Before entering your kid in a tournament you should know the details about Junior Golf Tournaments. Golf tournaments are tournaments, which consist of 144 golfers, but you don’t need a whole field with 144 golf players in a tournament, that is the maximum amount of players that bigger tournaments organize. Typically, a golf tournament can consist of 30 and 60 golfers on the course to give it a shotgun starts. The players can start at different polls just like the traditional.
This league is all about being friends on team matches and bringing families and communities together, which is an important life skill and value. You will be able to see a diversity in between the players. Boys and girls of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate and have fun together.
Children get to play with their teammates and they will always have people cheering them on. There’s so many important life lessons that golf tournaments can teach you and a lot of parents believe their children can develop physically and mentally because of it.
How Do Junior Golf Tournaments Work
If you have been asking yourself this question and you’re just a beginner in golf, then that’s a very good question to ask because many professional golf players like playing golf tournaments. Junior Golf Tournaments has age ranges. It varies from 9 to 10 year olds to 11 to 12 age division. They are often given 36 holes of individual stroke play and a total number of 84 players.
These Tournaments are usually organized through charity fundraisers but also corporate events that businesses may put on as a reward key for their employees or their sales staff with a golf tournament.
As mentioned earlier, a golf tournament is often considered a scramble of rules in a tournament. So with this argument, let’s say a team is made up of 4 players who are writing in your foursome. Regardless, some golf tournaments tend to take handicapped into account, meaning, the golf players may have to list their handicaps in order to form some of the smaller scale terms which will require this. However, there are variables that takes you to scramble for instance, if you’re using a player’s tee shot they might have to move back at tee box on the next drive. In other cases you may have to use three tee shots from every player.
Now, let us take a moment to discuss how scramble works. Again, scramble is played with four players and all four players are selected best at three shot golf balls. They drop it and shot it all again and then the four players hit and select the best approach. They pick up the 3 golf balls and drop it from there. This process is repeated until the ball is full. So basically this is a process all the four players are hitting and are playing in the same team, whoever has the best shot that’s the ball he’s played.
So that how golf tournaments work however, there are places out there that offer small scale tournaments on a monthly basis which is initially designed for professionals and local golfers to get off there to play a little competitive golf which develops friendships and social interactions. Many guardians or parents even make business partners and allies to expand their businesses.
What are the Schedules for Junior Golf Tournaments
Even though it varies from state to state but here’s what a rough time frame is like for junior golf tournaments in America. A normal season consists of 4 to 8 golf matches each season.
Registration: The registration of Junior Golf Tournament starts from January to June, depending on the area.
Regular Season: This one is conducted during the spring and summer months between April and July
Post Season: The post season is held during the fall time so mostly during the time period between Augusts to November.
15 Best Junior Golf Tournaments of USA
So if you are looking for some of the best tournaments, both nationally and state wise, here is a list of 15 best Junior Golf tournaments. These 15 details about junior Golf Tournaments will help you to participate your youngster in golf tournaments.
- U.S Kids Gold (5-14 Years) – U.S. Kids is one of the largest golf competition that can offer high competitive challenges. This is also a well-run junior tournament for young golfers. The best part about this tournament is that they hold it in many of the US states. The Local Tours they offer are the best way to introduce your child to golf tournaments.
- Hurricane Junior Golf Tour- The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) is also in the list of the largest junior golf tournaments in the US. They host the highest number of 2-day events which are nationally ranked than any other tour. You can find HJGT in large cities. This tournament offers Tours for both boys and girls.
- Drive Chip Putt (7-15 Years) – The Dive, Chip, and Putt is a very renowned event that the PGA hosts. This competition has a different way of scoring. Instead of playing a full round of golf match, the scores are based on 3 drives, 3 chips and 3 putts. If you are looking to let golfers get a taste of what competition is, this would really be a great and fun way.
- IMG Junior World Championship- IMG Junior World Championship golf tournament was founded in 1968. This tournament grabbed the attention of over 1300 participants, that too from almost 60 countries and 40 states. This tournament is an elite one for juniors and mostly compared to a very reputed competition, US Kids World Championships.
- Press Thornton Future Masters (10-18 Years) – The Press Thornton Future Masters golf tournament is considered as a rich junior golfers tournaments in the world. The golfer list of this tournaments have the names of great golfers who competed in tournaments like PGA champions. US Open champions, etc. This tournament is all about a good friendship and sportsmanship with spirit of competition.
- AJGA – American Junior Golf Association (12-19 Years) – AJGA began its journey from 1978 featuring tournaments for older juniors, mostly high school golfers. Interested young golfers who are looking forward for high level college golf tournaments plays at AJGA. The annual rate of tournaments that AJGA hosts is around 118+ that too in some of the best courses.
