Posts Tagged ‘Fairways’

Junior Golf: Being Aware On The Golf Course

In this Monday Mulligan we will help parents understand how to help you junior golfer be more aware while he’s on the golf course. (image jennleforge.com)image

Depending on your son’s age, skill level and personality type he may be more or less situationally aware than other kids his age. While a golf course is not thought of as a dangerous place, there are things your boy needs to pay attention to while he is playing golf. Part of this is regular Mom and Dad teaching your child basic safety and awareness guidelines.

We ask our children to look where they are walking, don’t talk to strangers, avoid hazardous areas and have their eyes wide open. Golf courses offer some unique challenges. If your son’s ball is in the fairway or light rough the ground is more than likely relatively even and smooth and the sprinkler heads are easily visible. When the ball heads for the boonies there are other things that come into play.

Real-life example. S3 was 10 or 12 years old playing in a tournament on a city course here in San Antonio. He hit his ball about 10 feet into the left rough which had not been properly mowed and it was very deep in spots. While he was looking for his ball he stepped into a sprinkler head depression which was totally hidden by the high grass. Fortunately all he got was a stinger which impacted him for a couple of shots and then he was OK. Scary stuff though because this is exactly how many ankle and knee injuries happen with all golfers. There was no way to see that sprinkler head.

Another example is when S3 was 5 or 6 years old there were times he was more interested in the butterflies and turtles than playing golf. That’s part of it with the very young ones. There were plenty of kids interested in the wildlife. And here in central Texas we have courses with herds of deer almost on every hole, and turkeys, and javelinas and feral hogs. Avoid the wildlife, leave it alone. Even a docile whitetail doe has a kick that can seriously injure an adult, much less a youngster. And the pig family can become aggressive quickly. Really, the deer are pretty much used to the humans and most of the other animals want to run from you, most of the time.

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A final thought. At the wonderful TPC San Antonio courses, the rough on both of them is penalizing. It is covered in about 85% what we call moon rocks, rocks that have sharp edges, range from small to huge and have very little dirt around them. It is difficult walking and really tough hitting a shot out of without hurting your wrist. Be aware, fairways are a great place to be. (image West Texas Golf Courses)

So Dad and Mom encourage your son to enjoy the nature he finds at the golf course, but to also keep his eyes open for possible dangers. Look where he’s putting his feet. Watch for wildlife. Here, it’s deer, snakes and wasp nests. In Florida, it’s alligators and snakes. In Colorado, it’s bears and mountain lions. What is it in your part of the country?

See you on #1 tee looking aware… Sam

Junior Golf: Interpreting Stats

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue looking at your daughter’s stats and what they mean. How can the 2 of you understand what’s going on with her golf game and how can you help her lower her scores?image

Statistics are everywhere. They are commonly misstated or manipulated to show a desired outcome rather than the genuine results. Keeping that in mind, know that the stats on your daughter’s scorecard are very matter-of-fact and Mom and Dad, even for you it would be hard to misrepresent what they show.

Yes, the most important number in stroke/metal play is the score and in match play, it’s the number of holes won. The other data on the card reflect her strengths and weaknesses during a round and when you look at several scorecards together, you may very well identify a trend. (offcoursegolf.com)

Let’s say your daughter has averaged hitting 7 out of 14 fairways for 3 consecutive rounds. This needs improvement and the number needs to be at least in double digits, maybe 10 minimum. The question is, why does she miss fairways? Does she miss on 1 side or does she miss both right and left? When you can answer that it’s time to get with her swing coach. (photo wickedgolfers.com)

GIR, Greens In Regulation, is a little different in that more clubs are used and distances are varied and sight pictures can be intimidating. On an approach shot if your daughter struck the ball well, why wasn’t the ball on the green? Wrong club, crazy bounce, misalignment, be aware. You would like for her to be hitting at least 50% of the greens.image

Ideally with chips and putts you want to see 1 chip and 0 putts, meaning a chip-in or 1 chip and 1 putt meaning an up-and-down. When either of these is out of a sand trap I put an S next to the 1 in the chip box. If your daughter has more of 1 chip and 2 or even 3 putts, then she needs to work on her chipping. Chips from around the green should be 3 feet or less. Thus improved chipping also improves putting. Golf tournaments are won around the greens and making up-and-downs is seriously important.

In our previous post S3’s scorecard had a little bit of everything in what was frankly a fun round to watch. And he had 31 putts which is a lot particularly when you consider his 18-hole score was 1-over par 73. The pros average number of putts is usually in the mid-20’s. So if your girl averages 27 putts or 1.5 putts per hole for 18 holes, that is very acceptable. Getting up around 30 putts is not good and being less than 27 putts is very good!

What do you see on these scorecards? What part of her game is most in need of extra work? The stats will show you. Get with her swing coach and make a plan.

See you on #1 tee statistically speaking… Sam

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