By Roseanna Smith (@AJGASmith), AJGA Communications
Sharpen your pencils and open the calendar: schedule release day is big.
The AJGA is dedicated to continuous improvement – this year we’ll run the most events in our history (108), offer more playing opportunities at all levels and strive for an even greater membership experience.
To top it all off, today is just a snapshot of some of #AJGA2014’s new features.
We’re still tinkering on a few things in Braselton, but wanted to debut our plan so far. Before we know it, Martin Luther King Jr. weekend will bring a new set of juniors to Orlando, Puerto Rico and California, and we’ll be off to the races with USGA rules school, the final stages of the intern recruiting process and naming 2013 tournament awards.
Today is a combination of hard work from many people – AJGA Regional Directors included – but much of it is thanks to the help we receive from members and friends around the country through introductions of us to new venues and committee heads. This group rolls out the welcome wagon in their community and is the key to bringing events closer to home at top venues with an unmatched experience.
Every week in January, we’ll spotlight a unique part of the #AJGA2014 schedule – from breaking down each region (and the return of Canada) to introducing the new PGA and LPGA Tour players who are giving back to the game through namesake events (@Morgan_Hoffmann, @YaniTseng, @SharkGregNorman and more).
The new AJGA venues and courses – 31 to date – are located around the country from New York (Country Club of Rochester, founded in 1895 and ranked No. 20 by Golf Digest) out to California (Mayacama Golf Club, No. 10 by Golf Digest). Familiar friends include the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior (recently named to a Golf Digest Junior Development Award), Lessing’s AJGA Classic and the Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions and Randy Wise Junior Open events (both will be staged for the 30th year).
It’s a silver anniversary at the Wyndham Cup, a teamwork-inspired week of fun, camaraderie and fierce competition. The event is as much old-school with storied alumni including the all-time winningest match play contestant @TigerWoods (11-3-2), to fresh TOUR alumni like @JordanSpieth. This event returns to Old Sandwich Golf Club, ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 68 of America’s 100 Greatest Courses since 1966 both by Golf Digest.
For now, 2014 planning could take variety of roads:
- New members or those looking to build Performance Based Entry (PBE) status: Check out the IMG Academy Preseason Series, AJGA Qualifiers or Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series (for ages 12-15).
- Use PBE status to help increase your priority for entry into AJGA Open events. These events, which make up the majority of the schedule, provide a great avenue for exposure to college coaches and assist with earning a position in the Polo Golf Rankings.
- Experienced players should have a goal to earn entry into AJGA Invitationals, which are not only great fun and a demanding test, but can significantly influence your standing in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Of the semifinalists at the Polo Golf Junior Classic, all but one significantly increased their position with a top finish. Cameron Young (now No. 5 Polo Golf Rankings, No. 75 WAGR) jumped up from No. 418 after the Thanksgiving week staple.
If you fall somewhere in between or just want a custom plan, call Jane, Riley, Blake, Kellie, Julie (or tweet her directly at @PS_Julie) or Jessica for help in our Player Services department at (770) 868-4200.
We hope to see you at an event (or feel free to drop by our National Headquarters for a tour) sometime soon!