Texas golf organizations form junior alliance

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HOUSTON — The state's top four golf organizations have formed an alliance aimed at creating better opportunities and ease expenses for junior golfers and their families.

The Texas Junior Golf Alliance is a joint venture put together by the Texas Golf Association, the Northern and Southern Texas Sections of the PGA of America and the Houston Golf Association.

The four organizations collectively sponsor more than 500 tournaments a year for more than 6,000 junior boys and girls. The goal of the alliance is to simplify the qualifying process for the top-tier Legends Junior Tour's high-profile events through a performance-based points system.

Each of the four organizations will offer a select number of Texas Junior Golf Alliance Points Tournaments in their respective 2012 schedule. A total of 45 junior events will offer points.

Competitors may also accumulate points in the seven open events and one invitational operated in Texas by the national American Junior Golf Association. Juniors — players between the ages of 12 and 18 — will now have dual membership in their respective programs and the Texas Junior Golf Alliance for a single membership fee.

"The junior golf landscape in Texas can be intimidating and expensive to negotiate for beginning players and veterans alike," said Rob Addington, executive director of the Texas Golf Association. "Everyone involved hopes this will clear the path toward advancement while reassuring them of the quality of the events they are competing in.

The Texas PGA sections offer beginner's programs for youngsters. While players between 6 and 11 years old will not be competing in statewide events, they will be educated in the opportunities afforded by the alliance.

"Kids in this program will no longer have to travel all over the country to participate in quality events," said Mark Harrison, Northern Texas PGA executive director. "We'll have outstanding competition, conducted at the highest level of administration, on a wide variety of exceptional golf courses."

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