Anyone Can Run a PGA Junior League and Enjoy Success – Grow the Game in your Area
The Par Tee Golf Center, the practice range that I own and operate, is a stand-alone facility, but that didn't stop me from signing up for PGA Junior League Golf when I first heard about it in 2013. After having 12 children and playing teams from surrounding courses in my first year, I realized that I could build our Junior League Team into a 4-Team PGA Junior League. We partnered with other facilities and pooled together their players to form the Midlands PGA Junior League. Some of the courses we partnered with did not have the staffing levels and time to run their own PGA Junior League Teams. Courses including Columbia Country Club and the Country Club of Lexington allowed us to use their facilities for matches. They also allowed us to market the PGA Junior League to their Junior Golfers. Interest sky-rocketed and we were able to create our own four-team PGA Junior League. The Columbia area suddenly had two Leagues in PGA Junior League Golf, and we could serve more youth golfers. In addition, my fellow PGA Professionals and their facilities got more traffic and revenue without the hassle. We continued to push PGA Junior League Golf in Columbia. As of last year, Forest Lake Country Club now has their own four-team League, PGA Professionals, Chase Butler and Steven Hartwig help me run our Midlands PGA Junior League, and a group of courses in Columbia make up a third League in PGA Junior League Golf.
Since 2014, The Midlands PGA Junior League has had a minimum of 40 players in the League. Chase, Steven and I have even grown our “Summer PGA Junior League” into a year-round PGA Junior League Program. We continue to introduce Junior Golfers to the game we all love, but more importantly we see long lasting relationships with children, parents and PGA Junior League families develop each year. Unlike most competitive junior golf, PGA Junior League players learn to work as a team. Instead of competing against someone all the time, PGA Junior League Golf teaches them to work as a unified group. Current PGA Junior League families and PGA Junior League graduates celebrate holidays together, travel together to other golf activities and continue to play golf and grow the game. These Junior Golfers and their families will be friends for life.
For a nominal fee of $75.00, The PGA of America gives each participant a “kit” that includes two, awesome jerseys to be worn at the matches. The additional fees that we charge above the $75 go to the courses to pay for usage fees along with covering snacks for the kids. We ask the parents who come to watch their kids not to bring any food or drink and support the host facilities. Along with the $10-$15 golf car fees the courses charge, they're also seeing revenue increases from food & beverage the parents purchase, along with some additional club members from families who wanted to give their children a place to play. Chase, Steven and I have gained new students from our PGA Junior League, and our instructional programs continue to grow.
Even if you are employed at a facility that does not have a golf course, don’t be afraid to participate in Junior League Golf. Go out and partner up with local PGA Professionals and get Juniors Golfers involved in PGA Junior League Golf. Your time commitment to running a PGA Junior League Team or League will reward you with memories and relationships that will last a lifetime.