Junior Golf Alabama: A Joint Collaboration Between the Alabama Golf Association and the Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section To Serve Junior Golfers in Alabama and NW Florida
HOOVER, AL and PELHAM, AL (Dec. 5, 2022) – Established in 2022, Junior Golf Alabama (JGA) is a joint initiative by the Alabama Golf Association and the Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section to serve as a collaboration focused on junior golf for kids, parents, coaches, golf administrators, and PGA Professionals. By creating new educational, instructional, and playing opportunities, JGA will streamline the junior golf roadmap while bridging existing programs to further the development of junior golf in Alabama and NW Florida.
“Combining the governing bodies’ respective missions for golf in Alabama and Northwest Florida permits us to collectively develop a sustainable program to promote the game of golf in new communities while elevating playing opportunities for junior golfers throughout our geographic footprint,” said Andy Priest, Executive Director of the Alabama Golf Association. “Our goal with Junior Golf Alabama is to weave together and support well-established junior programs such as the Birmingham Golf Association, Youth on Course, PGA Jr. League while filling in the gaps with new instructional programming and competitive playing opportunities.”
By merging and reinventing junior golf initiatives of both the Alabama Golf Association and Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section into one collaborative program, Junior Golf Alabama will present prospective junior golfers and their families with a robust set of resources to support the player pathway through the development journey. JGA will be operated by a team of staff from both the Alabama Golf Association and the Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section along with support from PGA Professionals across the Section’s footprint.
“The Alabama-NW Florida Section of the PGA is thrilled to join the Alabama Golf Association in forming Junior Golf Alabama. With the expertise of both Associations working together, Junior Golf Alabama will provide youth with opportunities to learn and play the great game of golf,” said Bart Rottier, Executive Director of the Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section.
The programming component of Junior Golf Alabama will provide aspiring youth golfers an introduction to golf through Gym to Course and First on Course. The Gym to Course program teaches the game of golf from certified PGA golf professionals during school hours in conjunction with the school’s physical education program. Gym to Course is specifically designed to be the very first exposure to golf for participating youth. Curriculum is focused on athletic movements that are key ingredients to the foundation of the golf swing. During each session, students ages 6 and older are exposed to a 1-week golf unit in their standardized physical education class.
First on Course will teach the fundamentals of the game and important principles of golf, such as etiquette, honesty, and integrity. First on Course curriculum develops athletes first and golfers second with a focus on long term athletic development. The curriculum is made up of many skill-based activities that gives youth a fun and engaging learning environment, encouraging their interest in the principles behind golf. Once the junior has a basic understanding of these principles, First on Course classes will focus on the basics of the game: grip, putting, and swing. With the development of these fundamental skills, juniors will graduate to participate in competition-based activities, such as PGA Jr. League.
Formerly the Alabama-NW Florida PGA Junior Tour, new multi-day competitions will be accessible on the “JGA Tour”, which is the competitive component of the Junior Golf Alabama initiative. The Tour is designed specifically to remove barriers and reduce costs, while offering premier 36-hole tournaments at some of the finest facilities in Alabama and NW Florida. In 2023, the “JGA Tour” features nine events and is open to girls and boys ages 6-18 that reside in Alabama or the Florida Panhandle (west of Apalachicola) who have an active GHIN Handicap Index® through the Alabama Golf Association or Florida State Golf Association.
About the Alabama Golf Association (AGA)
The Alabama Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization founded in 1915 whose mission is to serve and promote amateur golf in Alabama. AGA membership consists of over 115 member clubs represented by over 25,000 individuals. The activities and services of the Alabama Golf Association are governed by a Board of Directors consisting of Alabama golfers who wish to serve the game and the association through service.
AGA is the USGA’s Allied Golf Association for golf in Alabama delivering core services such as conducting national championship qualifying, administering the USGA Handicap system including the GHIN Handicap service, course & slope rating, and education. The AGA annually conducts 23 championships and team match competitions for men, women, juniors, and seniors. The AGA also conducts Alabama high school golf championships and inside the ropes operations for the SEC Men’s Golf Championship. In addition to competitions, the AGA administers the Alabama Golf Foundation that provides college scholarships, supports grow the game initiatives such as Youth on Course Alabama and Junior Golf Alabama along with investing in turfgrass research through the Alabama Turfgrass Research Foundation.
Since 1980, the AGA has managed the affairs of the Southern Golf Association which includes conducting the Southern Amateur Championship and Southern Junior Championship, in conjunction with the Board of Directors of the Southern Golf Association.
For more information about the Alabama Golf Association, visit www.alabamagolf.org.
About the Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section
The Alabama – NW Florida PGA is one of 41 Sections that make up the PGA of America. The Section is headquartered in the Birmingham suburb of Pelham, Alabama at Ballantrae Golf Club. Established in 1969, the Section consists of over 400 Members and Associates in the state of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Section exists to support its Members who are the driving force to growing the sport and business of golf.
In addition to managing the day-to-day operational affairs, the Section also houses the Alabama – NW Florida Golf Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of the Section. Our foundation exists to positively impact the lives of those who reside in the state of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. We accomplish our mission by offering programs and initiatives focused on increasing golf participation for youth, military, and diverse populations.
For more information about the Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section Golf Association, visit www.alabamanwfloridapga.com.
Manager of Media, Marketing & Communications
Alabama Golf Association
Anna Catherine Alderman
Communications & Public Relations Manager
Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section