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2022 Junior Golf Version and Future


phillyk

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Saw a comment on my junior golf post from last year. So, I’ll summarize this year and what my plan is next year. 

Jr Camps, once again averaged 40 kids over 4 camps. Everything has gone well there. The instructors we have brought in from the outside comment on how simple, organized and smooth it is. We changed from serving chicken and cheese taquitos to having chicken nuggets.  The kids liked that move. Next year, I need to add more targets for kids to hit into and buy a dodgeball set. We have a sports station that has been successful but I think dodgeball will definitely add some spice to it. I will also move to 5 camps, since we have the demand and time for it.

PGA Jr league was interesting, a good interesting. My original plan was 2 teams again, but I filled those 24 spots in 2 days. So, I opened slots for a 3rd team. We ended up getting 32 players. Probably could’ve had more but I was late in adding that 3rd team. The season went well overall. I even brought a team (8 players) to the championship season, and finished 6th of 10 teams. I had several better players say they weren’t available, but everyone that went, had fun. The format is a 2 person scramble, the winning team shot 28, 32, 32, 34. Beat next best team by 15 strokes. I’d be looking for them to be at Nationals. 

The hard part is what to do next year. My course is a beginners course, so from the perspective of inclusion, I should do an in-house league where I open up 17u and 13u teams. I think I could get 40-50 kids playing. But specific, 1 on 1 instruction, is not really happening. They’d have to get better from competition, practice, and the drills. The other option is limit to 2 teams to get them more individual attention. This would also mean I would still compete with the neighboring courses. But I hate the idea of turning kids away, so I am leaning towards the first option. The goal of the league is to get kids playing and enjoying the game. So I’ll focus more on that. 

That also leaves the door open for what can be next for the kids that want to play better. The WJGA (Washington Junior Golf Association) has a good schedule with good competition. They have eligibility requirements per age in order to play. My idea is to make a year long junior program that allows more competitive golf (than PGA Jr League) and individual instruction to help kids prepare for WJGA tournaments and beyond. No other public course in my area offers such a program, so I hope it will be successful. The eligibility of the program would be the same as WJGA. 

In essence, I hope to have a 3 tiered junior program. Jr Camp is the beginning, for those wanting to see if the game is right for them, just a daycare option, or for kids just wanting to keep their game going. PGA Jr League is the intermediate, to get kids playing the game. So there is a commitment, unlike jr camp. It can have both competitive and non competitive players. WJGA is the expert level, for those who want to be more competitive.

There is still a lot to plan but I think it will be a good year. 

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