Junior Team Program

Jordan-Harris-HeadshotJordan Harris is the PGA senior coordinator for junior golf operations at the Northern Texas PGA Section in Dallas, Texas.
The Northern Texas PGA Section has been offering a Team Golf program for a few years now and it is apparent that it benefits our PGA Professionals and is growing the game of golf in our Section. The program essentially started as an interclub junior series, but it has grown into a program that gives juniors a direct avenue to get more involved with the game and tournaments. The Section organizes all of the tournaments to make it as easy as possible for participating PGA Professionals and their clubs; all the PGA Professionals submit their roster and organize the trip to the tournament, and the Section staff handles the rest. The tournaments are open to 7 to 14 year old boys and girls and are played with a four-ball stroke play format. We utilize TEE IT FORWARD tees if we aren’t playing a short course and have a nine-shot per hole maximum, as well as a one-shot max out of a bunker. The teams are made up of six juniors; 84 players, or 14 teams, is our field maximum. Even though the atmosphere is relaxed and fun, the juniors really get into the competition and everyone stays until the last score is posted to see who wins. Unlike some junior events, we encourage parents to get involved and act as caddies, coaches and Rules officials, and they’re all welcome to be spectators.

Our Team Golf program has been an absolute success as it has grown from eight tournaments in 2010 to 36 tournaments in 2012. We regularly fill each tournament with 84 juniors and many go on to participate in our more competitive junior tour tournaments. In fact, 62 percent of our team golf participants played in our other junior tour tournaments in 2012, which is a phenomenal number. As for PGA Professionals, the Team Golf program has acted as a springboard for their own junior programs. Many participating professionals have their own team practices, manuals and uniforms. Professionals are able to generate revenue from their team golf program and additional revenue for themselves and their facilities from private lessons, parent clinics, food & beverage functions, and merchandise sales. This program can be a hit at the Section level across the country and can be used at a more local level between area clubs. While this is a Northern Texas PGA Section program, it could be replicated around the country.