Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States: PGA Jr. League, the flagship youth pillar programme of PGA Foundation, has been recognised by the Aspen Institute’s Project Play initiative as a 2020 Project Play Champion.
Project Play annually honours a select number of national organisations that are taking new, meaningful and specific actions consistent with Project Play’s strategies for youth sports.
PGA Jr. League – which had 60,000 participants in 2019 – provides kids of all ages and abilities with a fun, social, team-based opportunity to learn and play golf under the leadership of expert PGA and LPGA Professionals.
PGA Jr. League has made a number of updates in its programming to align with the American Development Model (ADM) for Golf, giving kids an opportunity for age-appropriate activities and free play.
“We are thrilled to be named a 2020 Project Play Champion,” said Steve Tanner, Director of League Golf, PGA of America, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation. “PGA Jr. League stands for bringing families and communities together through golf. Every day, PGA and LPGA professionals are creating experiences that welcome boys and girls to golf, while prioritising health and well-being.”
In 2020, PGA Jr. League has continued to build on these updates by expanding its recreational 17-and-under division, creating a fun play-day ‘community’ programme for all age divisions, and expanding local leagues.
PGA Jr. League also has begun utilising ADM-compliant lesson plans within PGA.Coach, the PGA of America’s website and mobile app that provides a short training programme for the industry and coach-specific tools for PGA and LPGA professionals.
Additionally, PGA Jr. League was at the forefront of identifying solutions to play responsibly amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. PGA Jr. League launched a virtual community page with at-home activities and is implementing on-site programme modifications that ensure fun but responsible play in alignment with local health authorities, CDC guidelines and the Back2Golf protocols.
Launched in 2013, the Aspen Institute’s Project Play works with leading organisations to develop and share best practices and solutions to foster quality sports activity for all youth, regardless of zip code or ability.
Project Play Champions are recognised each year at the Project Play Summit, the nation’s premier annual gathering of leaders at the intersection of youth, sport and health. The 2020 Project Play Summit is currently scheduled to take place this fall in Washington, DC.