Welcome to the 2020 Fall Middle School Golf League.

 

Founded in January 2010 with a mission of teaching the basics of golf, providing an opportunity to play the game in an organized league and creating for the youth of the Gwinnett and Walton County area a passion for the golf that will continue into high school and their adult lives. 

 

The Middle School Golf League is organized with parents registering their Middle School players through the South Gwinnett Athletic Association.  Players are assigned teams based on middle school attendance and receive golf shirts with their middle school or feeder high school colors.

 

During the first weeks beginning golfers will spend more time becoming more proficient at ball striking and understanding golf rules and etiquette.  And then take that knowledge onto the golf course. Returning Middle School Golf League players or the more advanced junior golfer will begin play as team members in the best ball “Lauderdale” format. Players play from forward or junior tees based on ability.

 

League play and/or clinics will be held mostly on Sundays, normally at 4 pm. The season officially begins with a clinic for everyone conducted by our golf course professionals, a beginner orientation or practice round for advanced or returning players, four weeks of team competition best ball play including during one week “High School Day” where high school team golfers are invited to play along with their cluster middle school teams,  a week of individual stroke play, an invitational individual stroke 9-hole tournament for advanced junior MSGL players and the season culminates for everyone with a Drive, Chip and Putt competition and the MSGL Awards Party.

 

Note: MSGL will be following the guidance provided to the schools and other sports organizations from the medical experts in the Governor’s office.  Because we usually have two to four teams at one of our six golf courses, we will not have a large gathering of players and parents at one place. We of course, play outdoors and that increases our safety precautions. We will adhere to the safety precautions in place at our golf courses which may include, no handling of the flagsticks as they will be kept in place throughout play, no rakes in the sand traps and players or marshals should attempt to smooth out the sand with their feet as they exit a trap, limited number in the Pro Shops at one time and maintain 6 feet separation in the buildings. Most of the courses have removed water from the courses so players and parents will need to bring their own water to the course.  We encourage parents or anyone going inside any of the buildings or if concerned that they are close to others to wear a mask.  This is not a requirement but we encourage good safety precautions to be taken by all.  We will hold our clinic in two sessions on separate days to keep the number of players at a reasonable amount.  Again, we will emphasize social distancing during our clinics and play.   As with school attendance if any player tests positive or has observable symptoms of the virus they should not be participating until they test negative or the necessary time of quarantine has elapsed. 

 

We will be in regular contact with host facilities prior to and throughout the season to discuss local precautionary rules, flagsticks remaining in, raking sand traps, etc., and sanitizing practices for common touchpoints such as carts, practice balls, bathrooms, etc. While we aim to be consistent across the entire schedule with policies and procedures, there may be certain instances where a participating golf club’s policy take precedence. Any modifications will be communicated to you thru e-mail message.

Before arriving on-site for a competition, if a player or parent feels sick or shows any symptoms of COVID-19, or if within the last fourteen (14) days have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, we request that you stay home and notify us that you’ll not be playing before your starting time. 

Once our season starts for all events, we ask that social physical distancing is always practiced by keeping a minimum of six (6) feet from others. There are no restrictions on spectators attending competitions. Spectators as always are asked to remain on cart paths and to maintain social distancing from others players and other spectators. Parents or spectators may wear masks while observing play but it is not a requirement, however, when checking in to get carts or using any of the indoor facilities at the golf clubs, wearing masks and social distancing is advised and the local requirements of the golf club should be followed.

 

 

Each team has a volunteer team “Marshall” who is responsible for team lineups and supervises the play on the course.  Parents are welcome to walk or purchase and ride carts along the course as spectators but must remain on the cart paths. 

 

The host courses for this season are Snellville’s Summit Chase Country Club and Country Club of Gwinnett, Lawrenceville’s Collins Hill Golf Course, Loganville’s Cedar Lake Golf Course, Monroe’s Bear Creek and Providence Golf Courses and Dacula’s Trophy Club of Apalachee.  Teams rotate and play on a different course each week.

 

On-line registration for the fall season opens July 26 and will be limited and will close when we reach 100 registrations or on Aug 25, whichever occurs first.  A parent orientation will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug 25 at Summit Chase Country Club prior to the season beginning with more detailed information about the season, uniform sizing, information about golf equipment and clubs and a Q&A session with League Director Les Witmer,  and SGAA ‘s Tim Gaines and Tanya McDainel.

