The greatest game ever.

Those are the words Monahans High School golfer JT Pittman used to describe his passion and pursuit of greatness on the links.

“I think golf is the greatest game ever honestly, I love it and I think if you have a passion for it, you should do it,” Pittman said.

The tee boxes have taken center stage this week as the best golfers in the world converge on Augusta, Georgia for The Masters.

The pros will hit the links to do just what Pittman does here in the Permian Basin, play the game they love, but on arguably the biggest stage.

You may notice The Masters on your television this weekend, but what you won’t see is an initiative aimed at bringing more kids to golf; the Drive Chip and Putt competition.

It is a nation-wide junior development competition that focuses on three key components of the game. Junior golfers who advance through the local and regional competitions will compete in the finals at the Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before The Masters.

“It really gives it a neat atmosphere for them to be out here together and they make a lot of friendships and stuff, so the kids have just eaten it up,” Jake McCullough, Director of Golf at the Odessa Country Club said about the program.

The preparation and development side of the competition is also on it’s way. On May 11, young golfers can visit the Odessa Country Club and spend some time with the golf staff to learn the basics.

The hope is the programs will bring the kids together to learn the game of golf and some life lessons along the way.

It is a game and a program that Pittman recommends everyone look into.

“It teaches you a lot of things, honesty and stuff like that,” Pittman said. “I think it is just a really good game young old, its just a good game for everybody.”

Qualifying rounds will take place Sunday June 23, at the Odessa Country Club. Boys and girls ages seven through 15 are eligible to participate. For more information on the competition visit