Junior Golf: Another Distraction

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at another potential distraction, 1 that exists in every group your son will ever play with. This occurrence can also be a relaxing and enjoyable thing as well.image

A couple of years ago S3 and I wanted to see Rory tee off in the Valero Texas Open. We got a spot at #1 tee on the beautiful Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio and watched Rory’s group hit. There were 3 groups left to tee off and after 95% of the gallery left to follow Rory, S3 and I moved up and were right next to the ropes, like 10 feet from the players. We heard everything they said and there was 1 hilarious exchange. Billy Horschel and Charley Hoffman were, and junior golfers you have been told at least 100 times to do these 2 things, so if the pros always do this, why can’t you? Yes, they had marked/put identifying marks on their golf balls and were showing them to each other prior to putting that ball in play. Billy said,”Wow, our balls are marked a lot alike, you better not hit my ball.” Charlie’s response was, “If I do I’ll be sure to hit it in the water!” They both laughed, hit good tee shots and chatted all the way down the fairway walking to their next shots. Great stuff! (photo offcoursegolf.com)

TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola - Final Round

The personalities and attitudes of the other juniors in your son’s group can impact his play. Your son has a mental comfort zone where he can relax and enjoy playing this sport. S3 tends to play better when he knows someone in his group or can connect with another player. Our son is the guy who likes to chat walking down the fairway and more often than not there is at least 1 guy in the group who does also.

Then there is the silent type. One of S3’s college teammates really does not like to talk or be talked to during a round of golf. His line, “Total and complete silence, just like I like it!” He’s not rude, just quiet. It is a test for a personable guy, like Sammie, when he is paired with 2 silent types. But it’s also a good thing because it is another test and competitive sports is always about unending tests. So he has to take another deep breath, try to relax and focus on hitting a great next shot.

The 3rd personality your boy will sometimes see is the kiddo with the “tude”, the attitude. He may not show much until something triggers some disappointment and then anger. Over the years we have seen putters sunk up to the hosel in a green because of a missed putt. Clubs slammed into trees. Clubs thrown. Vulgarities screamed. Parents, this is hard for us to see, imagine how tough it is on your kids! It is impossible to be immune to these outbursts, so this is where proper advice and preparation beforehand can be helpful. And remember that high school coaches, college coaches and certain tournament and rules officials have the authority to summarily DQ a player for this type of behavior. (Billy’s image cochellavalley.com)

Encourage your junior golfer to be himself on the course. If he’s the quiet type, that’s OK. If he likes to engage with the guys in his group, that’s OK too. Somebody will also want to talk with him. Let him find his interactive or not, comfort level, and let him be himself. It’s about how he handles the distractions and there will always be something trying to disrupt his game. Prepare, encourage, hit a bunch of balls and of course, chip and putt.

See you you on #1 tee, being yourself… Sam

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