Souchak new GSJGA president

 There have been some major changes at the top of the Greater Sarasota Junior Golf Association.

Chris Souchak, the head golf pro at Venetian Golf and Country Club, has taken over as president of the youth organization. He started his new duties in November.

At the end of the year, executive director Judy Christman will retire after a long tenure with the youth organization.

Like the rest of the golf world, the GSJGA has suffered from a lack of participation. More than 20 years ago, some 600 juniors were enrolled in the program. That figure has diminished to 180.

"Participation is down across the board," said Souchak. "There are a lot of other sports for kids. This is a new beginning.   We are going to try and change that."

Souchak has been at Venetian since it opened in 2003. His 12-year-old son, Erik Souchak, competes in the GSJGA.

"It's time for a change," said Christman about her own decision to step down. "There are a lot of factors contributing to the lack of participation. Many clubs have their own junior programs."

Christman, an avid golfer, started with the GSJGA as a volunteer in 1991.  Her passion for the game and junior golf will be missed.

The GSJGA is conducting a search for a new executive director.


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