18 Holes With Tina Mickelson: Junior Golfers Got Game
From improving their game to entering the competitive sphere, San Diego offers plenty of options for the young golfer.
San Diego Junior Golf Association
Founded by John Brown, the SDJGA has been the first competitive golf experience for thousands of San Diegans since 1952 and is San Diego’s original junior golf program. Its tournament season runs January to mid-July with at least one event per month the rest of the year. SDJGA hosts games throughout the county, giving junior golfers the chance to compete against the best local players in their age group.
North County Junior Golf Association
The NCJGA partners with David Emerick Golf, providing instruction via clinics, summer camps, and on-course events. The tournament program holds more than 25 events per year at North County courses.
PGA Junior League
The PGA of America has taken the idea behind junior team sports (think little league) and introduced the PGA Junior League, composed of 4 to 7 local teams within a geographic area. Each facility has one or more teams of 8–12 junior golfers (girls and boys) and during regular season each team will play a game against teams in their league. Plus, all teams are captained by a PGA or LPGA professional.
Pro Kids Golf Academy/The First Tee of San Diego
When Ernie Wright founded Pro Kids Golf Academy in 1994, his goal was to teach kids life skills through the game of golf. His belief was “golf is the hook, education is the payoff.” With locations in City Heights and Oceanside, this program offers underserved youth the opportunity to learn and grow through golf.
Future Champions Golf Academy
Developed by local PGA professional Chris Smeal, this junior golf academy offers a variety of junior camps and group or private instruction. In San Diego, they offer the Future Champions Golf Kids Tour, which is a great way to introduce junior golfers to the competitive experience. Once your junior golfer is ready, they can try the Future Champions Golf National Tour, which helps players prepare for college golf and get in front of college coaches.