How is the pathway structured? And why is it structured the way it is?
Our major goal for the tour is to create opportunity for the girls at all phases in the developmental process. One of the big gaps that we saw in junior girls development is that the one size fits all structure for girls fields in the typical coed environment. Too often, the girls get marginalized by operators sticking all the girls – no matter their age – at one yardage, usually at a shorter yardage to accommodate the perceived weakest/slowest players. The impact is a race to the bottom as far as structure goes as necessity to have a ranked field of girls creates a structure that does not serve all the players best interest.
For the PKBGT, we wanted the girls to be in a position to have success but also to be pushed with their ultimate goal of playing college golf.
Our system not only factors in their age, but factors in their skill level through that using yardage based divisions. The yardages in our developmental pathway gradually increase and that’s for two main reasons:
- Give players the ability to test themselves as they continue to push back to near 6,000 yards which is the standard for collegiate golf.
- Putting them in an environment to have success, compete and test their skills in all facets of the game.
Divisions Structure, It’s Competition & Social
We have age floors in our divisions. We feel that it is very important to start at a certain age because it is also a social component. We want the girls to be around girls like them, to make friends and compete in that environment.
By doing the pathway this way, we are able to create stepping stones at the different phases in the pathway so that players can earn exemptions into higher tournaments and develop a ranking along the way.
Regional and National Series
The tour is set up along this pathway in our Regional and National Series. When players join our membership, they can choose between those two options – Regional and National membership.
If you join in any of our regional areas, you can play within the entire PKBGT schedule. For example, if you join in the Middle Atlantic, it still gives you the ability to go play in our Florida Series with no additional fees.
The Regional Series is our group of local tournaments. They are typically 1 or 2 day tournaments trying to give players local tournaments to play to keep costs lower with travel. Players still get that yardage they need at the regional level to continue their development in the following divisions:
Each region has a point series where there is a competition for our Storie Apparel Order of Merit Champions within each region. Players that excel in these lists will ultimately be invited to special tournaments like our Tournament of Champions, Linville Cup and our Regional Invitational.
The main focus at the regional level is development. Being that tournaments less than 36 holes are not nationally ranked, it is not about ranking development. It is about player development.
The regional level is about players learning how to score and learning how to win. As they are getting better at developing, they learn the skills they need to succeed. We feel that it is better to go through these developmental stages at the regional level instead of doing it on the bigger stage at the national level.
As players are progressing out of our Regional Series, that brings us to our National Series.
The National Series schedule is comprised of 40 tournaments, including some of the top ranked events in the country. Tournaments are contested over 36 or 54 holes.
We have multiple divisions within the pathway at our National Series events. Players compete from 5,200 yards all the way to 6,200 yards within our different divisions.
These are the environments where the players will have the opportunity to be seen, develop a ranking and to compete at the highest levels against other players that may be looking at other college golf opportunities.
At the National Series level, players become “Tournament Tested”. This the environment where the focus is on the end result and the understanding of what it takes to play at the next level.
There are 4 classifications that we have on the tour where players go from a developmental player all the way up to a college player.
Class 4 – Discovery Division
- 1,800 yards, 9 hole division
- 9 – 12 years old who are looking for a competitive environment
- Exclusively in our Regional Series
Class 3 – Futures Division
- 5,000 – 5,400 yards
- Players in their 12 year old year all the way to senior in high school
- This is the default division for all players
- Turn 12 by September 30th of the season to be considered Futures eligible
- Available at the Regional Series and National Series level
This division gives great exposure to learning how to compete and developing your on course skills. At our national level, the futures division are nationally ranked tournaments.
Class 2 – Prep Preview, Prep Regional and Futures National
- 5,400 – 5,800 yards
- Available at the Regional Series and National Series level
At the Class 2 level, players are getting access and competition at those transition yardages. Players are not having to make the jump from 5,200 yards to 6,000 yards.
Players are being judged by score in rankings and by colleges. This division gives players an opportunity to post those lower scores as they work on transitioning to the longer yardage. Players want to continue to put up quality scores as they continue to make their way through their development.
Class 1 – Bell National, Prep Preview and Prep Regional
- 5,800 – 6,200 yards
- Highest level of competition
- Offered at the Regional Series level with Prep Division.
- Offered in the National Series level with the Bell National division and the Prep Preview division. Class 1 players have access to both divisions
In the National Series, players can compete in the Prep Preview and the Bell National divisions. These tournaments emulate a college tournament yardage and setup.
Class 1 players also have access to regional events. These tournaments are not nationally ranked at the regional level which gives players an opportunity to work on their game in a competitive environment, but not a nationally ranked environment. If a player is working on a swing change or looking to post some scores after an injury, this is a great environment to get more rounds in.
When is it the right time for my daughter to move up a division?
Move up to the middle.
If you are evaluating whether it is time to go to the next level, you want to think about it as “if I move my daughter up, is she going to finish in the middle of the pack or is she going to finish at the bottom of the field?”
If she is going to be at the bottom of the field, it may not be the right time. That means she not able to score at the level that is comparable to the players that are playing at that level. Poor scores and poor results are just indicative that a player is not ready for the move up.
Things to also consider:
- If your player is a young player and doesn’t hit the ball as far, you may want to be conservative in how quickly you move up the pathway.
- If your player doesn’t have the yardage off the tee to handle the longer course, you may want to consider a slower transition.
For more information about our developmental pathway and what is best for your player, give us a call at 336.347.8537 or email me at email@example.com.