IJSA and Global Junior Golf Strengthen their Partnership for the Upcoming Years

IJSA and Global Junior Golf strengthen their partnership for the upcoming years. A promising future with exciting new tournaments is coming up…

International Junior Sports & Education Advisors (IJSA) and Global Junior Golf (GJG) are happy to announce an expansion of the current partnership. After Bishops Gate Golf Academy (BGGA) has joined as a GJG Performance Center in 2016, it is an absolute honor that International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) will be listed from 2018 onwards as a GJG Performance Center. Global Junior Golf is seeking and accepting only premium academies from around the world as GJG Performance Centers, which deliver top professional training facilities and family atmosphere for juniors, so juniors can ultimately chase their golf and collegiate dreams. IJGA has a long history of building top juniors and have helped players from around the world to achieve successful college careers. It is a great honor that two of top junior golf academies in the world are now connected and will be able to share their resources and expertise to all GJG members around the world!

Furthermore, IJGA and BGGA will host two prestigious Global Junior Golf events in December 2018 which opens the gates for international players to experience WAGR ranked tournaments in the U.S. The American Global Junior Golf ‘tournament swing’ will give juniors more possibilities to play on the home soil of college coaches, which ultimately helps in any college recruiting process. IJGA and BGGA will showcase both events not far away from the academy facilities. GJG members will have the chance to visit and explore each facility, where many national teams call home during winter training. Additionally, special packages will be available for GJG members to train at the academies and will have a chance to get introduced to the full expertise of the academy staff members. Global Junior Golf is very proud to offer their members extra value over the off season with future premier junior tournaments. A big thank you to Mrs. Lee-Anne Misseldine, CEO of IJSA and her whole staff for promoting junior golf. GJG would like to take the opportunity and have a quick interview with Lee-Anne about the upcoming exciting endeavors:

GJG: Lee-Anne, once again a big thank you from the GJG family for promoting junior golf and for the exiting extended partnership. How do you feel about the new endeavors?

Lee-Anne: It has been a pleasure working with Global Junior Golf for the last couple of years. We have been so impressed by the passion and professionalism of the team and feel very aligned in our values and mission for growing junior golf. This new partnership, expanding into IJGA and bringing GJG events to the USA, was a natural progression for our already successful partnership and we are very excited for the new opportunities this will bring to our students and GJG members.

GJG: GJG members already had the chance to get to know one of your premium brands, Bishops Gate Golf Academy. Please introduce International Junior Golf Academy to the GJG family.

Lee-Anne: IJGA is a very well-established brand in junior golf, with a rich history over 20 years. At IJGA we believe in developing the whole person—the athlete, the student and the young adult. Emphasizing both intensive training and scholastic achievement through the nationally accredited Heritage Academy, IJGA has produced some of the best junior golfers playing within the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). As a result, nearly all of our students receive college scholarships to the top collegiate golf programs in the United States. Highly sought after, the diverse student body represents 28 countries as athletes and scholars. The golf team is led by Jonathan Yarwood, a UK PGA Master Professional with over 20 year’s experience in developing some of the world’s best juniors. Set in the golf paradise of Hilton Head, IJGA is ideal for players wanting to accelerate their progress and develop their game.

GJG: The goal of the “American tournament Swing“ of Global Junior Golf is that juniors have a chance to meet each of your academies (BGGA & IJGA) and additionally play top international tournaments. Can you tell us something about the hosting golf courses and each of the tournaments?

Lee-Anne: We are so excited to be hosting two Global Junior Golf events in December of 2018, both which will be operated in partnership with the International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT). The first will be in Hilton Head, South Carolina, one of the most prestigious golf regions of the U.S., followed by an event in Central Florida, close to BGGA. At this time we are working to secure both courses, which will be highly ranked courses, providing excellent challenges and conditions. Both events will be powered by IJGA and BGGA respectively We expect to have course confirmations in early March and look forward to those exciting announcements.

GJG: Both venues are logistically easy to reach and have international airports. At BGGA you fly into Orlando, Florida and for IJGA you fly into Savannah, Georgia. Can you give some insight to which type of player would find a fit in either Academy?

Lee-Anne: Both IJGA and BGGA have unique differentiators, and I encourage all the Global Junior Golf members who plan on travelling to the U.S. in December to play both events and visit both academies. Preferences come down to location, coaching teams, school, if relevant, and other non-core offerings. As far as the core program which encompasses golf training, technology, mental and fitness training, facilities, college preparation and student life, both programs are excellent and offer a great experience to a junior or amateur player wanting to improve their game and compete in the U.S.

GJG: Can players expect that college coaches will attend the events?

Lee-Anne: IJGA and BGGA are premier junior programs, with a strong network of college coach relationships and connections. Coaches are always looking for good student-athletes for their programs and rely on our recommendations to make recruiting decisions. We will be inviting as many college coaches as possible to attend our events to give exposure to the players and showcases their abilities.

GJG: During each event, players and parents will have the chance to attend Lecturing nights about College Golf and Academy life. Can you give some advise on how players should prepare for these educational sessions? Do they need to bring any information with them? And do you have any advice on how to approach college coaches?

