as $69.
Regional Finals are for players that are exempt and for players that have qualified locally. For example, an exempt player is ranked on Junior Golf Scoreboard or who has placed within the top-10 in a NB3 Regional in the past. These fields have highly ranked players and are contested on some of the best courses across the Country. Players that compete in these events are ones who have earned their spot Locally or who met at least one of the exemption criteria. Top finishers by division make it to the National Championship broadcasted on Golf Channel.
Because of the importance placed on Junior Golf Rankings, these events have become the center of attention for many college coaches.
Here is the 2023 Exemption Criteria: (Players must meet at least one of the below criteria to be considered exempt)
- Top-10 in an NB3 Regional Final in 2020, 2021 or 2022
- NB3 National Championship Finalists in 2020, 2021 or 2022
- Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour Performance Index top 250 Players
- Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour Class Performance Index top 25%
- Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour Order of Merit top-3 within Last Year
- Top 25% OVERALL on Junior Golf Scoreboard
Hear from 2023 Girls 16-18 Participant, Cailyn Rogers, on competing for the championship title:
Rogers is currently ranked 701 according to Junior Golf Scoreboard. She is in the graduating class of 2025, and at just 16 years of age, will be competing in the Notah Begay III Championship. Let’s see what she has to say regarding this year’s competition.
First, we wanted to know what does playing in the Notah Begay Championship mean to you? Rogers replied, “playing in this tournament means so much, competing with elite junior golfers is such an honor. It is such an incredible tournament and I am thankful for the opportunity to play.” Last year Rogers made it through the qualifier. This year, she is competing in the championship hoping to earn the win in her division.
Love and support is something that everyone wants and needs whether they are an athlete or not. We asked her, who are some of your biggest supporters, not only when you are out competing, but when you are just simply practicing/training as well? Like most junior golfers, Rogers’ family, friends, and coaches are her biggest supporters. She notes that they “support me the most whether it’s encouragement or constructive criticism.”
Entering such a notable tournament like the Notah Begay III comes with a lot of hard work and training. A lot of preparation is needed before even stepping foot on the course. We noted that like many sports, golf is a mental game. Coming from Kentucky, and attending the Academy at GPC, a boarding school in Connecticut, we were curious if she notices any difference in overall performance when traveling across the country to compete? She replied, “I believe that you should try to approach all tournaments the same and with the same seriousness and dedication. However, traveling across the country can be a lot of extra pressure compared to a local tournament at a course you know well that is a ten-minute drive away.” A majority of juniors competing in this championship are coming from all across the country. There are only a handful of players who are from Louisiana, where the finals are being held.
Even though these juniors are there solely to compete, we were eager to ask, who are you most excited to meet, or see again, at the Championship? Rogers replied, “I am super excited to see some friends and competitors from home that I haven’t seen in a while.” The Notah Begay III brings together some of the best junior golfers in the US, as well as some international players. Along with the junior golfers, we should expect to see several big names in the golf world present at the finals. We can obviously expect to see Notah out on the field talking with players and their families, but we may also get an appearance from golf legend, Tiger Woods, as his son Charlie is expected to compete in the Boys 14-15 division. Woods and Begay are old friends and former teammates who once played for Stanford University.
Lastly, we wanted to know as a junior golfer, how Cailyn benefits from using all the resources Junior Golf Hub has to offer. She noted, “the Hub has been very helpful in making a tournament schedule and organizing college information.” We like to ask our junior golfers how the Hub is helpful to them and to their future golf careers. It is important to us that our members are able to use the Hub as their primary source of knowledge; whether it is for finding tournaments, keeping track of results, comparing different college golf programs, or reading relevant articles in our Hit the Links Blog. Junior Golf Hub was founded to solve common industry problems that have been pointed out for years by junior golfers, parents and coaches. We are determined to build our online community, connecting junior golfers, parents, and college coaches to a relevant stream of information centered in the world of golf.
Check out the Boys and Girls Tournament Recaps from last year:
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