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To play AJGA or Not play AJGA


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I know this has been discussed many times here but now with a new season beginning I'd like to get some new thoughts. How important is it to play AJGA? We're based in Vegas right now and we have Toyota Tour Cup events not too far away in CA. If you have access to a top notch tour like Toyota Tour Cup, is it necessary to chase the AJGA? Would love to here thoughts? Especially from those who have class of 2022 and 2023 kids/families who gone through the recruiting process already. 

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It is too late for male or female 2022 to chase AJGA. 

 

If they haven't played AJGA to this point and are a 2023 I wouldn't chase them.  If a qualifier was near I would try to get in going that route.  I certainly wouldn't travel more than 3 hours chasing it though.

 

A female really doesn't need AJGA at all regardless of class.

 

That Cali Tour, like the FJT in Florida is top notch.  I would also look at things like Future Master's, Western Junior, Pinehurst North/South type of events.

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10 hours ago, heavy_hitter said:

I will add, since apparently I can't read well, if you are younger than 2023 I would apply to all the California AJGA events since they are close.  That is if they are a male.  I will always stand by my statement that AJGA is useless for a girl.

Disagree.  Most high level D1 girls will play AJGA.  

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10 hours ago, Jkhogbear said:

Disagree.  Most high level D1 girls will play AJGA.  

You are correct.  High level is the top 1% to 5%.  For everyone else it doesn’t matter, it is useless.  Those top girls also don’t need AJGA to play top level D1.  They were playing other tours when they started to get recruited.  Fell into AJGA late sophomore to early junior years.  Went through the process with my daughter.  Will continue to stand by the statement along with others that have been through the process.  AJGA for girls is completely useless.

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13 hours ago, kekoa said:

Where does your son want to go to school?  If he wants to go to a local college then I think TTC will be fine for him.  Maybe just play a few of the AJGA's that are local- palm springs, etc.  

 

I'm saying this after speaking with the college coaches at UCLA, USC, and USD.  

He's looking into schools in the South maybe Texas. UNLV top of his list too. Can you elaborate on what input you got from those coaches? Do they tend to recruit more locally? 

 

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3 hours ago, heavy_hitter said:

You are correct.  High level is the top 1% to 5%.  For everyone else it doesn’t matter, it is useless.  Those top girls also don’t need AJGA to play top level D1.  They were playing other tours when they started to get recruited.  Fell into AJGA late sophomore to early junior years.  Went through the process with my daughter.  Will continue to stand by the statement along with others that have been through the process.  AJGA for girls is completely useless.

I can assure you it’s not “completely useless”.   After a good finish at an AJGA we got multiple calls from schools that had little interest before.   It was significant. 

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I will 2nd Jkhogbear's assertion that AJGA is definitely not "completely useless" for girls. Depending on how strong the local tournaments are (whether it's junior PGA, state golf association, or other tours), AJGA has value to show college coaches that your junior can compete well at college.  For us, there is a big difference between the local 2 day PGA junior tournaments versus a 3 day AJGA event.  Shooting good scores at 6,000+ yards over 3 days versus 2 days at 5,600 yards is more indicative of how their golf game will translate to college.  It would be great if there were more local and less expensive tournaments that qualify for JGS that had long enough yardages - I'm guessing that is simply not the case for most regions outside CA/TX/FL/NC/GA/AZ.  For us, just one summer of AJGA tournaments with decent results has made a big difference for recruitment.


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12 hours ago, jkpgolf said:

He's looking into schools in the South maybe Texas. UNLV top of his list too. Can you elaborate on what input you got from those coaches? Do they tend to recruit more locally? 

 

 

That is what they were saying.  Basically play high level tournament golf in areas your kid wants to go to school.  For D1 schools in Socal, TTC is enough.  If he wants to go to school elsewhere then state ams and AJGA may be a good option to get on a particular coaches radar.   

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On 1/23/2022 at 9:37 AM, heavy_hitter said:

You are correct.  High level is the top 1% to 5%.  For everyone else it doesn’t matter, it is useless.  Those top girls also don’t need AJGA to play top level D1.  They were playing other tours when they started to get recruited.  Fell into AJGA late sophomore to early junior years.  Went through the process with my daughter.  Will continue to stand by the statement along with others that have been through the process.  AJGA for girls is completely useless.

100% agree.  Daughter has been emailed and called by more Div 2 coaches at this point than my son at any point. She isn't even trying to get recruited (TBH).

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18 hours ago, rlee323 said:

 

I will 2nd Jkhogbear's assertion that AJGA is definitely not "completely useless" for girls. Depending on how strong the local tournaments are (whether it's junior PGA, state golf association, or other tours), AJGA has value to show college coaches that your junior can compete well at college.  For us, there is a big difference between the local 2 day PGA junior tournaments versus a 3 day AJGA event.  Shooting good scores at 6,000+ yards over 3 days versus 2 days at 5,600 yards is more indicative of how their golf game will translate to college.  It would be great if there were more local and less expensive tournaments that qualify for JGS that had long enough yardages - I'm guessing that is simply not the case for most regions outside CA/TX/FL/NC/GA/AZ.  For us, just one summer of AJGA tournaments with decent results has made a big difference for recruitment.

