New England Junior Golf is Alive and Well
Golf is a wonderful game! It is the only sport where each competitor is the referee, player and manager over all strategies and decisions. It is designed to teach etiquette, patience, fairness, and goodwill towards your fellow competitor. It is a great game where the path to success requires perseverance and acceptance of outcome. Of all the sports in the world today golf is the only one you can participate and enjoy for a lifetime with competitors, friends and family.
“I was given the gift of golf not until, I was almost 40 years old. To this day I look back and wished someone had introduced me to this wonderful game when I was younger. Golf and my relationships through this great game have transformed my life to a level I could never imagined. I am truly blessed to have found the game and forever thank those who introduced me to this great game.
-Timothy R. Branco Editor / Publisher New England Golf Monthly
“As golfers, we understand how important this game is to the individual. No matter how many children you work with at golf clinics over the course of a year, you can never reach as many kids as you hope. New England has done a great job promoting junior golf and working towards making the future as bright as our past has been.”
– Pat Bradley, LPGA & World Golf, Hall of Fame Inductee, Six-time Major Champion
“I was very fortunate to grow up in the junior program here in Massachusetts. The experience and support I received over the years has made me the player and person I am today. The game of golf is unique because it helps shape your value system. I can only hope that every young kid growing up has the same opportunity that I had.”
– James Driscoll, PGA Tour Player
We are lucky to have so many programs available to junior golfers here in New England and throughout the northeast. There are weekly tours and events run by the AJGA (American Junior Golf Association), the U.S. Challenge Cup, the NEPGA Junior Tour, the PGA Jr. League and the Girls Independent Golf League. There are also wonderful learning and practice facilities for juniors such as The First Tee, which has over 50 location sites in New England to get started at any age. The First Tee has partnered with The Masters each year holding the finals of the National Drive Chip and Put Championship at Augusta National on Sunday of Masters week. In Rhode Island, Button Hole has a short course and teaching facility for kids. In Southern Rhode Island, the RI Children’s Golf Course runs summer leagues and Saturday Junior clinics teaching golf to hundreds of kids yearly.
Through junior golf programs, the game has helped shape the futures of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance, and has had a positive impact on participants, their families and their communities. Junior golfers are growing up to be respectful well rounded young adults with strong values and solid life skills. With so many facilities and programs available in New England there literally is something everywhere for everyone. Give the gift of golf to a young person in your life and watch them blossom, they will never forget it!
Resources for Your Junior Golfer
American Junior Golf Association (AJGA)
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.
Since 1978, the American Junior Golf Association has been devoted to conducting national junior golf tournaments at the highest level of junior golf. In 2016, the AJGA will conduct approximately 116 tournaments for young players, ages 12-19. At each event, the AJGA seeks to live up to its mission statement by providing a first-class venue, professional staff and a safe environment. The AJGA requires its golfers to adhere to a Code of Conduct and the AJGA Pace of Play policy. Amateur Success: 24 of the past 30 U.S. Amateur champions and 25 of the past 30 U.S. Women’s Amateur champions are AJGA alumni. ajga.org
The U.S. Challenge Cup Junior Golf Foundation
The United States Challenge Cup Junior Golf Foundation was founded in 1980 by David Adamonis Sr. It was formally established in 1983 and incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization. The Challenge Cup provides junior golfers ages 8-19 the opportunity to develop their skills through a competitive tournament schedule.
The foundation offers: instructional opportunities through local PGA professionals, a junior mini-tour for novice to intermediate players (ages 8-15), 28 major competitions, and opportunities to qualify for 6 of the world’s top junior events. These events are the Scott Robertson Memorial, the Junior World Golf Championships, the Golfweek/FCWT Invitational, the Optimist International Junior, the Doral Publix Junior, the Orange Bowl and 2 of New England’s premiere amateur tournaments the Hornblower and the Francis Ouimet Memorial.
