The Middle School Golf League is organized with parents registering their Middle School players through the South Gwinnett Athletic Association. Players are assigned teams generally based on middle school attendance and receive golf shirts with their middle school or feeder high school colors. If there are not enough players form a middle school to form a team, registered players are assigned as needed to round out team rosters.
After the instructional golf clinic for all players beginning golfers are encouraged to take that knowledge onto the golf course. In addition, all players and especially beginning golfers are encouraged to practice ball striking skills between team play. The format for play is 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, where the most advanced players are invited to play in an invitational individual stroke 9-hole tournament. The season culminates for everyone with a Drive, Chip and Putt competition and the MSGL Awards Presentations.
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, and for new golfers or players new to MSGL and orientation on team play, golf rules and golf etiquette. beginner orientation and 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 carts as available. All spectators’ carts must remain on the cart paths.
Our five main host golf courses for regular play re Chimney’s Golf Club, Country Club of Gwinnett, Collins Hill Golf Course, Cedar Lake Golf Course and Bear Creek. Providence Golf Course, Trophy Club of Apalachee and Monroe Golf Courses may host us as needed. Teams rotate and play on a different course each week.
2023 Spring Season
On-line registration for the 2023 Spring season opens Wednesday, February 1 and will close February 24. Registration is $225. Also, the cost of cart rentals varies from course to course from $15-$25 for 9-hole cart rentals. Because of golf course availability we will again limit it to the first 70 registrations. So, if you want to play in the MSGL this spring, register as soon as we open registration for you! There will be no exceptions as once we reach 70 that will be it.
According to our golf courses, they are experiencing increased weekend play. Depending on prior member or guest play on our scheduled day, there still may be a shortage of available carts due to cleaning and recharging, not everyone is insured of having a cart available when our scheduled play begins and players and parents may need to be prepared to walk the course.
Players may choose to walk the nine holes and carry their clubs or have a push cart. If a player walks, they may choose to have a parent or another adult caddie for them and walk the course, carry the bag or push the cart. If players go on to play junior tournaments and later high school golf, they will be required to walk. We have more information on caddying, walking and pace of play on our FAQs, at the registration website.
Play is scheduled to begin March 12 and continue every Sunday through May 15 except for Apr 2 (School Spring Break) and April 9 (Easter). We will use May 14 (Mother’s Day) and May 21 as rain make up dates, if necessary.
When registering, give the player’s name, and information and you have the option of listing two different email addresses– a primary and second contact. Also, for those interested, please indicate whether you are interested in being a team marshal. More info is available on marshal duties with our FAQs. If you have any questions, please contact Les Witmer, MSGL Director, at Lawitmer@comcast.net
At the close of on-line registration, we will hold our parent orientation. Depending on COVID situation at that time it will either be live or via video conferencing. The orientation will provide 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 McDaniel.
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 for the spring 2023 season opens February 1 and will close when we reach 70 registrations. If we do not reach that by February 24 on-line registration will close that day at 5 p.m. Note: Because of golf course availability we will again limit it to the first 70 registrations.
Q: What is the cost of registration?
A: Registration is $225. For parents registering additional siblings, there is a $20 discount for each additional 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 true beginner young golfer. 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. However, parents and spectators may purchase carts as available. Costs for nine holes range from $15-$25 depending on what the course charges. Purchasing range balls for warm up at the courses is optional—range ball fees also vary from course to course. 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. However, we do make available at our orientation or clinic any clubs that have been donated especially those handed down from past Middle School players and will let you know of any used clubs that past players or their parents are selling. But generally, 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, or checking with Craig’s List or on line at 2nd Swing Golf and eBay. 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: At the close of on-line registration, we will hold our parent orientation. It will either be live or via video conferencing. We go over in more detail information about the program. After registration regular emails go out with MSGL information including announcing time and location of the orientation and later schedules and player information. At the orientation we will be providing more information on how we will conduct the orientation. We will go over the schedule and upcoming season, golf equipment, have shirts for sizing and answer any questions.
Q: When does the season start?
A: Play is scheduled to begin March 12 and continue every Sunday through May 15 except for Apr 2 (School Spring Break) and April 9 (Easter). We will use May 14 (Mother’s Day) and May 21 as rain make up dates, if necessary. We’ll start the season for everyone with our All-Players’ Clinic and New Players Orientation by group sessions. Players will be notified as to where and when that will take place and which session they are scheduled to attend. The All-Player’s Clinic will be led by local golf professional instructors and will include instructions, demonstrations and then time to practice ball striking and putting. The New Player’s Orientation is ONLY for players new to the MSGL and will be a team play orientation with an on course walk thru for players and parents explaining best ball play, golf rules, safety and golf etiquette.
