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PGA Jr League


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#1 wildcatden

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 07:35 PM

For those with older kids who have been through it, did your kid(s) play PGA Jr League?  Team golf and match play looks like it could be fun for the kids. It's only for kids 13 and under and seems like a good competition to be involved with before the teen years hit and you get more involved in AJGA-style events.


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#2 Golfingdawg19

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 08:31 PM

Both of my kids have played in it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Only downside to it is that people are already stacking teams and trying to cheat the system. At the end of the regular season they choose the all stars and those kids move on to compete on a larger scale. You see coaches stacking their teams in order to give themselves a better chance at the all star level. I’ve even seen kids from different states playing on the same team together in order to give themselves an advantage. Like with anything, adults will find a way to work the system.

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#3 Belmont148

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 07:02 AM

View PostGolfingdawg19, on 19 November 2017 - 08:31 PM, said:

Both of my kids have played in it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Only downside to it is that people are already stacking teams and trying to cheat the system. At the end of the regular season they choose the all stars and those kids move on to compete on a larger scale. You see coaches stacking their teams in order to give themselves a better chance at the all star level. I’ve even seen kids from different states playing on the same team together in order to give themselves an advantage. Like with anything, adults will find a way to work the system.

I agree. I liked everything but the coaches. On our first practice session of the season, he sent 10 kids off on the course to play while the others got basic putter and swing drills. Those same kids he sent off were the all star team 2 months later. What do you tell your kid when he wants to make all stars but the team is already decide?
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#4 heavy_hitter

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 11:43 AM

View PostBelmont148, on 20 November 2017 - 07:02 AM, said:

View PostGolfingdawg19, on 19 November 2017 - 08:31 PM, said:

Both of my kids have played in it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Only downside to it is that people are already stacking teams and trying to cheat the system. At the end of the regular season they choose the all stars and those kids move on to compete on a larger scale. You see coaches stacking their teams in order to give themselves a better chance at the all star level. I’ve even seen kids from different states playing on the same team together in order to give themselves an advantage. Like with anything, adults will find a way to work the system.

I agree. I liked everything but the coaches. On our first practice session of the season, he sent 10 kids off on the course to play while the others got basic putter and swing drills. Those same kids he sent off were the all star team 2 months later. What do you tell your kid when he wants to make all stars but the team is already decide?

Sadly, that is what PGA Jr. League is.  My son played and the coaches picked the All Star team before the season started.  The rest of the kids it is about having income to run the league.  I like Junior league, but what it has become is not the intentions of what it was when it started.  They should scrap the league play and just have try-outs for 10 kids from the area.  Your 12 and 13 year olds are going to dominate the all star team.  To play on the All-stars you need to be able to drive the ball at least 200 yards to be successful.

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#5 Noles

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 12:16 PM

My son played the last 2 years.  I'm so glad that he is done.  It wasn't all bad, but there are so many problems with the way the sub-regionals are run.  Plus the recruiting of kids to play on teams that have their own league is terrible.  The NJ team that just finished runner up at Nationals has kids from as far as 2 1/2 hours away from the home club.  I have heard that some of the other teams at Nationals had kids from even further away from the home club.


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#6 Belmont148

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 12:45 PM

I'm trying to figure out how you have 14 yo on the NJ team driving it 300+ when the maximum age is supposed to be 13.
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#7 Noles

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 02:02 PM

View PostBelmont148, on 20 November 2017 - 12:45 PM, said:

I'm trying to figure out how you have 14 yo on the NJ team driving it 300+ when the maximum age is supposed to be 13.
2 of the kids on the NJ team have August birthdays so they made the cut off and turned 14 in August.  My son has played with those kids since he was 6. Neither is from NJ. They are also both home schooled.  That's a whole other topic.  :)

Edited by Noles, 20 November 2017 - 02:03 PM.


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#8 rkristopheranderson

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 02:41 PM

JFC, adults really do ruin everything.
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#9 Belmont148

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 03:29 PM

So, if you need to be hitting it further to compete, and as long as strike and launch are optimal, speed really is the only thing preventing distance. Do you train a kid at 10, 11, or 12 for swing speed, or do you wait for them to develop more? I guess my question is, at what age do you go from saying, hey son this is your swing, you hit it well and lets be happy with 170, or hey lets develop some speed and start getting it out there?
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#10 jigsaw1011

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 04:36 PM

I would have to echo what others have said.  My son participated this past year and was on the All-Star team.  The coach from our team was very fair and had all kids playing each week.  Not until the end of season was an All-Star team announced. However, post season play was manipulated by the coaches from the other teams.  It was so obvious.

