JOHNS CREEK, GA (Sept. 8, 2019) – All of the stars seem to be aligning for the Skinner family in 2019. Jackson Skinner (Boys 12-13) had gone through Drive, Chip & Putt Qualifiers for the past four years, but was never successful in advancing pat the local stage. In July, the family was notified they were the recipients of practice round tickets for the Wednesday of the 2020 Masters Tournament. “Coming from a golf family, Jackson has been watching the Masters on television ever since he and his sister, Maggie (Jackson’s twin) can remember. And after Tiger’s big win this year, we made it a point to try to get to Augusta in 2020 for a practice round. We were unsure how that would happen…”
Fast forward to September, young Jackson Skinner of Birmingham would be competing in the Regional Drive, Chip & Putt competition. Jackson and his family arrived in the Atlanta area the Saturday before the Regional Competition and spent the day at TPC Sugarloaf for a round of golf and some practice time. “Jackson played great the entire round – the best I have seen him play all summer,” says Jackson’s father, Vaughn.
Sunday morning quickly arrived. Jackson and his father had decided to stop at a local driving range to warm up on their own before heading to Atlanta Athletic Club. Vaughn continued, “Jackson had another great warm-up session, so we were both feeling very good as we made our way to AAC.”
After arriving on site and checking in, Jackson and his dad proceeded to watch some of the younger age divisions go through the competition and skills. Jackson began his warm-up routine with a few chips and a few putts before heading to the driving range. After chipping in several shots, Jackson turned and said, “Dad, I feel really good about this.”
Jackson was the second to last player in his age division to finish the competition. After finishing and posting an impressive 158 points – which included achieving 50 points in the Chipping competition, a personal goal he had set for himself – they only had one more player to wait on. “After the last player’s score was posted, we both looked at each other with huge smiles.” Jackson Skinner had punched his ticket to the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals at Augusta National.
Jackson, who plays out of the Country Club of Birmingham and receives instruction from PGA Director of Golf Eric Eshleman, said, “Over the last week since I advanced to Augusta National, I have received a lot of recognition, support and congratulations from my friends, my friends’ families and from members at our club. I want to thank everyone for their support as it means a lot to me and my family.”
“Jackson is a terrific young golfer that has an even better attitude… He’s a positive person, always finding the good in things,” says Eshleman. “We’ve had numerous kids from [the Country Club of Birmingham] come close over the years, Jackson making it to Augusta National is very special for all of us!”
Jackson, along with nine other players in the Boys 12-13 age division, will convene on Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 5, 2020 for the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals. The Alabama-NW Florida PGA is proud to have Jackson representing the Section and Birmingham as he and his family continue this adventure of a lifetime!
Learn More on the Drive, Chip & Putt Website 〉
ABOUT DRIVE, CHIP & PUTT
A joint initiative founded in 2013 by the Masters Tournament, United States Golf Association and The PGA of America, Drive, Chip and Putt is a free nationwide junior golf development competition aimed at growing the game by focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf. By tapping in to the creative and competitive spirit of girls and boys ages 7-15, Drive, Chip and Putt provides aspiring junior golfers an opportunity to play with their peers in qualifiers around the country. Participants who advance through local, sub-regional and regional qualifying in each age/gender category earn a place in the National Finals, which is conducted at Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before the Masters Tournament and is broadcast live by Golf Channel.