Youth Leagues

gary-cressendGary Cressend, the 2014 Georgia PGA Section Youth Player Development Award winner, is a PGA teaching professional at Augusta (Georgia) Country Club.

The recipe for youth golf success is providing year-round instructional opportunities that meet the needs of all players, while giving competitive opportunities for those who are more passionate about the game. Among the many programs we implement, PGA Junior League Golf epitomizes everything we want youth golfers to understand about the game. We have two leagues, with a total of 40 players, mostly boys, ages 7-14. I strategically group the youth golfers according to ability. We use two parent scorekeepers in each group to allow a events with shotgun starts each week for our 16 matches. In June and July we host a series in which youth accumulate points, much like the FedEx Cup. At the end of the season we crown a series champion, presenting him with the Rob Perry Cup. Since we started the PGA Junior League, our youth program has grown drastically, and our golfers have excelled. Keep it fresh, make it fun and your youth golfers will flourish!

Although our club does not charge extra for the weekly golf, we host a cookout once a week after the events for players and their families in order to generate revenue. Our youth rounds have grown a lot since we started PGA Junior League Golf four years ago. We had 500 competitive rounds this summer. The kids and about half the parents eat lunch at the club after these rounds, bringing in roughly $5,000 in food & beverage revenue over the duration of the PGA Junior League Golf season. The kids also spend extra money in the golf shop, and sometimes their parents do, too.

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Editor’s note: The above comments reflect the opinion and experiences of the submitting PGA Professional and are not endorsed by PGA Magazine or the PGA of America.