A Fort Worth tradition began in 1936 when the first Fort Worth Boys Junior Golf Championship was conducted. None of the participants had to pay a greens fee that year, and they never have had to in the ensuing years.
Thanks to the efforts of the late businessman Marvin Leonard, with help from Dr. Alden Coffey, the tournament was started so that youngsters from all financial backgrounds could afford to play. Leonard, who founded Shady Oaks Country Club and Colonial Country Club, didn't want finances to prevent a youngster from competing for the city championship. Thus, the city's men's golf association supported the tournament during the formative years.
The city's municipal and country club courses have been host to the boys tournament ever since. The men's golf association eventually disbanded, and during the next few years the tournament struggled because of a lack of volunteers. After the tournament was canceled in 1972, one of the MGA's members, Wendell Conditt, with the help of PGA Tour player Jack Montgomery and Star-Telegram reporter Jim Trinkle revived the tournament in 1973. Conditt recruited many of his friends to help conduct the tournament, and the Star-Telegram stepped in as a major sponsor. Conditt had been helping with the tournament since 1959.
One of Conditt's friends, Guinn Phillips, soon began lending a helping hand and the Fort Worth Junior Golf Association was formed. Phillips eventually became a co-director with Conditt. The city and county clubs continued the tradition of charging no greens fees.
In 1974, the girls tournament was added with Benita Christensen becoming the director. The tournament was conducted at Diamond Oaks Country Club until Kimberly Jutt took over as tournament director in 1994 and served until 2004. The girls tournament expanded to the city courses and other country clubs. The cirrent dfirector is Madeleine Sulley.
In 1994, Wendell and Guinn stepped aside as directors and their sons, John Conditt and Martin Phillips, took over as the boys' directors. The Northern Texas PGA entered as a partner with the FWJGA and the City of Fort Worth's Golf Division in 2006 and helped conduct the tournament that year and in 2007. One of the changes in 2006 was conducting the boys and girls tournaments during the same week, and finishing on the same course. They played their final rounds at Colonial Country Club. However, to assure equal publicity for both tournaments, it was decided to again conduct the tournaments on separate weeks. Because of many other junior tournaments blossoming across the state and nation, the boys championship probably will never reach the record-high of the 715 participants in 1979. Yet, it continues to attract several hundred each year, including most of the city's best players. In 2009, the FWJGA again began conducting all aspects of the tournaments and Wendell stepped back in as the association's president. Charles Birkhold joined John Conditt as the boys directors and a few months later Bill Hatley became co-director. Nancy Pennell served as the girls director until retiring in 2013 and current director Madeleine Sulley took over. Wendell retired in 2014, and a medalist award was created to honor his devoted and long-time service.
Former winners include Mark Brooks, a PGA Tour competitor who won the 1996 PGA Championship among other titles; Hunter Haas, a former standout and Big 12 champion at the University of Oklahoma and the 1999 USGA Amateur Public Links champion; and Lindy Miller, a former PGA Tour competitor who became the Director of Golf at Mira Vista Country Club. Many former winners have gone on to enjoy successes as amateur and professional players. The girls tournament also has had its share of talented players, including Angela Stanford. The four-time winner of the girls title is a winner of the LPGA Tour and was the runner-up in the 2003 Women's U.S. Open.