Archive for the ‘Junior golf’ Category

Junior Golf: How To Prioritize Tournaments For Beginner-level Junior Golfers

In the Wednesday Waggle we will look at why you should enter your daughter in some tournaments and not enter her in some others. Here are some goals which will help you in choosing from the huge selection of junior golf events that are available all over the country.

img_0102-1

Photocredit:golfdigest.com

As a beginner level junior golfer, your choices are simplified. Here you are:
Keep it simple. Enter local events which are convenient should be relatively inexpensive and have beginner categories. Fees should start around $35.00 and up.
How much summer golf can your budget support? Please make a habit to plan ahead and increase her/his golf budget for summer events.
Check the calendar. Summers are busy. We had to double and triple-check calendars to prevent conflicting bookings.
Another goal at this stage is to see if she likes the tournament atmosphere, does she like competition?
Pay attention to her demeanor during the event. Is she enjoying herself? Are her emotions in check, at least somewhat?
Tournaments also give you a chance to evaluate her physical conditioning. Is she able to walk, carry her bag and make a decent swing? All junior golfers need to continuously work on being in better golf shape/physical condition.

image

Photocredit:Future Champions Golf

Mom and Dad, please be encouragers. Your girl/boy may be a bit nervous or hesitant about entering their 1st tournament. It can be intimidating, but frankly, your junior golfer will very likely have a good experience. Yep, you may end up creating a young golf monster who wants you to enter her in every event on earth! Well, that’s a good thing!

See you on #1 tee tournament ready… Sam

Junior Golf: How To Choose A Summer Golf Camp

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will explore 3 things that are critical in making your choice for which summer golf camp is the most appropriate for your son/daughter.

img_0558

Photocredit:Dubai Golf

Golf camp during the summer break is a tradition in most golf families and everybody should be excited about it. If your child is new to golf, this is a great way to introduce them to the game. If your kiddo is at the intermediate to advanced skill level, this is a perfect chance to review basics and increase fundamental skills. Summer golf camp is fun and worth the effort and funds involved!

Even if you have only 1 summer golf camp option in your area, these points may help you decide whether to sign your junior golfer or not. If you have multiple options, this input can be helpful for you to determine which camp to select.

Can you afford it? Weeklong camps will run from $150.00-$300.00. As simple as this question is, it is not worth causing stress in the family if it is just going to blow up the household budget by investing in summer golf camp. If you just can’t afford it this year, start sticking $20 bills in a sock to save up for next year.
Is the travel time and distance comfortable? If you have to fight horrific traffic or long distances, this effort quickly becomes a chore, because you’ll be doing it 5 days in a row. If this location is your only choice, you may want to consider staying on site and watching, if it’s a half-day camp.
How good is the lead instructor? This should be a PGA professional man or woman. Please remember that being a PGA pro is a great thing and requires considerable effort. Some teachers are better than others. That’s a fact. If your kiddo is at the beginner level, then the most important thing is that the instructor shows patience, speaks in pleasant tones (not yelling all the time) and talks less rather than more. All the PGA teaching pros know the basics, but some are better communicators than others.
Have the lead instructor’s previous students accomplished significant golf goals? Are they competitive in local events? Did they make the high school golf team? Did any of them get a college golf scholarship? If the answer is yes, good. If it’s no, be sure to find a new instructor as your kiddo gets to the intermediate skill level and beyond.

image

Photocredit:Mark Minion

So, here you go. A few quick points to help you select the best summer golf camp for your youngster. Get after it! Book a camp early in the summer so if time, budget and tournament schedule allows, you can consider booking a second session before school starts back up.

See you on #1 tee playing well after a week of golf camp… Sam

Junior Golf: Five Right Choices For Success

In this Friday Flop Shot we will learn 5 right choices that will put your son on the path to success. 1 of the basic tenets we encourage in our parenting classes is to set your child up for success. As the parent, this is up to you. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

Attempting any endeavor without proper preparation, equipment and mental attitude will likely lead to a frustrating experience.As the parents and being the parents, Mom and Dad, it is fairly easy to set your son up to be successful in junior golf.

