After a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Bob Toski Junior Golf Tournament at Boca Grove Golf and Tennis Club in Boca Raton will make a triumphant return.
Golf legend Bob Toski said they hope to award two $20,000 scholarships this year at the event slated for June 17.
“I think I will be able to award $40,000 this year,” Toski said. “I am getting a great response. I think because of last year with the coronavirus that a lot of people are more sympathetic because of what we are trying to accomplish.
“We are excited about being at Boca Grove again,” he said. “They did a fantastic job two years ago. I would say it is probably the best run junior golf tournament in South Florida.”
In the 2019 event, Weston’s Case Hinesley pocketed a $20,000 scholarship at the event. The Archbishop McCarthy High School graduate went to Santa Fe College in Gainesville to pursue a degree in engineering. It was the largest scholarship ever awarded at the event based on his academic and athletic abilities.
A total of 62 golfers played in the 2019 tournament, which took place at Boca Grove for the first time. Lake Worth’s Tyler Stachkunas carded a 69 to win both the Boys’ 16-18 division as well as the overall championship. The overall girls’ winner was Plantation’s Alena Lindh, who carded a 70. After a year off due to the pandemic, Toski said he is hopeful of a full house this year.
The 94-year-old golfing legend and Boca Raton resident always wanted to do a junior golf tournament and in 2013 that became a reality. The next year, the scholarship program was set up with $1,500 awarded to both a boy and a girl. That monetary total has continued to grow and, to date, $77,000 in scholarships have been presented to high school senior golfers.
Toski, who was the leading money-winner on the PGA Tour in 1954 and is a Hall of Fame golf instructor, said he takes great pride in giving back to the game. Toski said his ultimate goal is to raise $80,000 for two full $40,000 scholarships for one year for each golfer.
“We are going to have the hole-in-one contest again,” Toski said of the 100-yard challenge. “Anyone can win it and the winner goes to the Master’s Family Day in 2022. They get a free ticket — all they have to do is get transportation there.
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“I didn’t worry about not being able to hold the tournament last year, I just hoped that (the pandemic) didn’t continue on to this year,” Toski said. “If you go two years in a row (without holding it) people are going to wonder if it is ever going to come back. We’re getting a great response, and I am so excited because the way I am going I think I am going to be able to give a check to two of the best (high school) seniors golfers that meet the requirements that we give them.”
Two things stand out for Toski, which he said he believes helps his junior tournament stand out from others.
“We have a big buffet for the kids and a closing banquet like no other,” he said. “I also go out and watch the kids. I will sit with them on the course and tell them stories. They love that fact.
“The magic of playing in this tournament is seeing them when they develop as golfers and go on to be better players or go off to college,” Toski said. “Jimmy Demaret once told me if you want to be a winner, you have to marry the game. You must put the time and effort into it. Learning how to win is not easy.”
The cost to play for the 9-hole tournament is $45, while the 18-hole tournament is $65. In addition to the golf, there is a full luncheon buffet.