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Optimist International Tournament in Miami

 jigsaw1011 ·  
jigsaw1011jigsaw1011 Members  46WRX Points: 32Posts: 46 Bunkers
Joined:  in Juniors/College Golf Talk #1

What is everyone's opinion about this tournament?

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  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members  1598WRX Points: 401Posts: 1,598 Platinum Tees
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    Heard it is terrible and not really worth it. I think you have to stay at PGA national too. I hate playing tournaments that are basically there to fill up a hotel. I could be wrong but you have also stay at PGA national. There are a lot better tournaments to play then that one.

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  • Golfingdawg19Golfingdawg19 Members  489WRX Points: 215Posts: 489 Greens
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    Used to be one of the bigger tournaments out there for juniors but it isn’t promoted as much anymore. My buddy’s son won it last year and he liked it. I think it’s at Doral this year so it won’t be cheap.

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  • jigsaw1011jigsaw1011 Members  46WRX Points: 32Posts: 46 Bunkers
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    Thanks. It is at Doral and you do need to stay at the hotel. The section my son qualifies through would pay for the registration (about $800). We would have to pay for the travel expense to get there. Just wondering if it is worth it.

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  • ProsperoProspero McBuddha Members  123WRX Points: 75Posts: 123 Bunkers
    Joined:  edited Jun 24, 2019 #5

    How old is your son? Have you guys ever traveled out of state for a multi-day tournament? What are his goals with golf? Will it be a financial burden to go? No golf tournament is worth putting a financial strain on the family. My daughter is going with my wife. I think some of the grandparents are going too. She travels to play AJGA, but she's never played in the Optimist. Looking at the scores, its a high level of competition. My wife and her sisters played in it when they were juniors. She's a teaching pro and she has students who have played in it in recent years. They all say its a great tournament. Our daughter just finished her freshman year of high school. Her goal right now is getting attention from D-1 schools so she's trying to play in tournaments with strong fields. We can do that without going out of state, but this one will also be a fun experience. If its not a big financial burden and your son's goals line up with it, then its definitely worth it.

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  • jigsaw1011jigsaw1011 Members  46WRX Points: 32Posts: 46 Bunkers
    Joined:  edited Jun 24, 2019 #6

    On -, @Prospero said:

    How old is your son? Have you guys ever traveled out of state for a multi-day tournament? What are his goals with golf? Will it be a financial burden to go? No golf tournament is worth putting a financial strain on the family. My daughter is going with my wife. I think some of the grandparents are going too. She travels to play AJGA, but she's never played in the Optimist. Looking at the scores, its a high level of competition. My wife and her sisters played in it when they were juniors. She's a teaching pro and she has students who have played in it in recent years. They all say its a great tournament. Our daughter just finished her freshman year of high school. Her goal right now is getting attention from D-1 schools so she's trying to play in tournaments with strong fields. We can do that without going out of state, but this one will also be a fun experience. If its not a big financial burden and your son's goals line up with it, then its definitely worth it.

    Thanks for your reply. I am glad to hear it was a positive experience. My son is 12 and he has traveled to play two day tournaments. This tournament will be his first three day out of state one. We are just looking at it as a chance to play competitive golf in another area of the country. One or two of his golf buddies will be there so I hope they have some fun off the course and can make some memories. It won't be too bad of a hit financially.

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  • ProsperoProspero McBuddha Members  123WRX Points: 75Posts: 123 Bunkers
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    Thanks for your reply. I am glad to hear it was a positive experience. My son is 12 and he has traveled to play two day tournaments. This tournament will be his first three day out of state one. We are just looking at it as a chance to play competitive golf in another area of the country. One or two of his golf buddies will be there so I hope they have some fun off the course and can make some memories. It won't be too bad of a hit financially.

    If he has friends that are going, then definitely go for it. That makes it much less intimidating. There will be kids there from all over the world. Good luck and have a blast!

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  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members  3856WRX Points: 1,158Posts: 3,856 Titanium Tees
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    The golf courses at Trump are great. The hotel is so-so. The property itself is very inaccessible to get to the rooms. A pain in the rear really. If I were going I would want to stay off property. You will get tagged for $19.00 parking fee per night on the bottom line of your bill. If you stay off property, you can park for free. They give you 20 minute parking for free. Take a ticket from the machine when you park. When you are ready to leave just take another ticket from the machine. A guy in valet was telling people this. The property is loud and walls are paper thin. We were kept up two nights.

