IDGC Welcomes Youth Disc Golfers This Weekend
With school back in session, and our youth getting back in the routine of participating in their weekly sporting events and practices, we are all reminded of our goal to one day see disc golf represented in schools as recognized teams to the likes of sports such as lacrosse, swimming, and traditional golf. How many of us can say, “If my high school would have offered disc golf as an option, I would have been wearing that jersey?” It is safe to assume at least some of you reading this article just raised your hand.
Over the past several years, the PDGA has embraced this goal, and has been working along with some of our outstanding volunteers such as this year’s PDGA/EDGE Award recipient Steve Lambert #1906 to see the growth of disc golfers in this demographic continue to excel. Thanks to our outstanding volunteer member base who have helped the PDGA push for a growing number of Junior disc golfers, the number of our Junior PDGA Memberships has grown from 1,075 members at the end of 2013 to 1,580 Junior PDGA Memberships at the end of 2014, and continued to expand to 1,981 Junior PDGA Memberships at the end of 2015. This represents an astounding 84.2% growth in just two short years!
To aid in complementing this growth, the PDGA announced a policy change to offer four additional divisions for juniors starting in 2016 to now offer 12 junior divisions. This change has been successful to date in bringing us closer to the age breaks seen in other sporting organizations such as AYSO soccer.
With the number of junior disc golfers on the course growing, and the division structure improving, one of the next major goals lies in creating more opportunities for them to compete in a competitive format. This does not just entail more disc golf events, but rather more Junior Only disc golf events to allow the spotlight to truly shine on our Junior Champions. In an effort to realize this goal, the International Disc Golf Center located in Appling, GA created the Southeast Junior Championships in 2014. Now approaching its third year, we aim to keep this event running for many years to come, and eventually aspire to see it develop in to a full field of participants.
This year’s Southeast Junior Championships will be taking place this Saturday, September 17th. All junior divisions are being offered, with all participants scheduled to enjoy a full round on the “Steady” Ed Headrick Memorial Course from the short tees followed by a Final 9 on the front half of the Jim Warner Memorial Course. If you or someone you know are interested in participating in this event, please feel free to follow our registration link on Disc Golf Scene for more information. If you are interested in learning more about how you can start your own Juniors Only disc golf event, please feel free to reach out to IDGC Manager, Zach Shafer, at [email protected], Zach is always happy to help!
With the continued effort of our PDGA members and staff, we are hopeful to see the number of youth disc golfers continue to see exponential growth.
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