Expanded Content: Junior Matchmaking
In his work with junior golfers at Sunningdale, GlenArbor, and later his own golf academy, PGA professional Roger Knick kept coming across the same questions from parents: What should I do about college golf? How do I get prepared? What questions should I ask coaches when I visit?
“Having traveled around the country at different tournaments for juniors and hearing the same questions,” Knick explains. “I thought, ‘Well, wouldn’t it be great if we actually created a site similar to a LinkedIn or even a Match.com where coaches and players and parents can follow each other and see what’s going on without having to make any kind of commitment?”
That’s how the Junior Golf Hub came about. Launched in March, the site already serves 2000 players, parents, and coaches, and has made several “matches” where players have found coaches and coaches have found players.
“So far it’s been a success just with the minimal information on it right now,” said Knick, the founder and operator of The Golf Performance Center in Ridgefield, Conn. “It’s an exciting time. We know there are some other sites out there that provide information for players and parents, but this is the first of its kind with a 21st century approach.”
The site offers a comprehensive searchable database covering every college golf program in the United States.
“Coaches create profiles of their schools. They can put in there what their low man is shooting, what their high man is shooting, what it takes to get in there academically, how much it costs. Kids and parents can follow the school, see how many kids are graduating, etc. It’s a great tool,” Knick said.
Junior golfers who are at least 13 years of age can create a profile where they post information, including videos of their game. By the fall, the site will launch a tournament module where kids can share a calendar of their tournaments with a coach who’s following them.
“It will pull their results in so [coaches] can automatically see their tournament scores,” Knick said. “The college coaches will know it’s verified data, that it’s not a kid creating a Word document resume and maybe he only puts in his best scores. It’s a way for coaches to filter athletes out and for the athletes to realize, ‘Hey, this is competitive.’ We want them to put effort into presenting themselves professionally the way a coach would want to see them.”
The site also offers instruction segments focusing on a “roadmap” to college golf -- finding and preparing for important tournaments, practice and workout advice, how to evaluate your skill level and more, as well as advice for parents of aspiring college golfers.
To register, visit Juniorgolfhub.com. Registration is free for now, although there are plans to convert it to a pay site.