Player Pathway

Player Pathway

Children, youth and young adults need to do the right things at the right time to develop in their sport or activity no matter their end goal. The Colorado Player Development Pathway maps out the opportunities golfers in Colorado can access at specific stages that match their ability level.

The “Pathway” is designed to help you identify the right fit for your junior with our statewide partners.

Science, research and decades of experience all point to the same thing: kids will get active, stay active, and even reach the greatest heights of sport achievement if they do the right things at the right times. This is the logic behind the Pathway which was developed based off of the Long-Term Athlete Development program created by the Canadian Sport for Life Society.

Active Start

Children in the Active Start stage should see physical activity as a fun and exciting part of everyday life. Through play and movement, they develop the fundamental movement skills that will provide the foundation for learning fundamental golf skills at older ages.

An active start also helps children to build interest in the game and confidence (both in golf and individually) while also developing an early understanding of the games inherent values.

Golf in Schools

The Colorado PGA Golf in Schools Program is a collaborative effort between the founding associations of the Colorado Open Golf Foundation: the Colorado PGA, Colorado Golf Association, Colorado Women’s Golf Association and Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents’ Association (the Allied Golf Associations) to introduce school age children across the state to the game of golf and the valuable life skills it teaches.



During the FUNdamental stage children develop fundamental skills in a structured, fun and challenging environment. Formal competition is minimally introduced as are rules and etiquette. Core values and life skills may also be a part of the curriculum.


Club Run Junior Golf Programs

PGA Professionals are the gold standard in instruction and development of junior golfers. To find a club-run summer camp or clinic near you, use the Course Directory below. Enter your hometown below to search for a golf course and a PGA Professional near you! Learn More


Golf Schools and Academies

Golf Schools and Academies represent extended learning and training programs that are offered throughout the year and include elements of nutrition, sport specific fitness, and integration of technology like launch monitors, 3D movement and club fitting into coaching.  Many golf schools and academies offer year round training and indoor locations to encourage complete golfer development in an otherwise seasonal climate.  Learn More.


LPGA/USGA Girls Golf

LPGA*USGA Girls Golf (Girls Golf) is the only national junior golf program that specializes in providing girl-friendly environments for juniors to learn the game of golf. They’re the experts in making the game of golf fun, and teach more than just stance and swing; they teach girls valuable life skills like confidence and perseverance.  Learn More.


First Tee of Denver

The mission of The First Tee of Denver is to educate and inspire youth academically, socially, and physically through the game of golf. Providing resources and opportunities for children and ultimately benefiting the community by helping to create good citizens is what TFTD strives to do. The values-based programs reward responsible behavior, provide character development, and provide a fun engaging sport alternative that youth can benefit from for a lifetime. Learn More


First Tee of Green Valley Ranch

The Colorado Open Golf Foundation operates the First Tee of GVR from its Learning Center on the Green Valley Ranch Campus, a 27 hole facility, 9 of which are a short course; a complete practice area including a double-ended driving range, two putting greens, two chipping greens and a full-service clubhouse. We strive to provide affordable access to children ages 8 to 18 in our programs. For a minimal fee, our participants enjoy the benefits of utilizing the golf courses, Learning Center, equipment and entering into The First Tee Life Skills Program. Learn More


First Tee of Pikes Peak

In April 2013, The First Tee of Pikes Peak officially became a part of the Colorado Springs Community with the mission to help Colorado Springs youth discover their best swings and best selves. The First Tee of Pikes Peak is a regional chapter of the international, non-profit The First Tee organization, and is dedicated to helping youth through fun educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices. The First Tee is more than a junior golf program; every part of the program - the activities, curriculum and staff - is dedicated to helping participants develop confidence, overcome challenges and achieve goals. Learn More





Learn to Play

During the Learn to Play stage children should be converting their fundamental skills into competitive skills. This stage is “The Golden Age of Learning” for specific golf skills. A greater amount of time should be spent training and practicing skills.

It may be tempting to consider golf specific specialization at this age but that is strongly discouraged. Premature specialization promotes one-sided development and increases the likelihood of injury and burnout.

Your local PGA Professional is your best resource to plug into these programs and to help your junior golfer along the pathway to competition. Enter your hometown below to search for a golf course and a PGA Professional near you!