I, too, was wondering how some of those kids from PA were playing on Team Jersey.  I grew up in NJ and know where the club they are representing is located. Those kids live 2-3 hours from there.  How does that even work?

There needs to be some major revamping of how PGA jr.  is structured and rules put into place about recruiting. It seems it is going the way of little league baseball where coaches are creating "super teams"  to be able to compete on the national level.

Edited by jigsaw1011, 20 November 2017 - 04:43 PM.


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#11 Golfingdawg19

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 04:46 PM

On the teams that are very successful at the all star level, you usually have all older kids. Many of these teams come from academies where the coach hand picks all the players. In some cases you have coaches recruiting players from outside their area to come play so that team stands a better chance of winning. The “home grown” teams have virtually no shot of advancing very far because everyone is manipulating the rules. So if you decide to let your child play, you just have to know what you are getting into ahead of time. The premise of what the PGA is trying to do is good but adults screw everything up in their quest to win at all costs.

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#12 wildcatden

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 05:12 PM

Thanks for the inputs on PGA Jr. League.  Very valuable. Sounds like I can find better things to do with his time (such as continuing with other sports instead of even more time with golf).  Basketball season starts in December!!

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#13 leezer99

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 05:24 PM

View Postwildcatden, on 20 November 2017 - 05:12 PM, said:

Thanks for the inputs on PGA Jr. League.  Very valuable. Sounds like I can find better things to do with his time (such as continuing with other sports instead of even more time with golf).  Basketball season starts in December!!

For all the downfalls mentioned it's still a really fun series for the kids competing locally.  We play a crappy muni but our other local teams are all at well established and renowned private clubs.  The kids love getting their game up to take on the private clubs and take them down... we're undefeated locally the past two years, just can't get past the regionals.

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#14 wildcatden

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 05:31 PM

View Postleezer99, on 20 November 2017 - 05:24 PM, said:

View Postwildcatden, on 20 November 2017 - 05:12 PM, said:

Thanks for the inputs on PGA Jr. League.  Very valuable. Sounds like I can find better things to do with his time (such as continuing with other sports instead of even more time with golf).  Basketball season starts in December!!

For all the downfalls mentioned it's still a really fun series for the kids competing locally.  We play a crappy muni but our other local teams are all at well established and renowned private clubs.  The kids love getting their game up to take on the private clubs and take them down... we're undefeated locally the past two years, just can't get past the regionals.

Yeah, I agree that it can probably be fun. I'm just not interested in how parents can take the spirit out of it.  At least with tournament stroke play, it's all on you no matter the organization (USKG, JGANC, AJGA, etc...).  I guess it is all similar to things like Little League World Series and the "cheating with residences" that goes on there.   Anyway, football, baseball, tennis, and track/field were all good enough for Jack. :ok:

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#15 leezer99

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 05:52 PM

View Postwildcatden, on 20 November 2017 - 05:31 PM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 20 November 2017 - 05:24 PM, said:

View Postwildcatden, on 20 November 2017 - 05:12 PM, said:

Thanks for the inputs on PGA Jr. League.  Very valuable. Sounds like I can find better things to do with his time (such as continuing with other sports instead of even more time with golf).  Basketball season starts in December!!

For all the downfalls mentioned it's still a really fun series for the kids competing locally.  We play a crappy muni but our other local teams are all at well established and renowned private clubs.  The kids love getting their game up to take on the private clubs and take them down... we're undefeated locally the past two years, just can't get past the regionals.

Yeah, I agree that it can probably be fun. I'm just not interested in how parents can take the spirit out of it.  At least with tournament stroke play, it's all on you no matter the organization (USKG, JGANC, AJGA, etc...).  I guess it is all similar to things like Little League World Series and the "cheating with residences" that goes on there.   Anyway, football, baseball, tennis, and track/field were all good enough for Jack. :ok:

The years of The Bad News Bears are over my friend.  The reason successful people are successful is because they take advantage of whatever they can.  99% of the parents on this forum are looking for their kids to get scholarships to top level schools and that's all done through recruiting which is the same thing these PGA Jr Leagues are doing.