1. Choose proper equipment. His golf clubs must fit him for his size, strength and skill level. Ill-fitting clubs give your kiddo zero chance to develop a proper swing and have a good shot. It would be like sending him out bear hunting with a BB gun!
2. Choose proper golf shoes. The most important thing is that the shoes fit properly and are comfortable for walking. Buy golf shoes. While playing golf in tennis shoes is commonly seen in beginning junior golfers, it is not a preferred option in our opinion. Shoes made for golf will provide a stable platform for the swing motion-read lateral movement, soft spikes for traction, proper height above the ground for better balance and less risk of injury and some degree of water resistance/waterproofing. Buy the absolute best golf shoes you can afford. Golf shoes are 2nd only to golf clubs in importance.
3. Choose proper clothing. Abide by proper dress codes for golf etiquette. This shows an inherent respect for this wonderful game. Buy modern fabrics. The array of moisture-wicking shirts, pants, shorts and socks is amazing. Your son can stay cooler, warmer, and more dry than either of you ever thought possible. More freedom of movement too! Proper clothes really help!
4. Choose a proper pre-game atmosphere. Start the night before a tournament by setting a positive environment. Adrenaline can kick in early once your junior golfer realizes that his tournament starts tomorrow. He doesn’t need additional things to think about or worry about. Dad and Mom this isn’t rocket science. All you need to do is let him relax and perhaps play some video games with some friends. Or go to a movie. Take his mind off of golf. Then get a good night’s sleep, a solid breakfast, a relatively quiet drive to the course and then some encouraging words as he proceeds to check-in and warm-up. (image Lyman Orchards Golf)

image
5. Choose to let your child choose golf. The previous 4 choices are your responsibility. Linda, my wife and coaching partner, has shared that the love of the game and the success that follows is your child’s. If his heart is not in the game, the best equipment and best environment won’t make him successful.

See you on #1 tee ready for success… Sam

3 Steps To Prepare For Spring Golf

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at 3 things to do to help your daughter be prepared from a golf equipment standpoint, for spring golf. Tournaments will be here before you know it and the last thing you want is for your daughter to be walking out the door without an essential piece of equipment and no one is aware of it! (image jennleforge.com)image

Here we go:
Gather all her golf equipment. This means clubs, bag, zip-on top for the golf bag, push cart, head covers, tees, balls, golf brush, ball marker, golf towels, golf gloves, divot repair item-tees work fine and the very important Sharpie for marking her balls and the scorecard.
Carefully inspect everything. Is the bag fully functional? Does it have any tears or holes? Do all the zippers work? Are the stand legs working? Are the non-slip bottoms still attached to the legs? Are all her clubs there? Do her grips have the kind of soft tacky feel of new ones? If not, replace them. Or at least gently scrub them with non-abrasive soap and warm water, dry them and see how they feel. Does she have everything listed above? Wash the towels. Replace worn gloves. Do the old gloves even still fit? Does the Sharpie have any ink in it or has it dried out?
Take action. Look at the calendar. When is the 1st golf event? Plan a time to take your daughter shopping to buy the items needed. Go to the biggest possible golf store in your area. They will likely have a better selection and may also have some new items that your girl might like to try. (photo Junior_Academy_3.jpg, Banners Golf)

image

Dad and Mom we’ve all been there. That moment when you thought you had everything in order only to arrive at the course and an item, usually one not sold at the course pro shop, is missing. Set your daughter up for success and do this little bit of advance preparation. It will save a bunch of headaches!

See you on #1 tee with everything you need for success… Sam

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.

image

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

 

Junior Golf: 3 Steps To Plan 2017

In this Friday Flop Shot we are going to help you get your junior golfer’s new year off to a good start by using 3 easy steps to plan 2017. (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

It is essential to have a plan so you can set goals. Without a plan you are operating on the whim, off the cuff and this is not desirable. All kids need boundaries, in this case it’s structure for the new year in regards to junior golf.

Step 1: have a family meeting. Include everybody. While we are focusing on your junior golfer, the other family members have scheduling needs too and this includes the other at-home kids, if any, and yes Dad and Mom. All these schedules must be coordinated. Ask everyone to bring up the obligations they are currently aware of and write them down in calendar order starting with January 2017. This would include school, extra-curricular events, tournaments, spring break, Holidays, church and anything else whether it occurs once or every week. You are making a Master Calendar.

Step 2: prioritize the events. In our house, grades always came first so school and homework would be high priorities, followed by tournaments. S3 was immersed in golf, aiming for a college scholarship, so he entered every tournament our budget would allow. 1 summer, I think he played in 23 days of tournaments from the end of May until the middle of August. It was fun, but we had to budget well in advance for it. How you prioritize is specific to your family, but you must do it because some of the lower priority items will be cut from the calendar. Your family can’t do everything, but you can do more than you previously thought with good planning. image

Step3: set up a budget and a golf budget would be a sub-category. Frankly once you really get into the junior golf program you will likely find that there are more tournaments, clinics, summer golf camps, golf this, golf that, and there’s just no way to do them all because pretty much no one has both the time and the money to pull all these functions off. We always left some room in our budget. In other words we didn’t budget every dime, we held some money back for special circumstances. Maybe you learn about a new amazing tournament that wasn’t in your plans. Now you have some extra money to take a look at it. Always try to have some funds in reserve. You don’t have to spend it, but it’s there if you need it. And I’m talking about the junior golf category within your total family budget. (image 24-7Calendars.com)

See you on #1 tee looking organized… Sam

Junior Golf: A Parent’s Vision

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at what Dad and Mom see when they consider your son’s junior golf experience. What is your vision for your son?img_0102
The full definition of vision is: a : the act or power of imagination, b (1) : mode of seeing or conceiving (2) : unusual discernment or foresight <a person of vision> c : direct mystical awareness. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)
For now let’s look at vision as the act or power of imagination. In other words, when you close your eyes and consider your son’s junior golf career, what do you see? Yes, the possibilities are endless, but let me offer a couple of tips that may help with your focus and direction.
Help your youngster set some goals. These must be divided into short-term and long-term items. Examples of short -term goals would be practicing 3 days a week, playing twice a week, entering tournaments, making the club, junior high or high school golf team.
Long-term goals can also include some of the short-term goals depending on your son’s age and skill level. Our #1 long-term goal was ALWAYS to attend college on a golf scholarship, always be scholastically eligible and get his undergraduate degree on time!image
S3 started playing golf when he was 5 years old and as soon as he made it clear that he enjoyed golf and wanted to pursue a junior golf career, Linda and I explained the college goal. He was probably 6 or 7 years old at the time. While there is always pressure associated with any goal, S3 bought in totally and we all agreed to have FUN pursuing this goal. So we turned the pressure around and used it as fuel.
Mom and Dad I want to assure you that 1 of the greatest adventures of your life is joining your son on his junior golf endeavor! It is just so much fun! Highs and lows. Beautiful weather and horrible weather. It all adds up to years of wonderful memories that cannot be bought for any price!
And the moment of moments, the amazing end to this chapter of all our lives was when, after walking his college stage and receiving his diploma, on time and being eligible to play golf all 4 years…seeing S3 in the courtyard in his cap and gown and he saw me and said with tears in his eyes, “I did it, Dad!” And I said, “Yes, Son you sure did and I am so proud of you!” Parents, this is a lifetime moment like no other! 17 years of junior golf and college golf combining to achieve that long-term goal that seemed
light-years away when it was first discussed. Wow, how the time flew by!
Please get your vision going and ask your son to share his vision with you. Work together for a common vision, 1 you are all comfortable with. Now you can set a course full steam ahead.
See you on #1 tee with a vision for the future… Sam

%d bloggers like this: