Connor Herlihy - Junior Golf Tour of Asia

Connor Herlihy is a Media & Communications staff member of the Junior Golf Tour of Asia (JGTA). Prior to working for the JGTA, he was an intern with the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). Follow along as he discusses his experiences with the AJGA.

Overall, what was your experience like as an intern of the AJGA?

My experience as an AJGA staff member was invaluable. I was a full-time traveling operations intern in the spring of 2017. My team’s schedule marched us from East Coast to West Coast and back on a 7-week adventure that featured 7 AJGA events.

What was your favorite event of your internship?

My favorite event was my last event with the AJGA, The Thunderbird International Junior. The event takes place at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona every year and always features a field full of premiere junior golf talent from all over the world. I would say this was my favorite event to work for many reasons. The first being the host venue, Grayhawk Golf Club. The course is mint and has a laid-back feel. The hundreds of volunteers on site were incredible to work with, and we ran a few fun social activities, including a closest to the pin under the lights. It would be hard to write this without also mentioning the unlimited milkshake bar available during the tournament.

What impact does the AJGA have on the landscape of junior golf?

The AJGA is the gold standard. AJGA tournaments offer the highest competition level in junior golf and are the focal point for College Coaches recruiting efforts. At the time, I did not realize the full impact that winning and competing in AJGA events had on the players. Now it seems that every time I check social media, another player that I saw compete is making a commitment to play college golf or is standing out in some way or another.

What was your favorite part of the internship?

My favorite part of the internship was working and traveling as a team. We clicked well and getting to go to a new course every week and run a great event was very rewarding. Every week was fresh, every week was different.

What was your transition to the JGTA like?

My transition from being a traveling intern with the AJGA to working for the JGTA came with ease. Shortly after the AJGA internship, I knew I wanted to continue my career in golf and the JGTA’s mission is something that I believe in. When I can, I always make it a point to go to AJGA events in the summer months to catch up with players from Asia. As a world traveler, I know seeing familiar faces in the states can be helpful for players when they are on the road for weeks traveling to AJGA events.

What is the importance of the JGTA? How does it change the landscape?

It is hard to put into words how important the JGTA is for the players in Asia. It puts players on a similar playing field to those in the states and gives them the opportunity to compete and work towards playing against the best in the U.S. in the summer months. Four JGTA competitors became AJGA champions last summer after earning status through their final ranking on the JGTA Junior Order of Merit. I have a strong feeling that this number will skyrocket over the next few seasons.