The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) is one of the foremost junior golf tours in the country and many regard their tournaments as the PGA or LPGA Tour of junior golf. AJGA events are typically 54 holes and course setups that mimic what you will find at the collegiate level. If you are planning to compete in an AJGA event this year, let’s take a look at how you can compete and play in their tournaments.
PBE (Performance Based Entry)
A membership with the AJGA doesn’t mean that you are automatically in the tournament field. Similar to a professional event, a player’s performance will determine acceptance into a tournament. The AJGA awards “stars” based on player’s performance in other state, regional and nationally recognized tournaments. Simply put, the more “stars” that you accumulate, the better opportunity you have to be accepted into the tournament field. The method of Performance Based Entry helps ensure strong fields for events while allowing opportunities for younger players to gain entry into the field.
Curious on what tournaments and events near you are PBE certified to help you build a status? Check out the PBE Map to see what events are around you throughout the year.
Junior Golf Hub Preview Series
If you are an underclassmen in high school or have not yet previously played in an AJGA event, I would recommend looking at a preview series tournament. This series offers members the opportunity to start building Performance Based Entry status before application deadlines arrive for summer AJGA Junior All-Star & Open series events.
AJGA Junior All-Star Series
The Junior All-Star Series are events specifically designed for 12-15 years old golfers. The tournament fields for these events use the Performance Based Entry (PBE) system. Tournament fields are filled by players who have the highest status and have properly applied to the event. Junior All-Star events provide an opportunity for younger players to compete against each other while building up a status for entry into future AJGA events. Keep in mind you may only compete in a maximum of 4 All-Star Series events for a given season.
Open Tournament Series
The Open Tournament Series makes up the largest portion of the AJGA tournament season in a given year. All AJGA Open events use Performance Based Entry (PBE) to fill the tournament field. Similar to the All-Star Series, open tournament fields are filled by players who have the highest status and who have applied to the event. If you do not get accepted into an open field, you can apply to the qualifier event the day before the 1st round of the tournament.
The qualifier series is one of the most common ways to get your start with the AJGA. Think of these events as a Monday qualifier that you can play your way into the field for an open event. These events are held the day before an open tournament and are 18 holes – typically 10% of the boys and 10% of the girls field will move on to play in the respective tournament.
To play in an Invitational event, you must be selected based on specific criteria from previous play in AJGA events.
The ACE Grant
The Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant provides financial assistance to young men and women who aspire to earn a college golf scholarship through competitive junior golf. To date, there have been 1,784 junior golfers awarded the grant, and $14.8 million in scholarship dollars received by ACE Grant graduates. The grant covers costs to compete in an AJGA event and expenses incurred to attend an event.
If you have additional questions regarding the AJGA and competing in their events, I encourage you to check out their site, or you can reach player services at (877) 373-2542