Junior Golf Tips

The Alabama Junior Golf Association (AJGO) wants to make competitive junior golf available to as many junior golfers as possible. The cost of tournament play can often be a “barrier.”

That’s why our Entry Fee is $45 per tournament. To improve your results in Tournament Play – you have to regularly play in tournaments. The AJGO helps makes that possible.

“I have always tried to play as many tournaments at as many different venues as I could possibly fit into my schedule. When I played junior, collegiate and amateur golf nationally and now playing at the professional level I recognize playing often in golf tournaments helped me “learn” to compete.”
Jon Curran, Professional Golfer

How “good” do I have to be at golf to play in tournaments?
Actually, we are not real concerned about how “good” a player is at golf. If you have played in High School Tournaments, you are ready for junior golf. Our goal is to give junior golfers a place to gain a lot of experience at playing tournament golf.

Our basic expectations are: 1.) you know how to play golf, 2.) have a basic understanding of the Rules of Golf, 3.) you are be able to walk 18-holes while carrying your own golf bag. We have several players as young a 8 years old who play in our tournaments.

What kind of Scores do players shoot?
Scores in our tournaments range from even par to +120 for 18-holes. But it’s not just about scores. Tournament Golf is about getting use to the pace of play, learning the Rules of Golf, playing with a Group of players, being able to play well at other golf courses and under different kinds of weather conditions.

A Tournament Golfer can play well on any golf course, in the heat or cold, wet or dry or windy conditions. That is what you are trying to learn how to do as a junior golfer who competes in golf tournaments. And to become good at playing in tournaments – you have to play in tournaments – a lot of tournaments!

LET’S GET STARTED!

FIRST:
Join the Alabama Junior Golf Association. We do not have any requirements or restrictions as far as how many tournaments you play.
You can JOIN online

SECOND:
Enter an AJGO Tournament

How often should I play in tournaments?
Just like any sport, “playing in a game” is a lot different from practice. We recommend practicing everyday if possible. Some days practice might be chipping golf balls into a 5-gallon bucket.

You should play in at least 1-tournament every month. A tournament every month will help keep your golf game “sharp.”
During the Summer Junior Golf Season, most players enter 8 to 15 tournaments. (Now you are starting to appreciate why we keep the Entry Fee at $45 a tournament!)

How do I get my child started playing golf?
I would recommend going to the nearest public golf course (unless you are already a member of a private country club) and ask the Golf Pro what type of instruction and access to the golf course they offer junior golfers. Most public golf courses offer golf lessons to junior golfers and some type of discounted access to playing on the golf course.

As an example, my son, Will, started playing golf at age 8. We would take him to the driving range at our local golf course and let him hit golf balls. He also would practice chip-shots in our backyard (which is tough on the grass!)

Once he was able to hit the golf ball reasonable consistent on the driving range we took him out on the golf course and let him play some holes to see how things went – we took him on the course when it was fairly “empty” so as not to hold up other golfers.

We took him to the golf course to hit range balls whenever he wanted to go – which was everyday after school. We also let him stay at the golf course on Saturday and Sunday for a few hours – he would hit range balls, putt, and chip onto the practice green.

When he was 9 years old he wanted to start playing in golf tournaments. At that time he could score below 100 on 18-holes. When he was 11, he beat my wife for the first time on 18-holes – she played college golf at Auburn. I believe he shot a 76 that day. At this time he was going to the golf course everyday to practice and stopped playing other sports.

Junior golfers improve at an incredible rate – much faster than an adult would if they took up golf in their late-20′s. It’s not unusual for a junior golfer to improve their score by 5 to 10 strokes each summer.

By the time Will was 14 years old he was playing from the Blue Tees (the longest distance) and shooting in the low 70′s. At 16 yrs. old his USGA GHIN Handicap was zero – which makes you a “scratch” golfer – so he was shooting an average of 72 for an 18-hole round of golf.

I particularly like competitive junior golf because the players are also the “referees” and keep the score – so they learn sportsmanship very quickly. It is quite common for a player in a tournament to call a penalty stroke on themselves – even knowing that no one saw them break the rule.

Golf is a great sport – and you can play it all of your life.

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