Lee-Anne: The college recruitment process is complex and potentially overwhelming. Some students are unable to approach a coach due to NCAA rules, which restrict communication with students under a certain grade. At each academy, we will be conducting in-depth educational sessions to outline the process and provide practical tools to help student and families create their college plan. It would be helpful to bring your golf resume updated with academic scores such as GPA, SAT and TOEFL scores.

GJG: BGGA and IJGA have produced some very successful alumni students. Who are some of your alumni, and from which part of the world do juniors attend your academies?

Lee-Anne: We have students and alumni from all over the world, who have been successful in their collegiate and professional golf careers, as well as many who went on to pursue their passion in a number of other areas. The purpose of BGGA and IJGA is to prepare our students not just for golf, but for life, and give them the tools to be their very best, not matter what their path.

IJGA alumni include Morgan Hoffmann, Shanshan Feng, Song-Hee Kim, Pablo Larrazabal, In-Kyung Kim, Stephanie Meadow to name a few. BGGA has a much shorter history, but is proud of the caliber of player at the academy, such as Julian Perico, a top ranked Peruvian player and Anna Chen, who has won 10 events across different tours.

GJG: Why have you chosen to host the“American tournament swing“ of Global Junior Golf?

Lee-Anne: GJG events are run to a very high standard and all carry WAGR rankings. The IJGT is very pleased to be in partnership with GJG to provide this same high standard of tournaments to IJGT members and academy students. These first two events are just a start and we hope to continue to grow GJG in the States.

GJG: 2018 promises to be a very exciting year. Players will able to start qualifying for the ”American Tournament swing” in Portugal and are also already able to send their application inquiries. How many spots will be max available at each tournament and what will be the qualification criteria

Lee-Anne: We anticipate a maximum of 100 players at each event. Tournament details will be released soon, providing full information on tournament events, housing options, golf course etc.

Lee-Anne, thank you for your time and we are already counting the days fort he “American tournament swing“ from Global Junior Golf, proudly powered by IJGA and BGGA. The season 2018 is on the move and players are looking forward to qualify.

The Best Events to Get Noticed by College Coaches

Stand Out from the Crowd

It is a great time to be a junior golfer with a dream of playing in the college ranks. Scholarship opportunities have increased significantly over the last decade as more schools sponsor varsity level golf teams. This is a very good thing, but the competition for those spots has become tougher too. Getting noticed by college coaches is much like a tournament, so aspiring junior golfers must use the same kind of discipline and skill that helps them do well on the course to succeed.

One of the most important factors in making an impression is playing in quality tournaments to demonstrate your abilities both on and off the field. Fortunately, the number of tournaments for juniors has grown over this time period as well. This provides many more opportunities for young golfers to find the best mix of competitions to enable them to stand out from the crowd.

IJGA Top Finishers

What Are the Best Events to Play?

Success in elite junior golf tournaments will help capture the attention of college coaches, but all tournaments matter to those evaluating your potential. Build your competitive golf resume wisely – and steadily. Choose events in which you can perform well and seek to step up your competitive level only when you are ready. It is inevitable that you will have a poor first round score somewhere and feel like you should withdraw from the tournament. Resist this urge because many college golf coaches look for juniors who try to manage their rankings this way and frown on the practice. Make the best of the situation and post the best possible score you can. Coaches will be impressed by a player who demonstrates they can handle adversity and bounce back after a bad round.

Things to Look for when Choosing Tournaments to Play

An established tour that chooses collegiate or professional tour venues for their tournaments. A well run organization will also actively pursue and coordinate having coaches attend events. They will also be good at making information about players in the field easily available.

Quality of course and difficulty. The course should be set up like a collegiate event and pin placements should be like those in a collegiate competition. Boys 15-19 division should play 6,800-7,100 yards when possible and girls 15-19 should play around 6,100.

Quality of players in the field. This is perhaps the strongest indicator of the tournament’s quality. But, more than that, high level competition will bring out your best and help you grow and improve as a golfer. Coaches will also take note when you shine amongst other bright lights. They know better than anyone else that quality of performance is more than just the number you write on your card.

Highly ranked players may also want to participate in amateur or professional qualifiers to further demonstrate their abilities to college coaches. Events of this kind would include the U.S. Amateur Qualifier, the U.S. Open Local Qualifier and state amateur championships.

Know What Coaches Will Be There

Most college coaches will spend a full month every season on the road recruiting. In this time they will usually attend 10 to 12 junior tournaments as they are the ideal platform to evaluate young talent. Keep in mind, though, that coaches are at an event to look over current prospects, not necessarily find unknown players. Just hoping to be noticed randomly probably is not the best strategy. If you are thinking in terms of college recruitment, you should already have a proper golf resume and information kit assembled. Once you have this, do your homework and decide which schools you think fit well and will have available spots on the team. From there, find out which events these coaches will attend so that you can make the most of your showcase tournament performances. If you have not already made contact with a particular coach, send your resume and an informative but to-the-point letter expressing your interest and to let them know you will be competing at the event they will be attending. A thoughtful and well done presentation and letter of introduction will impress a coach; hopefully enough for them to take an interest in you.

