Welcome to the 2019 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 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. Repeat 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 on 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 for everyone with advanced juniors invited to play in a 9-hole individual stroke tournament, and the season culminates with a Drive, Chip and Putt competition and the MSGL Awards Party.

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

The MSGL 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 Providence and Bear Creek Golf Courses and Dacula’s Trophy Club of Apalachee. We play on these courses based on heir availability.  Teams rotate and play on these courses during the season.

Registration will be limited and registration will close when we reach maximum team capacity or on Aug 18,  whichever occurs first.  A parent orientation will be held 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.

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

2019 Fall Middle School Golf League Frequently Asked Questions:

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

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

Q:  What is the deadline for registration?

A:  Our on-line registration is limited and will close when we reach 100 registrations. If we do not reach that by Aug 18 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 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).

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 usually have an optional TBA Saturday practice time and course orientation for beginning golfer or those wanting to work on ball striking and fundamentals.  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 20 at 7 p.m. at Summit Chase Country Club.  We will go over the spring schedule and upcoming season, golf equipment, have shirts for sizing and answer any questions.

Q:  When does the season start?

A:  We’ll start the season for everyone again with Golf Professionals conducting a clinic, Sunday, August 25.

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

A:  There will be an on-course orientation for all new players and beginners ONLY with the time and date TBA.  That will include more instructions on the fundamentals for beginners and then we’ll take them onto the course and give them an on-course orientation of golf etiquette and team best ball play. We will not play Sep 1—Labor Day weekend. On Sunday, Sep 8 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 15, 22, 28 and Oct 6. 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 13 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.  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 20.  In case of rain or inclement weather where we cancel play during the fall season, we can extend the season to Oct 27. Because of the time change in Nov, the season will end NLT Oct 27.

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.  We added additional golf courses in the spring season based on our continued growth.  We for the first time played at Monroe’s Bear Creek and Providence Golf Clubs in the spring in addition to our previous courses of 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 of 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.  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, insure safety, help reinforce instruction, explain rules of golf and insure 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 information in a timely fashion. (Unless you want two emails coming to you with information, DO NOT list the same email address as primary and alternate!).

Q:  Do players walk the course?

A:  Some players (and marshals) walk the nine holes and carry their clubs or have a push cart. Player are not allowed to drive a cart (must be 16 years old and have a drivers 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 a team roster.

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 practice or meeting times.

A: No. We do not schedule organized team practice.  Our regular play is scheduled for Sundays at 4 p.m. This for the most part does not interfere with other athletic activities. Team practice is not scheduled nor required.  Teams may do this on their own and players and parents may 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 ask them not to wear jeans. 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. Again, depending on the weather parents are advised to dress appropriately and if necessary, bring 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 the season may be extended thru Oct 27 as a makeup date if we have to reschedule.

 

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