Local junior golf delivery system is nation’s leading introductory and recreational program
El Segundo, CA – What started with love for a kid sister and the sport of golf in 2003, has TGA Premier Golf (TGA) currently on a pathway to introduce a million kids to the game.
Joshua Jacobs, CEO of TGA and former collegiate golfer at Emory University, recently graduated and was in the business world working in New Jersey when September 11th, 2001 struck. In the aftermath, he decided to return to his California roots and follow his passion, golf and kids.
While helping his little sister pick after school programs in the fall of 2003, Jacobs noticed golf was not on the menu of activities offered to elementary students. He recognized an opportunity to develop an innovative program that could introduce youngsters (ages 3-13) to his favorite sport.
He developed a curriculum, created partnerships with schools and started after-school programs in 6 schools that quickly became 25 in the Los Angeles area by the end of the first year. In just three years his original idea had evolved into the first and still only youth sports franchise model dedicated to golf that creates a seamless player pathway between introductory, recreational and competitive programs. Fifteen years later TGA students and families are swinging all across the nation.
“The best way to increase the number of golfers is through grass roots programs delivered by incentivized local entrepreneurs,” said Jacobs. “TGA is unique because we provide a franchised business opportunity for entrepreneurs while breaking down traditional barriers to entry through programs that bring golf to the masses in schools and community centers.”
Today, the TGA model continues to flourish nationwide for several reasons. The locations of its programs, the player pathway it creates for students and families, the station-based curriculums that incorporate academics, golf skill progression, physical fitness and health components and the passionate franchise owners who are vested to grow the sport.
TGA is also the only golf program in schools that incorporates STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Mathematics) Labs to teach how and why the game is played effectively. With academics woven seamlessly into the program, school principals and families have embraced the program in their communities.
In 2018, TGA is in over 60 markets, 3,400 schools and facilities, and has introduced golf to over 740,000 kids with no sign of slowing down. The model has also gone international with programs in Canada.
“With less than 3% of America playing golf, every demographic from the wealthy to the under-resourced has the opportunity to grow,” explains Jacobs. “The majority of the 1.5 million families TGA promotes golf to are in the middle to upper income thus running parent-funded programs that are self-sustaining. In addition, through our 501c3 TGA Sports Foundation, we reach the lower income families creating a sustainable local golf ecosystem in the communities we serve.”
TGA is making a mark. Entrepreneur Media through its magazine and website has recognized the company as a Top Low-Cost Franchise, Top 10 Franchise Value included it in the Franchise 500® and named TGA Premier Golf as one of the Hottest Franchises of 2018.
While conducting programs at schools and community centers, TGA partners with local golf courses and driving ranges (around 225 across the U.S.) to bridge participants from introductory programs to more traditional recreational golf programs such as camps, parent/child events, clinics and local leagues. In that measure, Jacobs pointed out, it provides a true player pathway.
“With 70% of our kids and families having never played golf before, we are the base of the pyramid that feeds into all the other areas and initiatives of the game,” he explained. “TGA programs are feeding new golfers to Drive, Chip and Putt, Youth on Course, LPGA/USGA Girls Golf and PGA Junior League. In addition, kids who started with TGA are now playing high school golf, becoming TGA coaches and life-long golfers, which is very gratifying to see.”
TGA’s local program delivery system continues to evolve and attract other sports industries. The governing body of tennis, United States Tennis Association (USTA) quickly recognized the traction TGA had in golf and joined forces to help develop the same model for tennis. TGA also added six new team sports to its repertoire in 2017, working with the United States Olympic Committee to follow the American Develop Model (ADM) to prevent early sport specialization.
TGA is pumping new life-blood into an industry whose participation has been flat or decreasing. “By growing the base of the pyramid, it affects public and private golf courses, industry jobs, PGA / LPGA Professionals, tournaments and equipment manufacturers,” says Jacobs. “We expect to reach over a million new golfers in the next three years based on steady franchise growth.”
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