16 Youth on Course Members Participate in the Pasadera Cup Pro-Am
November 21, 2023 / by Kayla Bell
Youth on Course was selected as the charitable beneficiary of the Pasadera Cup Pro-Am and 16 Youth on Course members were invited to play.
The tournament was organized by Jered Stone, Director of Business Development for the Asher Tour, who shared with us that his inspiration for partnering with Youth on Course was rooted in growing the game of golf. “As a playing professional and tour director, my goal is to give back and grow the game at every level. Along with achieving opportunities for professional golfers through the Asher Tour, I wanted to incorporate a junior aspect to The Pasadera Cup. No better partner to have than Youth On Course!”
Before the round, Stone and fellow professional golfers Rowin Caron, Max Marsico, and Dino Giacomazzi Jr. put on a clinic to help Youth on Course members develop their short game and improve their technique.”Through these teachings and touch points with professionals, the juniors can take these experiences to shape their future golf careers” said Stone.
Each group consisted of three amateur golfers, one professional golfer competing on the Asher Tour, and one Youth on Course member. “For the Pasadera Cup, I wanted to create a one-of-a-kind experience for juniors and professionals to partner together in a tournament setting,” said Stone who also played in the tournament and shot 4-under for the week, good for a T17 finish.
Suri Lau, a 13 year old Youth on Course member, got the opportunity of a lifetime when she was invited to play at the Pasadera Cup and be paired up with pro Devon Bling. We sat down with her to hear about how she became a member of Youth on Course and what her experience was like at this life-changing tournament.
Tell us about yourself and how you became a member of Youth on Course.
I started playing golf during the pandemic. My mom wanted me to go outside and enjoy nature and the environment so that's when I started going to the driving range. While there, this older man came up to me and my mom and told me how I had an amazing swing and asked if I would like to join the junior program at Corica Park Golf Course. When I joined I also became a member of Youth on Course. Now I am fully committed. I really do love how Youth on Course is a nonprofit organization, and it impacts many young golfers, different ages from six to 18. And I love to volunteer. Two years ago, I also joined the DRIVE Club, which gives me a way to express my gratitude to everyone. I volunteer to help get more kids into golf and teach them how to play. I also go to big tournaments for the pros, and I help bring baskets on the driving range. It is really just fun to see how many people smile when you say a small word like, please. Thank you. It was nice knowing you. I've never had that feeling in my life where I just could make someone smile.
How did you find out you were invited to the Pasadera Cup?
I’m on a cross country team and we are currently competing with the other schools. I had a meet, and I was running, and right when I finished, I was walking back to our school area, and my mom came up to me, and she was like, “You got into the Pasadera Cup, an event on the Asher tour.” I just stopped because I was panting, breathing hard. I was just like, what happened? Did I just get in? That's when my brain just stopped. I was jumping in the air, forgetting how tired I was, and I was so excited. My eyes were gleaming. Literally. They were sparkling.
What did it mean to you to have the opportunity to play at the Pasadera Cup?
Like everyone else, it's a once in a lifetime experience. It was my first time playing with a pro. I'm normally the one who's volunteering for this stuff and I would see other people play. Now it was my turn and I was just so proud that I was playing with a pro in a tournament. It made me smile. It made my parents proud. I bet my whole family would be saying, “Yes, you got it, Suri.” And this is a chance which other people have not had before.
Who were you paired up with?
I played with Devon Bling, the professional. His caddie was there, and they were very supportive the whole time we were playing, and I'm grateful that he answered all my questions. I also played with Steve, Derek and Ben. Ben was a 14 year old, and Derek and Steve were close friends with Ben. We were just so happy. We felt like we just complimented each other. It was just like a playday, basically.
What did you learn or gain from the experience?
What's so unique about the Pasadera Cup is that I learned that working as a team is a lot easier than working by myself, which is very funny. I also gained a lot of knowledge on the different styles. I could chip and hit out of the bunker because there was a clinic there for juniors like me. I was pretty happy with flop shots and getting out of bunkers and being able to play at different distances.
What were the highlights of your day?
Not to brag, but I dunked this really good 45 foot eagle putt for my team, and it just gave me a reason to smile because my group was so happy. We were high fiving each other, just cheering on the green. Another highlight moment of the day was the banquet dinner. Because at the end of the day, we would eat dinner together and there was just delicious food, especially the bread and the dessert was wonderful with the lemon pies. Then after dinner my friends and I decided to go on an adventure. We explored the clubhouse a bit with the permission of my parents and some of the staff members. Don't worry, we didn't do anything bad. We're good kids and we just looked around, having fun, talking about things and how life was for each other. It was very fun. Lastly, my pro on hole number 16 a par three hit his golf ball, and it was three inches from the hole, so close to the hole in one that everybody was just like, wow, great shot.
Outside of golf and this experience, what are other ways that you feel Youth on Course has enriched your life?
Youth on Course impacted me outside of golf in many ways. From volunteering for other tournaments and other people to cheering me on to my next adventure. It just gives me another way of explaining how, even though you don't play golf, the experience stays with you. Their spirit is right behind you. They're like, go, Suri, go. And no matter where I am, I always have a chance to talk about Youth on Course because it lets me take my non-golf friends out to the course. For instance, I have two best friends. One plays volleyball, the other plays basketball. One day I took my basketball playing friend to the golf course. And of course, his swing wasn't really that good. It was his second to third time playing, but he really enjoyed it and it gave them a different perspective or view of golf because not all the time is it an old rich man sport now it's turning into a diverse game with a big range of ages.