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Article: Accomplishing the Mission

Accomplishing the Mission – Participation, Recruit PKB & New Sponsors

This week, we will focus on our members and sponsors, the growing number of girls in the east and companies who are making an impact in junior girl’s golf and the collegiate ranks.  Through growing participation across the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest the tour continues to grow and remains the largest “girls’ only” tour in the country.  In addition, new sponsorship partnerships with three new companies in addition to the strong support from the LPGA, further assist the PKBGT in fulfilling our mission of increased competitive opportunities for female golfers.

INCREASED MEMBERSHIP & PARTICIPATION – 2013 saw the tour membership grow to just under 400 players, a 12% increase from 2012, including large growth in the Mid-Atlantic & Midwest.  With the influx of new players from new regions, the strength and size of tournament fields were the benefit, as noted last week in the increased national ranking recognition of tour events.  In 2013 PKBGT Championship events, participation averaged 72 participants with representatives from an average of 7 states.  PKBGT Classic multi-day events averaged 46 participants, with multiple events during the Spring Series reaching the PKBGT maximum of 90 girls.   PKBGT One-Day Open Series events averaged 37 participants, providing an ideal environment for developing players to meet similar girls in a fun, yet competitive setting.

For the 2013 season, 57% of the members participated in Bell Division Series events while the remaining 43% were in the Futures Division.  For 2014, we project our growth to continue, providing even stronger and diverse fields.  With the addition of the various Series in the 2014 tour, we will have numerous opportunities for players of all stages of the development process to compete and be recognized.

MEMBER SIGNINGS – The early signing period this November was the biggest yet for the PKBGT with 51 members from the Class of 2014 signing national letters of intent to play collegiate golf next Fall.  In the 7 year history of the tour, 240 members have fulfilled this dream!  Also exciting is another 12 members from the Classes of 2014 & 2015 have already made verbal commitments to play collegiate golf in the future.  A key mission of the PKBGT since its founding, these statistics re-energize our efforts as our players reach their goals.  With the creation of our RecruitPKB initiative led by College Consultant Brandi Jackson in 2013, we are poised to continue this trend and provide the events and resources to help PKBGT families navigate and be seen during the college recruiting process.  Learn more at http://recruit.pkbgt.org/.

ALUMNI EXCELLING IN THE COLLEGIATE RANKS – It is exciting for us to see the girls continue to have success when they reach the collegiate ranks and beyond.  From 2008 & 2009 Order of Merit season champion Katherine Perry (Cary, NC) earning All-American status while a member of the UNC Chapel Hill golf team or Laura Wearn (Charlotte, NC) making the second stage of LPGA Tour School this year, PKBGT alumni are making a splash.   Recent PKBGT alumni are also making a mark, with multiple players winning collegiate events this fall including Ashlli Thompson (Brown Summit, NC) for UNC Pembroke, Sarah Bae (Raleigh, NC) for High Point University, Ali Green (West Chester, OH) for Ashland University and Taylor Allison (Elizabeth City, NC) for Western Carolina University.  In addition, three PKBGT Alumni are currently ranked in the Top 100 in the Shotstat Collegiate Rankings including Sloan Shanahan (Suwanee, GA, Clemson University) at 36th, Kateyln Dambaugh (Goose Creek, SC, U. of South Carolina) at 85th, and Sarah Bae (Raleigh, NC, High Point U) at 99th.

COACHES ON SITE AT PKBGT EVENTS – RecruitPKB College Consultant Brandi Jackson keeps in regular communication with collegiate coaches on the East Coast to learn what they are looking for and inviting them to attend and recruit at PKBGT events.  PKBGT Championships and Classic events are prime opportunities to see numerous coaches following the action on-site.  For example, at the 2013 PKBGT Invitational, we were excited to see many of the regions strongest programs on-site, including Clemson, Furman, Gardner-Webb, Georgia, UNC Greensboro, High Point, Michigan State, NC State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.  Learn more about programs recruiting PKB at http://recruit.pkbgt.org/collegeresearchcenter.php.

