Junior Golf Tournaments: 5 Steps for Lower Scores

imageToday’s Wednesday Waggle will give you 5 steps for lower scores in junior golf tournaments. These are practice, playing and conditioning oriented, basically pre-tournament routines to provide a degree of confidence in your youngster’s shot-making and playing ability. (photo of Jason Duffner from golf digest.com)

1. So obvious, but sometimes overlooked, take your young golfer to the tournament course and play a practice round. Some courses have selected dates for practice rounds, often with discounted pricing. Contact the course, refer to the exact name and date of the tournament and provide your child’s name so the course can confirm he is entered. Please do this. A practice round gives your kiddo an amazing amount of course knowledge that will be very helpful during the tournament.

2. Maintain or increase time at the driving range. If you have a very young beginner with just a 5, 7, 9-iron and putter, sometimes it is best to just let him tee off with the club he likes the best. Maybe it’s the 9-iron, that’s OK, spend more range time with the 9-iron so he has some confidence with it. The objective is for your junior golfer to have fun. (photo from threeriversparks.org)image

3. Do some extra conditioning. Most kids are in better physical shape than they are given credit for, however, the pressure of competition, summer heat and carrying a bag of golf clubs can take a heavy toll. Walk a few blocks with your son carrying his golf bag and you carry yours. Make a game of it. Mix in a few sprints with the walking. More is better and anything, properly done, is better than nothing.

4. A simple way to practice putting at home is put a plastic cup on its side on some carpet, and have your young golfer putt into it from a distance of 4 feet. 30 to 50 putts daily can really pay off on the golf course.

5. Chipping practice is so easy at home. Buy a bag of whiffle balls, a couple of dollars per bag and available at most big box stores and sporting goods stores and go to the back yard. Have him focus on landing the ball on certain spots: the base of a tree, in a bucket, on a towel, be creative, make a game out of it. Since there is no rollout with whiffle balls, again the object is to focus on landing the ball in a specific target area.

image If you need some golf instruction help, The Golf Channel Academy app is free and has wonderful videos.

There is always more prep that can be included in every pre-tournament routine, but for now these tips will get you started.

Start with Step 1 and work your way down the list. See you on #1 tee… Sam.

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