Junior Golf: 4 Unique Benefits To Team Golf

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at some unique benefits of playing golf with a partner, one partner as in last week’s PGA Tour event.

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photocredit:Dubai Golf

The 2-man team tournament at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans was fun to watch and seemed to be fun to play. Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won in a Monday morning playoff in a format consisting of days 1 and 3-alternate shot and days 2 and 4-better ball.

Being part of a golf team, as in a club team, high school team or college team is different from playing team golf. I’m not certain if S3 ever played with anyone his age as part of a golf team as we saw last week. He and I, however, played numerous times in parent/junior events.

Usually they were 18 holes and were either better ball, 2-man scramble, modified 2-man scramble or alternate shot. Let’s do some terminology. Better ball: you and your kiddo play your own ball through the green-until each of you putts out on each hole and the lower score of the 2 of you is recorded for each hole. 2-man scramble: you each hit and then you both play from the better shot. Modified 2-man scramble: same as scramble except for driving. There will be some provision that a minimum of perhaps 2 drives from each player must be used. This is to prevent, usually a dominating driver of the golf ball from completely carrying his/her team off of the tee box. Alternate shot: simple. You hit first on the odd-numbered holes and your junior golfer hits first on the even-numbered holes or vice/versa and the 2 of you then alternate shots until the ball is in the hole.

Here are 4 positive benefits of playing in a team golf tournament:
It’s we not me. Your son/daughter is part of a team. There is now a 2nd person who can materially contribute toward winning the event.
It expands creativity. Now your youngster can learn what another competitor visualizes/sees/thinks when they analyze the next shot. Golf is a sport with an enormous amount of creativity required to shoot a competitive score. Understanding how another golfer may look at a shot expands your kiddo’s data base.
It can help your junior golfer’s patience. Knowing that he/she won’t hit the next shot or won’t hit 1st from the tee box can help slow down an antsy player. The partner will get credit for some of the better shots. Patience on the golf course is a major virtue and this is an excellent way to increase it.
It can help with confidence. In a single’s event, without a caddy, your young golfer has to be his/her own encourager when they hit a stinky shot. In a team pairing, the partner becomes the encourager and over 18 holes your kiddo can begin to have a new understanding of their skill level and end up being a more confident and mature junior golfer.

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Dad and Mom, be on the lookout for team tournaments. It may be that parent/junior events are all that are available. Linda and I encourage you to enter every one you can because they are special for a number of reasons including those mentioned above. FYI playing alternate shot with your child is the toughest thing ever. I just so did not want to let my son down by hitting a bad shot. Be forewarned! You may end up needing encouragement from your junior golfer!

See you on #1 tee ready to shoot a low team score… Sam

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