Know What Coaches Will Be Looking For

Experienced coaches can evaluate your golf game in ten minutes. But success in competitive golf requires more than just a sweet swing. Coaches will be looking to determine both the quality of your athleticism and the quality of your character. As a coach follows prospects around the course he or she will evaluate how they present themselves, how they deal with distractions, how they react to bad breaks and how they interact with other players. A young athlete who shows resiliency when things become difficult and shows discipline and maturity will distinguish themselves in a very positive way. With this in mind, be sure to behave in a professional manner and always be courteous to everyone you encounter. Relax, play your best game and stay steady. Most importantly, be yourself and enjoy the experience.

At IJGA, we have many years of experience helping junior golfers navigate the difficult and competitive process of college recruitment. Whether you are thinking about signing your junior up for his or her first golf tournament or your child is already active on the circuit, know that tournaments provide experience and lasting memories. You can learn more about the benefits of juniors competing in tournaments, as well as tips on how to improve junior golf training by contacting the International Junior Golf Academy today at (843) 686-1500.

You may also request more information by clicking here. »

IJGA to Professional Golf: A Road Map

Dreams do Come True

But it takes a lot of work. A lot of work. The quest to play golf at the professional level is one that requires a lifetime of commitment, dedication and sacrifice that few can muster. It is a journey that is more complicated than it seems on the surface, and some simple insights into the process can serve as a valuable road map that may help outline the best route to a successful career. For most junior golfers, the best way to that goal is a measured, thoughtful approach that enables steady growth into full potential.

Junior Golf: Academies Pave the Way

Whether your junior golfer has been playing for many years or is relatively new to the game, attending an elite golf boarding school will dramatically increase both the chance of playing college golf and the quality of schools available. For those who pass through the halls of the International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA), the dream of a professional career becomes more real, and the road somewhat easier. Nearly all of our students receive scholarships to the top collegiate golf programs in the United States.

IJGA functions much like a college program with its elite academics, world-class golf training and relentless pursuit of excellence. Emphasizing both intensive athletic training and scholastic achievement through the nationally accredited Heritage Academy, IJGA has produced some of the finest young athletes playing golf today. IJGA’s Stewart Hagestad made golf history at this year’s Masters Tournament, becoming the only Mid-Amateur champion to ever make the cut and then went on to earn the coveted Silver Cup awarded the low amateur.

Receiving the proper type and quality of instruction at the high school level is critical to future success. Our innovative coaching staff provides programs of instruction tailored to each student’s abilities and needs as opposed to a “one size fits all” style. The team guides every student down a unique path that seeks to create a finely-tuned balance of physical skill, mental acuity and upstanding character.

IJGA prepares junior golfers for all of the aspects of competitive play as well as life beyond the golf course. By the time they graduate, our student-athletes are well prepared to compete in the college and professional ranks.

College Golf: Expressway to Success

Playing golf in college serves two purposes for the ambitious athlete. First is gaining invaluable training and high level tournament experience which is much like the professional ranks without having to go it alone. Those who forego college must manage the financial and strategic requirements of improving enough to qualify for a professional tour on their own. At this stage in the learning process, the costs and logistics can be daunting. In 2017, competing on a developmental tour such as the Web.Com Tour costs at a minimum $75,000 per year and the PGA Tour about $110,000. Add to this the need to organize travel, room and board, hiring a caddy and coaches, tour memberships and tournament qualifying and registrations, and it becomes a massive undertaking for the individual. In college, the young golfer gains quality instruction, physical and mental training, thousands of hours of practice and the afore mentioned competitive experience without the same burdens.

The second positive aspect of playing golf in college is gaining a quality academic degree. This will provide great options for life beyond the golf course and often also helps with the pursuit itself. Many who take the college route earn degrees that help manage the various aspects of making the way to the pro ranks.

Simply said, the college path to professional golf delivers excellent return on investment.

Making it on Tour: Avoiding Potholes

Making the move into the professional world is a learning process just like junior and collegiate golf and it requires patience and mental toughness.

The PGA’s qualifying school, or “Q-School,” used to be a direct path to the premier level, but, since 2013, has become an entryway to the Web.com tour which is the developmental arena for the PGA Tour. IJGA’s Richy Werenski earned his way onto the PGA Tour this way. The LPGA qualifying school is more like the traditional format featuring escalating qualifying tournaments. IJGA alumna Stephanie Meadow won her LPGA Tour card via the Final Qualifying Tournament. The vast majority of golfers will require significant seasoning to be ready for this step.

Obviously the ultimate goal is playing on the PGA or LPGA Tour, but most everyone entering the pro circuit will start in more humble venues. The first professional tier features various mini-tours that host events around the country that require entry fees and offer modest prize money. At this level only the most successful players will win enough to do more than cover their expenses, so the emphasis is on gaining experience and moving up to a higher tour.

As professional golf has continued to expand over the last thirty years, more of these developmental tours have emerged to accommodate the increased demand. Today there are more than twenty professional golf tours, each run by a professional golfer’s association or an independent tour organization which is responsible for arranging events, finding sponsors, and regulating tour play. Competitive play in these venues is tough and finding the right entry-level tour as a road to the top requires some study and self-evaluation as the choice will be different for everyone. Examining past statistics and results of the various tours along with other personal intangibles will help in finding the right place to begin.

