VERONA — Earlier this week, the golf courses at Turning Stone Resort Casino had some action on them from junior golfers looking to play at the next level, all thanks to the Junior Golf Hub.
“The Junior Golf Hub is a platform for golfers and their families to connect with college coaches,” founder of the Junior Golf Hub and PGA professional Roger Knick said. “Some of these kids were looking to go on and play at the next level and we’re here to help them out.”
Knick said the Junior Golf Hub approached college coaches and asked them what they were specifically looking for in a student-athlete.
According to Knick, players create profiles that are searchable by the coaches. There’s also a ‘Find and Follow’ feature that allows juniors to follow college golf programs and receive education on the do’s and don’t’s of the college recruiting process.
Then the college coaches find and filter the top talent they are looking for.
“So far, the program has worked extremely well,” Knick said. “Some parents were asking how do we get the process started?”
“We have almost 1,000 coaches and 10,000 profiles on the HUB,” Knick said. “Everything is based off of tournament results. So nothing is fabricated.”
The tournament at Turning Stone was put on by the Notah Begay III Junior Golf Tour. Begay, who is 47, was the first Native American to play on the PGA Tour and now serves as an analyst for The Golf Channel and NBC Sports. He has four PGA Tour wins.
When asked why the Junior Golf Hub partnered with the Notah Begay Tour, Knick said that it fit nicely with their mission.
“We want to create a positive impact through golf,” Knick said. “That tour gives kids a chance to be seen by college coaches.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Knick said that the Junior Golf Hub has been “a good opportunity for us.”
“We have a rich library of information,” Knick said. “It’s a good platform for kids and it’s a go-to platform for coaches.”
Some of the schools young golfers have gone on to compete at thanks to the Junior Golf Hub include: Nebraska, the University of Miami, Fla., the University of Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Yale, Auburn, Florida State, Navy, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, the University of Florida and the University of Oregon.