From the PGA
PGA Jr. League Leads a Healthy and Responsible Return to Youth Sports in 2021
PGA Jr. League player registration for the 2021 season opens today for youth ages 17 and under, following the program’s successful and responsible amended season in 2020.
Nearly 1,700 PGA Professional Captains rose to the challenges of the pandemic by creating responsible team golf experiences for nearly 37,000 kids in 2020. PGA Jr. League developed program-specific guidelines within the framework of the industry-wide Back2Golf Guidelines that were approved by medical advisors in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and shared these with Captains, Coaches and families, with the intent of resuming PGA Jr. League in the most responsible way.
“During an extremely challenging year, PGA Professionals stepped up to the plate to ensure kids could stay socially connected while physically distanced,” said PGA President Jim Richerson, PGA. “They leveraged PGA Jr. League to create a healthy outlet for kids seeking a team sport experience, and I’m confident their coaching made a positive impact on the livelihood of their players.”
PGA Jr. League was poised for a record-breaking year before issuing a three-month nationwide moratorium beginning last March on all of its practices, games and related activities. Summer and Fall Seasons were combined into one to maximize playing opportunities through the end of the year, while the competitive postseason was cancelled to prioritize the health of participants.
While activities were suspended, PGA Jr. League created a Community Page with the help of Captains and Coaches, as well as players and families, to stay engaged. Captains and Coaches provided backyard drills and activities, while players and families shared their photos and videos of golf practice at home. When the season resumed, PGA Jr. League shifted to its Guidelines in Real Time Page to showcase how PGA Jr. League functioned with healthy practices in place, including “non-handshake handshakes” submitted by players and physically-distanced practice videos from Captains and Coaches.
Despite a condensed season, year-end feedback from parents netted an 82% Net Promoter Score (NPS) for PGA Jr. League, which is industry-leading among youth sports programs. NPS is a standard consumer satisfaction metric that measures the degree to which people would recommend a company to others. Scores range from -100 to +100, with those above zero considered “good;” above 50 considered “excellent;” and above 70 considered “world-class.”
PGA Jr. League is the flagship youth pillar program of the PGA of America’s 501(c)(3) foundation, PGA REACH. With the goal of making the program accessible to all youth regardless of background, circumstance or ability, PGA REACH secured nearly 2,500 scholarships in 2020 for players from active military families or those with extenuating financial circumstances. New in 2021, families will have the option to contribute to the PGA Jr. League Scholarship Fund during the online registration process, which is vitally important to ensuring all youth can be welcomed to a PGA Jr. League team.
Three-time NBA Champion Stephen Curry and FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Alex Morgan join PGA and LPGA Tour superstars Rory McIlroy, Lexi Thompson, Rickie Fowler and Michelle Wie as PGA Jr. League Ambassadors, lending their support and large platform to support the program.
In addition, PGA REACH has partnered with Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, with the goal of helping youth in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond with the support and opportunities needed to play the game of golf and lead healthy, active lives. This year, Curry lent his voice to a new PGA Jr. League PSA featuring PGA Jr. League player and junior reporter Warren Fisher, 13, in which they discuss playing golf and returning to PGA Jr. League responsibly.
To learn more and register for the 2021 season, families are encouraged to visit PGAJrLeague.com and search for programs nearby.