When the PGA asked several sections in the country to pilot a program for the PGA Junior League Golf, Eagle Ridge Golf Club was ready. The concept wasn’t new to Eagle Ridge or Mike Attara, PGA Professional and founder of Spirit Golf, because they had already established a junior golf team that had been active for several years. One of Mike’s goals as Chairman of the Golf in Schools committee for the NJGF has been to establish a link between middle school students who were being introduced to the game in their gym class and actually getting interested students on the local courses.
The New Jersey Golf Foundation had already helped in achieving this goal in Brick Township, NJ. Gary Paxton, a middle school teacher and advocate for the NJ Golf in Schools program, worked with Mike and his team to establish a program that brought interested students directly to the course. Having an established NJGF Golf in Schools Program lead to the development of a small grant that funded the intramural golf program for a group of students from the middle school. With the funding in place to cover some of the instruction, course fees and practice balls, the PGA staff at Eagle Ridge were able to give these students an on course learning experience they may not otherwise have had.
Eagle Ridge already had several groups of interested young golfers including the Brick students and the Eagle Ridge Junior League players who had already been playing together in a league format. They even had a coach. Teaching professional, Rylee Plitz had already been acting as the coach of the Eagle Ridge junior golf team so it was pretty easy for her to round up a dozen players for PGA Junior League Golf.
If you want to build a junior golf program and grow your business, an excellent way to start is to get involved in the PGA Junior League Golf. This year the PGA is expanding the program throughout the country. If you happen to be lucky enough to be in NJ or another Section with a foundation like the NJGF then there is help out there for you to establish a junior golf league at your club or maybe a golf in school program in your community.
To take golf to the next level, we need to establish golf in school programs like we have done in New Jersey on a national level. Then we need to build on that program by creating a bridge to our local courses that students and their families can easily walk across using programs like the PGA Junior League Golf. This year we are excited to be fielding two teams from Eagle Ridge Golf Club.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or to learn more about how we have established our golf in schools and PGA Junior League Golf Teams.