Junior Golf University
Junior Golf University (JGU) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz. JGU oversees its flagship program, the PING Junior Interclub (PJI), providing online tournament management for PJI events and administrative support to PJI teams.
PING Junior Interclub
The PING Junior Interclub (PJI) is a team-based tournament series for junior golfers (boys and girls, ages 12-18). Teams consist of 5-8 players and are formed by private, public and resort-style golf courses. Each team competes against other teams formed within a specific area.
Our mission as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is to educate, promote and nurture youth through the game of golf. To that end we:
- Educate youth by providing a unique curriculum; teaching golf-specific history, rules, etiquette, agronomy, fitness, club fitting and all aspects of the golf swing.
- Promote the game and junior golfers by offering fun and competitive team tournament formats.
- Nurture young people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, using golf as a platform to instill leadership and life skills.
In 2008, John Souza, Director of PING WRX, established Junior Golf University (JGU). As a parent and member at Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix, Ariz., Souza was asked by the club to create a more comprehensive golf program for juniors. Starting with the fundamentals, JGU provided junior golfers at Moon Valley with classroom and on-course instruction pertaining to the sport's history, rules, etiquette, agronomy, fitness, club fitting and the golf swing.
As a result, the participants at Moon Valley learned the fundamentals of the game and were eager to have a competitive aspect added to the program. Therefore, in 2009, the Arizona Junior Interclub Series was created which is now the PING Junior Interclub (PJI). The PJI functions as a graduate-level program within the original curriculum.
Board of Directors
Since its inception, three board members have led Junior Golf University. Souza, current Executive Director, is responsible for the execution of daily operations as well as the development and expansion of the organization. Rod Tomita and Lou Beebe provide additional leadership.
Tomita, Moon Valley member and JGU's Secretary and Treasurer, is an experienced business professional with a strong background in finance.
Beebe, a former Arizona Men's State Champion, has worked at PING for over 35 years. He is regarded as one of the foremost club experts in the world. Beebe's knowledge of working with youth is invaluable.
In addition, a strong Advisory Committee has been established to provide guidance as JGU and the PJI expand.
JGU Advisory Committee
- Phil Green - OB Sports, President
- Melissa Luellen - Arizona State University Women's Golf Coach
- Cricket Musch - Nike, Sports Marketing Director of College and Amateur Golf
- Ted Purdy - PGA Tour Player
- Dan Quayle - Former Vice President of the United States of America
- John Solheim - PING, Chairman and CEO
- Scott Sullivan - PING, Player Development Manager
- Matt Thurmond - University of Washington Men's Golf Coach
- Kirk Triplett - PGA Tour Player
- Bubba Watson - PGA Tour Player
More About PJI
In 2008, the PING Junior Interclub (PJI) was launched. Currently, the PJI is the flagship program for Junior Golf University (JGU). The PJI is a tournament series providing junior golfers with the unique opportunity to compete as a member of a team. The program offers a welcoming, fun environment for those just starting to play competitive golf. Using the interclub concept, junior players develop team-based skills inherent in other sports, while competing in golf, a game that fosters integrity, leadership and life skills.
Each team is coed, consisting of eight junior golfers, ages 12-18. Teams are formed by private, public and resort-style golf facilities. JGU also sponsors teams formed by the local First Tee chapter.
In 2009, the program received title sponsorship from PING, a world-class manufacturer of golf equipment. As a result, the program was renamed, beginning a relationship that will allow the program to grow to a national level.
420 E. Forest Hills Dr.
Phoenix, AZ 85022
John Souza, Executive Director