With the golf industry and affiliated groups acknowledging the decline of golf participation in recent years there is a renewed effort to get children involved in order to grow the game. The First Tee has been successfully marketing itself as the primary force in this effort and is on a $100 million donation push, but they are now veering away from teaching golf and focusing more on teaching “values.”
Joshua Jacobs, an Emory University graduate, has come up with an innovative alternative to the First Tee and their donation and volunteer approach and named it TGA Premier Junior Golf.
TGA Junior Golf uses the good old American approach of entrepreneurism to teach kids the game of golf.
TGA began as an overnight golf camp for kids that morphed into the concept of introducing children of all backgrounds to the game through schools.
“I have always believed that the best way to grow the game of golf was to bring it directly to the schools and provide a consistent and accessible program for the future of golf, which is what we have created at TGA” said Jacobs.
Jacobs launched the first golf enrichment programs at six Los Angeles schools in the fall of 2003. TGA’s focus on providing children with an opportunity to learn golf through a full service program that is fun and cost-effective received an overwhelmingly positive response from schools, parents and students.
As word spread about TGA’s program, more and more inquiries from people around the country expressed their interest in the organization. In 2007, after four years of growing, honing and improving the program locally, TGA began offering geographically exclusive franchises.
TGA decided to Franchise their unique business model because of the lack of business ownership opportunities within the golf industry for entrepreneurs and Golf Professionals. TGA provides a full service program and business solution for anybody with a passion for golf, kids and their community. As a result, the franchise business has become an award winning low-cost franchise business opportunity for self-starters.
Kevin Rooney, who owns TGA territories in Westchester County, New York and Bergen County, New Jersey, was the youngest franchise owner in the company at just 22 years old five years ago. Since then, TGA has guided him to becoming one of the top franchises in the company.
“Becoming a business owner, and the youngest TGA franchise owner, was definitely overwhelming as I had to overcome obstacles that most young adults my age do not have. TGA provided all of the necessary tools to help me overcome some of the early challenges. I can’t think of a better investment or career opportunity,” said Rooney. “As golf continues to struggle to increase participation, I feel TGA has quickly become part of a bigger movement for the future, providing convenient and affordable avenues for parents and their kids to get into the game.”
Entrepreneur Magazine selected the fast growing youth sports company in 2010 among its “Top 10 Best Franchise Deals” based on total startup costs. The company is also known for being one of the nation’s top children’s health and fitness franchises.
TGA is now one of the fastest growing junior golf organizations and a leading initiative to grow the game. The premier program is offered nationwide in 2,500 schools reaching 165,000 students from Kindergarten to 8th grade in 23 states.
TGA is making a significant impact on growing the game of golf nationwide through its 5 level after school enrichment classes that are offered for K – 8th grade students. Statistics show that youth that are engaged in afterschool activities perform better in the classroom, become more acclimated in society and have a greater chance to succeed in life. Each session runs five to ten weeks, depending on the school’s time frame, and students use the “Almost Golf Ball,” so they can see the trajectory of a “real” ball but also stay safe.
What sets TGA apart from other traditional junior golf programs is the unique teaching curriculum developed by PhD’s in Child and Curriculum Development along with PGA and LPGA golf professionals that incorporate math, English, science and history along with a character development initiative. The programs are also adaptable to any sized space and are conducted anywhere on school campuses, including fields, gymnasiums, multi-purpose rooms, cafeterias, parking lots, hallways and classrooms.
Steve Tanner, COO of TGA Premier Junior Golf who oversees franchise development across the country, sees the Northeast as a fast growing market for the TGA model.
“Given the large golfing community in the Northeast, TGA’s success in other cold climate areas, and our successful existing franchises, we view the region as a fantastic market for TGA. There are likely up to 10 viable territories in the Boston region and an additional 12 or more remaining in the New York region that we’re actively seeking to develop with local entrepreneurs who are passionate about enriching kids’ lives through our sustainable business models.”
For more information about the program and franchise opportunities log onto www.playtga.com