PGA Best Practices – Junior Golf - Think Outside the Driving Range
It’s important when building a junior program to remember that each program is unique to the professionals, club and juniors involved. There are three key components that my program is based upon.
1) Junior Room - I designed a classroom for my juniors where learning can happen no matter what the weather may be. Parents can comfortably drop off and pick up their kids, golf is always on the television, and their names fill up the achievement wall. I utilize one wall as a chalkboard where I can communicate with parents and kids on upcoming events, daily activities, where to go if you arrive late, and any other pertinent information regarding their children and my programs.
2) Etiquette - I believe that juniors should be able to show that they can be mature enough and respectful enough to take care of their facilities. We are constantly learning how to properly care for the course, practice areas, fix ball marks, fill divots and rake bunkers. Practice ends with picking up tees on the range and cleaning up the stacks of golf balls. I place the most weight in this component. In order to maintain a beautiful facility, we have to take care of it and always keep it ready for the next person.
3) Achievements - We have several opportunities for all ages and abilities to succeed, achieve, and grow. Everything from contests to annual events like a Junior Club Championship, a Junior Member Guest, a Parent-Child Championship, and a Halloween Scramble (costumes included), they stay interested, practice more, play more, and learn more. Four weekly clinics provide the opportunity to develop at their own pace from beginner clinics to a more advanced on course clinic. Four summer camps, PGA Junior League, and Drive, Chip, and Putt practices keep our juniors always involved and always improving.
To anyone with a Junior Golf Program, give kids a chance to make you proud. Provide them with opportunities, and they will grow your program as they continue to grow as individuals.