Jessica Kittelberger of Ravenscroft was a natural when the U.S. Golf Association sought a junior golfer to promote service and volunteerism. Kittelberger was one of four girls chosen to play in the American team in the USA-China Youth Golf Match at the CordeValle Golf Resort in San Martin, Calif., earlier this month.
Jessica Kittelberger of Ravenscroft was a natural when the U.S. Golf Association sought a junior golfer to promote service and volunteerism.
Kittelberger, a junior, was one of four girls chosen to play for the American team in the USA-China Youth Golf Match at the CordeValle Golf Resort in San Martin, Calif., this month.
“They wanted someone with the ability to act as an ambassador to our guests from China,” Kittelberger said.
The USA-China Youth Golf Match consisted of three rounds over two days at CordeValle. The teams also played a practice round at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, which hosted the men’s 2012 U.S. Open.
“It was the hardest course I can imagine,” Kittelberger said. “If you were in the rough, you couldn’t get out.”
The players were all under age 16 and were members of Leadership Links, a program administered by the USGA and the American Junior Golf Association that promotes service and volunteerism.
Kittelberger has raised more than $30,000 for N.C. Children’s Promise at the UNC Memorial Hospital with her Golf of Promise event.
She also is an outstanding player. Kittelberger had a 38-stroke per high school round average (nine holes) in 2011 and was the Triangle Independent School Athletic Conference co-medalist and tied for second in the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association championships.
“I have great admiration for Jessica,” said Ravenscroft coach Doug Hodges. “You know that she is going to give you 100 percent effort. But she does that in everything.
“She is among the top performing students academically in the school, plays in the band and is outstanding in golf. You wonder how she gets it all done.”
A part of her selection was for her leadership abilities and her volunteer efforts.
USGA president Glen D. Nager said in a release about the event, “This match is a wonderful opportunity to promote the game of golf. The young men and women representing the U.S. team will serve as ambassadors for everything that is great about the game here in America.
“While the competition will certainly be front and center, the sharing of the game’s spirit, traditions and camaraderie will be of equal importance.”
The teams traveled together, ate together and did activities together. Each team had four males and four females. The competition consisted of four foursomes (alternate-shot) matches, four four-ball matches and eight singles matches.
The USA-China Youth Matches have been held since 2008 when they were played in China in conjunction with the Beijing Olympics.
Kittelberger said she had the chance to get to know the other players. Hana Ku, a U.S. player from New Jersey, has become a close friend.
“It was the experience of a lifetime,” Kittelberger said.