Thirteen high school golf teams from the region will compete today in the Golden Isles Invitational at Sea Island Golf Club’s Retreat Course in what will likely be the best playing conditions they’ll experience all year.

Glynn Academy is the host school for the annual event, which has both a team and individual competition format.

The Red Terrors will have a home-course advantage over the field, which makes the school’s two teams entered in the tournament among those to beat. Camden County and Pierce County, which won the Class 2-A state title last year, are also expected to compete for the team event.

Glynn Academy coach Mike Zito said some of his players are members at Sea Island, which helps even more.

“The facilities there, the course, the range, the chipping green, are five star,” he said. “The teams that come in rave about how nice it is.”

Because the tournament is on a Monday, only teams within 100 miles are invited, Zito said.

“We’re all competing against each other,” he said.

The course is set up to be about 6,500 yards long, the equivalent of hitting off the blue tees with the exception of the par 3’s, which Zito said will be shorter.

The team format pits five golfers from each team in the field in a 3 p.m. shotgun start, with the top four scores counted in the team event. Zito said the winning team will likely post an aggregate score between 300 and 305.

The low medalist winner will likely have to shoot par or better to win the honor, Zito predicted. Three Glynn Academy golfers, Ryan Johnston, Worth Pickens and Pope Arline are all expected to compete for the low golfer award.

Fans who show up to watch the action will be surprised at the quality of play by the young golfers.

“Kids are playing everywhere in these junior leagues,” he said. “The level of play, the sheer number of kids starting young, has grown.”

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