Beat the Heat – Tips for Your Junior Golfer – part 1

Junior golf is not for the weak of heart! Ditto for parenting junior golfers…

Living in South Central Texas means your junior golfer will play a lot of tournaments in hot weather. Heat is a fact of life down here, “hot” is considered 95 degrees and above.
If you live or play where the temperature is a challenge, you need to prepare your JG (Junior Golfer) for the heat.

S3 (our son, Sam III) was five, playing in one of his first tournaments, when he mentioned how hot it was on the golf course. I began preparing him for his future in golf with my answer: “Son you live and play golf in South Texas and it is hot here most of the time. Together we will learn how to deal with the heat and the fact that it is hot, will not affect your game.”

Though he didn’t realize it, S3 was already beating the heat by being properly hydrated and in “golf shape”. In this post and the next, I’ll share some beat-the-heat tips; you can use to prepare your JG.

The Beat the Heat List:

1. Be physically prepared: Your Junior Golfer’s goal is have basically the same energy level at the end of their round as they had on #1 tee. Physical conditioning is paramount. There are a number of convenient ways to get your Junior Golfer in “golf shape”, here are a few:
• He or she should carry their bag and walk rather than ride
• Play 9 holes at least three times a week
• Eat healthy on and off the course (limit processed foods)
Many tournaments are won or lost on the last few holes and being in “golf shape” is a great advantage.

2. Wear light-colored clothing: Choose the dri-fit/quick dry/wicking type of polyester fabric. Be sure to include “wicking” socks…they really help keep your Junior Golfer’s feet comfortable. Nike, Adidas, PGA Tour, and Under Armour are just a few of the great brands we prefer. Check out their websites.

3. Hydrate in advance and during the round: Advance hydration means having your Junior Golfer drink about ½ their body weight in ounces of water every day…for at least 2 or 3 days prior to their event. If he or she weighs 80lbs, it would be 40 ounces. (As a fitness specialist, Linda teaches that everyone should be drinking this much water daily) Hydration choices during the round include: water, sports drinks and green tea (without artificial sweeteners). Our Junior Golfer prefers the original Gatorade or water. Encourage yours to drink throughout the round. Don’t let your Junior Golfer wait until they are thirsty to start drinking – by then they are becoming dehydrated.

4. Be mentally prepared: Following the first three tips will give your Junior Golfer a physical advantage in the heat. He or she also requires mental preparedness and you can help by saying, “You have really prepared well, now let’s go out, have some fun and play golf!”

5. Carry at least 1 large golf towel: A must-have to wipe away sweat, this is invaluable. (Cold watered-down towels are great to place on the neck of your Junior Golfer as well)

6. Keep Energy Level Balanced: Your Junior Golfer is burning a huge amount of calories and they lose many nutrients in their sweat. Performance suffers without nourishment. Foods that hold up in the heat: peanut butter crackers, pb & j sandwiches, fruit snacks, jerky (without msg) and whole-grain bars. Eat a few bites every 3 or 4 holes. S3 has made a tradition of eating ½ of a turkey and cheese sandwich-dry, at the turn. Hamburgers are down the list as they sit heavy on the stomach –maybe ½ a burger only. Hot dogs and sausages are off the list as they sit heavy and greasy. No chocolate –too messy in the heat. Remember –eat light and eat frequently!

Okay, my next post will cover six more tips you can use to beat the heat. Let me hear from you –Sam

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