 

Prior to that for more information you may contact MSGL Director Les Witmer at:  lawitmer@comcast.net

 

2020 Fall Middle School Golf League Frequently Asked Questions:

Q:  What precautions are you taking because of COVID-19?

A:  MSGL will be following the guidance provided to the schools and other sports organizations from the medical experts in the Governor’s office.  Because we usually have two to four teams at one of our six golf courses, we will not have a large gathering of players and parents at one place. We of course, play outdoors and that increases our safety precautions. We will adhere to the safety precautions in place at our golf courses which may include, no handling of the flagsticks as they will be kept in place throughout play, no rakes in the sand traps and players or marshals should attempt to smooth out the sand with their feet as they exit a trap, limited number in the Pro Shops at one time and maintain 6 feet separation in the buildings. Most of the courses have removed water from the courses so players and parents will need to bring their own water to the course.  We encourage parents or anyone going inside any of the buildings or if concerned that they are close to others to wear a mask.  This is not a requirement but we encourage good safety precautions to be taken by all.  We will hold our clinic in two sessions on separate days to keep the number of players at a reasonable amount.  Again, we will emphasize social distancing during our clinics and play.   As with school attendance if any player tests positive or has observable symptoms of the virus they should not be participating until they test negative or the necessary time of quarantine has elapsed. 

Q: How do I register my Middle School son or daughter for the 2020 Middle School golf League Fall Season?

A: You can register on line at:  https://www.middleschoolgolfleague.com

Q:  What is the deadline for registration?

A:  Our on-line registration opens July 26 and will close when we reach 100 registrations. If we do not reach that by Aug 25 on-line registration will close that day at 5 p.m.  

Q: What is the cost of registration?

A: $200.  For parents registering additional siblings, there is a $20 discount for each child.

Q: Who may register? Will you take anyone other than middle school students?

A:  It is a middle school league.  There are other opportunities for younger golfers with PGA and other junior golf programs.  We limit our registration to accommodate our courses.  (In the spring we only take Middle School players in grades 6, 7 and 8. In the fall in preparation for spring high school tryouts we do allow 9th graders who played in the MSGL in the spring to play.) On occasion we have taken a fifth-grade student to fill out a team roster (sibling of middle school player, have played golf before, etc., on a case by case basis approved by the League Director).

Q:  Do players need to already know the rules of golf and be able to play?  Does the league take beginners?

A:  We have revised our program to meet more of the needs of the beginner golfers. We focus on the basics—ball striking and fundamentals and thru team best ball play it gives them a good understanding of the game of golf. We have an on-course orientation for beginning golfers or those new to the MSGL.  Also, depending on the availability of range time at the courses --we would announce when that is—we would have a practice session for beginners and again that would be optional. 

Q:  What does the registration fee pay for? What is provided?

A:  There is no other league cost involved for the players. No greens fees or course fees. The registration fee helps us cover the cost of using the courses, the professional instruction at the clinic, team shirts, end of year party and awards, and SGAA administration of the program. The League Director and Marshals are volunteers.

Q:  Do players need to provide their own clubs or golf supplies?

A:  Yes. We do not furnish golf clubs however we help make sure the players are playing with proper equipment.  The worst thing that will hamper the young golfer is to be playing with the wrong sized clubs—especially trying to play with adult clubs.  They now make clubs that are designed for their size—height of the youngster.  And because kids grow, they will outgrow those clubs. So, first suggestion is don’t spend a lot of money on clubs.  You can get second hand or used junior golf clubs at places like the PGA Superstore, Edwin Watts but also at Play it Again Sam, and eBay. And also, Craig’s list and even from parents of kids who have outgrown theirs.  What is needed for beginners is a driver and/or fairway metal, a mid iron (5 or 7) a pitching wedge and a putter.  Additional clubs are okay if the set comes with them. Players need to supply their own golf balls and tees.

Q:  Do players need to have golf shoes?

A:  No, in fact we recommend against it as often with young players the cleats can cause damage to the greens.  Sneakers or athletic shoes are fine.

Q:  Where can I find out more about the MSGL?

 A:  There will be an orientation meeting before the season starts where we go over in more detail information about the program. It is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, August 25 at 7 p.m. at Summit Chase Country Club.  Because of COVID-19 seating may be limited.  We will be providing more information on how we will conduct the orientation. We will go over the spring schedule and upcoming season, golf equipment, have shirts for sizing and answer any questions. If we have not reached our on-line limits for registration, parents may register their player that night but must pay by check.

