Tennessee launches state golf team

Susan EspirituOur Town Youth

Tennessee is launching a state junior golf team that will expand the pipeline for elite local golfers into the recently created U.S. National Development Program (USNDP), a new initiative launched last February by the United States Golf Association. Tennessee is one of seven states that will participate in the initial phase of the state team pilot program kicking off in 2024 with the goal of all states having a team by 2033.

“This first-of-its-kind state team program will serve as a critical part of the talent identification pathway for the USNDP and provide more opportunities for a diverse population of athletes to receive resources and guidance to compete at the highest levels of the game,” says Heather Daly-Donafrio, USGA managing director for player relations and development.

State team roster sizes are calculated by elite junior participation in the state, ranging from a maximum of two boys/two girls to 20 boys/20 girls. Tennessee expects to have 16 players as part of the initial team; eight boys and eight girls. To be eligible to compete, a player must be a U.S. citizen and must be 13 years old by Jan. 1, 2025, have not reached their 19th birthday by July 19, 2025, and must not be enrolled in college for the 2024-2025 school year. A Handicap Index® is also required.

Additional eligibility requirements and FAQs can be found at Team Tennessee.

Quotes and information provided by Tennessee media contact: Josh Shelton, jshelton@tngolf.org.

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