Moving into the highest ranks takes years for most players who succeed, so managing the costs of navigating the lower tier tours is an important factor to consider. As mentioned before, the expenses are considerable and it takes time to reach a point where tournament earnings eclipse costs. Taking the college route pays dividends here as opportunities to earn a living outside of tournament golf support the drive to continue playing and moving up the ladder. With some success on the course may come opportunities for sponsorships to aid in defraying expenses and some players even sell shares in their future potential in the manner of a stock offering. Navigating the byways to a successful career in golf benefits from creative thinking.

The road to the world of professional golf is unique for every ambitious individual who aspires to achieve the dream. Careful consideration of the many options available will help make it easier and more attainable. Study the road map carefully to find the right path for you.

Click Here >> to request more information about IJGA and our world-class junior golf instructional programs and college placement services. Dreams begin here.

Why the Mental Game Is Important to College Coaches

Anyone hoping to play golf at the college level needs to know that coaches have a difficult job trying to determine the best young athletes to represent their team, school and community. College golf coaches must evaluate hundreds of potential recruits every year and any edge an athlete can demonstrate is a tremendous advantage. Experienced coaches can get the measure of your golf game in ten minutes. But success in competitive golf requires more than just a sweet swing and a long drive.

Often times athletes with superior physical gifts that should make them a star in their chosen sport somehow fail to realize their full promise. Whether their day-to-day performance never lives up to expectations or they crumble when the game is on the line, something significant is missing from the player’s repertoire.

What is the missing intangible?

Mental toughness.

Elite college programs know the difference between greatness and mediocrity is not that big, but it takes players with something special to bridge the gap.

Mental toughness is the natural or learned psychological ability to cope with the many demands of competitive sport and it is the edge that sets a gifted athlete apart from less committed opponents. A mentally tough junior golfer will remain determined, focused, confident and in control under pressure. They possess a resiliency that keeps them on track when things are going well and especially so when they are not. More than this, though, this mental quality helps young athletes manage the full spectrum of challenges they face on the course, in the classroom and in their personal lives.

When coaches take a closer look at a standout athlete, they will be seeking to determine both the level of a potential recruit’s athleticism and the quality of their character. As a coach follows prospects around the course he or she will evaluate how they present themselves, how they deal with distractions, how they react to bad breaks and how they interact with other players. A young athlete who displays resiliency when things become difficult and shows discipline and maturity will distinguish themselves in a very positive way. A junior golfer who plays with mental toughness will appear head and shoulders above others who might have similar or better stats on the course but lack that intangible, that fire. Coaches want complete packages that they can help grow and who will step up when the chips are down, not someone who needs to be coddled and protected.

Some mistake solid mental toughness and an unshakeable belief in oneself as arrogance. Quite the opposite is true. An elite athlete can set aside their ego and the desire to “prove” something to other people because that is a goal that they can never truly achieve. Real mental rigor is an overwhelmingly positive attribute that enhances a player’s performance but also honors the competition, without whom they would be nothing.

College coaches want well balanced athletes who strive to achieve personal goals and understand that self-improvement is a building process, that success does not come all at once. There will always be ups and downs, but surmounting the problems and feeding off of small victories strengthens morale. This routine of positive reinforcement builds upon itself and encourages one to attempt to repeat the behaviors that provided the positive feedback, creating a self-sustaining cycle of success. We are human beings and confidence is fragile. No one is perfect and no one has everything tightly in hand all the time. Developing mental toughness simply enables the young golfer to trust their own ability and determination and know that they will ultimately prevail.

Winning coaches know that more games are lost than are won, and they value players who give everything of themselves to all of the challenges in their lives. Winning coaches prize players who fight with everything they have.

At IJGA, we have many years of experience helping junior golfers navigate the difficult and competitive process of college recruitment. Click Here >> to request more information about our world-class junior golf training or contact us by phone at (843) 686-1500.

Which Type of College is Best for Me?

How does a junior golfer make a decision on which college program is best for them? When you’re ready to start looking at college programs in earnest, it’s important to consider the university as a whole — not just a place to play golf. After all, it’s going to be home for the next four years, and that means your college should be a place where you feel comfortable and can’t wait to return to after a semester break.

There is a good fit for every competitive golfer depending on their individual development. Whether it be NAIA, NCAA or NJCAA, here are the facts about each program, how they differ and their requirements.

NAIA – National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

– The NAIA association is comprised of 259 member schools, 22 conferences and more than 60,000 student-athletes.

– NAIA is similar to the NCAA in that it is an association for four year institutions, but is divided into Division I and Division II.

– They have golf in every division and conference.

– They also have championship tournaments for golf teams.

– While the association will have fewer scholarships to go around, the requirements of getting onto a team and staying at an NAIA school are less strict.

– To be eligible for athletic scholarship funding from an NAIA school, students must have two of the following three criteria:

– A minimum ACT score of 18 (science, math, reading) and or minimum SAT score of 860

– A minimum 2.0 GPA

– OR have graduated high school in the top half of your graduating class

– There are scholarship opportunities at a Division I and Division II level, however, few NAIA schools will offer full ride scholarships to athletes.

– They are more likely to provide partial scholarships or some financial aid.

– To receive funding and to play on a team, you must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, which is considered to be full time.

