PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The PGA of America took another giant step forward in engaging aspiring boy and girl golfers by announcing the launch of PGA Junior League Golf, a fun and developmental program for juniors ages 7 to 13. The inaugural year is targeting 16 geographic markets.
Administered by LEJ Sports of Norcross, Ga., a nationally recognized manager of youth sports programs, PGA Junior League Golf will focus this year on developing 16 coed teams in each geographic market, with a maximum of 14 players per team. Competition would run from late May through mid-July under a series of 9-hole matches using a two-person Scramble format. Sixteen "travel" teams - composed of members of the local season-winning team and all-star players, would compete in four Regional Championships. Four regional champions would advance to a PGA Junior League Golf World Series targeted to be held in August in the host PGA Section of the current year's PGA Championship.
"PGA Junior League Golf marks the beginning of the next fun step to growing the game among youngsters nationwide in a less stressful atmosphere that brings together families and benefits local golf facilities," said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. "One just has to think back to the birth of Little League when countless youngsters got their first chance to become involved in a sport they loved. We believe the same model is in effect with PGA Junior League Golf."
The 2012 PGA Junior League Golf Regions and target markets:
Western - Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle
Central - Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, St. Louis
Southern - Atlanta, Birmingham, South Florida, Tampa
Northeast - Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C.
"Junior League Golf could not have a better partner than The PGA of America as we endeavor to bring a more recreational structure to the game for youngsters," said Bob Longmire, founder of Junior League Golf. "PGA Professionals will now have a turn-key approach to introducing youngsters of all skill levels to the great game of golf. Our player-development driven mission is consistent with the goals of The PGA, especially with the advent of Golf 2.0. We are excited about this opportunity to work directly under the guidance of the Golf 2.0 team, and PGA Section leaders for a successful launch to our new partnership."
Junior League Golf went through a successful test program in 2011 in Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego and Tampa, Fla., with a four-team JLG World Series conducted last September at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Ga.
About PGA Junior League Golf
PGA Junior League Golf is the "Little League" approach to the great game of golf, where every youngster gets the chance to play. Designed to better socialize the game of golf for juniors 13 and under, JLG features a team vs. team format in a structured league that provides for a more popular, less stressful competition. The emphasis is on the fun, recreation, and sportsmanship of the game for players at any skill level.
About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.