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 other Friday.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
0 Comments
More from the author
3 Min Read
December 8, 2022
The Match, TGL and other new-age non-tour events seek to captivate casual audiences and die-hards alike.
7 Min Read
December 3, 2022
From brand collaborations to limited drops to resort pro shops, there has never been more variety in apparel and accessories for golfers to choose from.
1 Min Read
November 30, 2022
Hit the clubhouse, make a birdie?
10 Min Read
November 28, 2022
Modern golf dominates the Sunshine State, but there are plenty of antiques - both polished and unvarnished - waiting to be unearthed by adventurous visitors.
8 Min Read
November 20, 2022
GOLF+, an increasingly popular virtual-reality golf video game, brings an impressive simulation of the game into your living room.
1 Min Read
November 17, 2022
How many strokes is Chuck getting, anyway?
Popular
18 Images
November 28, 2022
These photos from our reviewers will inspire you to keep playing golf this winter, wherever you live.
2 Min Read
November 20, 2022
New innovation brings unique products to improve the life of golfers.
7 Min Read
November 18, 2022
We cover every price point to make sure your favorite golfers get the gift they want this holiday season.
Load More
Now Reading
This state-level junior development program is a Cool Golf Thing