– On average, there are about five scholarships available at NAIA institutions for those athletes playing golf.

– The biggest difference between the NAIA and NCAA are the size of the schools and number of available scholarships.

Helpful Sites:

NAIA Website: http://www.naia.org

NAIA Eligibility: http://www.playnaia.org/index.php

NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I

– There are 340 (approximately 300 golf) schools in Division I which must sponsor at least seven sports for men and seven for women OR eight for women and six for men.

– Some of the largest differences between divisions is the number of sports teams they must sponsor, number of scholarships they can offer, as well as size of the schools. Different divisions do not necessarily have anything to do with being a better golfer.

– There are roughly four-five scholarships available at the Division I level for Men’s golf and six for Women’s golf.

– The academic requirements to be considered eligible by the NCAA are more difficult than other collegiate sports associations.

– The academic requirements to eligible to play and practice with your D1 team, as well as receive a scholarship include:

– must complete 16 core courses including:

– 4 years of English.

– 3 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher).

– 2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab if offered by high school).

– 1 year of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science.

– 2 years of social science.

– 4 years of additional courses (from any area above, foreign language or comparative religion/philosophy).

– A cumulative 2.3 GPA, using the NCAA required courses.

– 900 SAT (math and verbal) or a 75 ACT (math, science, reading, English).

– Once these requirements are met, you must prove that you are an amateur athlete with the NCAA. This is done by filling out a series of forms and questionnaires.

– There are three possible eligibility statuses, and the NCAA will determine where you fall:

– Qualifier: met the academic requirements, as well as amateur status, therefore you can practice, compete and receive scholarships.

– Partial qualifier: met the more basic requirements (2.0 GPA) and therefore can practice, cannot compete but can receive financial assistance.

– Non-qualifier: did not meet the NCAA academic requirements, or their other athletic requirements therefore cannot play sports with an NCAA school for at least a year.

NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association- Division II

– Division II schools tend to be smaller public universities and many private institutions. There are currently 282 schools in Division II sports.

– Athletic scholarships are offered at most institutions, but with more limits as to the numbers offered in any one sport than at the Division I level.

– Academic requirements to be deemed eligible at a Division II level:

  • – must complete these 16 core courses:

– 3 years of English

– 2 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher)

– 2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab if offered high school)

– 3 additional years of English, math, or natural or physical science

– 2 years of social science

– 4 years of additional core courses (from any category above, or foreign language, religion or philosophy);

  • – A 2.0 GPA or better in your NCAA core courses.

– A combined SAT score of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68.

– As with Division I, there are three statuses, the NCAA will determine where you fall:

– Qualifier: met the academic requirements, as well as amateur status therefore you can practice, compete and receive scholarships.

– Partial qualifier: met the GPA requirement OR the SAT/ACT requirement, therefore can practice, cannot compete but can receive financial assistance.

– Non-qualifier: did not meet the NCAA academic requirements, or their other athletic requirements therefore cannot play sports with an NCAA school for at least a year.

– Once these requirements are met, you must prove that you are an amateur athlete with the NCAA. This is done by filling out a series of forms and questionnaires.

NCAA National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III

– There are 449 member institutions (both full and provisional), making it the largest of the three divisions in the NCAA.

-Division III schools are considered some of the best academic schools in the country; therefore, they tend to offer generous academic scholarships to athletes.

– Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships, however, they award financial aid for tuition, books etc.

– There are no academic requirements, as long as you meet the institutions admissions requirements and have graduated high school.

Helpful Websites:

The NCAA: http://www.ncaa.com

The NCAA Eligibility Center: https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/

NJCAA – The National Junior College Athletic Association

– National governing body for two-year college athletics, covering junior college and community colleges nationwide.

– There are 505 member NJCAA schools across the country.

– Divided into 24 regions and follows a Division I, II & III model.

– They have golf at every division, and in every region.

– It is a two year commitment, with the expectation of transferring to a 4 year institution.

– Much like the NCAA, Division I in the NJCAA has the ability to offer full scholarships, whereas Division II can provide financial assistance in terms of books, tuition etc. Division III does not offer any scholarship or financial assistance.

– The only requirement to be an eligible athlete with the NJCAA is that you graduate high school.

– If you choose to play for a school registered with NJCAA, you are committing to a full time school load and have the opportunity to play for two seasons.

There are several reasons why athletes choose to go to a Junior College:

– Poor high school GPA/Test scores so athlete could not reach eligibility for other four year schools.

– Started the recruiting process late.

– Athlete was a late bloomer and needs another year or two of development to open up the doors for other schools.

Helpful Sites:

NJCAA Website: https://www.njcaa.org

Eligibility Center: http://eligibilitycorner.njcaa.org

See our article on Best Small College Golf Programs.

Tips for Teens on Balancing School, Sport and Life

When it comes to balancing school and life, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Add playing golf or any sport on a regular basis to the mix, and things get even more complicated. Balancing all of these takes practice, commitment and hard work. With the confidence of the people you surround yourself with, as well as confidence in yourself, you may find that succeeding in all of these categories isn’t as tough as it sounds.

