Each year the AJGA presents the Digger Smith Award to an individual whose service to junior golf goes above and beyond the call of duty.
The award is named for AJGA Chairman of the Board J.R. “Digger” Smith, who has dedicated himself to the AJGA and junior golf for more than two decades. Smith was honored as the Golfweek “Father of the Year” in 1995.
“I am very excited and appreciate the award,” Stegall said. “I know some of the outstanding people who have won the award before me and I am very proud to be a part of it.”
Stegall began his work with the AJGA in 1995 while the Association was seeking golf venues to host junior tournaments in north Georgia.
While on the search for host facilities, the AJGA found a man and a region that embraced junior golf and truly took ownership in an event that will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2005.
This year’s tournament will be from Aug. 1-4 and Coosa Country Club will host the tournament for the sixth straight year.
“I have a truly wonderful tournament committee who knows their assignments and are willing to do anything for the junior golfers,” Stegall said. “I may go to all of the meetings, but my committee is always there to carry everything out.
“This award honors a great man whose vision and leadership throughout the years has helped keep the AJGA on track,” AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin said. “Dr. Jo Stegall has a great passion for the AJGA and junior golf. It’s all about the kids for him and he’s always there to encourage them. He is a man who just truly cares.