In 2001, the Challenge Cup and Northeast Amateur partnered to create another unique opportunity for junior golfers. Each year the Challenge Cup Player of the Year will earn an invitation to compete in one of the world’s top amateur events the prestigious Northeast Amateur. There are currently over 226 alum are playing competitive college golf. David Adamonis Jr. is the Director. uschallengecup.org
The New England PGA Junior Tour
The New England PGA Junior Tour, founded in 1995, established a goal to help develop younger golfers as well as provide outstanding competitions on a local level. In addition, this program strives to foster sportsmanship and integrity among its members. The growth of the program has been phenomenal, and today our program consists of over 800 junior golfers and a schedule of over 100 junior tournaments per season. The New England PGA Junior Tour is open to all boys and girls ages 9-21 who reside in or are members of a golf course within the boundaries of the New England.
The junior tour runs from the middle of June to the end of August and all tournaments are held on weekdays. However, there some events that take place on weekends in the spring and fall. The NEPGA Junior Tour events are one-day events for players 9-21 years of age and cost $40 for 18 hole divisions and $30 for nine (9) hole divisions. The Boys 11 & under division and the Girls 13 & under division will play 9 holes, all other age divisions will play 18 holes. During the tournament season we use our website and email database to communicate all important information to our members. Tournament rosters, tee times, newsletters, and results are all posted on the website to provide our members with easy access to all information. nepgajuniortour.com
PGA Junior League Golf PGA Junior League Golf is a fun, social and inclusive opportunity for boys and girls ages 13 and under to learn and enjoy the game of golf. Much like other recreational league sports, participants wear numbered jerseys and play on teams with their friends.
Each team is captained by a PGA or LPGA Professional, who serves as the coach and is at the forefront of creating a welcoming environment for all to enjoy the game. PGA Junior League Golf utilizes a popular scramble format that creates a nurturing environment for learning and development – both on and off course.
With more than 2,500 teams and 30,000 participants in 2015 – and Ambassadors like Rory McIlroy and Michelle Wie – PGA Junior League Golf has wide-ranging appeal for both youth and their parents.
PGA Junior League Golf began in 2011, with teams competing in Atlanta, Tampa, Dallas, and San Diego. The inaugural PGA Junior League Championship was held in September of the same year at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, GA. Team Atlanta claimed the first-ever PGA Junior League Championship.
From the program’s humble beginnings, participation has skyrocketed. PGA Junior League now boasts over 30,000 youth participants and 2,500 teams in 48 states and all 41 PGA Sections. New England Contact is Jay Settles [email protected]
Girls Independent Golf League
All girls, team golf league organized by towns in New England w/tournaments @ MGA Links-Norton, MA and driving events at STIX in N. Attleboro, MA. GIGL Started in Massachusetts by David Barend to offer girls an opportunity to learn the game of golf and be part of a team at a low cost with a focus on fun and learning first. Former LPGA Tour member Allie Blomquist and former Futures Tour player Chelsea Curtis were amongst the many experts who came to assist.
In addition, US Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a citation that was read to all the girls before they teed off. 2015 kicked off with a team driving competition at STIX in North Attleboro on April 3rd. 120 girls came to play – in the rain! Here are some of GIGL’s goals, both current and future:
- FUN – provide a venue for girls to play golf where fun is the #1 goal
- TEAM – the fun increases when the girls are on a team from their town with other girls they have gotten to know.
- LEARNING – we have some type of clinic before each tournament because the fun increases the better they get.
- LOW COST – the team tournaments are only $10, there is no league registration fee, and clubs are available for free for any girl who needs them
- HIGH SCHOOL EXPANSION – we intend to parlay our success into establishing more girl’s varsity golf teams in New England.
- COLLEGE ASSISTANCE – we would like to assist any young woman who is playing golf in college, but who has not received a full scholarship. Contact [email protected]
Non-Profit Grow the Game Learning Facilities in New England
Button Hole Providence RI buttonhole.org
The First Tee -50+ Locations Throughout New England thefirsttee.org
The Children’s Golf Course Coventry RI richildrensgolfcourse.com