DULUTH, Ga. -- Eight All-Star teams have advanced to the PGA Junior League Golf Championship at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Ga., beginning tomorrow and concluding Sunday. Each of the competing teams won their respective PGA Junior League Golf Regional, which were held throughout the month of September.
The PGA of America and League Golf of Norcross, Ga., partnered to create PGA Junior League Golf in 2012. One of the most innovative programs introduced by a major sport, PGA Junior League Golf gives boys and girls 13 and under the opportunity to learn and play golf in a fun, social and team environment. The program has skyrocketed in popularity, growing from nearly 9,000 participants representing 700 teams in 2013, to 18,000 participants and 1,500 teams in 2014. Due to this growth, two Regionals were added in 2014, increasing from six to eight held across the country.
Below is a list of teams competing in the PGA Junior League Golf Championship along with the facilities they represent:
-- Team California (San Ramon – San Ramon Golf Club)*
-- Team Connecticut (Hartford – Golf Center at Lyman Orchards, Goodwin Park, Suzy Whaley Junior Golf Academy, TPC River Highlands)
-- Team Georgia (Atlanta – Hamilton Mill Golf Club)*
-- Team Indiana (Avon – Prestwick Country Club)*
-- Team Iowa (Spencer – Brooks Golf Club, Emerald Hills Golf Club, Spencer Golf & Country Club, The Ridge Golf Club)
-- Team New Jersey (Trenton – First Tee of Greater Trenton, Forsgate Country Club, Royce Brook Golf Club, Trenton Country Club)
-- Team Tennessee (Knoxville – Fairways & Greens Golf Center, Holston Hills Country Club, Sevierville Golf Club)
-- Team Texas (Houston – The Clubs of Kingwood)*
*This facility ran its own league; therefore, all players are from this club.
"PGA Junior League Golf is a one-of-a-kind program in terms of bringing kids together to learn and enjoy the game with their teammates. The program’s tremendous growth and success is a testament to the dedication of our PGA Professionals and their desire to grow golf," said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. "As a PGA Junior League Golf coach myself, it’s inspiring to see my team's progress on the course and their love of the game grow throughout the season. Kids are undoubtedly the future of golf, and the PGA of America looks forward to continuing our support of this unique program and all of the great things it’s doing for the sport."
Much like other recreational league sports, participants play in team uniforms with jersey numbers. Young golfers learn the game and play under the direction of PGA/LPGA Professionals who serve as team captains, with parents playing an active role as well. Teams play four 9-hole matches in a two-person scramble format, reinforcing the team concept and limiting the pressure on any one player; coaches can substitute players every three holes, so that all of the golfers on each team can participate.
At the 96th PGA Championship, the PGA of America named Rory McIlroy as an Official Ambassador for PGA Junior League Golf. 2012 United States Ryder Cup Team Captain Davis Love III is also a huge supporter, serving as the Honorary National Captain for PGA Junior League Golf.
For more information about PGA Junior League Golf, visit PGAJrLeagueGolf.com.