Eric Noski, the co-founder and Montgomery County director of Beltway Junior Golf Tour, has spent years playing and teaching golf. As a physical education instructor and varsity golf coach at The Woodlands High School experienced with his local players and community, Noski said he saw Beltway as an opportunity to build students’ year-round time with the sport.
In 2013, Noski and a small group of Houston-area coaches established the locally driven Beltway tour concept to bring accessible, competitive summer golf to both established and beginning athletes.
“Myself and five other guys got together and said, ‘We need to start our own junior tour, because there’s still kids not playing.’” Noski said. “There’s other junior tours out there, but we developed ours from a sense of logistics. Trying to get kids to play near where they live.”
Through Beltway, young golfers can play a series of structured tournament-style events on their own community courses over summer break when school teams are not competing and larger, traveling tours can prove prohibitive.
Once players register, they can attend every event on their local tour or play only a handful as they desire. Participants are not locked into their own area, and they can join Beltway matches across Texas.
Noski and his five collaborators started Beltway in the Houston region, first developing programs around Montgomery County, Fort Bend County and the Lake Houston area. The company has since expanded across the state to new markets such as Austin, San Antonio and Central Texas, which Noski said it has steadily grown in popularity given its focus on affordability and availability.
“It’s just boomed,” Noski said. “We’ve got a great business model, and we love to pitch into guys that are in those areas. ... We try to keep it real cost effective for the parents and local, and that’s what drives us.”
Beltway tournaments are open to boys and girls from as young as age 5 through 18-year-olds. The young golfers are grouped into divisions based on skill, with most varsity, junior varsity and some junior high-level players registered for 18-hole competition. Younger or less-experienced participants can opt to play five or nine holes.
Beltway’s typical schedules center around one-day events to keep its programming open for families and students during the summer months while building up students for more frequent or intense contests down the road.
Noski said most Beltway regions offer around 10 tournaments from early June through the start of August. Every region features its own championship at the end of the season, and the company also hosts a two-day, 36-hole final competition open to all its golfers from across the state.
“We’re just trying to get kids out, get used to tournament golf,” Noski said.
Noski said he believes Beltway will continue expanding to new markets given its increasing popularity and “business in a box” model. Beltway’s dedicated regional managers operate through its website, where registration, scheduling, scorekeeping and other updates can be processed without the need for physical facilities.
“Our slogan is, ‘We know your name’ because we literally know all the kids,” Noski said. “It’s just knowing your area, knowing the kids, and knowing the parents and the families. And once that starts, it just spreads.”