The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) has announced a revised 2020 schedule and new health and safety guidelines for a summer schedule featuring seven events per week and an unprecedented, equally packed fall schedule.
The AJGA will use a plan developed by using recommendations from global health agencies and the golf industry's Back2Golf plan, as well working with local government officials. The goals of the plan were to limit fields (now set at 78 players, playing off the same starting tee), eliminating touch points (bunker rakes, flagsticks) and maximizing physical distance.
“Creative solutions are our hallmark,” said AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin. “Returning safely to our mission after a global pandemic has required the coordinated effort of our staff, board, and local and global partners. We’ve used extensive expert advice, examined and adapted how we do absolutely everything in the safest possible way, and built a playbook for our team to follow.”
Players will be required to maximize social distancing under the player code of conduct, including during weather delays. Competitors will only be allowed one person to accompany them, ideally a parent or guardian. Other approved media, sponsors and college golf coaches can attend.
Staff, volunteers and players will undergo a health questionnaire before tournament play, and traveling AJGA staff will take measures to mitigate public exposure, including wearing masks while interacting with others at events. There will be no paperwork of any kind, and scoring will be conducted using the Golf Genius platform.
Players will only be allowed to access practice facilities inside of one hour of their scheduled tee time, and the facilities may be closed after practice and competitive rounds.
More rules could be forthcoming, and players will be updated prior to each tournament.
Players will retain the Performance Based Entry status earned from the 2019 season through the end of the 2021 season.
The schedule will feature 11 Preview Series events, for players looking to gain AJGA experience. There will be eight invitational events, 55 open events and a Junior All-Stars Series.
The AJGA has also increased its ACE Grant to a maximum reimbursement to $5,000 for 2020. The program covers qualified entry fees and travel expenses for national junior golf, high school state and USGA events. Financial support is based on audited tax information.