Junior Golf: The Best of Times

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan, we will look at the Best of Times with your junior golfer. As we have mentioned before the times you are with your son during junior golf will provide some of the most wonderful experiences of your life, memories and bonding opportunities like no other.

When Charles Dickens wrote “A Tale of Two Cities” in 1859, he likely was not thinking his opening line “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, would be used as a sports metaphor. But this line from one of the great classic novels of all-time could certainly be used to describe the life of a junior golfer and his parents. Any sport has highs and lows, but golf is different as it is an individual sport and with the few exceptions that you can have a caddy or coach during competition, life on the course is a bit isolated. (photo by jennlefforge.com)

Today however, we’re talking about “It was the BEST of times”. S3 came in from college this past weekend to play with me in my high school 50th Anniversary Reunion Golf Tournament. It was a scramble at a course we have played many times. This was a progressive start-meaning tee times and we were the 1st group off. Well S3 was the talk of the tournament, being a college golfer and that he was just 21 years old, since almost everybody else’s kids were around 40 years old. This of course added to the BEST of times for me, the Proud Papa.

A bit of humility returned as I explained to S3 that our teammates each had a gpa that made my very good gpa look not so good. Tom went to Rice and is a prominent chemist/toxicologist and Leo went to UT, my alma mater, that’s The University of Texas for you non-Longhorns, and works in a prominent applied physics lab on the East Coast. Of course some Big Bang Theory jokes were in order.

On #1, I actually crushed my 3-wood right down the middle, but S3 outdrove me, of course, and we used his tee shot to begin the scramble. The first 5 holes we just could not scrape up a birdie, but finally on #6, a par 5, S3 bombed his drive and hit an 8-iron pin high so we finally 2-putted to get on the birdie train. Actually the course ran out of range balls so we had no range warmup, just chipping and putting, so it took a few holes to just loosen up. Bad form for a prominent golf course to be out of range balls by 915am on a Saturday with a tournament starting at 10am.

Now, the kinks were gone and S3 and I hit a bunch of great shots. I played the best golf, for me, in a long time and he finally relaxed and started hitting the amazing shots he is capable of. So the drill was S3 would hit 4th, expecting me or Tom or Leo to hit a decent playable shot so S3 could go for a higher risk shot. It worked. We were 9-under par for our last 13-holes. Not fabulous, but pretty doggone decent!image

The point here parents, is that my son and I got to spend 5 wonderful hours together on a really nice day, on a good golf course on a team with 2 of my high school buddies. Tom and Leo are super guys and great teammates. We all fed off of each other’s good shots. It is always a very close and special relationship between parent and child when you can each feed off of and share in each other’s good and actually quite a few great golf shots. It is just so cool to be there together: “Great shot Son!”, “Great shot Dad!” There’s nothing else like it, period! Find a way to share these moments with your son. If you don’t play golf, be his biggest encourager! That’s a big part of what Linda and I are here to help you do.

See you on #1 tee, hopefully both of you… Sam

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