The activity on the putting green at Champions Retreat came to a halt Monday when Charles Howell approached with a microphone.
Less than 24 hours after shooting a final-round 67 in the AT&T National in Maryland, Howell was in Evans talking to a group of junior golfers preparing for the first The Club Car Junior, an American Junior Golf Association event to which Howell loaned his name.
Howell, an Augusta native and the 1996 AJGA Player of the Year, told the young players to appreciate their time on the junior circuit, because it would go fast.
"For me, this is a new deal," the 29-year-old told the group of his role as host. "I still feel like I should be out there carrying a bag with you guys."
Before speaking to the group, Howell drove a golf car around the course, stopping to pose for pictures and to offer words of encouragement to Junior/Am participants.
Some responded in kind, congratulating Howell on his final round at the AT&T and thanking him for his time. The players stopped what they were doing when they recognized Howell's tall frame.
"It's a different experience," said junior Bobby Wyatt, of Mobile, Ala., after Howell stopped with his group.
A man playing in Monday's Junior/Am stopped Howell to tell him Howell's father, a surgeon, had recently operated on his 1-year-old grandson.
Others stopped their setup when they saw Howell approach and asked if he'd like to hit for them.
Howell stopped and spoke to former Augusta Prep golfer Lee Knox. Knox is a member at Augusta Country Club, where Howell developed his game, and grew up watching Howell hit balls on the range.
"He's a nice guy," Knox said. "I like Charles."
It was a star-powered start to the inaugural event, and Howell said the pieces are in place to make it a fixture on the AJGA circuit.
"We're going to work on making it better and better each year," Howell said. "And make it an event everyone wants to play."
It wasn't long ago -- at least in Howell's eyes -- that he was playing 15 to 17 AJGA events a year and spending most of the year traveling to play golf. He said his message to the juniors would be to work hard in the face of stiffer competition nationwide and to use college for what it was originally intended: an education.
He lauded the AJGA's tournament setup as compared to the more-crammed college playing schedule.
"This is the grassroots, where it all starts," Howell told the participants. "Before you know it, you'll be up here hosting your own event."
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