Adapting to a new generation of golfers

Join a golf team: Whether you're 15 or 50, there's something for you

By Matt Weinberger LinkedIn

 

Youth sports are critical in developing teamwork skills for kids. Whether it be basketball, soccer, baseball etc., many important life lessons and skills are gained through team sports at a young age.

Golf as a whole often gets a bad rap as an “individual” sport. While this can be true for stroke-play tournaments, there is a growing emphasis on team golf. Over the past 15 years, the industry has recognized the importance of incorporating the team aspect into golf. Not merely as a way to get more kids into the game, but also to grow and sustain golf participation.

Continuity is pivotal in the growth of any sport. Making it easy and seamless to pick up a club for the first time and understanding the natural progression through the ranks is essential. Making the barrier to entry minimal and making kids feel connected through friends and teammates allows golf as a whole to become more accessible. The path for kids to continue playing team-based golf is now at any parents’ fingertips.

Let’s take a look at the Team Golf Timeline to understand how team-based golf is growing and changing the landscape of the industry.

 PGA junior league

PGA Junior League

PGA Jr. League is a fun, social and inclusive opportunity for boys and girls to learn and enjoy the game of golf. Much like other recreational league sports, participants wear numbered jerseys and play on teams with their friends. Each team is captained by a PGA or LPGA Professional, who serves as the coach and is at the forefront of creating a welcoming environment for all to enjoy the game.

 

High School Golf 

High school golf is vital to the industry as a whole. When you think about the number of golfers either starting out, learning the game, or setting themselves up for a collegiate career, high school JV and Varsity golf plays a huge role for the over 220,000 high school boys and girls. The National High School Golf Association was founded in 2017 and ranks the top teams and individuals both in the girls and boys ranks across the country. In an effort to recognize all of the accomplishments high school golfers have on a team level, these rankings compliment Junior Golf Scoreboard and individual competitions conducted by the AJGA and others.

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College Golf  

NCAA varsity golf is a great place for 17k of the most competitive high school golfers to continue their team golf career. Since 2003, collegiate club golf has taken off with over 350 clubs forming across the country. “Club Golf is the perfect opportunity to play competitive, team golf in college without having the same time commitment as varsity golf. We strive to provide a team-based opportunity for 92% of high school golfers to continue their golfing journey,” – Kris Hart, Nextgengolf CEO

 Collegiate club golf, NCCGA team USC

City Tour presented by Nextgengolf

Launched in 2014, the City Tour provides an opportunity for millennials in major cities to meet and compete against other 18-40 year-olds in a fun, relaxed team-based format. All swings are welcome and teams have the option to compete in a Best Ball or Scramble format.

Team golf will continue to be an important part of the industry. If we are able to provide a clear pathway for people to stay engaged in the game and learn the key teamwork life lessons, the game will grow and be in great hands in the future.

 

Country Club Matches

As you outgrow the City Tour, it's time to think about joining a club and participating in country club matches. These greatly vary around the country, but give anyone the opportunity to play in a competitive team environment at any age. Check out the options at your local clubs to see which one is the right fit for you. 

 

Professional Golf

Pro golf is typically considered an individual sport, but popular events such as the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup are fun and excited team-based events.  Other than the four majors, these are the most popular events in all of professional golf. Players spend two entire seasons trying to qualify, and they are incredibly important for the players who earn the right to participate and represent their country. The Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup are the pinnacle of team-based golf. 

 A timeline of team-based golf

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