Junior Golf: The Other Clock

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot we are taking a look at another clock, 1 that is the topic of much conversation and 1 that thankfully is getting more attention on the professional tours, since it always receives plenty of attention in junior golf and amateur golf. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

Yes, we are talking about the shot clock, the pace of play clock, the out of position clock, the slow play clock, the taking too long to hit a shot clock, whatever you want to call it, you know where we are going here.

First, Mom and Dad, know that my comments here about the slow play of girls is not an attack on your daughter, but statements of facts learned by years of being around the situation. There are surely boys who play slowly and S3 has had plenty of them in his groups over the years. This being said, S3 never takes more than 22 seconds to hit a shot and usually the other young men play quicker rather than slower. Girls golf however, is notorious for horribly slow play and the main reason is that the girls have been allowed to get away with slow play because of a lack of manpower in junior and amateur golf, not enough rules folks/marshals to maintain proper pace of play. The scary line is, “Guys you are behind a 4-some of high school girls.” The common response is, “Oh no, 6-hour round.” Walking to the clubhouse in 1 high school tournament, I saw 4 high school female golfers all kneeling down studying the lines of their putts. Not 1 player moved and I walked nearly 300 yards in the meantime. This is nuts, but happens a lot, at least here in Texas.image

Your daughter has 40 seconds to hit her ball from the time she gets to her ball and after she is clear of any interference and distractions. Put a clock on her on the range and develop a drill to get her into the low to mid-20’s. Few pros take more than 1 practice swing. Many take none. About the only time you see multiple practice swings is when they are hitting a shot or chip from a difficult lie, usually deep rough. They are trying to get a feel for how the grass will affect the club and adjust their swing accordingly. (photo golfstinks.com)

Nobody likes being put on a clock and almost nobody plays well when they’re on the clock. Henrik Stenson has been on the clock at least twice in PGA events and both times, no matter how well he was playing before, he made several bogies until his group was back in position and taken off the clock. Don’t get put on the clock. The pressure is terrible.

There are some additional subtleties to this situation and I recommend going to the usga website and reading the rule together with your daughter. Knowing the rules is a requirement and if your daughter knows them better than her group members, she has a big advantage.

See you on #1 tee, rules “rule”… Sam

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