Las Vegas, Nevada (May 24, 2015)–There are a lot of media reports out there about the demise of golf. Well, this past Saturday at Boulder Creek Golf Club there was plenty of evidence to the contrary. About 190 Las Vegas area youth golfers, filling up 16 teams that represented 13 golf courses and country clubs, kicked off the PGA Junior League Golf schedule with a ‘Tee Off’ event that was similar to the long-standing tradition of Little League opening day. Last year, the inaugural year in Las Vegas for the organization, there were five teams, each with 12 golfers. This year, the number of kids and teams has tripled. –By Bill Bowman
The event and league is presented and organized by the PGA of America, Southern Nevada chapter, and sponsored by Golftec and Gibson Orthodontics. The PGA Junior Golf League, on a national level, came into existence in 2011 with teams competing in four markets: Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa and San Diego. It has grown exponentially ever since, much of that growth probably due to the team camraderie concept that is always a part of the fabric of other youth sports. Even Rory McIlroy, world #1, is promoting the new concept.
On Saturday, there was an overall welcome speech. Team uniforms were then handed out to the kids and then came the fun and games. Players enjoyed lunch as well as some time on the range with Birdie Ball Inflatables as well as range obstacles and other fun-filled challenges.
For the season, players receive a jersey, golf balls and a bag tag. There will also be instruction from PGA pros as well as six matches including home and away.
The PGA Junior League Golf program shows boys and girls, 13-and-under, the ins and outs of team competition. The tournaments will be a 9-hole scramble format.
Travis Long, the head golf professional at Anthem Country Club, has worked with the program since its inception last year. Anthem Country Club led the charge in getting the program going.
“This fills a void for the late bloomers to golf and helps get them ready for junior tournaments” Long said. “And it’s in a team atmosphere so it takes some of the pressure off the kids. It’s like Little League as it brings a team atmosphere into golf.”
Area courses taking part include Anthem CC, Boulder Creek GC, Black Mountain, Red Rock CC, Wildhorse, The Legacy, TPC Summerlin, TPC Las Vegas, Angel Park, Canyon Gate CC, Eagle Crest, Las Vegas Golf Club and Mountain Falls. For more information about the PGA Junior Golf League in Las Vegas, contact Troy Helseth, assistant golf professional at Anthem CC, at 702.614.5050. For more opportunities for junior golf in Southern Nevada you can Southern Nevada Junior Golf.