The York County Junior Golf Association released its 2016 summer tour schedule recently.

This year, there’s an added element  that should help further organization's mission of growing the game by providing affordable opportunities for junior golfers.

Youth who would like to get into the game of golf and improve their skills, but aren't quite ready for the rigors of competitive play, can take part in the group's new "developmental tour."

For boys and girls ages 8-14, an initial qualifying event will be played to determine if the golfer will play in the nine-hole division or be placed in the developmental program.

Those in the developmental program will meet each week at Little Creek, which sits along Route 116 just outside of Spring Grove, for weekly structured group lessons followed by nine holes of play.

The remainder of the participants will travel to various local courses throughout the summer competing in the YCJGA's "Tour" events. Players at these events will also be competing in a season-long standings system where they earn points based on their finish at each event. Those points help them earn spots in various postseason events. These events can serve as a preview of the players to watch for the upcoming York-Adams League high school season.

There are four "touring" divisions, Blue (boys' 15-18), White (boys' 15-18), Green (boys' 14-under) and Red (girls' 18-under). There is also a traveling nine-hole division for boys and girls ages 8-14.

Two new elements this year will help add extra intrigue to the standings. First, the top three players in the Boys' 15-18 Blue Division will earn an automatic exemption into the 2017 York County Amateur Golf Association's county amateur championship tournament.

Also, a new event added to the calendar this year will help spice things up. The Mid-Summer Classic, slated for June 27 at Out Door Country Club, will be a double-point event, so a victory there could go a long way toward a top finish. This event is also a great opportunity for participants to play one of the county's private courses.

A golfer's spot in the standings is also crucial for qualifying for the Tour's championship event, the George Barton Match Play Championships. This year's tournament will be held July 25-26 at Hanover Country Club, with the top 16 Blue Division and top eight Red Division players qualifying.

The 13th annual Junior War of the Roses will be held Aug. 9 at Conestoga Valley Country Club, a Ryder Cup-style event pitting a team of York's best boys and girls against Lancaster's top talents.

The YCJGA's schedule tees off June 13 at Valley Green.

Players interested in signing up can go to the association’s Facebook page, website, or visit their local golf club, for more details.

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