    I think the Optimist is horribly run. Because there are older kids that stay by themselves with room mates, drinking and smoking is a big problem on property.

    The fields are not good at all for the Optimist. Used to be a great tournament 10 years ago. Today not so much at all. I would avoid this one.

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  • Keith355tbKeith355tb Members  26WRX Points: 17Posts: 26 Bunkers
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    Jigsaw,
    It’s a great tournament and a very fun atmosphere for the kiddos. The fields are very strong for the younger age groups.

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  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members  3856WRX Points: 1,158Posts: 3,856 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @Keith355tb said:

    Jigsaw,
    It’s a great tournament and a very fun atmosphere for the kiddos. The fields are very strong for the younger age groups.

    Explain Young and Good? It really doesn't matter what the quality of the field is in the younger age groups. Once you start working on JGS rankings, the fields are weak and begin to be weak around the age of 10. I study a lot of the fields in tournaments to pick the right ones. Optimist is not a good field to play in despite what you may think. Optimist was one of the worst run tournaments I have ever been involved with from local qualifying to the International Tournament. This is a tournament that is held to put heads in beds at a resort. College coaches don't even frequent this event much anymore and one of the big reasons it is dying.

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  • jigsaw1011jigsaw1011 Members  46WRX Points: 32Posts: 46 Bunkers
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    On -, @heavy_hitter said:

    On -, @Keith355tb said:

    Jigsaw,
    It’s a great tournament and a very fun atmosphere for the kiddos. The fields are very strong for the younger age groups.

    Explain Young and Good? It really doesn't matter what the quality of the field is in the younger age groups. Once you start working on JGS rankings, the fields are weak and begin to be weak around the age of 10. I study a lot of the fields in tournaments to pick the right ones. Optimist is not a good field to play in despite what you may think. Optimist was one of the worst run tournaments I have ever been involved with from local qualifying to the International Tournament. This is a tournament that is held to put heads in beds at a resort. College coaches don't even frequent this event much anymore and one of the big reasons it is dying.

    If we are not concerned with strength of field and college coaches would you still participate? Can you tell me specifics about how it is not well run? Today is the day we have to decide. Thanks.

    Posted:
  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members  3856WRX Points: 1,158Posts: 3,856 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @jigsaw1011 said:

    On -, @heavy_hitter said:

    On -, @Keith355tb said:

    Jigsaw,
    It’s a great tournament and a very fun atmosphere for the kiddos. The fields are very strong for the younger age groups.

    Explain Young and Good? It really doesn't matter what the quality of the field is in the younger age groups. Once you start working on JGS rankings, the fields are weak and begin to be weak around the age of 10. I study a lot of the fields in tournaments to pick the right ones. Optimist is not a good field to play in despite what you may think. Optimist was one of the worst run tournaments I have ever been involved with from local qualifying to the International Tournament. This is a tournament that is held to put heads in beds at a resort. College coaches don't even frequent this event much anymore and one of the big reasons it is dying.

    If we are not concerned with strength of field and college coaches would you still participate? Can you tell me specifics about how it is not well run? Today is the day we have to decide. Thanks.

    It is unorganized. Most people there are volunteers and it is difficult to get an answer for questions that arise.

    Room arrangements are a mess as there are a ton of kids there by themselves. They have no one checking rooms to check on the partying and drinking going on. My daughter stayed there and was paired with a room mate. She ended up having to bunk with someone else on a different floor because there were adjoining rooms all opened up with drinking and smoking. Throw up in hallways etc etc. This tournament is about housing and filling hotel rooms. That is why they make even people from Florida stay on property. At one time this was a great tournament. As it stands today you will not see the best players playing in it. Far to many tournaments out there better than this one.

