The American Junior Golf Association is about to embark on a significant undertaking in reviving its 2020 season. The junior golf circuit, just like most competitive events and tours, went dark in mid-February in light of the coronavirus. The good news is the AJGA will return June 8-12 for the AJGA Invitational at Sedefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. That event will kick off an expanded summer lineup featuring as many as seven events per week.
The organization calls it the most robust fall competition in its more than 40-year history. The full schedule can be found here.
The AJGA revamped its summer schedule according to industry guidelines for safety and social distancing. Recommendations from global health partners and the Back2Golf plan (an industry-wide collaboration of the PGA Tour, PGA of America, USGA, LPGA, IAGA and allied golf associations) were considered, and the AJGA has also said it will consult with local government officials to make sure community guidelines are met.
“Creative solutions are our hallmark,” said Executive Director Stephen Hamblin. “Returning safely to our mission after a global pandemic has required the coordinated effort of our staff, board, and local and global partners. We’ve used extensive expert advice, examined and adapted how we do absolutely everything in the safest possible way, and built a playbook for our team to follow.”
Among those solutions are the following:
- The AJGA is eliminating physical paperwork and now will provide digital access to any necessary tournament documents. Players will score exclusively using the Golf Genius app on a smart phone and no paper scorecards will be exchanged or used.
- Flagsticks are to remain in the hole and bunker rakes will be removed.
- Players will be assigned designated warm-up times beginning an hour before each scheduled tee time, and host facilities may close those practice grounds after practice and competitive rounds.
- A player can bring only one spectator on tournament grounds, with no exceptions. Staff, essential volunteers and players will participate in health screening questions prior to tournament play. An advanced health care provider (doctor or nurse) will be available at each event.
The AJGA will be reducing tournament fields (in most cases, to 78 players) and social distancing is now required of competitors by the organization’s code of conduct.
Junior golf is on its way back.