Junior Golf: Be Alert In Your Group

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will discuss why your daughter needs to be alert to what’s happening in her group during her round of golf.img_0102

Previously we discussed the animate and inanimate physical hazards that may exist on the golf course and today we’re addressing why it’s important for her to be mentally alert to what’s happening with her own game and the games of the girls in her group. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Your youngster has 2 basic responsibilities. To honestly abide by the rules of golf, observe proper etiquette and accurately keep her own score and to keep the score of 1 other player. Doesn’t sound so hard does it?

Over her junior golf and college golf careers she will play golf with hundreds of her peers. She will make lifelong friendships with some while there are others she hopes she will never be paired with again.

What does being alert mean in this case? It is having an awareness of what’s going on, not just with her own game but with the games of the others in her group. If a group member hits a ball in or near a hazard or out-of-bounds, your girl needs to walk over and personally confirm the status of the ball and what rules may be involved. I have seen this situation mishandled numerous times, usually resulting in an improper/illegal benefit to the player who hit the ball.

Most of the girls your daughter will play golf with are honest. Some know the rules better than others. Some make honest mistakes and some try to manipulate the rules, take advantage of players who don’t really know the rules, for their own benefit.

Here’s a real life example. S3 was in a high school tournament and he was paired with a player who had a serious health issue but amazingly could still play excellent golf. The young man was allowed to use an electric golf cart so he didn’t have to walk. This was a 3-some. The handicapped young man unfortunately had a reputation as a horrible cheater. It took about 5 or 6 holes for S3 and the 3rd player to figure out what the guy in the cart was doing. I mean this young man had cheating down to a science.

He would speed to his ball, parking the cart where it blocked the view of the other players. He could then illegally improve his lie without being detected. Well, S3 and the other player finally caught him in the act and once he was confronted about his actions his game fell apart. It was very sad because basically he was a pleasant kid.

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Another true story about possible lost balls, balls in or near hazards and balls o/b. S3 was playing in a junior event here in San Antonio. While he was warming up, 1 of his junior golf buddies came up to him and said this about a player in S3’s group,”You need to watch so-and-so’s dad. He carries extra balls in his pocket and is known to drop them when they’re looking for his son’s ball.” Parents, our youngsters are sharp! The word gets around in junior golf, both good and bad. Isn’t this just so sad that the dad is tainting his own and his son’s reputation? (photo Nike Junior Golf Camps Lake Geneva)

Golf is a sport that demands high integrity. Impress upon your daughter the importance of honesty and high standards. You know, the only thing tougher than calling a penalty on yourself can be calling a penalty on another group member, particular if she is a good friend. Hey, this is a big part of our sport. And over time all of these tough decisions will be respected, maybe not really liked that much at the time, however.

See you on #1 tee looking alert… Sam

 

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