Q:  When does the season start?

A:  We’ll start the season for everyone on Saturday and Sunday, August 29 and 30. 30. Because of COVID-19 Social Distance precautions, we will hold the All Players Clinic and New Players Orientation in two daily sessions. Players will be notified as to which day and session they are scheduled to attend. The All Players Clinics will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m., each assigned day at a Driving Rage and Practice Green conducted by Golf Professionals. (Returning Players to the MSGL will be dismissed at 6 p.m.) The New Player’s Orientation is ONLY for players new to the MSGL and will place from 6-6:30 p.m. each day immediately following the All Players Clinic. It will be a team play orientation with an on course walk thru on one hole for players and parents explaining best ball play, golf rules, safety and golf etiquette.

Q:  Is that the only instruction for new players? When does play start and what does it consist of?

A:  The on-course orientation for all new players and beginners is critical for new and especial beginner players and parents alike. On Sunday, Sep 13, teams will meet for a team orientation and first time gathering and play a practice round of 9-hole team best ball.  Then we will start our four weeks of Team Competition Best Ball Play, with “shotgun” starts at 4 p.m. (everyone tees off at the same time on different holes) for the weeks of Sep 20 and 27 and Oct  4 and 11.  During team competition play for one week we will have “High School Day” where high school team golfers are invited to play with their cluster middle school team.  Then on Oct 18 we will introduce or reacquaint our players with individual stroke play where each player plays their own ball and we emphasize the individual rules of golf. For the advanced players we will have an Invitational Individual 9-hole stroke play tournament with location and date to be announced.  We’ll culminate the season again with the very popular Drive, Chip and Putt Competition and our party and the awards presentation on Sunday Oct 25.  In case of rain or inclement weather where we cancel play during the season, we will use Nov 1 as rain make-up date.

Q: Do boys and girls play on the same team?

A: Yes, we are co-ed and boys and girls play on the same middle school teams.  However, for individual competition, we will have a boys and girls division.

Q: Do girls play from different tees?

A: Everyone plays from the tees that they are best able to play from. We as a league, boys and girls, play from either the forward tees (red) or designated junior tees. 

Q:  Do players play at the same golf course each week?

A:  No, we rotate team play.  For the Fall our MSGL courses are Monroe’s Bear Creek and Providence Golf Clubs, Trophy Club of Apalachee in Dacula, Summit Chase Country Club and Country Club of Gwinnett both in Snellville, Cedar Lake Golf Course in Loganville and Collins Hill Golf Course in Lawrenceville.  A weekly schedule is published and emailed out with results from the previous week. Parents are advised to make sure they know which course their team is playing at and to take into consideration travel time in getting there. Because of other activities at these golf courses, teams rotate and play based on availability of courses. (For this Fall play will be limited at Summit Chase and Providence may be an alternate course for us only).  We try to schedule each team to play at least once at each course.   Also, in scheduling team play distance for travel is taken into consideration whenever possible. We will continue to look for other golf courses in the area to participate in the MSGL.

Q:  Does each team have adult supervision?

A:  We will have a volunteer Lead Team Marshal with each team. Because of the number of players on the team, each team may need additional volunteer assistant marshals.  These are volunteers (usually parents), who go thru a team marshal orientation/training session before the season begins. The role of Lead Team Marshal is to:

1. Supervise on course play. 2 Determine which tees player will hit from and order of play.  3. During team play choose best ball locations. 4. Keep and report scores.  5. Monitor development of team players. 5. Receive and help disseminate, information and results of team play.

All marshals (lead and assistants), will be asked during play to supervise play, ensure safety, help reinforce instruction, explain rules of golf and ensure proper golf course conduct, etiquette, and respect for course and other players are observed.  We are not expecting marshals to be golf professional instructors but we are expecting team marshals to be able to make sure it is an organized learning experience.

Q:  Since there are multiple golf courses how do parents know where their team is playing each week?

A:  Mass emails are sent out on weekly schedules, standings, and other information relating to the MSGL season.  It is imperative that correct email addresses—both primary and alternate –are listed on the registration form.  It is recommended that each parent’s email be listed and in the case of custodial parents, that both parents are listed so that everyone receives the same information in a timely fashion.(However, unless you want two emails coming to you with information, DO NOT list the same email address as primary and alternate when registering on line!).

Q:  Do players walk the course?