I think everyone can agree when I say that school is tough. Not only is it the numerous tests on a regular basis or the nightly three hours of homework, but social interactions and expectations can also cause stress. For most students – school work and homework is tedious and overwhelming. The most important thing to remember is to take one thing at a time. Instead of focusing on each assignment you have due for every single class, pick one subject and one assignment and dedicate your next 30 minutes of focus to completing it. Even reward yourself after every assignment completed with a 5-minute break or some old Halloween candy (we won’t judge). After taking one assignment at a time, fully completing it and moving on to the next thing – school work can seem less daunting and feel like something you have power over versus the other way around. Pro Tip: do your weekend homework on Friday nights. It may not be the most fun evening you will ever have, but you will feel so much better when you wake up on Saturday morning knowing you don’t have any work to do over the weekend. Best.Feeling.Ever.

Golf, like school, is tedious and takes lots of concentration. After a long day, it may seem impossible to go and play18 holes and shoot multiple birdies, but it is very possible. This is where time management skills come in handy. When you are playing golf, it is important to have a clear mind and not be thinking about much else other than what you are doing right in that moment. Thinking about an upcoming test or project can only stress you and make your head be elsewhere, when it needs to be on the course. I’m sure many of the professionals will tell you that when they are about to shoot, they don’t think about much other than the next 10 seconds. Because in that moment, that’s what matters. If you manage your time successfully, then balancing schoolwork and golf will seem less challenging and more rewarding.

Social interactions are incredibly important in this life, and finding the time and energy to do so is not easy. Being social and unwinding does not mean having to sacrifice your grades or your golf game. In fact, they can go hand-in-hand. Being social in school is important. Those people can be the ones to lift you up, and you can do the same for them. If you and a friend are struggling in one certain subject, studying together and encouraging each other can be what it takes to bring those grades up. Same goes with golf. If you notice a friend who may not be shooting their best, perhaps find ways to compliment them on the things they are doing right, and offer friendly insight and suggestions for things that could use a little work. Outside of school and golf, it is important to remember to relax and enjoy the place you are in. Relaxing and recovering your body is just as important as hard work. Time for some Netflix!

Contrary to popular belief, you can succeed in all of these categories, without letting anything fall to the wayside. Pushing yourself and knowing your limits is important, and it is never a bad thing to ask for help. Organization is essential to balancing everything in your life, so don’t be afraid to buy a planner (and actually use it!). Write down all of your assignments so you don’t miss anything and set personal goals constantly. Most of all, don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. If you live a healthy, balanced life, the rewards will be amazing. Guaranteed!

New Year’s Resolution: Improving Golf Fitness

Whenever a new year approaches, many people look back over the past year and consider what they would like to improve or work toward in the coming months. For a golf athlete, your resolution could be improving your physical performance in order to improve your game. Here is a quick step by step process to get started.

  • Find a professional to work with, ideally someone that is certified with the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) to focus specifically on your golf fitness goals. Our students at the Academy are fortunate to have TPI certified Director of Performance Training, Shawn Mehring to assist in their goals. If you cannot attend the Academy with us, go to http://www.mytpi.com/experts and find a TPI Certified Fitness Trainer.
    1. This fitness trainer will have the availability to complete a Level 1 Mobility Screen. This screening process will take you through every possible movement in relation to a golf swing and find your limitations.
  • With your TPI Trainer, sign up for personal training sessions to improve your limitations.
    1. You do not want to program your own workout. There’s a ton of knowledge and resources a trainer has, especially when it comes to modifying exercises and phases of training, that they will utilize when designing a personalized program.
  • DON’T GIVE UP! Changes do not occur in a week or even two. It may take months for you to improve a limitation. You will excel at some exercises and training elements, but there will also be some that you struggle with. The struggles are the most important part to improving abilities. It lets you know the most important aspects on which to focus. Once you improve the limitations, your golf game will improve dramatically. Your scores may not improve immediately – but your mobility, swing mechanics, posture and overall well-being will change.

The golf fitness world is growing at a very fast rate. There are a lot of certified professionals who specialize in golf fitness. You don’t have to train as a body builder, powerlifter, or crossfitter just to be in shape. Although your program may include those aspects, you will focus a lot on mobility, stability, posture, core activation and power development.

Utilizing these steps and setting small goals to help build to your ultimate goal are a fantastic way to start the new year on the right foot. Getting into better physical shape will not only improve your daily life but also help dramatically on the golf course with added stamina, strength and flexibility.

2018 Assessments and Blueprinting

Assessments and Blueprinting

It is so exciting to enter the new semester here at IJGA. As you may know, our individual coaching program is guided by gathering facts on each player and creating a fact-based road map of improvement. At the start of the first semester we conducted a week long Assessments and Blueprinting study. We have done the same thing at the start of this semester to measure improvement and to provide the current location on the developmental map of each student.

During the Assessment process, the students go through a series of tests using the science and art side of the game. The science side includes TrackMan, 3D, BODITRAK, SAM PuttLab, and video. From this technology we can make an informed choice rather than an opinionated guess as to what the player needs to do. It also has the advantage of allowing us to measure progress. We measure the art side, although this data is less quantitative and more qualitative. We test putting skills, pre-shot routines, shaping shots, different lies, mental awareness as well as hold a two-day tournament. Along with a robust physical screening in the gym, we have a comprehensive approach which encompasses all the skills and disciplines in this complicated game.

