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JUNIOR GOLF STRUCTURE IN UK

Golf is now more accessible to children than it has ever been. A lot of Primary and Secondary schools have invested in Tri-Golf and Golf Extreme equipment, and are delivering coaching taster sessions with the help of local PGA Professionals.

Once a child gets the bug there are many golf facilities available for them to visit. Driving ranges and public pay-and-play courses allow easy access for continued development of their skills.

The next step would be to become a member of a golf club, gain a handicap and start competing in club competitions and Junior Opens at other clubs.

Within the county there is a Junior Order of Merit derived from results at various Open competitions. All junior golfers will also have the opportunity to become part of the County Development Programme and, if their standard is good enough, go on to represent Kent at Under 13, 14, 16 and 18yrs. If the player achieves a very low handicap then they can play in national junior competitions and possibly be asked to represent England.

CLUBS

Internal Competitions

Once a junior member has an official CONGU handicap then they are able to compete in junior club competitions. Each club will have slightly different rules, but once a certain standard has been achieved they will then be eligible to play in adult club competitions.

Open Competitions

Lots of golf clubs will host a Junior Open each year. Any junior member with a handicap can enter and play. It gives the junior a chance to test their skills on a variety of golf courses and compete against other junior golfers from across the county.

County

Orders of Merit - all results from Junior Opens are collated and an Order of Merit is formed.

County Golf Union e.g. Kent Golf Union - Kent Golf www.kentgolf.org is the body that selects the county teams, and organises and runs county competitions.

County Team - Kent have junior representative teams at Under 13, 14, 16 and 18yrs who will compete in various competitions and matches against other counties.

Regional

Regional team - England have regional squads at Under 16 and 18yrs

National

National Team - From the results in national and regional competitions the full England team is selected.

International Tournaments

List Of - Those selected for England will represent their country at various international tournaments.

Scholarships

UK, USA, South Africa

BECOMING A PRO

There are two different routes into professional golf...

Tournament Player - would have had a successful amateur career, represented their country and typically achieved a handicap of +3 or better.

PGA Professional - offers a life-long career in golf. Being a PGA Professional offers the opportunity of competing full time or using the qualification to pursue other roles such as coaching, custom fit expert, clubmaker, retailer, general manager and others. To qualify as a PGA Professional you have two options:

1. Work as an assistant professional at a PGA accredited facility and complete a three year Foundation Degree in Professional Golf Studies whilst working full time.
2. Complete a three year BA Hons Degree in Applied Golf Management studies at Birmingham University. Required criteria to enter the PGA training programme can be found at www.pga.info

If you are good enough to earn a living from playing golf then there are various Tours to compete on. To start the journey most aspiring players will compete on various mini-tours around UK and into Europe such as Europro Tour, Jamega Tour, Players Tour, Alps Tour and others.

Some good results on these Tours can lead to you gaining entry into some Challenge Tour events, this is a Europe wide Tour one step below the European Tour and gives you a flavour of what it's like to travel the world competing in golf tournaments.

At the very top of the game you have the PGA Tour in USA and the European Tour. Players on these Tours will compete in the biggest tournaments for the biggest prize money and accrue World Ranking Points depending on their results. You need to finish in the top 115 in order to retain your playing privileges for the following year. If you finish outside of this then your ranking will not entitle you to play in the biggest events and you will need to regain your status by achieving good results on The Challenge Tour.

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