If you are a junior golfer looking to play in tournaments or parent seeking information about junior golf tournaments, there are many options to consider. Below breaks down the different types of junior golf tournaments available so you can best determine the options available to you. The good news is that no matter your budget or location, there are golf tournaments available for everyone!
- Premier, National tournaments – The AJGA, American Junior Golf Association runs the most premier golf tournaments for juniors. AJGA events have the strongest fields in junior golf and run tournaments nationally throughout the year. AJGA events are hosted at premier facilities, run by a professional staff, and are often the highest price tournaments out there for juniors given the cost of the events + travel. AJGA events are typically by invitation or merit through qualification. Playing in the AJGA is an honor and most junior golfers aspire to play in AJGA events in hopes of earning a college scholarship. All AJGA events are ranked on junior golf scoreboard.
- PGA Section or State Association run Junior Golf Tours – Depending on which state you are from, either the local PGA Section state golf association or both run junior golf tournaments. These tournaments are typically held during the summertime and in a specific area or state where the governing body has jurisdiction. For example, the Connecticut Section of the PGA of America will host a junior tour for golfers in the state of Connecticut. Given the events are run by a local governing body, these events are usually very well managed tournaments and have a number of PGA Professionals and local volunteers at the events. The AJGA national events are not right for everyone and the the statewide junior tour events are usually the best for everyone and offer quality competition at a reasonable cost. For example the PGA section junior golf events in the state of Texas are the best run events in the state. Sometimes winning a junior event as part of a PGA Section or State Association will earn exemptions into other more prestigious tournaments such as the Junior PGA Championship. Some, but not all sectional and state association events are ranked on junior golf scoreboard.
- Local Junior Golf Tours – Outside of the local governing bodies, a number of smaller, local junior tours that exist. These events are usually run by the parents of junior golfers or someone local in the community who wants to give back to the game and provide more cost effective tournaments for kids. Local junior golf tournaments usually have less staffing and volunteers at events, but also cost the least amount of money to enter. Competition locally is varied depending on the skill level of junior golfers in your area. For example, Massachusetts has some strong golfers and the US Challenge Cup has very strong competition. Some local junior tours are ranked on junior golf scoreboard.
- Other National Tours – There are a number of other National junior golf tours that runs events coast to coast. Many of the events hosted by other National Tours will include “AJGA stars” which act as points to get into AJGA events. The cost for these events is slightly cheaper and strength of the competition is a step below the AJGA as it relates to national events. Most events on these national tours are ranked on the junior golf scoreboard. Some examples of other National golf tours outside of the AJGA include:
- FCWT – Future Collegiate World Tour
- HJGT – Hurricane Junior Golf Tour
- IJGT – International Junior Golf Tour
- IMG JGT – IMG Junior Golf Tour
We hope that this article was helpful to understand the different golf tournament options available to junior golfers looking to play in tournaments. Depending on your level of competition, willingness to travel, and budget there are different options available to any junior golfer looking for competition. Be sure to check out our list of junior golf tournaments in your state to plan your future tournament schedule.