The High School Golf National Invitational is one of the most diverse and inclusive national junior golf tournaments. This year’s event saw over 340 of the top high school golfers from 40 states & territories in attendance at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. The National Invitational is an event dedicated to celebrating and showcasing high school golfers at the highest level. Public or Private. Division 1A or 6A. All high school state championship team, individuals, and their families are welcome at the Invitational.
This event highlights what makes high school golf so unique. Families, teams, and coaches from all different cultural and financial backgrounds, races, religions, gender identities & sexual orientations. No two players or teams alike.
“The Invitational this year is even more special considering every state that sponsored spring golf did not compete due to COVID-19. In many respects, this event serves as redemption and one last time for seniors to compete with their friends before heading off to college.” – Chris Noble NHSGA Manager. “We are just ecstatic to provide this opportunity to these deserving young men and women to compete at the home of American golf.”
For many, this was their first trip to Pinehurst Resort and an opportunity to experience world-renowned courses with family and friends. The players competed on Pinehurst No. 6, No. 8 & No. 9 for the 3-day 54 hole event at close to 7,000 yards for boys and 6,000 yards for the girls. Seven boys finished at even-par or better and Anawin Pikulthong (2023 grad from AZ) firing an impressive 10-under-par 3 day total. On the girl’s side, we had thirteen girls finish at 10-over-par or better and Loralie Cowart (2021 grad from GA) won medalist honors with an even-par 3 day total.
“I will tell anyone that has a chance to play in this event not to miss it, the best thing for high school golf, right at the top and just as exciting as winning a State Championship” -Moses Smith head coach for team North Carolina. Coach Smith’s team captured the NC 3A state championship in 2019 and their story is a tale of course management of humankind.
Lance Christenson, a 17-year-old from South Dakota, has a story that embodies an incredibly relentless and fighting spirit. Growing up in one of the poorest parts of the country, to capturing his state championship and punching his ticket to compete at Pinehurst – his story is one that any high school golfer, parent or coach can look up to.
Emily St. Aubin, a four-time North Dakota state champion and incoming high school senior, didn’t have a spring high school golf season this year. An independent non-sanctioned showcase tournament was held in ND and Emily captured the title qualifying her for the National Invitational. “It’s not every day you get to come and play Pinehurst,” Emily said.
The team that traveled the farthest to compete at Pinehurst was Guam, who won their island championship. A 23-hour plane ride and an opportunity for the first team from the island to compete in a national event kept the team’s spirits high. “This thing that is going to happen in Pinehurst is a one-of-a-kind tournament for Guam” – Mark Nanapei coach for Guam. “I’ve been on Guam since 1989 and we’ve never had a high school team play against state champions from The United States of America.”
The High School Golf National Invitational is conducted by the National High School Golf Association (NHSGA), a division of Nextgengolf, which is a subsidiary of the PGA of America. For more information on the NHSGA and the National Invitational, please contact Chris Noble at Chris@highschoolgolf.org