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.
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.
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.
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
In 2017, the JGAC will launch the JGAC Academy. The academy is structured using the Operation 36 Junior Development Framework. The framework is used by facilities across the nation and consists of parents, coaches, and juniors working towards the goal of shooting par or better for 9 holes. Each junior that enrolls in the academy will be issued an Op 36 Bag Tag and profile in our Op36 Academy Mobile app.
The Op36 Platform consists of 6 levels, and has a 12 subject curriculum that our coaches will deliver throughout the academy semester. When the junior can demonstrate objectives to coaches they will earn badges on their bag tag, and will be able to track and log the progress in the mobile app. Each achievement is tracked in a social activity feed and points are earned for completing objectives, and playing/practicing outside of class. To graduate from the Academy, the juniors must progress through all 6 levels and ultimately shoot par or better for 9 holes from their full tee box based on age.
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
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
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
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 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
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
Courses across Colorado host junior tournaments. Consider playing in a club hosted event as a way to get introduced to competitive golf.
Gold Crown Junior Golf is a fun and competitive way to improve your golf game! Beginning June 7 and continuing through August 2, the series will feature 18-hole tournaments on Tuesday afternoons at courses around the Denver Metro Area. You can register with a friend or as an individual. A variety of formats will be used including stroke play, best ball, scramble, etc. Please click here for a calendar of events and course locations. Learn More
More information coming soon.
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 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.
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.
The JGAC Series is designed for the up and coming junior golfer with the goal of introducing players to competitive golf in a welcoming and fun format. Players compete in three age brackets (10 & Under, 11-13 and 14-18). Learn More
For junior golfers looking to take their game to the next competitive level, PGA Professionals will plan, guide, and support you along your journey. Search for a PGA Professional near you by entering your hometown below! Learn More
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
The Trusted Choice Big “I” is the 3rd oldest junior golf event in the United States and has served as a national championship challenge for our nation’s most accomplished junior golfers since 1969. Learn More
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.
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
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
The CWGA is a non-profit amateur golf organization established in 1916 to promote women's golf in the state of Colorado and preserve the integrity of the game. The CWGA's mission is accomplished through the many activities that it organizes and runs including course rating and handicapping, tournaments and Rules education. Learn More
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
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
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