Since April 2003, Loudoun Junior Golf Association has introduced the game of golf to hundreds of junior golfers. Along the way, the junior golfers have been instilled with a respect for the rules, etiquette, and the Spirit of the Game that will serve them well in life.
The LJGA program includes tournaments and clinics taught by PGA Professionals. The clinics teach players the Rules of Golf, how to get around the golf course, putting, chipping, and hitting irons and woods. Clinics begin about a month prior to tournament play. Competitive tournaments at some of our finest local golf courses are held for each division with the final tournament being the division championship. At the end of the season, a fabulous banquet is held that is great fun for the whole family and includes the presentation of division championship trophies and an awesome raffle. The costs of the clinics, tournaments, awards, and banquet are include in the players’ registration fee.
After registration, your first step is an assessment clinic held in late April during which players hit putts, chips, and few full shots. Based on their assessment and age, they are placed into one of five divisions listed below. Any player who played last year and wishing to remain in the same division my skip the assessment clinic. Players new to the LJGA and returning players wishing to move up to a higher division must go through the assessment.
After assessments, players are assigned to one of these Divisions – Aces, Par, Birdie, Eagle, or Masters. Within each Division, players are placed in flights to ensure they compete directly against players shooting similar scores. In a typical tournament, a player competes against approximately 25 other players. Medals are awarded for players coming in first, second, and third place at each tournament. The flights are adjusted after the second and fourth tournaments to ensure players are correctly placed. The format of each Division is given below. In all Divisions, players walk the course and carry their clubs. Pull carts are allowed provided the course allows the use of them.
Parents are allowed to follow players around the course, but are not to speak to the players during the play of a hole. Parents must stay off the fairways and greens at all times. Parents may rent carts to follow players and may use the carts to move players from green to next tee. Parents may not caddie, but may assist in searching for lost balls. All parents should make themselves aware of USGA Rule 8-1 regarding giving and receiving advice.
The Aces Division is intended for true beginners. Clinics and tournaments in this Division are geared toward teaching players the basics of how to get around a golf course with regard to the Rules of Golf, course etiquette, and the fundamentals of playing golf in a tournament setting. Play is conducted on the Sterling Park Golf course using forward tees and a format designed to provide a positive playing experience for beginners. Players receive five clinics conducted by PGA professionals and play in six tournaments under league supervision. Prior to each tournament, additional mini-clinics on rules and fundamentals are conducted by league officials.
The Par Division is designed for younger players with some experience, but still needing assistance learning the game. Clinics and tournaments emphasize the basics of the Rules of Golf, course etiquette, and the fundamentals of the golf swing. The Par players are taught how to play tournament golf by playing nine-hole tournaments on courses that are easy to walk such as Brambleton, Algonkian, West Park, Goose Creek, and South Riding.
The Par Division uses a forward tee with tees set at 75-90 yards on Par 3s, 180-220 yards on Par 4s, and 250-300 yards on Par 5s. Players receive five clinics conducted by PGA professionals and play in six tournaments under league supervision. Prior to each tournament, additional mini-clinics on rules and fundamentals are conducted by league officials. Par is typically our largest Division and tournaments may be conducted on multiple courses.
The Birdie Division is designed for players with experience, but not quite ready to play the full length of a golf course. All players in the Birdie Division play from the red tees and are flighted initially based on their assessment and prior LJGA play. Once the season is underway Birdie players are re-flighted base on their tournament scores. The re-flighting typically takes place after the second and fourth tournament. This is a deviation from prior years where the Birdie Division played forward tees and Double Birdie played red tees. Starting in 2014, all players in Birdie play from the red tees. Any player wishing to play forward tees will be placed into the Par Division.
All Birdie Division clinics and tournaments emphasize the basics of the Rules of Golf, course etiquette, and the fundamentals of the golf swing. Birdie Players are taught to play tournament golf by playing nine-hole tournaments on various golf courses offering a variety of challenges. Courses used in this division are set up with age and skill appropriate lengths. Players receive five clinics conducted by PGA professionals and play in six tournaments under league supervision.
The Eagle Division is designed for players with playing experience, able to play the full length of a golf course, and wanting to take their game to the next level. It is intended for players planning to play in High School or in competitive tournament golf. All play in the Eagle Division is conducted from the white tees from near High School distances. This is a deviation from prior years where Eagle played red tees and Double Eagle played white tees. Starting in 2014, all players in Eagle will play white tees with girls playing red tees. Any Eagle players wishing to continue playing the red tees will be placed in Birdie.
Players are initially placed into flights based on their assessment, prior LJGA tournament scores. Once the season is underway, players are re-flighted based on their tournament scores typically after the second and fourth tournaments.
Eagle clinics and tournaments emphasize the basics of the Rules of Golf, course etiquette, and the building of a solid and repeatable golf swing. Players compete through nine-hole tournaments on golf courses requiring advanced skill and ability. Players receive a rules and etiquette clinic, a one hour video lesson, and play in six tournaments under league supervision.
The Masters Division is for players competing at the High School level or in tournaments at the regional, state, or national level. Players in Masters should be at least 15 years of age and have not reached their 19th birthday before September 30 of the season year. Players younger than 15 may compete in Masters provided they have demonstrated playing ability. As golfers, players in Masters should play to an 18 handicap or better.
All players registering to play in Masters must participate in an eighteen-hole qualifying round in order to be placed. Any player returning to Masters from the previous season with a scoring average in the previous season of 89 or below is exempt from the qualifying round. All new players and players not meeting the scoring requirement must attend the Masters Qualifier. Players needing to qualify will be informed by email.
For the 2016 season, the Masters Qualifier will be played on April 17 at Raspberry Falls. Tee times will be assigned and published on the LJGA web site. Players shooting 89 or below in the qualifier will be placed in the Master 18 Hole flights. Players shooting 90 – 105 will be placed in the Masters 9 Hole flight. Any player shooting above 105, will be place in the Eagle Division. Once tournament play begins, players in the 9 Hole flight shooting two consecutive rounds of 45 or better will be promoted to the 18 Hole flights.
Masters players compete in five eighteen-hole tournaments or five nine-hole tournaments conducted on Sunday afternoons on golf courses requiring advanced skill and ability. Clinics and tournaments emphasize the Rules of Golf, on course etiquette, and the building of a solid and repeatable golf swing. All players compete from tees and course set ups consistent with those of High School matches – depending on the course, this may be either the white or blue tees. Girls play from the Red tees. Each player receives a rules and etiquette clinic, a one hour video lesson conducted by a PGA professional, and play in five tournaments under league supervision. All play in the Masters Division is scheduled to complete prior to the start of the High School golf season.