This is what you would
call "a beautiful picture."
Joshua fought the battle of... declining participationnnnn...
By Torleif Sorenson on 2/7/13
Golf is a lot like reading and classical music: The sooner kids get involved, the better. The highest-profile effort in golf thus far has been The First Tee program, which now has its first graduate on the PGA Tour in Scott Langley. But some people - including Larry Olmsted of Forbes Magazine - feel that the number of kids in golf still isn't growing at a satisfactory rate.

The potential answer? TGA Premier Junior Golf. ("TGA" stands for "Teach, Grow, Achieve.")

The brainchild of Joshua Jacobs, this program uses the after-school activity platform to make teachers and equipment accessible to kids. Five levels of classes are designed specifically for kids from ages 3 to 13. After succeeding with his proof-of-concept program in six Los Angeles-area schools, Jacobs brought in PGA of America teaching professionals and educational curriculum experts to refine and develop the program. Jacobs is now franchising the program, which now has spread to tennis.

Some people may question the private-sector-based approach, but with 180,000 kids already participating, the undeniable fact is that TGA is working — more than 50 U.S. franchises are in operation, as is the first international program in Spain. The PGA of America has added Jacobs to their Golf 2.0 advisory board. Meanwhile, TGA has jumped into at Entrepreneur Magazine's "Franchise 500" list.

If this writer had this after-school program available back in the day, I would have been far better far sooner and avoided not only a tremendous amount of frustration in learning the game, but also some incompetent instruction.

Here's hoping that TGA's popularity spreads beyond just the 25 U.S. states where it has already gained a foothold.


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Image via TGA Premier Golf & Tennis


[ comments ]
joe jones says:
I taught junior golf to groups aged 5-10 in Las Vegas for three years. Suggestions for those that want to increase participation.
Instruction: Kids see the small ball and heavy equipment and think they can not hit the ball.
Start them out with light weight clubs and larger balls of any kind. Plastic
balls. As they become proficient with each size, reward them with a star and
graduate them to the small golf ball size wiffle ball and then a regular golf
ball.
Golf management: Give them driving range access free. Little loss of revenue to the course.
Instruction: Ask for volunteers to give free instruction. You will be astonished how many
golfers would be happy to participate.
Make tee times available free or at greatly reduced rate on an as available basis, especially for teens.
Hold Junior/Senior events. Any format. Build interest by offering as much on course experience as possible.
2/11/13
 
joe jones says:
Grandparents. Get your grand kids involved if at all possible. It will give you quality time and start them in a game that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives. If parents can't bring the kids to you, you go to the kids.
Women Golfers. get your friends to take up the game. Many women , especially older women are afraid of learning the game. Don't be judgmental. Remember that you were a beginner one day.Women are the least under served participants in golf and an untapped resource for the growth of the game. Our future should be driven by getting the young and women involved.
2/11/13
 
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