Why junior golf tournaments popping up all over the place with very high entry fees? Because these golf tournament organizations are realizing that junior golf parents do not understand the college recruiting process. This allows for junior golf organizations to take advantage of junior golf parents and charge outrageous fees, implying that their child will play college golf at their dream school if they play in their event.
In our professional opinion, there are two options for choosing junior golf tournaments that will help your junior golfer develop into their potential.
The first type of junior golf tournament we would recommend is on the local level. For Houston Junior Golf, that would be junior golf tours like the Houston Golf Association, The Legends Junior Tour, or The South Texas PGA Tour. These tours offer a platform for your child to get the experience they need on great golf courses and competing against solid competition. The cost of these tournaments are low compared to the Texas Junior Golf Tour or American Junior Golf Association.
After junior golfers test their abilities in the tournaments listed above, the parents should then start researching opportunities through the the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). The AJGA is the best platform for a junior golfer to gain recognition to college golf coaches. There are other ways to get noticed by college golf coaches, but the AJGA is the best organization to do so. When diving into the AJGA, they offer a number of lower level tournaments for your child to gain “performance stars” and earn their way into the “open events”.
The AJGA tournament “chain of command” is described below:
1. Start with the Preseason Events (For junior golfers that have not yet played AJGA). This gives your child a better opportunity to earn performance stars against less competition.
2. Junior All-Star Events. These are junior golf tournaments for 13-15 year olds. This also offers less competition with the opportunity to earn performance stars.
3. Open Qualifiers. These are open to anyone. The AJGA now offers the option to “opt out” if you qualify and save the exemption for a future AJGA event. I would recommend playing as many as you can to earn exemptions.
4. Local and regional organization tournaments. Junior Golf Tournaments like the HGA, Legends Tour, and STPGA offer performance stars in their tournaments. This is a good way to build up your AJGA ranking without spending a fortune.
5. Open Events. These are the main events. Think of them as the PGA Tour events for junior golfers. This is your goal to get into through the performance stars you have earned.
6. AJGA Majors. Think of these as The Masters of Junior golf tournaments. Once you have earned your way into “open events” you play well, then you gain exemptions into these tournaments. The junior golf tournaments will have dozens of college golf coaches in attendance.
If you do not have the resources to play in the AJGA, there is still hope for you! You will need to market yourself to college coaches. Using tournaments on the local level offer you cost effective ways to get tournament experience and scores to put on a resume. It is then all about how you market yourself to college golf coaches!
If you need more help email me!