AJGA interns make major impact in the golf industry
Nearly 100 annual internship opportunities provide unparalleled experience
BRASELTON, Ga. - The American Junior Golf Association’s internship program is preparing the next generation of golf industry staff by employing almost 100 interns each year. These interns are carefully selected and trained to be successful wherever their next career step takes them.
An intern’s journey begins with a rigorous recruiting and selection process that involves 1,200 applicants navigating an online application, interview and personality assessment.
Top candidates are invited to the AJGA's National Headquarters for Intern Recruiting Weekend (IRW). During the weekend, candidates go through a series of interviews and well as small and large group challenges, designed to determine each participant’s strengths and weaknesses. Candidates are also exposed to prominent guest speakers from within the golf industry and experience the AJGA culture and meet all staff members. After the weekend, final intern selections are made by the hiring committee.
Before the start of the internship, an extensive training is conducted at the AJGA’s National Headquarters and during each team of eight interns' first events. Hands-on and classroom-style training prepares the interns, but it is the experience gained from overseeing 10-12 annual events that sets them apart within the industry.
The AJGA's internship gives its staff large amounts of responsibility and encourages them to grow in a team environment while being mentored by some of the best staff in golf. Skills such as leadership, work ethic, event management, public relations, public speaking and customer service are ingrained in the internship from the beginning. In addition to the experience, the AJGA compensates interns the hourly federal minimum wage, plus overtime worked, as well as pays most other tournament or travel-related expenses including lodging, food, gas and laundry.
The hands-on experience allows AJGA interns to land jobs within golf and sports industries. The AJGA hires exclusively from its internship pool and others are referred to a growing list of prominent organizations. Past interns now work for organizations such as the USGA, PGA TOUR, LPGA, PGA of America, The First Tee, state and regional golf associations, college athletics and jobs throughout the sports industry.
After an AJGA communications internship in 2017, Kendra Hansey accepted a year-long role with the United States Olympic Committee. She now works for the USOC full-time.
“The AJGA internship played a pivotal role in my preparation for working in sports by providing me with the useful tools and skills needed for real life application,” Hansey said. “It enhanced my ability to think on my feet, remain agile under pressure and work effectively. Unlike any other internship I have heard of, the AJGA provided me the full, uninhibited experience of what it’s like working in sports. The internship required me to step up and fully contribute as a member of the staff — preparing me to jump into any role with a future organization with full confidence in my abilities.”
Ben Kimball was an operations intern for the AJGA in 2002 and was hired afterward to work full-time as a tournament director. He went on to work for the USGA, and now oversees the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Open Championships.
“The experiences I had as an intern and a full-time staff member were invaluable,” Kimball said. “I am a better golf administrator today because of the time I spent with the AJGA. To this day I am very proud of that.”
The application for the AJGA internship programs opens in August. Find more information at ajga.org/careers.
Former intern and staff success within the golf industry:
Arizona Golf Association
Augusta National Golf Club
Carolinas Golf Association
Colorado Golf Association
Florida State Golf Association
Georgia State Golf Association
Global Golf Post
Golf Association of Michigan
Illinois Junior Golf Association
Iowa State University
Junior Golf Association of Arizona
Junior Golf Tour of Asia
Lagardère Sports and Entertainment
Legends Junior Tour
Metropolitan Golf Association
Mid-American Junior Golf Tour
Minnesota Golf Association
New Hampshire Golf Association
Northern California Golf Association
Palm Beach County Golf Association
PGA of America
Second Nine Consulting
South Carolina Golf Association
Southeastern Junior Golf Tour
The First Tee
Tiger Woods Foundation
University of Georgia
Utah Golf Foundation
Virginia State Golf Association
Western Golf Association
Wisconsin Golf Association
Former intern and staff success across all industries:
American Heart Association
Big 12 Conference
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Global Golf Post
IMG Worldwide, LLC
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Stan Smith Events
Tulsa Sports Commission
U.S. Olympic Committee
Wasserman Media Group
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 7,100 members from 50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
TaylorMade and adidas are the AJGA’s National Sponsors, supporting the AJGA for more than 25 years. TaylorMade has served as the Official Ball of the AJGA since 2016. adidas has been the Official Apparel and Footwear of the AJGA since 2017. Rolex, in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.