- Donald Ross Junior Championship (10-17 Years) – The Donald Ross Junior Championship has started from 1949 and will hit its 70th Annual Tournament in this year. This tournament is played every December. The location of this tournament is at the cradle of golf which is in the US, Pinehurst NC. There is a beautiful hotel, Carolina Hotel, a beautiful place to stay while coming for the tournament.
- International Junior Golf Tour (IJTA) (9-19 Years) – The IJTA organizes prestigious series of golf tournaments across the globe. The young golfers are made to face some tough competition and are pushed to show off their talents in this field. IJGT organizes their tournaments in some of the leading golf courses in the world.
- Boys Junior PGA Championship (Open/Elite) – One of the major championship for junior golfers is the Junior PGA Championship. This competition provides the last opportunity for the top US Junior golfers to earn exemptions or points for the Junior Ryder cup. Each team can have 6 boys and 6 girls.
- US Junior Amateur Championship (Open/Elite)- The most prestigious championship, The US Junior Amateur Championship is for boys aged below 19 and who also have a USGA handicap index of 4.4 or less. Top 64 golfers from who made the cut from 156 play a 36 hole match.
- United States Challenge Cup (NE) (13U-18 Years) – A series of tournaments, The United States Challenge Cup is played in the CT, NY, RI and Ma areas. This platform also plays a role of being a qualifier for some of the large national junior golf tournaments. The age of golfers are from 11 to 18 years old.
- United States Junior Golf Tour (USJGT) (8-18 Years) – USJGT is a competitive platform for junior golfers from the age 8-18. The prices are very much affordable. The top 5 Boys High School and Top 3 Girls High School players from each qualifying event gets awarded as the AJGA stars.
- PGA Junior League (6-13 Years) – The main objective of the PGA Junior League is the connect families and friends together for unlimited fun with team matches and get some expert advice and coaching from the LPGA pros. You have the chance here to play in teams and wear numbered jerseys. Experience golf in a very fun and friendly environment.
- Junior Golf Association of Northern California (JGANC) (7 to 18 Years) – Being a non-profit organization, Junior Golf Association of Northern California begin in 1970. The best part of this tournament is that you can experience fun and competition at a very affordable price for your junior golfer aged 7-18. Annual rate of junior golf tournaments hosted by JGANC is over 60.
- Washington Junior Golf Association (WJGA) (8-18 Years) – One of the largest junior golf associations in the United States with over 1100 members WJGA started is journey for 1976. The age that juniors can join this tournament is ranged 8-18. The guidelines that this tournament offers are very much reasonable for kids to play from average to an advanced stage.
How is the Tournament Played
When you join a team you will receive a jersey, bag tag and a flag states. The children often enjoy this league as because they get to play with their friends and enjoy the bliss of sports at its fullest. Additionally, since the tournaments are in scramble formats the children don’t find much pressure on them individually.
The eligibility of the players depends on their abilities and age range. A boy or girl of the age of 13 or younger is eligible to play in a team. Typically, an average junior golf tournament team consists of 8 to 14 players but usually it depends. The tournaments are typically made of 4 to 7 teams per league. Golf facilities will either host their own league or join other nearby facilities to make a leap.
Junior Golf Tournaments features games that includes two team who are playing head to head in the competition to win the most flags. Each team is split into groups of players competing across four separate matches. Each match contains one player and an additional player from one team, playing against the two players from the opponent team. Each match contains 9 holes which are broken down into three segments often known as flags.
The three segments contain:
- Segment 1 (Flag 1) contains hole 1, hole 2 and hole 3.
- Segment 2 (Flag 2) contains hole 4, hole 5 and hole 6
- Segment 3 (Flag 3) contains hole 7, hole 8 and hole 9.
The initial game is known as match play that is scored as a hole by hole competition. The team, which is able to make holes with less stroke than the opponent team, wins that specific hole. The match starts off by two individual players who play in a scramble format. Each player in the match gets to hit a tee shot and from the player direct with each other on which ball to play varying on the line or location and other factors.
Both players then proceed on playing the second shot from the location of the tee shot that was selected. Similarly, the third shot is played on the location of the second shot that was selected by the team. The cycle goes on until the completion of hole is over. The players can then lift and clean and place their ball before each shot. When playing on the green, the players usually mark the selected ball and from their make shot within one quarter of length from where they have marked that is closer to the hole.
Everywhere on the hole besides the green players are to mark the selected golf ball and play their shots within one Club length of the ball and no closer to the height. The ball may be moved from the rough to the fairway if it is within one club length. A ball may never be moved out of a sand bunker or onto the green.