NEW SPONOSRS OF BOARD FOR 2014 – We are excited to announce three new sponsors for 2014 and the return of our principle sponsor, the LPGA Foundation & the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf program.  The charitable arm of the LPGA, the LPGA Foundation certified the PKBGT in 2012 as an LPGA Approved Tour, the only such tour with this designation in the country.  The PKBGT is promoted nationally through the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf programs and provides a great way to get in touch with developing players looking for a place to play.

In 2014, two new “Tour Sponsors” have joined the PKBGT team, Gogie Girl Headwear and Frogg Toggs Sport Towels.  Froggs Toggs will be providing a PKBGT logoed Sport Towel and Gogie Girl Headwear will be providing a PKBGT logoed hat to each 2014 PKBGT membership packet.  In addition, each will be providing specials & discounts throughout the year for PKBGT members.  Also in 2014, we are excited to have Rocket Tour Golf as the new “Event Sponsor” for the PKBGT Players Championships.  The newly named, Rocket Tour Players will be played February 15 & 16th in Braselton, Georgia and players will be treated to an awesome custom PKB Rocket Tour headcover for participating.  It is companies like these that are allowing the PKBGT to achieve our mission of affordable competitive opportunities and a truly making a difference in girls’ golf!

Gogie Girl Headwear Frogg Toggs Rocket Tour Golf

If you have any questions about our ranking partnerships or how they are relevant to you or your player, please contact me at mparker@pkbgt.org or call the offices.

Mike Parker

PKBGT Tour Director

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Recruit PKB: Accountability Partner

Accountability is one factor many junior golfers struggle with when it comes to practice. It’s very easy to hit some range balls, maybe do some chipping and putting drills, then call it a day. Even for those players who practice several hours a day they rarely get the most out of their time. One of the best ways to get more out of your practice is to find an accountability partner. Just as many people do when they want to lose weight, quit a bad habit or train for marathon, they find somebody who will hold them accountable for their daily decisions, actions and progress.

Golf is one of the few sports where most of your practice is done on your own, without a team or coach. So find a friend, teammate or parent who will hold you accountable with your practice every day. Set a goal for what you want to accomplish and tell your partner. Do drills and make sure you each reach your goal before calling it a day. For example: set a goal of x/10 six foot putts around the hole. Have your partner toss the balls back to you and keep track of how many you make. Take turns till you both reach your goal. Play games or contests against each other. Play a match on the course. Take advantage of having someone with you who will push you to get the most out of your practice time. You will walk away from practice feeling much better about the time you spent.

 

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Recruit PKB: Coaches Circle

With the early signing period beginning this week, I wanted to address some comments that I have received from coaches over the past couple of weeks. If there is one thing I can’t emphasize enough it is that coaches talk to each other. Many of the coaches have known each other since we all started playing junior golf over 20 years ago and have been friends for years. I spent most of Saturday at the PKBGT Invitational catching up with some coaches who I played against in college and professional golf. So trust me when I say that we can all talk…a lot! The college golf world can be a very small world and while the coaches are competing against each other both on the course and with recruiting, they are still going to talk among themselves. It can certainly be a cut-throat process but for the most part the coaches have respect for one another and will be honest about the details of a particular players recruiting process. There are some exceptions on the coaches end as well where some dishonesty takes place so always make sure you ask the right questions.

You don’t have to tell a coach every detail about the offers you have from other schools but NEVER lie about it. It is very easy for two coaches to be out recruiting the same player and they end up discussing the details of what each family has told them and what offer they have given that player. It is a huge turnoff if one coach finds out that they were lied to about the offer presented by another coach. While recruiting has become very competitive and in many ways it is a business deal, always make sure you maintain your integrity and be honest with everyone who is involved.

There is certainly an element of negotiation that can take place before a final decision is made. A coach’s initial offer may not be the maximum they are willing to give a player but do your best to not wheel and deal too much among coaches or else you may lose out. While the financial aspect of an offer is extremely important to many families, always remember that you are looking for the best fit for the junior golfer and not necessarily the best “deal” or the most golf specific scholarship money. Coaches are much more willing to negotiate with a family who is honest with them and has the right intentions for the junior golfer.