Junior Golf: Parent’s Emotions

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at the other emotions that show up on the golf course and that is the emotions of the parents. Your daughter’s emotions are those we think of 1st, but Dad and Mom’s emotions are equally, if not more, important.

Unless you are a caddy or a coach, your contact with your daughter during tournament play is very limited. So how are you able to encourage her during the round? There are several allowable methods: applause, saying good shot or good putt, giving a thumbs up and just showing a nice big smile. Coaching of course, is not allowed by parents and idle chatter is frowned upon and in some cases it is just not allowed. (photo by offcoursegolf.com)

The best rule of thumb for parents is to be very respectful of the rules and when in doubt keep your mouth closed. One of the struggles for many young golfers is maintaining focus, which is not helped by excessive parental chatter. Now this is coming from the Goldfarb Family which is made up of 100% talkers, so please don’t tell me how tough this is to do. We know.

We all pretty much understand how your daughter is impacted when, after making a good shot, you, the parents, give her positive response. But what happens when she hits a poor shot, chunks a chip or misses a 3-foot putt? Bad shots are when the parents can have the most impact on the junior golfer. Parents, you must smile, say that’s OK, we love you, give a thumbs up. You cannot drop your head, slump your shoulders, look depressed and walk away, period. This destroys your child. The last thing she wants to do is disappoint you. And you must convey that she never disappoints you, that your love for her is not measured by the numbers on her scorecard. Yes, we parents feel our kid’s pain when they hit a bad shot, but we can’t show it!

So we had a parent/child scenario in The President’s Cup when US Captain Jay Haas used 1 of his Captain’s picks to select his son Bill. Now Bill was like 11th in line and only the Top 10 spots are guaranteed, so Bill was very close to making it on his own. I’m proud of Jay for picking his son. The choice wasn’t looking that great as Bill teed off in the LAST, 12th match in the Sunday singles. Here was Bill Haas, having a 0-1-1 record, not very good, playing in the final match of a 4-day event, that was going to be extremely close, and the whole world was watching. What do you want to call this on Jay’s part? Bad strategy, foolish or good faith and confidence in his son. I choose the latter.image

Bill Haas had Sangmoon Bae 1-up with 1-hole to play so the best the Internationals could do is tie the cup if Bae won the hole. Well, Bae chunked a chip shot and Bill won the hole and the US won the cup. Great stuff as Bae had played amazing golf for most of the event. Dad’s confidence and trust in his son paid off. Ain’t it great! (photo golfweek.com)

See you on #1 tee… Sam

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