Frequently Asked Questions
What is Suncoast Middle School Golf?
Suncoast Middle School Golf is a non-profit program supported by the Greater Sarasota Junior Golf Association, The Capri Isles Junior Golf Association, and the Ryder Anthony Panico Foundation. Larry Flynn got these organizations to step in to help when the local school boards discontinued offering golf as a middle school sports team in 2011.
Suncoast Middle School Golf started by bringing together golfers from Sarasota County middle schools and has expanded to reach middle school golfers in Manatee and Charlotte counties also.
Who is eligible?
All 6th, 7th and 8th graders residing in Sarasota, Manatee or Charlotte counties. Students may participate whether they attend public school, private school or are homeschooled. Due to the popularity of the program, we cannot accommodate elementary school students in this program. If your younger player is ready for competitive golf, please check out GSJGA's 9-Hole Division at www.sarasotajuniorgolf.com.
How much does this cost?
$60 for the season includes an embroidered logo team shirt, twice-weekly practices at a local golf course for 8 weeks and six Saturday 9-hole matches. It also includes our Suncoast MSG championship on May 12 at Capri Isles, including ice cream for all attendees and awards for medalists and the championship team.
How do you supply so much for so little money?
Suncoast Middle School Golf, and our junior golfers, are lucky to enjoy very strong support from our local golf courses and professionals. Please be sure to stop in and thank the pro at your child’s home course and any courses hosting matches. They provide their courses free of charge to let junior golfers in the area have this opportunity. Mike Cummings, PGA, and his Capri Isles Junior Golf program is one of our most supportive courses. They host our annual championship match and luncheon, provide tryout space, practice space for at least one team and several match slots. It's pros and program like this that keep MSG going. Thanks from our golfers and families goes a long way with our local courses and PGA Professionals. We also fundraise through our parent organization, the Greater Sarasota Junior Golf Association.
Does Suncoast Middle School Golf provide lessons?
We do not, but can refer you to some excellent programs and teachers for new junior golfers.
Is my child good enough to make the team?
All newly registered golfers will be evaluated during tryouts with a PGA Professional to evaluate a player's readiness. MSG18 evaluations will be announced soon. Kids are encouraged to play in GSJGA tournament 9-hole tournaments to get a feel for MSG rules and yardages. (Go to www.sarasotajuniorgolf.com to register.) Information will be sent to players needing to attend the tryout.
Golfers with the skills to be able to walk and play nine holes of golf (using the double par pick-up rule) in under 2.5 hours will practice with their team twice weekly and be eligible to play in Saturday matches. In order to secure golf courses for matches, we have had to guarantee courses that: 1. only 6 golfers per team will play each Saturday and 2. all golfers will complete their match in 2.5 hours of less. Players who cannot play 9 holes, walking, in under 2.5 hours are ineligible for competition. They can stay in MSG, get their shirt and practice with their team, or work on improving their skills before next year's season.
What is the "double-par pick-up" rule?
Double par pick-up keeps our game moving and prevents middle school golfers from being bogged down or over-stressed any one difficult hole. If the ball is not in the cup at the double-par mark, (after the 6th stroke on a par 3, after the 8th stroke on a par 4, or after the 10th stroke on a par 5) the golfer picks up the ball, marks the double par score on their scorecard and circles that score. This indicates that the score was a double par pick-up.
What if there are not enough golfers at my child’s school to make a team?
Beginning with MSG17, we let parents choose their child's team based on practice location, not restricting it by school attendance. This helps parents chose a team that is best suited for their transportation needs. Each team will be capped at 8 golfers to ensure every player gets to participate in at least two Saturday matches. We hope this change will result in more balanced teams. Remind your golfers to ask their friends and schoolmates about golf. We are always looking to grow junior golf--and there are more golfers out there than you think!
Who supervises the kids?
Our organization depends on volunteers for survival. Each team has one or two or several parent coordinators. These parents attend practices and matches, keep things moving and stay with the kids. Some teams are lucky enough to have high school golfers acting as assistant coordinators. At matches, each threesome will have an adult with them in a cart for shuttling out to starting holes, filling divots, enforcing and explaining double par pick-up, bad weather evacuations, etc. Our organization is 100% volunteer driven and we can always use more parent volunteers. Parents often carpool kids to practice and matches. All help is appreciated! Please contact us right away if you can help out.
This sounds great! How do I sign my child up?
It is great! Registration for MSG18 will open on March 4 (March 3 for returning players. Follow our Facebook page (Suncoast Middle School Golf) or sign up for our mailing list at the Contact Us page for more info on MSG18. We are looking forward to a fabulous season!
What if I have more questions?
Contact Suncoast Middle Golf coordinator Karen Cangero or GSJGA Administrator Tim Conaway. You can complete the Contact Us form with your questions, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a phone number, so we can get in touch asap.