A:  Some players (and marshals) walk the nine holes and carry their clubs or have a push cart. However, several of the courses are not that easy for junior players to walk! Because of COVID-19, only members of the same family may ride in the same cart. Player are not allowed to drive a cart (must be 16 years old and have a driver’s license.) Parents are welcome to watch play either by walking along or they may rent a cart ($10 or $11—depending on course) but must stay on the cart path at all times. Players may ride with them and have their bag of clubs in the cart but again parents must keep the carts on the cart path at all times. If players ride in a cart, they need to practice ready golf and get out of the cart and get their clubs to be ready to play. There is usually a line to get carts so it is important that parents and players arrive well in advance of the 4 p.m. start time.

Q:  How are teams organized?

A:  Players are placed on teams according to the Middle School they attend. Team golf shirts are proved by the league. If a player does not attend one of the middle schools for team play, they are assigned to one based on where they live or to fill out another team roster. We designate a Middle School team when we have at least 5 players for that Middle School sign up.

Q: What about a returning middle school player or an advanced junior player? Do all players on a team hit from the same tees?

A:  Players play from the appropriate tee based on level of play.  Our advanced players play from the adult forward tees (usually red at most courses). Beginners and intermediate players play from junior tees. Because we play best ball “Lauderdale” team format everyone has the opportunity to play and this helps develop team work.  We introduce and everyone plays one week of individual stroke play. Advanced junior players are invited to play in an invitational individual stroke 9-hole tournament.

Q:  Besides Sunday play are there other times play is scheduled?

A: Our regular play is scheduled for Sundays at 4 p.m. This for the most part does not interfere with other athletic activities. Again because of COVID-19 and a need to maintain social distancing for our All players clinics and beginning and new players to MSGL on-course orientation we will have one session on a Saturday.  Also, there is an invitational individual stroke tournament for advanced juniors that is normally scheduled on a Sunday. These are the only days other than Sunday that we normally schedule play.

Q: Is there organized team practice at other times?

A: We do not schedule organized team practice.  Team practice is not scheduled nor required.  Teams may do this on their own and players may practice on their own. Players and parents may individually use golf course range facilities at local costs by checking with the pro shop at the courses. (Local range fees apply).    

Q:  After the season are there other golf experiences available for Middle School players?

A:  We promote other junior programs, lessons and opportunities for development that are available at all of our participating golf courses.  For more information, contact the local golf professional at any of our courses for lessons or clinic opportunities.

Q:  Players are provided golf shirts. Are there any other requirements involving what they wear or need?

A:  We want our players to learn what proper golf attire is. We provide a team golf shirt. We ask them not to wear jeans and tee shirts. Depending on the weather shorts, skirts, skorts or long pants are fine. Again, depending on the weather, light jackets, wind shirts, raingear may be worn.   Sneakers or athletic shoes are recommended. Players may wear their own hats or visors.  Golf gloves may be purchased and worn.  Players provide their own golf balls and tees. And depending on the weather parents are advised to dress appropriately and if necessary, bring rain gear and umbrellas. 

Q:  How long does play last?

A: We practice ready golf and Team Marshals are asked to keep play moving. Play is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.  We have a “shotgun “start where teams all start at the same 4 p.m. time on different holes.  That requires teams to be in place ready to tee off at 4 p.m. Parents are asked to have their players arrive at least 30 minutes before start time, report to their Team Marshal and to warm up and be ready to play at 4 p.m. (and in enough time for parents who are getting a cart—carts cost $10 or $11). Play is usually finished at 6:30 to 7 p.m. or earlier. 

Q: What happens when there is inclement weather? If it rains before or during play?

A:  If there is wide spread inclement weather before our scheduled time to play, the MSGL Director will coordinate with our golf courses and notify thru email if play is cancelled. The local golf courses determine whether we can or continue play or not and also when we have to stop play (danger, i.e., storms, lightning, etc.).  On the golf course, most courses have a loud horn that signals lighting or bad weather and that we must evacuate the course. As in professional and even recreational golf, play may continue during light rain. Rain gear may be worn and golf umbrellas are certainly allowed on the courses. Play may stop and resume as weather permits. Team marshal are advised to monitor the weather situation.  If a regularly scheduled week is canceled during the season, we use the rain make-up date.

 

Q:  If I still have a question or need additional information, who should I contact?

 

A: You may contact Les Witmer, the MSGL Director at lawitmer@comcast.net