With the immergence of golf as a sport of leisure during the global Covid-19 pandemic, more kids than ever are being exposed to the game.
Every week there are hundreds, even thousands, of mini golf tournaments for golfers under the age of 18. Many of these events provide high-exposure opportunities for elite young golfers and their families.
Many current PGA Tour professionals reflect on their early golf careers with a immense pride. In fact, many professional golfers collided much sooner than their time on the PGA Tour.
Many of the regional and national tournaments for youth golfers are conducted and sponsored by the USGA. All USGA youth tournaments are a lead-up towards the pinnacle of junior golf, which is the USGA World Championship.
The World Championship awards a title to the winner in four different divisions: boys and girls age 5 to 12 and boys and girls age 13-18.
Notable past participants include two-time major winner Collin Morikawa and PGA Tour professional Akshay Bhatia, who is currently the No. 778 golfer in the Official World Golf Rankings at the age of 19 years old.
In addition to a bonified superstar and a bright young talent, many other alumni of the USGA World Championship have participated in PGA Tour events or put together solid college golf careers. For example, Brett Barron became a four-year starter and All-Sun Belt level golfer at Georgia Southern University following a fifth place finish in the 2011 world championship.
Not only are there countless tournaments, but there are also showcase events around the country.
In 2021, perhaps the pinnacle of youth golf is the annual Drive, Chip and Putt event putt on at the Augusta National Golf Club. Throughout the year, thousands of youth golfers will compete in regional events in hopes of competing at the most prestigious golf course in the world while on national television.
In addition to the millions of eyes watching the Drive, Chip and Putt competition on television, thousands of patrons crowd the grounds to witness the annual spectacle. Perhaps the most unique aspect is the amount of PGA Tour professionals that show out at the event.
While there are many ways to showcase elite-level talent in the golf world, the sheer amount of eyes on the numerous youth golf events allows for much more exposure to scouts and other high-level officials.