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  • jigsaw1011jigsaw1011 Members  46WRX Points: 32Posts: 46 Bunkers
    Joined:  edited Jul 24, 2019 #13

    We just came back from the tournament. It was our first time participating so I don't have a previous year to compare it to. From talking to parents who had kids playing in previous years, the courses did play harder. The hotel and room were very nice. The food was not very good at all. The tournament was pretty well run. Although, they were slow in posting results and tee times. The practice area/range was limited. Only one day did the practice green have holes and there was no chipping and practice bunker (the areas were roped off.) The range closed early so some people were upset about that. Any other questions? Undecided if we will go back next year at this point.

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  • LeandreLeandre Members  1WRX Points: 3Posts: 1 Starters
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    We just returned from the tournament. Overall, I’m glad we went as our child had the chance to play a tough course previously on the PGA circuit. However, if the Optimist had not paid for part of it, I would be disappointed in our investment. I agree completely with jigsaw1011. Here’s our take: the rooms are comfortable and gorgeous. The employees are friendly. The breakfast was absolutely abysmal (Econolodge in Pinehurst surpassed it by a long-shot). Dinner was good with both kids and parents in mind. Lunch wasn’t included and was not affordable on the resort. The practice area was subpar. No holes in the putting green except for a glow ball event which made everyone more frustrated since the kids wanted the holes before competition. The driving range was barely accessible and not big. Even when it didn’t rain, it closed early. And to rope off a practice bunker when 200+ kids are there for a tournament? That was really frustrating. The pool closes very early. There’s nothing to keep the kids entertained in the evening, especially if there is rain because they shut the pool and practice area down (which is every day). Bring games and cards. The organization was okay if you consider it is run by volunteers. But don’t expect AJGA quality...slow to post tee times, forget about live scoring, unclear information about course assignments, rules officials who are obviously not at tournaments regularly and have to look up rules (also easily intimidated by parents who question decisions). If you have anything but a profuse compliment, the organizers/volunteers are offended. Of course, we knew it would be a step down from AJGA considering the limited performance points available. But we had an experience and our child will be able to handle tougher courses. We chose this over an AJGA in our area and won’t make that choice again. Once is enough.

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  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members  3856WRX Points: 1,158Posts: 3,856 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 29, 2019 #15

    On -, @Leandre said:

    We just returned from the tournament. Overall, I’m glad we went as our child had the chance to play a tough course previously on the PGA circuit. However, if the Optimist had not paid for part of it, I would be disappointed in our investment. I agree completely with jigsaw1011. Here’s our take: the rooms are comfortable and gorgeous. The employees are friendly. The breakfast was absolutely abysmal (Econolodge in Pinehurst surpassed it by a long-shot). Dinner was good with both kids and parents in mind. Lunch wasn’t included and was not affordable on the resort. The practice area was subpar. No holes in the putting green except for a glow ball event which made everyone more frustrated since the kids wanted the holes before competition. The driving range was barely accessible and not big. Even when it didn’t rain, it closed early. And to rope off a practice bunker when 200+ kids are there for a tournament? That was really frustrating. The pool closes very early. There’s nothing to keep the kids entertained in the evening, especially if there is rain because they shut the pool and practice area down (which is every day). Bring games and cards. The organization was okay if you consider it is run by volunteers. But don’t expect AJGA quality...slow to post tee times, forget about live scoring, unclear information about course assignments, rules officials who are obviously not at tournaments regularly and have to look up rules (also easily intimidated by parents who question decisions). If you have anything but a profuse compliment, the organizers/volunteers are offended. Of course, we knew it would be a step down from AJGA considering the limited performance points available. But we had an experience and our child will be able to handle tougher courses. We chose this over an AJGA in our area and won’t make that choice again. Once is enough.

    Pretty much how I have felt since the miserable experience my daughter had when it was at PGA National.

    I like Doral and the facilities. Son recently played in a FJT event there. Rooms were great, but we were kept up lat every night due to partying in adjacent rooms. I didn't feel like the golf course was accessible to the rooms. A lot of walking to get to where you needed to go. What irritated me the most is they ran the kids off of the range after the rounds. They wanted each kid to pay to use the range because "the range is only included before the round". Have been to a lot of facilities to play tournament golf and the ONLY place I have ever encountered that. Spent a lot of money there and including $15.00 a day for parking and they still wanted to bleed my pocket of more money.

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