 

Let me clarify.  There are other tournaments out there for girls that can do the same thing without having to play the Star Game.  Kathy Whitworth, Bubba Conlee, North South, Publix/Doral, USGA Girls, USGA Am, Southern AM and Jr., Western Am an Jr., etc. where there are more college coaches actually attending and you don't have to play the AJGA Star game.  AJGA for girls is simply not needed to play Big Time or Not D1 collegiate golf.

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Have learned a lot from this board (hat tip to heavy_hitter) and am still learning.  IMHO, for jkpgolf or other golf parents, as long as there are enough local multi day events (regardless of who puts them on - local pga, state, HJGT, IJGT, AJGA etc.) that are played at sufficient yardage, that is really what matters - I'm all for getting the best value for tournament $ spent, always prefer driving over flying.  For these other tournaments mentioned by heavy_hitter - (Kathy Whitworth, Bubba Conlee, North South, Publix/Doral, USGA Girls, USGA Am, Southern AM and Jr., Western Am an Jr), these could require more $ because of travel costs versus local AJGAs and they also require you to qualify. My view is that for college coaches, AJGA performance is just an easy metric to use - the tournaments are 54 holes and have sufficient length/difficulty and mimic what a college tournament would be like.  I don't have any other local option other than AJGA that provides a 54 hole tournament at the same length/difficulty. Those of you located in CA/TX/FL/NC/GA/AZ have more options.

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19 hours ago, Jkhogbear said:

Well, I just looked at the girls top 50 on junior golf scoreboard which is wear most D1 talent is coming from.   99 percent of them have significant AJGA experience.     I can tell you first hand from our experience that it helped significantly.  

 

The top are going to be at the top regardless of playing AJGA or not.  If you have the option to play it, then play it.  It isn't needed to play to play D1 golf for girls no matter how you try to spin it.  I am sure it has helped people, but it isn't an end all be all tour to play in for girls.

 

Here is the kicker.  If I had to guess, again just guessing, 40% of female D1 and D2 collegiate golfers are international players.  None of them played AJGA.

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1 hour ago, Jkhogbear said:

Not trying to spin it.  Just the facts.  Not sure why you wouldn’t want to play with the best if you can.  I don’t get it.    A PGA tour player would still be good if he played some other random mini tour so not sure what your point is.   

 

Why chase AJGA Stars if you can play D1 golf without doing it?  Those "Best Players" aren't paying to play in those invite AJGA tournaments.  Chasing Stars is $1000.00+ weekend unless you fly then it is more.  

 

You are right, you don't get it.  In Florida, Texas, and California you can play fields every week just as good as any AJGA open.  When you divide states into regions, you can also play on tours where the girls fields are just as good.

 

I am sure AJGA has helped some girls, but is it "needed"?  Nope.  It is more a desire because of parents like you.  If you pick the right events over the Spring to Summer AJGA is unneeded.  The most coaches I have ever seen at any event was the USGA Girl's Junior followed by the North/South.  If a Girls performs, it doesn't matter what they play in.  

 

To add to it, the bulk of D1 recruits at the better colleges are all coming from over seas. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by heavy_hitter
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Can AJGA help someone get recruited?

Yes of course. So do all high level tours.

 

Is it needed for you to get recruited by elite D1 programs?

No, go scroll the SEC/Big 12/ACC/Pac 12/Big 10 etc. rosters and you will see plenty of names of kids who did not have significant AJGA experience. If you have high level tours (California, FJGT, SJGT, the list goes on and on) in your area and you are doing well on those you can and will get noticed.

 

There is a false equivalency of AJGA helping recruiting to being a necessity to get recruited. This is not a college basketball AAU correlation. There are way more options than just AJGA. 

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4 hours ago, heavy_hitter said:

 

Why chase AJGA Stars if you can play D1 golf without doing it?  Those "Best Players" aren't paying to play in those invite AJGA tournaments.  Chasing Stars is $1000.00+ weekend unless you fly then it is more.  

 

You are right, you don't get it.  In Florida, Texas, and California you can play fields every week just as good as any AJGA open.  When you divide states into regions, you can also play on tours where the girls fields are just as good.

 

I am sure AJGA has helped some girls, but is it "needed"?  Nope.  It is more a desire because of parents like you.  If you pick the right events over the Spring to Summer AJGA is unneeded.  The most coaches I have ever seen at any event was the USGA Girl's Junior followed by the North/South.  If a Girls performs, it doesn't matter what they play in.  

 

To add to it, the bulk of D1 recruits at the better colleges are all coming from over seas. 

 

 

 

 

Yeah I don’t get it.  I’ve been to nearly every event you have mentioned.  AJGA has helped us a ton.  Coaches personally have said that.   Agree 100 percent on the US junior amateur though.    We never “chased stars” and our expenses were similar to other other events.  Hotel cost the same wherever you go and we drove to almost all AJGAs so if you had to choose I would easily pick an AJGA.    As to costs, one AJGA invitational we did cost $350 with a $200 travel stipend.  They had 6 meals there included and four rounds of golf.   Not to mention 2 dozen balls and two shirts etc.  

