Junior Golf: Lesson 2 From The Tour Championship

imageIn our Friday Flop Shot we’ll take a look at the 2nd lesson to be learned from The Tour Championship. Every time you watch a professional golf tournament, there are many things to be learned, both good and bad. (photo from offcoursegolf.com)

So our 2nd and final lesson we will take from last week’s Tour Championship is: nobody plays great all the time. Yes, the greatest names in the history of the game had their streaks when they won multiple golf tournaments. And Byron Nelson won 11 events in 1 year in the 1940’s, but as great an achievement as that was, he didn’t win everything. Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Tiger Woods and more guys have won a lot of golf tournaments in 1 season. But they all had times that they weren’t playing good enough to win. Yes, none of them liked it, but it’s called being human.

LPGA Hall of Famer Judy Rankin was talking on the golf channel about how many tournaments in a row the pros play, and for most it’s 2 or 3 in a row because it is so demanding. However, Judy made the point that if you are playing great, you want to keep playing because you know it won’t last forever. This is reality in professional golf.

Jason Day was hot as a firecracker the last few months on the PGA Tour and he was a favorite to win it all. In Atlanta however, Jason’s magical play had faded and while he was playing pretty well, after 2 days it appeared that he would really need to finish super strong to get back in it. In the meantime Henrick Stenson was on fire in the 1st round and looked like he was going to shoot about 30-under par if he could keep it up as he did at this same venue in 2013, winning it all. Ricky Fowler looked like he was always just about to get a bunch of birdies going but he never caught fire.image

Then there’s Jordan Spieth who had everybody, except him and his caddy, shaking their heads after he missed the cut in 2 of the playoff events. As the other guys on the PGA Tour know, Jordan is a competitor to take very seriously when the stakes are high. Stenson could not maintain his torrid birdie streaks and Jordan patiently caught up with and ultimately passed him. No one else was really a threat on Sunday as 2 days of rain had made a mess of everyone’s scores, except for Jordan’s. Congratulations to him! (Byron Nelson photo from media.nj.com)

Mom and Dad, you junior golfer is not going to win every golf tournament they play in. Winning just 1 is a big deal. Any golf tournament is hard to win so don’t beat your junior golfer up when he doesn’t play well or is not competitive. It happens. It’s part of golf. Players at every skill level are looking for consistency and guess what, sometimes your golfer is more consistent and sometimes they are not very consistent at all. Accept the fact that designing a plan to work toward better consistency is the way to go. This isn’t accepting failure. This is about accepting that golf is hard and being an elite athlete in any sport is hard and all athletes in all sports at all levels want to be more consistent in playing at a higher level.

So love your son. Take him to #1 tee and I’ll be looking for him… Sam

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