Pictured are players and families from Derrick Payne's PGA Jr. League program at Palmetto Golf Course in 2018.
Derrick Payne, PGA, is the PGA Jr. League Captain at Palmetto Golf Course in Miami, Florida.
I am lucky enough to have great PGA Jr. League parents who are always asking me the same question… “How can we help?” Our (inaugural) 2018 PGA Jr. League season went so well that EVERY ONE of the 36 participants returned this year, along with 33 more of their soon-to-be friends. Managing 69 PGA Jr. League players at one facility should seem like a daunting task, but with the help of our wonderful parents and families, it’s going to be a BLAST!
If you’re looking to get involved and volunteer with your child’s PGA Jr. League teams, here are a few options to consider that have worked well for us:
Fortune favors the prepared! Our best and brightest ideas came from brainstorming sessions in the offseason. I floated, half joking, the goal of doubling participation this year at our first meeting in September. That “joke” was turned into reality through hard work and ideas hashed out during subsequent gatherings.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites are great, but the most useful tool for our teams has been our upload/download photo sharing site. You can find one that is free where you set up a private group allowing all parents and family members to take their own pictures and upload them for all teammates to see. Our 2018 league had over 1,500 pictures from 36 users. Some have even been used in PGA Jr. League national marketing campaigns!
This can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like, but the most important thing to remember is make it fun! Create a slide show from all the pictures collected through your photo sharing site. Organize a silent auction to cover the costs of your event. Have a swap meet where the clubs and clothes your child has grown out of can be used by another teammate. Be creative, and make sure the teams get together again! It’s a celebration of all the memories and friendships made, so send it off with a bang.
I use the words “we” and “us” constantly, because nothing that I do is possible without the tireless help of engaged, focused parents. I am a teaching Professional, with a full-time lesson book of students both young and old. PGA Jr League is not my primary job, but with the help of our parents, it’s without a doubt the most fulfilling and impactful one. On behalf of myself, my coaches, and our Palmetto PGA Jr. League players… thank you to our parents and families!