Edited by Jkhogbear
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16 hours ago, BloctonGolf11 said:

Can AJGA help someone get recruited?

Yes of course. So do all high level tours.

 

Is it needed for you to get recruited by elite D1 programs?

No, go scroll the SEC/Big 12/ACC/Pac 12/Big 10 etc. rosters and you will see plenty of names of kids who did not have significant AJGA experience. If you have high level tours (California, FJGT, SJGT, the list goes on and on) in your area and you are doing well on those you can and will get noticed.

 

There is a false equivalency of AJGA helping recruiting to being a necessity to get recruited. This is not a college basketball AAU correlation. There are way more options than just AJGA. 

 

 

home run mets GIF by SNY

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If they are class of 2022, might be too late for AJGA to make a difference.  If 2023, could make a difference.  NCSA is a good place to establish a recruiting portfolio online.  I would also have my kid trying for the adult tournaments like the state ams and such.  My son wasn't much on the radar until as a junior in high school, he qualified for the men's state am and finished in the top 20. Suddenly, the emails and phone calls began.  College coaches galore attend events like this looking for the top high school kids that played their way in.  

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Here is what I am seeing. Some parents care way too much about AJGA stars and go all out trying to get them. They then go out and play AJGA events after they accumulate them and burn through them in a couple of months.  So they have to go back to chasing stars again.

 

A lot these kids and girls in particular are great DII candidates but can't compete at longer yardages or the harder courses. They are probably better off playing events and focusing on DII chances.

 

The girls who are best served by AJGA are the ones who can drive over 250 yards hit the green in two and make a decent number of birdies a round.   If a girl can do this then I would expect they will have no problem qualifying and getting exemptions to play with minimal costs and will be one the better players in the country by the time they graduate.

 

I know a few girls who played a lot US kids and even were successful with regional events to this day but they can't drive more than 210 yards.  These kids are going to have a hard time competing and winning AJGA events. There better off playing non AJGA events that are little shorter and looking at top DII schools.

 

 

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Here's the information from a couple of fall tournaments for women's college golf - note the difference in length between D1 versus D3.  If you're looking at D1 for your junior golfer, hopefully you can find enough local multi-day tournaments that are played at sufficient length/difficulty.  Again, many US states don't have enough golf tournaments for junior girls that are played at sufficient length.  You can have a good JGS ranking by racking up great scores locally at low 5k yard multiday tournaments but (smarter) D1 coaches will want to see how you score at longer yardages - for some of us, AJGA is the only tournament sponsor that offers that opportunity within driving distance.

 

D1 - Belmar Golf Club - Schooner Fall Classic 2021 - Par 70 - 6112 Yards

D3 - Baytowne Golf Club - 2021 Golfweek D3 Fall Invite - Par 72 - 5603 Yards

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  • 2 weeks later...

My son used most of his stars last year so if we renew this year, he will only have 6.  Stars are not plentiful in our area so not sure if it is even worth playing AJGA this summer.  I hate to pay the membership fee just to play in a couple qualifiers.  I am also tired of playing in tournaments for the sole purpose of earning stars.

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11 hours ago, Noles said:

My son used most of his stars last year so if we renew this year, he will only have 6.  Stars are not plentiful in our area so not sure if it is even worth playing AJGA this summer.  I hate to pay the membership fee just to play in a couple qualifiers.  I am also tired of playing in tournaments for the sole purpose of earning stars.


i remember hearing you don’t have to be a member to play qualifiers.   Not sure how you sign up though. However if you do  qualify and want to play in the tournament you will have pay the tournament fee and membership right away.


I wish i knew that a few years ago.  Really no need to sign up for ajga if your 12 or 13. Low chance of playing anything or winning at that age.


A lot parents would save themselves a lot money and pain if they played tours that play the same courses that ajga plays.

 

I know HJGT plays everywhere that AJGA plays in florida and a few other states.  There not the only ones either.

 

if your kid goes out shoots a 85 on that course chances are it’s going to even worse with AJGA.  At the same time if you shoot 69 maybe you better look into playing ajga events. 
 

 

The truth is stars are just a waste of time chasing. All you need to do is do a qualifier and qualify and then place top 3 to be exempt.  Even if you don’t go exempt but score good and place well you will gain a ton of stars. 
 

Edited by tiger1873
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23 minutes ago, tiger1873 said:

The truth is stars are just a waste of time chasing. All you need to do is do a qualifier and qualify and then place top 3 to be exempt.  Even if you don’t go exempt but score good and place well you will gain a ton of stars. 

This is accurate.  Look at some of the March AJGA applications.  There are more exempt players that have applied than there are spots.  You are going to have kids with 80-90 stars not get in and even a lot of fully exempt players will be left out.  But if you play in the qualifier they give around 6 spots which is very reasonable. Chasing stars is very difficult especially when most regional tournaments give about 2-4 stars for winning.  Wining is hard on some of the regional tours. 

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