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U.S. National Development Program FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

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 wanted 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 did not have a national player development program and a clear pathway to elite competition.

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.

Athletes can be involved with the USNDP through various USNDP-supported programs such as:

  • USNDP Grants
  • National Junior Teams
  • USNDP-sponsored Tournament Exemptions
  • State Teams

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 13 years old to be part of the USNDP.

The USGA looks 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, such as 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.

 

In 2024, the USNDP launched a state team pilot program with California (Southern), Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Tennessee with the goal of all states having a team by 2033.  Team selection criteria vary by state and may consist of a points structure, ranking, or combination of other competitive factors.  Click HERE to learn more.

Athletes for the National Junior Team are evaluated and selected by the Team Selection Committee.  The Committee selects and invites athletes to participate on a National Development Team in accordance with the eligibility criteria outlined HERE

No. The National Junior Team is for a select and relatively small number of athletes compared to the number of athletes on grants, USNDP-sponsored Tournament Exemptions, or State Teams. 

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 determined by the USGA and a performance assessment that considers scores, rankings, improvement trends, athleticism, references, and video evaluation.

Grants will be determined through an annual application and reviewed by the USNDP Grant Committee through a three-step review process. The 2025 Grant Application will be open July 2024 - October 2024. 

Yes. Any athlete receiving a USNDP grant will be part of the USNDP.

Yes. Identified athletes have opportunities to be part of the USNDP through USNDP-sponsored tournament exemptions,  state teams, virtual sessions with coaches and specialists, and state and regional camps.

Sign up to receive USNDP updates HERE. 

If you would like additional information or have a more specific question, you can send an email to our team at USNDP@usga.org.