Student Assessment Day Video

Students worked tirelessly to have renowned IJGA coaches observe their swing style, mobility, strength and overall golf abilities. This day is essential for coaches to determine where each student’s strengths and weaknesses lie. This data is then collected for the Blueprinting process.

Student Blueprinting Video

The road map we create is called a Blueprint. It is delivered in a round table format by the coaching staff and specialists involved during the testing. Each student has a consultation slot and listens to the evidence as well as the solutions to what they do. It is as enlightening for the students as it is for the coaches, and creates team collaboration which is what makes IJGA so special.

Following the Blueprinting Day, we begin to implement individual Blueprinting plans. We are currently undertaking two weeks of technical training. This where we make the changes and adjustments to gain a more reliable technique that can work under pressure. What follows is a period known as blending, in which we trust the new mechanics and start to use them.

It has been a well planned and well received process so far and we look forward to the continued improvement of our students.

Jonathan Yarwood, Director of Golf

Try This to Improve Your Golf Game

The Best Way to Improve your Golf Game

Retention and Transfer

Over the last 30 years technological improvements within the game of golf have been amazing. We now have golf balls that fly further and straighter with less spin. We have a better physiological understanding of how the golf swing works through 3D analysis. Ground pressure plates such as Swing Catalyst, TrackMan and other launch monitors all play their part in understanding what happens within the swing and the effects the swing has on the golf ball. Combine this with improved aerodynamics of golf balls and the sheer number of options you can choose from to improve is incredible. Matching your swing speed and spin rates gathered from a launch monitor data enables you to choose the most suitable ball.

Over the same 30-year period, the average handicap within the game has hardly improved however. People still quit the game due to its complexity and difficulty, finding that the hours and hours spent on hitting thousands of balls is worthless. For years people have sought new technology that will make everything easy and cause the ball to fly high and straight, and for a brief period their golf game may look a little better, but it then plateaus, and performance falls again. To understand how to improve, you must understand how our brain works and more importantly how our brain retains information and how we can best transfer our skills from the range to the golf course.

We need look at how we practice. Most people have heard of the terms Block Practice and Random Practice. These are both great ways to help improvement, though to gain the most from these you must be very specific in what you are trying to do. Achieving improvement that lasts over a longer time requires a high level of concentration and a task where your performance can be measured and learned from. Learning and being reflective on what you are trying to do is crucial in retaining the information. Your brain will better absorb the information if you consciously reflect on the process. This is a skill that all Tour players are good at as they are searching for information and reasoning behind why they hit a shot.

If, like most people, you find yourself getting frustrated and negatively critical of what you are doing, this will decrease your level of performance. Instead of becoming overly frustrated, accept the situation and challenge yourself to react in a way that will allow you to improve your game. Challenge yourself to accept the shot you have played and gain knowledge from that shot.

In short, be open-minded to mistakes, accept those mistakes and learn from them.

Here is a putting example to put this into practice:

When struggling with distance control in putting, a drill that is both challenging and requires high levels of concentration is a ladder drill. Within this drill there must be a goal that is both challenging and achievable. Depending on your skill level, start with fewer balls and gradually increase the amount of balls.

Start with 5 balls and begin at the 1st orange cone. The challenge is to get all 5 balls within the space between the single white cone and the line of 4 cones.

Each ball must be shorter in distance than the previous ball. Once all the balls lie between the single white cone and line of 4 white cones, you can then increase the amount of balls to make it more challenging.

For each putt you must change your location.

1st Putt = 1st orange cone

2nd Putt = 2nd orange cone

3rd Putt = 3rd orange cone

4th Putt = 1st orange cone

Etc.

If the ball goes longer than the previous ball, start all over again.

This is one of many ways that will help with your performance on the golf course. In the end, it takes patience and perseverance.

Dan Jackson, IJGA Golf Coach

 

Hydration Considerations for Young Golf Athletes

By Karen Harrison, BGGA Director of Health and Athletic Development

Adequate hydration is important for both good health and optimum sports performance. It is well-documented that with sporting activity lasting longer than 40-60 minutes, the consumption of water along with carbohydrates (your primary energy source) is performance enhancing. For a golfer, who potentially spends up to five hours playing a tournament round and countless hours practicing outdoors, ensuring adequate hydration is a MUST. Let’s examine the topic of proper hydration for the young golf athlete in more detail.

Firstly, how is dehydration likely to affect you? The general signs and symptoms of dehydration are easily recognized. In cases of mild dehydration, they may include one or more of the following: headache, fatigue/weakness, dizziness, dry skin/lips, nausea and/or muscle cramps. More severe dehydration can cause vomiting, confusion and agitation, with extreme cases leading to convulsions and unconsciousness.

Playing in the heat and humidity magnifies the importance of maintaining a hydrated state since these factors increase the risk of dehydration and even worse, a dangerous rise in core body temperature (usually referred to as heat exhaustion or heat stroke). In fact, these heat-related illnesses can occur even while exercising in a temperature environment (that’s only mid 60’s °F!). It should be said however, that most healthy children and adolescents can safely participate in activities in warm to hot conditions with suitable preparation and monitoring. Thus, most heat-related illnesses are preventable.

