This past weekend, seven-year-old Logan McGinn won his fifth consecutive US Kids Golf Philadelphia Local Tour Event, clinching an eight-foot par on the 9th hole at Five Ponds Golf Club in Warminster, Pa. With this win, Logan was named US Kids Golf “Tour Champion” for the spring season.
Logan, who just finished up first grade at Central Elementary School in South Williamsport, has risen to “Burgundy Status,” which earns him automatic qualification into all US Kids Golf Regional Tournaments as well as the 2020 World Championship which will be held in Pinehurst, NC this August. In addition to the Pinehurst tournament, Logan will be playing in the IMG Academy Junior World Championships in San Diego, Ca next month.
An Early Start
According to Logan’s father, Paul McGinn, the boy was toddling around the golf course as young as two, putting around on the “big people’s green” with him. Logan received his first set of clubs at age four, and by the time he was five, he started competing in five-hole tournaments against other boys up to age nine from the local area through the North Central Pennsylvania Golf Association (NCPGA).
“Logan was beating nine-year-olds and we knew we had a kid who was naturally gifted and loved the sport,” said McGinn. He researched junior golf and learned about US Kids Golf, an organization that started in 1996 to help kids have fun learning the lifelong game of golf and to encourage families to get out and play together. Although Logan’s mom Nicole doesn’t play golf, she is an expert score and stats keeper, and is (according to McGinn) “a great caddy!”
The family watched a 2012 Netflix documentary about the best seven-year-old golfers from around the world called The Short Game. “That,” said McGinn, “is when Logan went from loving golf to being obsessed with it. He started competing in 9-hole tournaments last July through US Kids Golf and has had instant success!”
How Youth Golf Differs from the Adult Game
In the Boys 7 division, Logan’s average score is a 38, which is two over par. (The standard par for an 18-hole course is 72.) The kids play on normal-sized courses with the distance set based on age group. Distances in Boys 7 division are 60 to 100 yards for par 3’s, 111-160 yards for par 4’s, and 211 to 300 yards for par 5’s.
As athletes grow and gain strength, distances increase, so by the time Logan plays in the 12- and 13-year-old divisions, he’ll be driving from the regular men’s white and blue tees.
A Busy and Very Successful Schedule
Since last July 2018, Logan has competed in 18 Local Tour events in and around Philadelphia, Central New Jersey, and Rochester, Ny. He’s had 12 first-place finishes, five second-place finishes, one third-place finish, and three Tour Championships.
Additionally, Logan has traveled the country with his family to play in four Regional Championships, including the 2018 Seaview Open in Atlantic City, Nj (placed third), 2018 Holiday Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fl (placed seventh), 2019 Desert Shootout in Phoenix, Az (placed fifth), and the 2019 Colonial Williamsburg Classic in Williamsburg, Va (placed ninth).
He’s qualified for and accepted invitations to play in the Pa State Invitational at Seven Springs Resort near Pittsburgh at the end of June in addition to the two World Championship tournaments later this summer.
While other seven-year-olds might be busy swinging baseball bats this summer, Logan will be out on the course. “The two World Championships are literally the golf equivalent of the Little League World Series,” said McGinn. A huge fan of Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods, Logan just might find himself playing alongside them in the future.