Since its inception in 1960, Nashawtuc Country Club has played an active role in shaping and promoting golf in New England and beyond. This tradition of innovation and leadership is alive and strong today, and our Junior Select Golf Program is a prime example.
In late 2012, the Club’s Golf Professional, Chris Carpenter, was searching for a way to further the success of a budding junior golf revival at the club. The Lang brothers (Jeff and Jack), Amy Ding, Will Bertelson, and Matt Orgransak were each winning local and regional golf events. The environment and timing was prime for Nashawtuc to reinvent and reimagine junior golf programming.
Carpenter conceptualized a program akin to all-star baseball or select club hockey, where top juniors were provided an opportunity to learn and train together. An initial outline of the program was prepared and subsequently presented to the Golf Committee in late 2012. The program gained quick approval, and was forwarded to the Membership Committee and Board of Governors for additional approvals. In December of 2012, the Junior Select Program was officially approved and 16 Annual Junior Select Memberships were allocated for participants in the program.
In a recent interview with the PGA of America, Carpenter expressed: “The ability to recruit top junior golfers to make Nashawtuc their home club has given us the mass we needed to create a top-notch environment for junior golf. We as professionals and parents can push kids into golf as hard as we want, but when kids are pulled into participation by their peers, it is much more effective and long-lasting”. Effective it is, and the benefit’s Nashawtuc has experienced from the Junior Select Program has been wide-ranging. New members attracted to the unmatched junior golf opportunities of the club, and consistent recognition of our Junior Select athletes in local, state and national golf events, are the two of the program’s most visible benefits.
Although the Nashawtuc continues to benefit greatly from the Junior Select Program, the most rewarding and fulfilling aspect of the program are the successes of our Junior Select athletes. Jeff Lang is playing golf for Dartmouth College, in Hanover, NH. Jack Lang will join the Davidson College golf team in the fall of 2015, and Amy Ding is headed to Columbia University to begin her collegiate golf career. Will Bertelson passed on a few offers for golf scholarships, but will attempt to walk-on one of the Nation’s top teams when he heads off to Stanford University later this year. As you can see, Junior Select participants are leveraging their talents as junior golfers to obtain world-class educations.