Category - Amateur Programs
Team Herm Squad Has Youth Golfers Flocking to PGA Jr. League in Tennessee
Movie nights on the range. Team meals. Roaming around the course with Scottish Blackface sheep.
It’s these examples, and plenty more that make Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory, Tennessee, one of the coolest places in the Nashville area to learn golf. And under the guidance of PGA Associate Cole Murley, Hermitage has embraced the community-creating PGA Jr. League program.
In fact, Murley who captains the 100 kids who play on “Team Herm Squad,” has received the Tennessee PGA Section’s #GameChanger Award in 2019, 2021 and 2022 for his efforts in developing a fantastic PGA Jr. League program.
“This will be our tenth year of PGA Jr. League, and we started with 25 kids — to see where it is now . . . it’s pretty incredible,” says Murley. “We pride ourselves on providing an experience like no other for everyone. PGA Jr. League and our golf course has been a source of stability over the past few years when there was a lot of uncertainty.”
As a public, player-development focused program, Murley and the Hermitage staff welcome juniors of all skill levels, and it’s their mission to continue to grow the game of golf while also positively impacting their community.
“What’s great is there are probably 25 area schools represented in our PGA Jr. League program,” says Murley. “We try to be a focal point for not just the Old Hickory area but Nashville, too. There’s a sense of pride for our staff in involving multiple communities in our programs.”
Fun is at the top of learning totem pole, too. The “Herm Squad” will have PGA Jr. League matches together, enjoy meals in the Hermitage restaurant and cap off the season with a movie night on the driving range.
Adds Murley: Those are examples of creating a community that hopefully showcases how golf can bring us together. We celebrate the PGA Jr. League year on the range with a movie, which is an incredible sight to see. It’s not ‘golf’ per se, but it allows us to enjoy the social aspects it provides.”
Oh, and about the sheep?
“We tell our younger kids to hide their snacks because sometimes the little sheep will come over and grab their crackers out of the golf cart,” says Murley, who adds there’s around 50 Scottish Blackface sheep around the property. “They roam freely, though, and we’ve incorporated them into our PGA Jr. League match flags and tee markers. It’s just another aspect that makes us unique.”