Being aware of the risk factors for dehydration or exertional heat-illnesses is the first step towards prevention. Some of the other risk factors affecting golfers may include insufficient consumption/access to fluids during play, poor fitness, inadequate pre-hydration, little sleep/recovery, illness, clothing (if it leads to excessive heat retention) or two rounds played in one day.

Clearly, the potential for poor fluid management to negatively influence performance is substantial, especially in the heat. Recent studies illustrate that even mild dehydration has been shown to reduce the muscular co-ordination required during sports skills (motor performance), affect mental clarity (focus, alertness, the ability to concentrate, decision making) and alter our perception of fatigue (it all seems harder!). In 2012, Smith and colleagues conducted research demonstrating that mild dehydration negatively affected both swing mechanics and decision-making, including the ability to judge distances, changes in slope and recognize differing shades of green. Ultimately, this led to a reduction in both the distance and accuracy of the golf shots measured.

How to know if you are dehydrated? One of the simplest ways is to assess the color of your urine. Generally, pale yellow (the color of lemonade) is a good indication that you are well-hydrated, and darker than the color of apple juice may indicate dehydration. Secondly, and more accurately, determine your sweat rate and therefore fluid loss during exercise under differing environmental conditions. In practice, measure your weight before and after a period of practice, noting how much fluid is consumed. The total amount of fluid lost and therefore weight lost per hour can be easily calculated, arriving at the amount of fluid lost per hour. Obviously, it will differ between individuals and according to the climatic conditions. Engaging in preparation such as this allows you to develop your own hydration strategy for both the practice setting and under tournament conditions which in turn can improve the quality of your practice and maximize performance. The pros do it!

In a conversation with former LPGA player, Sue Kim (Canada) related how she had a problem with drinking on the course; “I would never drink enough during a tournament. I simply forgot to drink”. Her solution? Kim modified her pre-shot routine. Arriving at the next shot, her routine began with a few sips of water. It helped her to maintain a hydrated state during a round and the action became automatic, ensuring she didn’t forget to drink.

General Advice:

  • As a guide, 13-16 year olds need 1.6-1.9L of total fluid each day (from food and fluids). Exercise will increase this amount.
  • Be prepared – bring adequate water with you to the course/practice range. There may not always be opportunities for purchasing water when you need it (e.g., ninth hole).
  • Be aware, thirst may not be a good indicator of how dehydrated you are.
  • Develop your own customized fluid replacement strategy and evaluate in training first before attempting it during a tournament.

Consuming fluids before exercise

  • Aim to start your practice/tournament in a well-hydrated state – check your urine color (ideally it should be pale yellow).
  • Consume 5-10ml/ kg BW water prior to exercise (i.e., 120 lbs. or 55kg = 275-550ml or 8-16 fluid oz.)
  • Consider including sodium in foods/fluids may be useful as it will help you to retain fluid during exercise.

During Exercise

  • Aim for 0.4-0.8 L of fluid per hour (130-250ml every 20 minutes).
  • Water is the number one choice for fluid replacement in most instances.
  • Consume small volumes of fluid frequently throughout the exercise/round/practice.
  • Avoid over-drinking. A condition called Hyponatremia (low blood sodium level) is the risk of consuming too much water, with symptoms shockingly similar to dehydration.
  • Recommendations are to consume enough fluid to minimize loss of body mass (1-2% loss)
  • There may be a case for sports drinks in certain circumstances when a source of carbohydrates and electrolytes (primarily sodium) are required (e.g., when access to food is limited).
  • Cold drinks may help to reduce core body temperature during exercise in the heat and increase the tendency to consume more fluid. Flavored waters may also increase consumption.
  • Avoid energy drinks at all costs!

Recovery

  • The goal is to drink to 150% of the fluid lost during exercise (based on weight). Yes, more than you lost; this accounts for the obligatory urinary losses.
  • Eat a meal post-practice/tournament – it will provide the carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes (Sodium and Potassium) necessary for recovery.

The optimal strategy for fluid intake for young golfers will vary based on numerous factors including climatic conditions, the opportunity to eat/drink, gastrointestinal comfort and an individual’s own physiology and biochemistry. Thus, consider the hydration recommendations provided and work on developing your own customized hydration strategy for both practice sessions and tournament rounds. It should be considered an essential element of a golf athlete’s preparation.

 

References:

American Academy of Pediatrics (2011). American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement – Climatic heat stress and exercising children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 128, e741. DOI:10.1542/peds.2011-1664

Coaching Association of Canada. Fluids for athletes. Retrieved from http://www.coach.ca/fluids-for-athletes-p154679

Desbrow, B., McCormack, J., Burke, L., Cox, G., Fallon, K., Hislop, M., ……. (2014). Sports Dieticians Australia Position Statement: Sports Nutrition for the Adolescent Athlete. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 24, 570-584.

Maughan, R. (2010). Fluid and carbohydrate intake during exercise. In L. Bourke and V. Deakin (Eds.), Clinical Sports Nutrition 4th Edition (pp. 330-347). Sydney, Australia: McGraw-Hill Education.

Smith, M.F., Newell, A. J. and Baker, M.R. (2012). Effect of acute mild dehydration on cognitive-motor performance in golf. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26(11), 3075-3080.