Find A PGA Pro or Facility

PGA & LPGA Professional Instruction

As juniors learn to play the game of golf, the guildance and expertise of a certified, trained PGA or LPGA Professional is a key component to that development.  The JGAC continues to aggregate the camp and instructional opportunities offered across the state. That aggregated list, sorted by geographic areas can be found here.


PGA Junior League Golf

PGA Junior League Golf is a fun, social and inclusive opportunity for boys and girls ages 13 and under 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. PGA Junior League Golf utilizes a popular scramble format that creates a nurturing environment for learning and development - both on and off course.

With more than 2,500 teams and 30,000 participants in 2015 - and Ambassadors like Rory McIlroy and Michelle Wie - PGA Junior League Golf has wide-ranging appeal for both youth and their parents. Learn More


Drive Chip & Putt

A joint initiative founded in 2013 by the Masters Tournament, United States Golf Association and The PGA of America, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is a free nationwide junior golf development competition aimed at growing the game by focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf. By tapping the creative and competitive spirit of girls and boys ages 7-15, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship provides aspiring junior golfers an opportunity to play with their peers in qualifiers around the country. Participants who advance through local, sub-regional and regional qualifying in each age/gender category earn a place in the National Finals, which is conducted at Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before the Masters Tournament and is broadcast live by Golf Channel. Learn More


JGAC Introductory Membership

JGAC Introductory members will have ample opportunities to learn more about the game and prepare to become a recreational or competitive player. Learn More


Club Hosted Events

Courses across Colorado host junior tournaments. Consider playing in a club hosted event as a way to get introduced to competitive golf.

2019 Dale Douglass Junior Tournament | Quail Dunes Golf Course | Fort Morgan, CO | July 19, 2019 

Gold Crown Foundation

Gold Crown Junior Golf is a fun and competitive way to learn to play while improving your golf game! Spring, summer and fall programs are offered for ages 12-18. Tournaments are regionalized at either north or south golf courses throughout the Denver Metro Area. Learn More

Pikes Peak Junior Tour

PPJT provides a competitive golf experience for junior (10-18) golfers in Southern Colorado. The program focuses on children’s enjoyment and development of the game. Learn More


US Kids Denver Tour

US Kids Local Tours are a great opportunity for young players (5-14) to become familiar with competitive golf.  Click Here to see upcoming US Kids Golf Events in Colorado.




Train to Compete


At the Train to Compete stage the game begins to transition from fundamental development to competition.   Golfers begin to commit to training throughout the year with a potential end goal (college) in mind.  This developmental stage is a testing ground for junior golfers to decide if they want to fully commit to competition.



Golf Schools and Academies

Golf schools and academies represent extended learning and training programs that are offered throught the year and include elements of nutrition, sport specific fitness, integration of technology, and club fitting into coaching.  At this stage of development, a more intensive, competitive, and committed relationship to the game is nurtured through golf schools and academies.  The JGAC continues to collect and provide information on these opportuniteis to Train to Compete. Learn More

JGAC Series

The JGAC Series is designed for the up and coming junior golfer with the goal of introducting players to competitive golf in a structured, yet welcoming format. Players compete in three age brackets (10 & Under, 11-13 and 14-18). Learn More



The Colorado High School Activities Association conducts three state championships for both boys and girls high school golf. These championships are the pinnacle of a high school team's year. Learn More


Training to Win

The Train to Win stage is the final stage of the competitive Pathway. Quality competitive outcomes are the primary focus. Tournament results have a direct impact on the college recruiting process which is the end goal for many members who aspire to this stage.

In the Train to Win stage golfers commit significant time to training and developing their game modeling all aspects of competition in their preparations.


Golf Schools and Academies

Golf schools and academies represent extended learning and training programs that are offered throught the year and include elements of nutrition, sport specific fitness, integration of technology, and club fitting into coaching.  At this stage of development, a more intensive, competitive, and committed relationship to the game is nurtured through golf schools and academies.  The JGAC continues to collect and provide information on these opportuniteis to Train to Win. Learn More


The JGAC Tour is designed to be the home of college bound golfers within Colorado. The Tour consists of multi-day tour events and four major championships. Tour events are generally contested on Monday and Tuesday and Major Championships are contested Monday through Wednesday with pre-qualifying and exemptions.
Learn More


American Junior Golf Association (AJGA)

The AJGA is dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. Learn More

Entry into most AJGA events is based on Performance Based Entry, by which players can use AJGA “Performance Stars” to gain entry into tournaments. AJGA Performance Stars are awarded at every AJGA tournament and some non-AJGA tournaments as well. AJGA Performance Stars are awarded at several JGAC events each year. You can see a complete list of tournaments in Colorado where AJGA Performance Stars are available on the AJGA website HERE

Junior PGA Championship

The mission of the Junior PGA Championship is to promote the enjoyment of golf by junior golfers through affordable and competitive playing opportunities in professionally supervised events organized by The PGA of America and supported by PGA Professionals. Learn More


USGA Junior Amateur Championship

In 1948, the USGA inaugurated the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, for players under the age of 18, to determine the best junior golfer in the United States. The inaugural U.S. Junior Amateur was played at the University of Michigan Golf Course and drew 495 entries. Dean Lind, of Rockford, Ill., defeated future U.S. Open champion Ken Venturi, of San Francisco.
Learn More


USGA Girls Junior Amateur Championship

The U.S. Girls' Junior Championship was established in 1949, one year after the Junior Amateur Championship. Philadelphia (Pa.) Country Club, one of the oldest golf courses in the nation, was the host club for the USGA's newest championship, and the competition drew a starting field of 28 girls from 17 states, although 10 of the players were from the Philadelphia area.
Learn More


Optimist International Junior Golf Championships

The Optimist Junior Golf Program is an exciting and unique junior golf program for ages 10-18. Boys and girls around the world compete in official Optimist qualifying tournaments. The best of these golfers advance to the annual Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. Commonly referred to as simply "The Optimist". The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships is one of the largest and most prestigious junior golf events in the world. Learn More





Active for Life


Active for Life is both a stage and an outcome of the Pathway. It is the desired final stage for all golfers. In this stage, athletes and participants enjoy lifelong participation in a variety of competitive and recreational opportunities. Career opportunities are also available in multiple state, regional or national entities.


Colorado Golf Association

The CGA's purpose is to represent, promote, and serve the best interests of golf in the state of Colorado, and has been throughout its history. The membership organization is the official representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA) for the state of Colorado and conducts tournaments, development programs, course rating, handicapping and numerous other statewide golf initiatives. Learn More


Colorado PGA

The Colorado Section of the PGA promotes involvement in and enjoyment of the game of golf for the golfers of Colorado, Eastern Wyoming, and a small part of South Dakota. The purpose of the Section is to promote the enjoyment and involvement in the game of golf within the Section, and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals and the golf industry within the Section. Learn More


Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents Association

The Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents Association (RMGCSA) founded in 1936 is dedicated to serving its members and improving golf course management practices through education, sharing knowledge and networking. RMGCSA is the tenth largest affiliated chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. We have more than 670 members in 37 states who offer support and services to the golf course management industry. Learn More


Professional Golf Management

The PGA Golf Management University Program, a 4.5- to 5-year college curriculum for aspiring PGA Professionals is offered at PGA accredited universities nationwide. The program provides students the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the golf industry through extensive classroom studies and internship experience. When you graduate, in addition to your college degree, you become a PGA member with 100 percent job placement. Learn More



PGA of America

The PGA of America is the world's largest sports organization, comprised of 28,000 men and women golf Professionals who are the recognized experts in teaching and growing the game. Founded in 1916, the PGA of America has enhanced its leadership position by conducting premier spectator events – PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid and PGA Grand Slam of Golf – as well as significant philanthropic outreach initiatives, and award-winning golf promotions. Learn More



The United States Golf Association promotes and conserves the true spirit of the game of golf as embodied in its ancient and honorable traditions. It acts in the best interests of the game for the continued enjoyment of those who love and play it. The USGA serves the game most visibly through the conduct of its national championships. Together with The R&A, the Association provides governance for the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, establishing equipment standards, and formulating the Rules of Amateur Status. The Association also maintains the USGA Handicap and Course Rating Systems, develops and promotes sustainable golf course management practices, and celebrates the history of the game. Learn More