The St. Augustine Amateur is a national event established in 2004 for better amateur and collegiate players. The 54-hole stroke play, walking only, competition is conducted over three days. The player caddies, forecaddies, walking referees and standard bearers add to the experience. The field is limited to 84 players whose golf resumes and tournament experience have earned them a spot in the field. The winner receives the John C. Jennison III Trophy as well as Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Amateur Golf Ranking Points.
All net proceeds of the event benefit First Tee – North Florida.
The current tournament Co-chairs are Wes Tucker and Jeff Willoughby.
In 2004, John (Jay) Jennison III assembled a dedicated group of fellow amateur golf enthusiasts and founded the St. Augustine Amateur. Within just two years, the tournament became a designated Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Amateur Golf Points event. Since its inception, the tournament has experienced great success, attracting nationally accomplished players from across the country and all over the world.
Jay Jennison was an accomplished amateur golfer in his own right. He competed in the 1980 US Amateur at the Country Club of North Carolina, the 1981 US Mid-Amateur at Bellerive Country Club, the British Amateur in 1982 at Royal Cinque Ports, and numerous other prestigious amateur golf tournaments. He was the club champion at six different clubs.
Jay won the Virginia State Amateur before going on to play collegiately at the University of Virginia. He earned all-ACC academic honors while earning his Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering at UVA. Jay went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law and was admitted to the Florida Bar. He also served in the Florida National Guard. As his business career took off, Jay continued to compete in amateur golf tournaments throughout his life.
Jay and his wife of 35 years, Martha, raised two daughters, Clarinda and Catherine, and a son, John IV. Jay was an active member of his church, serving on the vestry for many years at Trinity Episcopal Church, and was a fine member of the local St. Augustine community.
Jay brought his executive management experience, his passion for golf and youth education to the First Tee of St. Johns County when he became the Executive Director. Jay thoroughly enjoyed his time with the First Tee and worked tirelessly to further the First Tee’s stated mission: “To impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.” In addition to his duties at the First Tee, Jay coached the Flagler College men’s golf team for three years. In April of 2010, Jay became the 17th recipient of the J. Edward “Red” Cox Award, presented to those who make a significant positive impact on St. Johns County sports.
Throughout his life, Jay was truly a fine ambassador of the game of golf for St. Augustine. Jay will be remembered for his intellectual curiosity, his passion of history and science, his sense of fair play, his optimism, his faith and his love for his family.
Jay authored and implemented his vision for the St. Augustine Amateur:
“The best expression of the game lies in high level amateur competitions and the fellowship and sportsmanship attendant at such events. It is our vision to conduct an event which provides this experience for players, sponsors, volunteers, and all who come in contact with the St. Augustine Amateur.”