All hazards and out of bounds are played as lateral hazards there can be no play from out of bounds or any marked hazards. A penalty must be taken and the ball dropped and the only exception is the case of sand bunkers. A triple par is a maximum that can be taken on any hole as a result no hole can be won with a triple bogey. If you get to a triple bogey you must pick up your ball and move to the next hole.
Players on the same team playing in the same match are allowed to share golf clubs. Players should not put out before their partner’s putts. The first ball hold out determines that team’s score. Please note that this is a very common mistake. It is important that each player always marks his or her ball after each putt.
Players walk during matches and have the option to carry their bags. The use of golf carts is not permitted captains may only provide tips and assistance to the players after they have a whole and prior to them hitting tee shots on the following hole. All of the players including the substitutes must play for a minimum of one play.
Junior Tournaments allows for substitutions of players within each game. At the start of a new Flag or Segment, substitutes are very important and can provide valuable assistance with reading putts. Which includes things like:
- reading putts
- discussing strategy
- attending flagstick
- caring for the course
- assisting pace of play
- Retrieving balls not being used in providing support
- Encouragement to teams in general
What roles can parents play during the tournaments
Parents can definitely come across a huge help to the coaches. They can assist them with what works best for their child. Additionally, children are more inclined by their parents so they can surely come as a big time support for the coaches while hosting weekly practices, traveling to league matches, keeping scores and providing refreshments for their kids.
Not only parents, friends and family members who are not participating are also encouraged to attend the matches to cheer the kids while they playing.
How to Prepare for a Golf Tournament
Preparing for a golf tournament is a must for all the players that are participating in the tournament. Like the old folks say, practice makes everything perfect. You need to ensure that you practice harder than anything in order to win the tournament. The best case scenario that would be perfect if you can manage to practice in an actual golf course and experience what it’s like to play in a realistic golf course. That is surely going to serve you one of the best feelings of playing golf and get you all ready for a tournament.
However, in this case, we are talking about kids. There are speculations and arguments that the preparations for a Golf Tournament is the same for kids and adults. With this argument, you may want to agree in some cases that yes, it could definitely be very similar but not the same. So there are things that you need to keep in mind if you are willing to get your child ready for junior golf tournament.
There are a number of factors that varies in terms of kids, which astonishingly also draws a line between the preparation for kids and adults. Such could be:
- Time: The amount of time while practicing is very important when it comes to certain ages. This is one of health factors you need to take into consideration before letting you child practice.
- Physical abilities: This may apply to children and adult both, you need to know if your child is physically fit for playing golf and if they can move freely around with their clubs.
- Knowledge: Again, this may apply to both adults and kids. It doesn’t matter if whether you’re an adult or a child, you need to be at least 90% aware of basic golf rules if not a 100. You or your child’s learning abilities in terms of golf may give you a rough view on how much time you initially need.
Let’s Talk About Yard Books
If your golf course happens to offer you a yard book, obviously this is going to give you even more opportunity to prepare yourself if you haven’t had the chance to visit the course before. Preparation is the key here and the yard book can just level up your preparation even more.
Yard books are typically note books which gives you a map like view of the yard. So even if you have not been physically present in the course, you can still look at it and find new strategies. You can even take little notes on the book. The book will also provide you distances and measurements that covers each segments so you can eyeball it. This may even help you to sense certain hazards and help you in thinking of ways to prevent it.
You will also get to sort how far it is to cover bunkers, targets etc. if you haven’t played in a golf course before this is an incredible recourse to help you with your preparation. Even if you had, you can still go back and take a look at it and learn from your mistakes and take down notes. This will help you in future when you want to refresh yourself at future tournaments.
Junior Golf Tournaments are known to be much friendlier and less competitive compared to the adults. The main objective of such sports tournaments for kids is to make them explore their abilities and skills and utilize them in the right way. This is perfect for children who are interest in sports, more specifically, golf in this case.
Golf has been one of those games that never gets out of the fancy but still has its own way of teaching life lessons to younger generation. Children can learn socializing, becoming independent physically and learn how to handle themselves emotionally. This fun and interactive game is what develops a child’s brain at an early stage.
However, Golf tournaments are just games that keep children hyped. It is estimated that over 8% of American kids who are at the age of 6 or older learn how to play golf.
At the end of the day these are just fun games and parents should not force their kids into something that is outside their abilities or interest.
On this article, we’ve learnt the basics of what goes on in a tournament and also got a clear idea on how the initial game on the tournament is played. We’ve covered conducts for not only players but also parents and spectators. We have also covered on how we can prepare ourselves or our children in just a few days for a Junior Golf Tournament.
Hope this helps you and your child in achieving the next trophy!