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#16 jigsaw1011

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:14 PM

We all know top level schools recruit athletes. .  PGA Jr. Leagues are not marketed that way.  It is all about the social, fun side of golf and growing the game.  If it is going to be like other travel sports where you know kids are recruited and there are corporate sponsorships, be transparent about it. Don't pretend it is one thing when it is really not.

Edited by jigsaw1011, 20 November 2017 - 08:19 PM.


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#17 MikekiM

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:17 PM

PGAJLG is a lot of fun for the kids.  This was the second year my son played and he had a blast playing with kids as a team, instead of as individuals. I think he has more fun with this format than individual tournaments.  He made his local all star team, but unfortunately didn't participate due to scheduling conflicts.  

Just wanted to confirm that there is extensive recruiting and grooming involved with some teams.  One local team here has made several regional events and one national event.  They usually field 4-5 local teams and build an all-star team from among their best.  It's a system that's obviously been working well for them based on their results.  They've got a pipeline of kids looking to play on their teams as most are aware of their success.  It's usually the parents that have been doing some of the recruiting, as we've been approached already by two different parents to contact the coach and sign up.  Their teams are already practicing together for next year.  It's kind of a shame that its come to this, but at the same time if you want to compete with the best, at least most people in the area here know where that team is, and know whats involved.  Most of the other local teams in the area play for the enjoyment, not the rush to win the nationals.
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#18 leezer99

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 09:13 PM

View Postjigsaw1011, on 20 November 2017 - 08:14 PM, said:

We all know top level schools recruit athletes. .  PGA Jr. Leagues are not marketed that way.  It is all about the social, fun side of golf and growing the game.  If it is going to be like other travel sports where you know kids are recruited and there are corporate sponsorships, be transparent about it. Don't pretend it is one thing when it is really not.

And Catholic high schools have such good football teams because of their faith.

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#19 jigsaw1011

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 11:18 AM

Again it is well known.  PGA jr. league not so much.

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#20 leezer99

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 12:31 PM

View Postjigsaw1011, on 21 November 2017 - 11:18 AM, said:

Again it is well known.  PGA jr. league not so much.

Find me a junior sport that isn't like this.  It's an industry like any other company in the world searching for the top talent to recruit.  It actually hurts the PGA Jr League if they put out a product that doesn't produce the most competitive playoffs being broadcast nationally.  Nobody is going to watch a bunch of kids spray balls all over the place and Charlie Rhymer won't have some swing to gush over on the GC proclaiming that some 10 year old is the next #golfprodigy

BTW - I don't think this is right or good for the sport.  It's a game being played by parents to live through their kids.


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#21 heavy_hitter

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 12:51 PM

One of my beef's with PGA Jr. League in our town was the price.  $175.00 for six 9 hole matches and they got the course for free.  We had 4 teams with 10 kids each team.  That is 7 grand and basically the coaches ran the program.  PGA Jr. League got their take and the foundation running it got the rest.  The PGA Jr. League Tee and Polo were cheap garbage.  Who really wants a tee with 17 on it?  I think my kid through it away.  There was a director, but all he did was make the schedule and show up.  We then went to all-stars and he charged $30.00 a 9 hole match, which again, he got the courses donated at no charge.  That really fired me up.  We ended up playing 3 matches into the post season.  I was ecstatic when we got beat.

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#22 TimberBeast

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 01:15 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 21 November 2017 - 12:51 PM, said:

One of my beef's with PGA Jr. League in our town was the price.  $175.00 for six 9 hole matches and they got the course for free.  We had 4 teams with 10 kids each team.  That is 7 grand and basically the coaches ran the program.  PGA Jr. League got their take and the foundation running it got the rest.  The PGA Jr. League Tee and Polo were cheap garbage.  Who really wants a tee with 17 on it?  I think my kid through it away.  There was a director, but all he did was make the schedule and show up.  We then went to all-stars and he charged $30.00 a 9 hole match, which again, he got the courses donated at no charge.  That really fired me up.  We ended up playing 3 matches into the post season.  I was ecstatic when we got beat.

