Navigating the AJGA

For juniors, playing AJGA events should be the No. 1 goal, however many players do not know how the AJGA system works.

The big question is how do I get into AJGA events? The answer is the Performance Based Entry system.

I recently wrote a blog about making a tournament schedule for your junior golfer based upon their age and playing ability. In the blog, I mentioned AJGA events as the premier events for junior golfers to get discovered by college coaches.

To go more in-depth on the AJGA events, it is helpful to know how to navigate the schedule so you can get in to the events you desire.

The Performance Based Entry system is designed to use Performance Stars to rank players to determine who gets into an event.

Performance Stars are given to players for their finish in events that receive AJGA Performance Stars. For example, FCWT, HJGT, and other tours that meet the criteria all hand out stars to players based upon their performance. Once you get into an AJGA event, you will also receive stars based upon your finish.

Another great way to get started and earn status is the AJGA Preseason Events. These events are designed for players who have limited acceptance into multi-dayAJGA events. They are early in the AJGA’s schedule and are scattered throughout the country. This way a player can start to earn stars before the summer Open Events and the Gary Gilchrist Junior All-Star Series event deadlines.

There is also the Qualifier Series, which is the main way most players get their start with the AJGA. These events typically will have 80 boys and 20 girls making up the field with 10 percent of each making the corresponding AJGA Open tournament. These events are similar to Monday Qualifiers for the PGA Tour in that the event has a number of spots reserved for qualifying players.

There are also larger invitational tournaments and larger junior events that give performance stars for your finish in the event.

The awarding and the amount stars will change though based upon the AJGA’s awarding of the event. For example, the Doral-Publix Junior awards the champion of the event Fully Exempt status on the AJGA, meaning they can get in to any Open Event they desire. The Performance Stars are also heavily weighted for a Top 5 (12 stars), Top 10 (8 stars), and Top 15 (4 stars).

A great way to get stars and build up confidence in tournament golf is to play on a local tour that the AJGA awards Performance Stars for the event. With GGGA being partnered with the AJGA, it has really helped out our students with understanding how this process works.

On other tours schedule’s, they will notifty what points are given in the event (AJGA, Golfweek, and JGS). If a tour has AJGA Performance Stars next to a tournament, it does not guarantee it will give Performance Stars to winners, it just means that event last year received Performance Stars. It must meet the criteria of 40 boys and 12 girls to get those Performance Stars. If it is a new event on a tour’s schedule, it will not have AJGA Performance Stars until the event is completed, and it meets the criteria.

For example, the FCWT at Harmony on February 16-18 does not have Performance Stars as of right now and is a new event on the schedule. It has over 40 boys and 12 girls in the field as of right now and will receive the AJGA Performance Stars as long as all registered players attend. The boy’s and girl’s champions will each receive 4 Performance Stars. If a field is large enough, there is also sometimes top 5 Performance Stars as well (1 star). Last years Fleming Island HJGT had 75 boys in the field and gave top 5 Performance Stars to players.

Now let’s say there is an event on the HJGT and it has Performance Stars on the tour schedule for an event in Miami. If the event only has 30 boys and 11 girls show up, it receives no AJGA Performance Stars for the event. It just had the AJGA Performance Stars next to the event on the schedule from last year’s field size. This is the key to all AJGA Performance Stars for an event. It has to meet the criteria then they can award stars.

The process can be a little tricky to figure out from the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to set up your travel accordingly to maximize your junior tournament schedule.