U.S. National Development Program FAQs
The U.S. National Development Program is the United States' first national development program to provide a clear and unified pathway for the country's top players, beginning with competitive junior golf through to the pinnacles of the sport. The U.S. National Development Program will identify, train, develop, fund and support the nation’s most talented junior players - regardless of cultural, geographical or financial background.
The USGA has chosen to invest in the future of young American athletes and give them the same level of resources and support other countries give their athletes. Virtually every other golf country has a national golf development program and national teams that support homegrown talent from junior golf to the professional ranks. Additionally, golf is the only major U.S. sport in the Olympics that does not have a national player development program and clear pathway to elite competition.
In February 2023, the USGA announced its initial 5-year strategy. This is a long-term investment for the USGA, and it will take several years to launch all phases of the program. First steps will include a grant program in 2023 and a junior national team in 2024.
The USNDP’s initial strategy outlines six key areas of focus: talent identification, access to competition, national teams, athlete resources, player development and relations and athlete financial support.
Yes, athletes must be U.S. citizens. If an athlete is a dual citizen, the athlete must not be receiving any funding from another country and must represent the United States in all golf competitions, rankings and leaderboards.
Athletes need to be a minimum of 12 years old to be part of the USNDP.
The USGA will look at a variety of factors when identifying athletes for the program, including scoring average, rankings (state and national), statistics, sportsmanship, athleticism, potential and recommendations from industry partners, Allied Golf Associations and coaches.
Use the "USNDP Golf Resume Form" to get on the radar of the USNDP staff and when applying for a USNDP Grant. Click HERE for a fillable "USNDP Golf Resume Form".
Download the form, type the athlete's information directly into the form, and save the completed form to your computer or mobile device. Then, either attach the file to an email expressing interest in becoming a part of the USNDP to USNDP@usga.org or attach the file to an application for a USNDP Grant.
To be eligible to participate in the USNDP, junior players will be required to establish a Handicap Index and enter all acceptable scores (Rules of Handicapping). Scores are encouraged to be posted hole-by-hole. The more information a junior adds to their scoring record the better; including posting hole-by-hole with stats: keeping track of GIR (greens in regulation), fairways hit and putts.
View the U.S. National Development Program Handicap Index® Overview HERE.
Eligibility for the national junior team is being developed and will be published before the end of 2023.
No. The national junior team will be for a select and relatively small number of athletes compared to the number of athletes on grants or otherwise a part of the USNDP. Selection criteria and process for selection to the national junior team is currently being developed by the USGA.
The U.S. National Development Program Grant is designed to mitigate barriers of cost to promising junior golfers who demonstrate both financial need and the potential to progress through the U.S. National Development Program (USNDP) pathway.
Grants will be awarded based on financial need parameters as determined by the USGA and a performance assessment which takes into account scores, rankings, improvement trends, athleticism, references and swing and short game video evaluation.
Yes. Any athlete receiving a USNDP grant will be part of the USNDP.
Yes. As the USNDP continues to grow and roll out new programming, identified athletes will have opportunities to be part of the USNDP through tournament exemptions, virtual sessions with coaches and specialists and state and regional camps.