I agree with this 100%.  My biggest two issues were the price and the time of play.  Close to $200 bucks and I think they got a shirt.  Ours I think only played 6 of the 9 holes sometimes because of the number of kids.  Also, the matches were at about 4:00 on Saturdays in the Summer.  I can't think of a worse time to do them, it was a gigantic headache and my wife and I both looked forward the whole time to it being over with.

On the all-star aspect of it.  Our area has locally run spring and fall junior leagues that run out of different clubs.  So all the coaches already know who the best players are in the area.  If they didn't put together an all-star team for the PGA junior league it wouldn't be worth it.  The winning club for our area would get absolutely demolished in the first round of play.  I don't know why they would ever have anyone sign up for
it again especially at the price and miserable time of play.  Putting together an all-star team was the best thing our area has done with it.  We stopped doing it last year though because of the money and time, if my younger daughter cared enough we might let her do it but my oldest daughter is likely done with it.

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#23 Noles

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 01:28 PM

At the local level, I actually have very positive memories of it looking back.  My son played as a 12 and a 13 year old.  The pro from our club did a great job.  He had a bunch of practices for all the kids and really emphasized the team aspect of things.  My son tended to get paired with younger kids and I thought it was a positive experience for both kids when it happened.  My son learned a lot by helping kids who are less experienced and less mature.  Our pro is a very thoughtful person and made it a good experience for everyone.  My complaints are when we got to the all-star level.  Our pro was the captain all-star team both years and he did a really nice job.  There are just so many flaws in the system when it gets to that point that if you are a competitor, it gets under your skin.  I am happy that we are done with it.

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#24 golfer55082

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 01:56 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 21 November 2017 - 12:51 PM, said:

One of my beef's with PGA Jr. League in our town was the price.  $175.00 for six 9 hole matches and they got the course for free.  We had 4 teams with 10 kids each team.  That is 7 grand and basically the coaches ran the program.  PGA Jr. League got their take and the foundation running it got the rest.  The PGA Jr. League Tee and Polo were cheap garbage.  Who really wants a tee with 17 on it?  I think my kid through it away.  There was a director, but all he did was make the schedule and show up.  We then went to all-stars and he charged $30.00 a 9 hole match, which again, he got the courses donated at no charge.  That really fired me up.  We ended up playing 3 matches into the post season.  I was ecstatic when we got beat.

Did they charge extra for post-season all star matches? It doesn’t seem right. I thought it’s one time fee that covers the entire season. What I know is that the National Game is all paid for including flight, hotel etc.

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#25 heavy_hitter

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 02:10 PM

View Postgolfer55082, on 21 November 2017 - 01:56 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 21 November 2017 - 12:51 PM, said:

One of my beef's with PGA Jr. League in our town was the price.  $175.00 for six 9 hole matches and they got the course for free.  We had 4 teams with 10 kids each team.  That is 7 grand and basically the coaches ran the program.  PGA Jr. League got their take and the foundation running it got the rest.  The PGA Jr. League Tee and Polo were cheap garbage.  Who really wants a tee with 17 on it?  I think my kid through it away.  There was a director, but all he did was make the schedule and show up.  We then went to all-stars and he charged $30.00 a 9 hole match, which again, he got the courses donated at no charge.  That really fired me up.  We ended up playing 3 matches into the post season.  I was ecstatic when we got beat.

Did they charge extra for post-season all star matches? It doesn’t seem right. I thought it’s one time fee that covers the entire season. What I know is that the National Game is all paid for including flight, hotel etc.

They charged $30.00 per contest until I spoke up.  I thought he was just going to charge a one time $30.00 fee for post season.  Then when the next email came through for another $30.00 I came unglued.  My kid was the best one on the team and I told him he wasn't interested in playing anymore.  You get the courses for free and we provide transportation.  Told him I wasn't paying his salary, that is what the initial fee was for.  He then waived the fees for the remaining of the post season for everyone.

The regular local season was pretty fun.  We split the best 8 players up so each of our 4 teams had 2 good players.  After the first 12 players, the rest were inexperienced.  On my team, I always put the best player with a younger less experienced player.  Similar to a seeding system I would pair #1 with #8.  We came in second in the league.  Our problem was that we had a number 1 and number 2 then eight number 8's.  The younger kids thought it was a blast getting to playing with the older kids in our group and go under par.


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#26 pauls500

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:33 PM

I didn't know about this league until this year despite my son playing in PGA Junior tournaments. You would think they would add us to their emails. Anyway so glad we did. My son was 13 and a big hitter, 250+ drives. Our club wasn't involved or any local though we have 4 courses within 20 minutes. I found a muni course 45 minutes away and contacted the coach. He said my boy was welcome but to beware all the kids were basically newbies. He became like mentor to these kids and loved it. The coaches were great and we practiced 3 times a week which was great plus the tournaments. He's never practiced much with anybody close to his age and he loved it! We played 5 tournaments with 1 rainout. Unfortunately team lost all but my son won all 5 of his matches. This all cost $150 and I thought that was a steal for all the practice, pro instructors and playing some really premier courses. Didn't like they played at 200 yards but understand. He had to tee off with 5 irons or less. After the season, which I thought was done, we get a call from another coach saying my son was elected to the all stars. My son was elated as he he really like the team thing. This coach went by the rules, he had his 5 pick from his course and one from each competing course. This course was on the boarder of 3 states so we did have players from 3 states but most within 20 minutes. We were the farthest away about an hour and in the same state. Cost was an extra $100 for coaches travel. Ok with that. I could see right away we had a really good all star team without manipulating the system. We won and won and won! We also practiced together 2 times a week. We went all the way to regionals and finally lost. What I thought was going to be a 4-5 week summer thing went on to September! My son said it was the best summer of his life!! Kudos to our coach he was great! One thing about the New Jersey team, we spent 2 days with them at the regionals and they were the most professional and fun team to play with. When we hit a good shot or putt, they would immediately acknowledge it and always had good chatter between themselves between shots.

Sorry to be so long but we had nothing but a good experience and a lot of fun! My son and us met so many new people, played so many beautiful courses, unbelievable competition for $250 bucks plus travel it was great! Unfortunately son has aged out for next year. The league is looking to add high school age next year. Hope it happens !

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#27 pauls500

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:50 PM

Forgot to add one more thing, once you make all stars they back you up to real tees and my son could use drivers!

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#28 golfer55082

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 11:59 PM

View Postpauls500, on 21 November 2017 - 10:50 PM, said:

Forgot to add one more thing, once you make all stars they back you up to real tees and my son could use drivers!
Thanks for sharing. My experience of PGA jr league is also very positive. For $200, we got all regular season matches   AND postseason matches (my son’s team made to the regional and took close second), free food for players after each match, and 10 9-holes practices at the home golf course. The best thing is that my son has learned caring and helping other less experienced kids. Valuable life lessons. We really look forward to next season because the best 5 players in his all star team will all return; they will make their final push to Nationals.

Edited by golfer55082, 22 November 2017 - 12:02 AM.


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#29 jigsaw1011

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:49 PM

So glad to hear people had positive experiences and were able to be successful without manipulation of rules!  My son did enjoy the regular season. In addition, he was able to meet other kids as into to golf as he is.

It was the post season which was so clearly unfair.

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#30 golfer55082

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 02:19 PM

View Postjigsaw1011, on 22 November 2017 - 01:49 PM, said:

So glad to hear people had positive experiences and were able to be successful without manipulation of rules!  My son did enjoy the regular season. In addition, he was able to meet other kids as into to golf as he is.

It was the post season which was so clearly unfair.

I will not say manipulation of rules but I witnessed some smart but questionable strategies in playoffs. In any game, each team needs to play all 10 players in 4 matches. Naturally I would think there are two 3-player groups and two 2-player in each team, and each player plays 2 out of 3 flags if you are in the 3-player group. This is what we did. Make sense, right?

But when we played a team in regional, they have a structure of 2/2/2/4, where they put their best player to group with 3 weakest players. The best player played all 3 flags while the rest 3 each played only 1 flag. “Smart” I would say. They went ahead to win the regional. So that strategy worked to achieve what is important for them.

Edited by golfer55082, 22 November 2017 - 02:20 PM.


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