The U.S. Golf Association has officially launched the U.S. National Development Program, designed to create a unified pathway that nurtures top Americans through the junior and amateur ranks to the pinnacle of the sport.
While athletes from the rest of the world have benefited from such programs for decades, this will be a first for American golf.
“Golf is the only major sport in the U.S. without a national development program,” said USGA CEO Mike Whan. “Today, that ends.”
Beginning this year, the program will fund 50 juniors. That number will grow each year so that by 2027, the program will fund 1,000 juniors across the country and impact thousands more.
The Junior National Team will launch in 2024 with the Amateur National Team forming the following year and the Young Professional Team by 2026.
Golfweek recently caught up with Heather Daly-Donofrio, a former LPGA player and tour executive who leads the program as the USGA’s managing director of Player Relations and Development, to find out more about how it will all unfold: