This state-level junior development program is a Cool Golf Thing

'Team Florida' is getting $60,000 worth of help from the Florida State Golf Association
At 14, Chloe Kovelesky was the youngest participant at the 2021 U.S. Women's Open. She is a member of the inaugural "Team Florida," a junior golfer development initiative started by her home state golf association.

In the history of Olympic women's gymnastics, Russia and the former USSR reign supreme with 37 gold medals. The second-winningest country is not the United states. It's Romania, with 22 golds, counting gymnasts Nadia Comaneci and Ecaterina Szabo among its national sporting heroes.

How did a country of 20 million people punch - or rather vault and somersault - so far above its weight? Those in the know attribute its dominance from the 1970s into the 2000s to its centralized, organized and efficient training program. Devote time, expertise and resources to young athlete development and you get results.

Golf is a somewhat lonelier sport than gymnastics, but many countries have their own national junior and amateur "teams" meant to rear the next generation of great global players. Brooke Henderson is a prime example of the goal of such programs, having had access to coaching and playing opportunities through Team Canada for almost a decade. She has done well for herself and her country.

The size of the United States makes for a different dynamic, but there is potential for similar golfer-development programs from individual states. Earlier this month, the Florida State Golf Association announced the formation of Team Florida, which comprises 41 players chosen based on performance in state and national events. The association seeks to spread $60,000 to these young golfers in order to help defray travel and tournament expenses. One Team Florida member is 14 year old Chloe Kovelesky, who made a splash at the U.S. Women's Open by leading the field in driving distance. If she and fellow golf phenoms can get some welcome help from their states, it could go a long way toward future success in this great game.

March 22, 2019
300 words or less, every Friday.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
More from the author
1 Min Read
December 3, 2021
It's good to sweeten the pot.
6 Min Read
November 30, 2021
From the home of Arnold Palmer to top resort courses and hidden gems, Orlando is loaded with options.
4 Min Read
November 23, 2021
We scoured the web of golf and found holiday savings up to 50% off.
4 Min Read
November 19, 2021
Architect Tom Doak’s annual Renaissance Cup is equal parts competition, collaboration and celebration.
1 Min Read
November 19, 2021
Cut class, tee it up and get some food, just like the old days.
2 Min Read
November 15, 2021
Golf course news and notes: November, 2021.
4 Min Read
November 30, 2021
The Jamaica Invitational Pro-Am "Annie's Revenge", one of the Caribbean's best pro-ams, introduces the fun and the sun of Rose Hall near Montego Bay.
12 Min Read
November 18, 2021
Golfers can choose from a wide variety of portable launch monitor price points and user experiences. Here is what's new and the best ones to consider to improve your golf.
4 Min Read
November 22, 2021
Anyone can play Tom Fazio's Wynn Golf Club, which sits in the heart of the Las Vegas strip.
7 Min Read
November 11, 2021
More than 115 golf resorts can be booked using your Bonvoy rewards. We break down where you can go and our favorite properties to use your points.
Load More
Now Reading
This state-level junior development program is a Cool Golf Thing