Format and Rules
At its core, PGA Junior League Golf is a group of local golf teams who play a series of games against each other, utilizing a nurturing and social scramble format. The program is available to boys and girls, 13 and under, of all abilities. PGA and LPGA Professionals exclusively serve as Captains and are responsible for creating a welcoming environment for all that encourages skill and character development.
Registration for your local team or league typically takes place between January and April. The regular season of PGA Junior League Golf occurs between April 1 and July 31st. For those players that advance to the Post-Season of PGA Junior League Golf, those games begin in August.
Depending on the number of teams in your local league, your regular season games can take place at any point between April and July. For information specific to your regular season schedule, please consult with your PGA or LPGA Professional Captain.
A league is made up of local teams within your geographic area, minimizing the distance and amount of time spent commuting between games.
A league will have between four to seven teams and may consist of teams from just one facility or teams from a collection of facilities.
During the course of the regular season, your team will play a game against each team in your league.
A game is played between two teams. Depending on who the home team is, in addition to course scheduling and availability, will determine where the game is played.
During the course of a game, four matches are played by at least two players from each team against each other.
The winner of the game is determined by the total number of points won within all matches.
Friends, family and spectators are encouraged to attend and watch - but not participate or aide - each game!
Two PGA Junior League Golf teams congratulate each other at the conclusion of their game
A scramble is a popular format that encourages teamwork and problem solving. Its nurturing nature creates a fun environment where the negative effect of performance errors is minimized.
Each player will tee off at the beginning of each hole. The team then selects their best shot of the two and then each player plays again from the spot of the selected shot. Repeat this process until the ball is in the hole.
The team with the lowest score wins the hole.
Two players and an alternate play a scramble, while the opposing team waits
Flags are 3-hole segments of each match. Since each match is played over the course of 9 holes, there are three flags per match.
Whichever team wins the most holes within each flag (i.e. 3 holes-to-0 or 2 holes-to-1 hole), wins the corresponding flag.
Each flag won by the team is worth one point. Each tied flag won by the team is worth a half point. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Since there are four matches in each game, and each match is played for a maximum of three points, there are a maximum of 12 points total in each game.
Each PGA Junior League Golf team or league is Captained by a PGA or LPGA Professional!
These golf professionals are uniquely positioned to create an inviting and welcoming environment for all to enjoy the game of golf. They also provide critical instruction to help young participants advance both their golf skill and character development - on and off course.
A PGA Professional Captain celebrates with a young player
A team is a collection of eight to twelve players, boys and girls of any ability, who work together during the course of a game against another team.
Each team is Captained and instructed by a PGA or LPGA Professional and may have the administrative assistance of a parent volunteer/coach to assist in the administration of team business.
A PGA Junior League Golf team celebrates, while their Captain looks on
A match consists of two teammates (or three, with a substitute) competing against a similar grouping from the opposing team in a fun, nurturing scramble format.
The match lasts for nine holes and is broken up into three 3-hole segments called "flags".
Two players from each team compete against each other in a "Match"
Due to PGA Junior League Golf's recreational nature, every player on the team is encouraged to participate.
While each match is only actively played by two players from each team at any given time, the team Captain may substitute an alternate player into the match at the start of any flag.
When the alternate player is not one of the two active players in his or her team's match, they can still play an integral role in the success of their team by reading putts, discussing strategy, tending the flag stick and aiding pace-of-play. At no time should an alternate ever feel left out of the team's efforts!
An alternate, who is actively participating in his team's success, celebrates
While the information above should provide you with a basic understanding of PGA Junior League Golf, it's important to highlight a few of the more detailed rules that make PGA Junior League Golf a welcoming - but fair - competition.
Don't worry if these rules appear too complicated or challenging to understand, you team's PGA or LPGA Professional Captain will walk both players and parents through them as necessary.
Only players may call rules infractions. All rules infractions must be made/declared on the course and ruled upon prior to the start of the next hole.
Shot Progression: both players on each team will tee off on every hole, with the best shot selected and played. Continue this progression until the ball is holed and the hole completed.
Upon reaching the green, the ball selected for play shall always be lifted and placed at the selected ball's mark. No player shall roll or putt his/her ball to the marked location.
During the regular season, a player will be warned for improper movement of a ball on the green. Subsequent violates by the team in that match will result in a 1-stroke penalty.
Any intentional improper movement of a ball on the green to gain advantage will result in a 1-stroke penalty.
Preferred Lies: players shall have the right to lift, clean and place their ball before each shot. There is never a penalty for inadvertently moving a ball in PGA Junior League Golf, with the exception of rule 1a.
Upon selecting the shot to be played, players shall mark the ball and then place the ball within one club-length of the mark, no closer to the hole, to play their next shots. A ball may be moved from the rough to the fairway if it is within the one-club distance. However, a ball may never be moved out of a sand bunker or on to the green.
No play is allowed from a marked hazard. No ball within a marked hazard can be played from within the hazard. Relief must be taken, with a 1-stroke penalty, if that ball is chosen to be played. Sand bunkers are not marked hazards.
Out of bounds is played as a lateral hazard during PGA Junior League Golf regular season games.
Stroke Maximum: Triple Bogey is the stroke maximum on a hole. No hole in PGA Junior League Golf can be won with a triple bogey. Any team failing to finish the hole after reaching 2-strokes over par should pick-up. If both teams are forced to pick-up, then the hole is halved.
Coaches may only help players with match strategy after a hole is completed and before the tee shots on the following hole. No technical advice may be given to players at any time during play.
Players shall walk during their matches and may either carry their bags or use pull-carts where allowed. In cases of long distances between greens and tees, it is permissible for Coaches and/or scorekeepers to shuttle players to the next tee. An alternate player's bag may be carried on the scorekeeper's cart, until that Player enters the match.
The maximum penalty for any rules infraction in PGA Junior League Golf is one stroke.