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:
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.
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 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.
John Souza, Executive Director