Q: Is that the only instruction for new players?
A: That is the only golf instruction provided by the MSGL. The goal of the MSGL is to introduce new players to golf and provide an outlet for juniors to play. Professional golf instruction is optional and available but it is up to parents to schedule and arrange. As players progress and if interested in continuing playing and participating in other events, i.e., U.S. Kids, Georgia State Golf Association Junior program, North America Junior Golf, etc., or go on to play high school golf. Professional golf instruction is advisable to teach and monitor the junior golfer’s development.
Q: What does play consist of?
A: After the golf instructional clinic and during the first weeks of play beginning golfers are encouraged to spend more time practicing on their own and becoming more proficient at ball striking as they then play team best ball and get a better understanding of golf rules and etiquette. The format for play is 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. The most advanced players as determined from a week of individual stroke play are invited to play in an invitational individual stroke 9-hole tournament. The season culminates for everyone with a Drive, Chip and Putt competition and the MSGL Awards Presentations. Players play from forward or junior tees based on ability.
If any week’s scheduled activity is cancelled due to inclement weather, that week’s scheduled activity will take place the following week and that moves everything forward and rain dates come into play to finish the season!
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 players 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. All beginners will play their first season from the junior tees. Returning middle school players and the more advanced juniors, especially 8th graders should play from the forward (usually marked red) tees. In the fall all 9th grade players, play from the (red) forward tees.
Q: Do players play at the same golf course each week?
A: No, we rotate team play. Our MSGL courses are Winder’s Chimney’s Golf Course, Monroe’s Bear Creek, Providence and Monroe Golf Clubs, Trophy Club of Apalachee in Dacula, Country Club of Gwinnett both in Snellville, Cedar Lake Golf Course in Loganville and Collins Hill Golf Course in Lawrenceville. Note: For this Spring Trophy Club of Apalachee, Providence and Monroe Country Club may be alternate courses for us hosting us at their locations only one or two weeks at most during the season. 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. 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 and designate additional volunteer assistant marshals as needed. 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 and maintain pace of play. 2. Ensure safety at all times, 3. Determine which tees player will hit from and order of play. 4. During team play choose best ball locations. 5. Keep and report scores. 6. Monitor development of team players. 7. Receive and help disseminate, information and results of team play.
All marshals 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. All marshals must complete a background check as required by SGAA.
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? Can parents caddy for their player?
A: Players may walk the nine holes and carry their clubs or have a push cart. If player walks, players only then may choose to have a parent or another adult caddie for them and walk the course, carry the bag or push the cart. Caddies must observe golf rules and etiquette and may advise players on shots, club selections and distances. However, detailed coaching slows down pace of play and is for practice sessions and not on course play! If players choose to walk, players need to maintain pace of play and keep up with their team. Parents may rent a cart if available and 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 start time. Depending on prior member or guest play that day at the course, there may be a shortage of available carts due to cleaning and recharging carts. Not everyone is insured of having a cart available and players and parents may need to be prepared to walk the course. Players are not allowed to drive a cart (must be 16 years old and have a driver’s license.) Other spectators are welcome to watch play either by walking along or they may rent a cart if available at the cost as charged by the course but must stay on the cart path at all times.
Q: How are teams organized?
A: Players are generally 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: Again, players play from the appropriate tee based on level of play. In the fall all 9th grade players hit form the red or forward tees. Our advanced players should 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. 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 starting at 4 p.m. or thereafter. This for the most part does not interfere with other athletic activities. Our clinic and on-course orientation for beginning and new players to MSGL may be scheduled for on a Saturday. Also, there is an invitational individual stroke tournament for advanced juniors that is normally scheduled on a Saturday. 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 usually scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. or thereafter. We sometimes have a “shotgun “start where teams all start at the same time on different holes. That requires teams to be in place ready to tee off at the starting time. Otherwise, teams are given a specific starting time and starting tee. Parents are asked to have their players arrive at least 30 minutes before their start time, report to their Team Marshal and to warm up and be ready to tee off at the appropriate tee time! (And in enough time for parents who are getting a spectator cart—course charges vary from $15-$25 for 9 holes). Play is usually finished by 7:30 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 firstname.lastname@example.org