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 then everyone plays a practice round, followed by 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 Presentations.by joining returning Middle School Golf League players or the more advanced junior golfers 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 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 and ride carts along the course as spectators but must remain on the cart paths.
Host courses are Summit Chase Country Club and Country Club of Gwinnett, Collins Hill Golf Course, Cedar Lake Golf Course, Bear Creek and Providence Golf Course, and Trophy Club of Apalachee. Teams rotate and play on a different course each week.
2021 Fall Season
There are two issues that you need to be aware of. First, we’re having scheduling issues and have not been able to date to secure a golf course practice area for our player’s Clinic. We will continue to work on that but for now, we’re revising our schedule. The season will NOT begin in August. We plan on now starting the season on Sep 12 (the week after Labor Day) and will schedule play every Sunday thru Oct 31. (Oct 31 being Halloween our play that day will be TBA). If you are a member or play regularly at any of our courses, you might mention to them our need for a course to have our clinic. We have been so fortunate over the years to have been able to hold our activities at Summit Chase Country Club! So, please revise and be aware of this schedule change.
Second, we posted the following information and included it in our Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about the Fall MSGL season:
“Players are strongly encouraged to walk the nine holes and carry their clubs or have a pushcart. 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. Caddies must observe golf rules and etiquette and may advise players on shots, club selections, and distances. However, detailed coaching slows down the pace of play and is for practice sessions and not on course play! 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, get out of the cart, and get their clubs ready to play. There is usually a line to get carts so parents and players must arrive well in advance of the start time. Depending on prior members or guests play that day at the course, there may be a shortage of available carts due to cleaning and recharging carts. Not everyone is ensured 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 ($10 or $11—depending on course) but must stay on the cart path at all times.”
In coordinating the upcoming season’s schedule and securing a course for our clinic and Drive, Chip, and Putt contest with our local golf courses, we are aware that carts being available on weekend afternoons will likely be the same or worse. This is just not a situation at one or two of our courses but all of them. Hence, we need to revise our guidelines. Walking the course for players might not be optional. If carts are not available that will be the only alternative. We will ensure that our marshals have carts to retrieve balls and guide us in best-ball play. If carts are not available when play is scheduled to begin players will need to be prepared to walk the course, either crying their bags, using pushcarts, or having a parent caddy for them. If there are available carts, they will go first to the player’s parents who want to transport them. Parents again may caddy the for their walking players. Any other available carts then could be purchased as purely spectator carts for friends or relatives. Spectators as always, may walk the 9 holes and observe from the cart path.
It seems golf has become a more popular weekend activity for the golf clubs’ members and guests not only playing the course but using the practice facilities and the courses can’t keep up with demand for carts, recharging and cleaning them and having them ready continuously throughout the day. This has not been the situation in the past and how we have been able to operate. However, players who play in junior tournaments and as they play high school golf must walk and carry their clubs or use a pushcart.
SGAA is aware of the above situations and if this causes you concern, they will refund your registration if you have already registered and we want to ensure that anyone about to register for the fall season is aware of this.
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: Will COVID-19 affect the fall season?
A: Because of COVID-19 we will continue to have certain precautions in place. We will be in regular contact with host facilities prior to and throughout the season to discuss any local precautionary rules, i.e., flagsticks remaining in, raking sand traps, cart restrictions, wearing of mask when checking in or using facilities, 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 takes precedence. Any modifications will be communicated to you thru e-mail message. Once our season starts, we will adhere to the same contact tracing rules that the schools are using. Anyone that has been in close contact with someone who has or tested positive for COVID-19 needs to remain at home. And during our activities and for all events, we ask that social physical distancing again be practiced by keeping a minimum of six (6) feet from others. The wearing of masks during play by players is optional and not required. There are again no restrictions on spectators attending competitions. For players choosing to walk the course, parents or adults may serve as caddies and walk with the player but should adhere to social distancing from others on the tee box or putting green areas. 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.
Q: How do I register my Middle School son or daughter for the 2021 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 August 1 and will close when we reach 80 registrations. If we do not reach that by Aug 18 on-line registration will close that day at 5 p.m. Note: this is change as in the past the cutoff was at 100 registrations. Because of Summit Chase Golf Course closing and scheduling restrictions at some of our other courses we are forced to register fewer players.
Q: What is the cost of registration?
A: $200. 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 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. Purchasing range balls for warm up at the courses is optional—range ball fees 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. It is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, August 19. Time and details TBA. 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: Play is scheduled to tentatively begin August 22 and run no later than Oct 24. We will be off on Labor Day, Sep 5. We’ll start the season for everyone with our All-Players’ Clinic and New Players Orientation possibly 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 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?
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: 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, Aug 29, teams will meet for a team orientation and first time gathering and play a practice round of 9-hole team best ball. We will not play Labor Day weekend, Sep 5. Then we will start our four weeks of Team Competition Best Ball Play, with “shotgun” starts at 4 p.m. on most of our courses (everyone tees off at the same time on different holes but on a few of our courses we are restricted to playing times and will have a team tee time). 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 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 awards presentation. 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 should play from the forward (usually marked red) tees. All 9th grade players in the fall, play from the (red) forward 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, 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. 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 Providence and Monroe Country Club may be alternate courses 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 and designate 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 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 (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: Players are strongly encouraged to walk the nine holes and carry their clubs or have a push cart. If player walks, players 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! 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 ($10 or $11—depending on course) but must stay on the cart path at all times.
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: Again, players play from the appropriate tee based on level of play. In the fall all9th 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. 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 mostly at 4 p.m. 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. We usually 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 by 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 email@example.com