Junior Programs Move Under One Roof – PGA REACH WNY
“Expected to impact close to 1400 Juniors”

East Amherst, NY –  The mission of the PGA REACH WNY, the charitable arm of the Western NY Section, PGA, is to Positively Impact Lives Through the Game of Golf.  Under the founding “Youth Pillar” WNYPGA Professionals strive to provide playing opportunities for the advanced, intermediate and beginning golfer. These opportunities promote competition and camaraderie between players – ultimately creating lifelong friendships.

This past offseason, both the Western New York Section and PGA REACH WNY Foundation leadership voted to bring all WNYPGA Junior initiatives under the PGA REACH WNY Foundation brand. The reason for this change is both to create less confusion for juniors and parents, and ensure that PGA Professionals are making the greatest impact possible when it comes to growing the game of golf.  With this change, PGA REACH WNY is expected to conduct junior programs for close to 1400 juniors in 2020, based on recent growth numbers.

“We are extremely excited for this re-branding of WNYPGA Junior Programs. The goal is to ultimately provide opportunities for kids of all ages, skills, demographics and financial means.  Our Youth Pillar will go from conducting events for 550 kids 13 & under, to conducting events for close to 1400 kids ages 7-24. Now that all programs are under our 501c3 arm, we see a long-term opportunity to create scholarships for kids who may not be able to enjoy the game of golf due to financial barriers,” said WNYPGA/PGAREACH WNY Executive Director Steven Bartkowski.

A complete list of each of the programs can be found below.

Drive, Chip and Putt is a FREE program hosted by PGA Professionals, open to boys and girls ages 7-15. Each participant will compete in all three skills (Drive, Chip & Putt) with the opportunity to advance to the National finals that are held in conjunction with The Masters at Augusta National.

PGA Junior League is a game-changing opportunity for boys and girls to learn and play golf with expert coaching from certified PGA Professional coaches. The program brings family and friends together around fun, team golf experiences similar to a structure of little league baseball.   Each player gets home and away jerseys with numbers as they travel across the state competing against other facilities. PGA Jr. League is open to both boys and girls, 13 and under, of all abilities.

The WNYPGA Junior Golf Tour provides an opportunity and atmosphere for juniors to enjoy the camaraderie, friendship, and sportsmanship of competitive golf at a series of premier venues throughout the Western New York Section of the PGA of America.  The Tour is open to boys and girls ages 10-18 with all different divisions and skill levels available.  For the first time ever, the Tour will be providing opportunity for its members to compete in 36-hole nationally ranked events that are included in the onetime membership fee.  The Tour is ideal for both those just starting out playing 9-holes or who are looking to get noticed by college coaches.

The Fore Tour Junior Series is NEW in 2020 and provides a regional affordable competitive 36 Hole Event opportunity for juniors. These events will be held at premier venues throughout the Western NY, Central NY, North East and Tri State PGA Sections of the PGA of America. The Fore Tour Junior Series is open to all Juniors ages 13 to 18.  This is a great opportunity for those higher-level juniors to compete on a regional scale against some of the best competition across two states.  Local PGA Professionals and Sections wanted to also ensure that the cost of the events did not hinder anyone who wishes to compete.  The hope is that this will be an additional more affordable option than many other third-party tours.

The College Series is available to Men and Women who are at least 18 years old to 25 years old. They must also be currently enrolled in post-secondary education.  This tour, that started in 2019, is an opportunity for both college golfers to keep their games sharp while home from school and non-college golfers have a structured league to continue to play competitively with their friends.

To learn more about the many opportunities provided by PGA Professionals through the PGA REACH WNY Foundation please contact Director of Junior Golf and Player Development Operations, Bob Ashley, at 716-707-3818 or bashley@pgahq.com.

About the Western New York PGA: The WNYPGA is one of the 41 geographic sections under the umbrella of the PGA of America.  The Section was established in 1925 and represents 275 PGA Professionals and Apprentices and over 100 golf facilities across Rochester, Buffalo and Erie, PA.  The Mission of the PGA is to Grow the Game of Golf today, tomorrow, and into the future.

About PGA REACH WNY Foundation:  PGA REACH WNY was created by our Section PGA Professionals with a goal of providing support to various organizations within the boundaries of the Western New York PGA Section.  Through the game of golf, the Foundation continues to work to fund programs supporting its mission including the Western New York Section PGA Junior Golf initiatives and various other underprivileged youth golf programs. The Foundation will conduct and/or support a variety of initiatives that serve the founding pillars:  Youth, Military, and Diversity in golf.