The foundation for the growth of any activity — whether it’s baseball, basketball, football, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, music, ballet or folk dancing — starts with the kids.
Golf is no different.
That’s why junior golf is so vital to the sport. It’s also why the Northern Ohio Section of the Professional Golfers Association takes an active part in growing the game with its Junior Golf Tours.
The Northern Ohio PGA Junior Tours offers five programs for youngsters from ages 8 to 22 that spans the game’s spectrum, from learning the correct way to play to competing at the higher skill levels. Along the way youngsters will learn some life lessons, too.
This is where the importance of junior golf emerges. The programs help cultivate and enhance all aspects of the game, teaching youngsters the values of honesty, integrity and respect while teaching etiquette, patience, fairness and sportsmanship.
And, who knows? Maybe the next Justin Thomas or Lexi Thompson will emerge.
The following is a look at all of the 2020 Junior Golf programs that are available through the NOPGA:
DRIVE, CHIP & PUTT
(Ages 7 through 15) — Founded in 2013 through a joint venture by the Masters Tournament, the United States Golf Association and the PGA of America, the Drive, Chip & Putt program is a free, nation-wide developmental competition for boys and girls aimed at growing the game by focusing on the three fundamental skills inherent to the game.
Youngsters play with their peers in qualifying events around the country and advance through local, sub-regional and regional qualifying to eventually earn a place in the National Finals, which are held at the famed Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before the Masters. Registration is open at www.drivechipandputt.com
PGA JUNIOR LEAGUE
(Ages 17 and Under) — The PGA Junior League promotes team play and it is developed for boys and girls at facilities throughout northeast Ohio. Facilities can offer 13-and-under or 17-and-under teams and leagues. Safety, care and organization guide the experience as club professionals commit to putting safety first, while creating fun experiences and structuring their programs in a way that promotes communication. Registration is open at www.pgajrleague.com.
9-HOLE FUTURES TOUR
(Ages 8-15) — The premise of the Futures Tour program is to give youngsters a peek at what tournament golf is like, but in a fun environment. Parents and family members are permitted to caddie in order to provide assistance and encouragement. Custom caddie bibs with the player’s name on the back are included in the Membership Package. The NOPGA has enhanced this program by staging a 9-Hole Futures Tour Championship at Mud Run Golf Course in Akron. Golf, range balls, tee gifts, lunch and festival games will be included. Lunch and an awards program will conclude the day. 2020 Futures Tour Schedule >
18-HOLE JUNIOR SERIES
(Ages 11-19) – The Northern Ohio PGA Junior Series is a group of tournaments for boys and girls ages 11-19. The tournaments are held at various Northern Ohio sites. These events are designed to offer juniors of all skill levels the opportunity to compete and enjoy learning how to handle the competition of tournament play.
Player of the Year point list will determine qualifiers in each age group to play in the Junior Section Championship at Portage CC and the Tour Championship at Club Walden.
Play begins May 3rd at Trumbull Country Club. All points earned throughout the season will be totaled and a player of the year for each age division will be determined. 2020 NOPGA Junior Series Schedule >
COLLEGIATE PREVIEW TOUR
(Ages 16-22) — What’s the best way to prepare for the upcoming college golf season? To play in competitive events on a regular basis. The NOPGA will conduct its Collegiate Preview series of events throughout Northern Ohio, with the top three place-winners receiving pro shop credit or a gift from the host club. Points will be accumulated along the way. Additionally, the NOPGA will honor a male and female as its Collegiate Preview Player of the Year and they will receive a NOPGA golf bag. 2020 NOPGA Collegiate Preview Series Schedule >
JUNIOR GOLF SCOREBOARD
With the junior golf world becoming so competitive, juniors are looking for a way to compete at the national level. The Northern Ohio PGA Junior Tours are now providing that opportunity. The Northern Ohio PGA will once again be combining single day events into 36-hole contests, making the contest eligible for Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings. Check with the NOPGA for a list of events that qualify.
To learn more about all of the 2020 Northern Ohio PGA Junior Golf programs: