PGA Junior Golf program returns to Elephant Rocks

Elephant Rocks Junior Golfers compete in a tournament in 2016.

Elephant Rocks Junior Golfers compete in a tournament in 2016.

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Registration has begun for PGA Junior League Golf as the program returns to Elephant Rocks Golf Course for its third season.

The nationwide program featured a record-setting 36,000 participants across 2,900 teams nationwide last year, led by the more than 2,000 PGA and LPGA professionals who served as captains. The growth represents a 300 percent increase from the 9,000 kids who participated on 740 teams nationwide just three years prior.

Elephant Rocks golf pro Scott Little is heading up the program again this year at the golf course.

Little said he had 12 players compete last year with competitive play beginning in May. The young golfers in Williams were part of the northern Arizona leagues which consisted of teams from Pine Canyon, Forest Highlands and Continental golf courses in Flagstaff.

Little said the Williams team had young players on the team, but performed well last year.

The matches are made up of boys and girls, age 13 and younger, who are put into teams of two. The program uses a two-person scramble format for competition, which reinforces the team concept and creates a nurturing environment for learning the game. Teams play four, nine-hole matches in a game; captains can substitute players every three holes, allowing everyone on the team a chance to participate. Teams typically play between four-to-six games in the regular season, which runs from April 1- July 31.

Little said he encourages players of all ages to play and especially needs older players to lead the groups.

PGA and LPGA professionals lead the program, providing kids with expert coaching and instruction. With parents and family members encouraged to assist as coaches and volunteers, PGA Junior League Golf involves the entire family and introduces them to an all-ages sport they can play and enjoy together for a lifetime.

“It’s tremendous to see PGA and LPGA professionals utilize PGA Junior League Golf in their work leading the charge to grow golf among our youth,” said PGA President Paul Levy. “The developmental nature of the program is very welcoming. Captains are not only teaching the game but also the important character skills and values inherent in golf that kids will carry through life.”

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