Posts Tagged ‘help for junior golfers’

Junior Golf: Start the Fall with a Committment

imageIn this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at how to start your fall golf season by developing good habits. Proper routines are essential for success. Every great athlete has specific routines they have incorporated into their daily life. (photo from offcoursegolf.com)

Mom and Dad, please be the parents. It is your persistence and attention to detail that will help your junior golfer stay on track and improve her game. Start by reviewing her schedule. Does she have team practices? Is there room for additional weekly golf activity? Discuss how much time she can commit for golf each week. Don’t overbook this. A little less activity is better until and unless the desire catches fire and your daughter wants to spend every waking minute doing something golf related. And yes, this really does happen, but do not be disturbed if it has not happened to your young golfer yet.

What can and does happen is that your daughter may love golf, but does not wish to spend all her free time on it. This is why good habits, as in practice habits are essential. After you decide how much golf time is available each week, then devise a golf practice routine with your daughter’s input. Ask her if she is good with the schedule the 2 of you have come up with. If so, then ask if she is willing to commit to it. If yes, then please consider having her sign a piece of paper committing to the weekly schedule. The actual signing of a piece of paper stating what her responsibilities are is a genuine reality check. It makes her commitment real and hopefully helps prepare her to read every word of anything she may sign in the future, including student loans, car or home loans, real estate papers, etc.image

Her agreement needs to include some details: minimum number of golf activities per week, definition of golf activities, maximum number of days without any golf and whatever else applies. You can add fun stuff like “I promise to have a positive mental attitude and always want to go to practice. I will not complain about it being too hot or too cold or too wet or too windy.” A little fun added in goes a long way.

So get some regular activities going. Regular activities give her structure and structure helps build confidence in the processes that will help her improve her golf skills. The legendary Ben Hogan said: ” I always outworked everybody. Work never bothered me like it bothers some people.” Make golf fun and make sure to have her commit to a minimum number of days of golf activity per week. This will be a great start…and that positive mental attitude!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

Junior Golf: Embrace the Change in Your Child’s Path

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at how to embrace the change in your child’s path. Yes, her path will change and you should expect change, embrace it and adapt to it. (photo by offcoursegolf.com)

Paths in life are not straight lines, so why would we expect a junior golf path to be any different? Curves in the path are inevitable and change is good although at times it is uncomfortable at best. Some curves will be pleasant, some will be difficult to understand and some will test you and your junior golfer’s patience to the extreme.

Having a solid relationship with your child is key to recognizing change, figuring out what is going on and implementing a positive solution in order to move forward. Some change is obvious. She grew 2 inches and the golf shoes don’t fit, her clothes are too small and her clubs are too short.

Emotional change can be tricky to see and complicated to refocus. The causes are many, ranging from hormone/puberty issues, school issues, relationship issues, poor diet and more. Getting back on track in dealing with emotional issues can be really difficult and this is not the time to go deeper into it.image

Physical issues can be more than just growing a few inches taller. Shin splints, ingrown toenails, tendonitis and headaches are common as kids grow up. And athletes tend to downplay these as they want to continue practicing and playing their game and they may not want to seem like a wimp. Side effects from prescription medications can be unhelpful for athletic activity. Proper hydration and nutrition will help maximize results during practice and play.

Have your daughter’s eyes checked regularly. We personally know of several excellent junior golfers who kept making uncharacteristic mistakes, particularly around the green. They all needed some vision correction, amazing! (photo from fit2score.com)

Anticipate curves in the path. Have some idea of action to take depending on what causes the curve. Above all be encouraging and positive. This is all part of junior golf life.

See you on #1 tee…and I expect everyone to have a great attitude… Sam.

Junior Golf: How to Use Your Junior Golfer’s Unique Path

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle, we will learn how to start using your junior golfer’s unique path. This enables parents to help their young golfers advance their skills in a more effective and efficient manner. (Jason Duffner photo from golf digest.com)

Hints for parents:
1. recognize and accept the fact that your kiddo has a path in his golf game that is different from everybody else’s path
2. get over the fact that he is not winning or placing in the Top 10 in his events
3. make a weekly schedule for practice and play
4. be an encourager, remove negatives from your speech and actions
5. be the parent. For a while, at least, you will be the one initiating golf activities
6. he will have his own pace of learning and it will vary, sometimes quicker, sometimes slower

As you watch your junior golfer grow into his game, some things will become readily apparent, such as strengths and weaknesses. Break down his game into segments like: fairways hit, greens in regulation, chips, putts and sand trap skills.image

Tournament play will reveal some interesting comparisons on where he stands relative to his age group. There is every reason to expect your child to be competitive with other boys his age. And as his game improves, he will move up in the standings. You will see a little bit of everything during competition. Some kids are robots and hit every fairway, others seem to always chip their ball within a foot of the cup, someone else is making virtually every putt…it’s crazy! (photo from 1.bp.blog.com)

Learn from what you see so you can identify your son’s strengths and weaknesses and get to work on making the weakness a strength. Always remember, the quickest way to lower his strokes is by improving his chipping and putting, period.

Now you have an idea of what your junior golfer’s path looks like, how long it takes him to learn or improve skills and how he uses those skills in competition. Now we’re getting somewhere!

Please keep in mind, all paths have curves! See you on #1 tee… Sam

Don’t Let Bad Weather Shut Down Your Golf

Fun things to do when the weather is not cooperating:

1. Right now there are great buys on new and used clubs. The 2015 models are hitting the stores and last year’s clubs have to be sold. Two websites we have purchased from and can recommend are http://www.tgw.com and http://www.3balls.com. Today on these sites there are super buys on drivers, irons and wedges ranging from 30-70% discounts. I encourage you to be open-minded about used clubs…some are very lightly used and are amazingly inexpensive. As your junior golfer grows, it may be that 2 years is about the max you get out of a set of clubs, so please be prudent with your golf club expense.

2. Get a checkup for club fit. Go to a PGA Professional and have your kiddo evaluated for their current set of clubs. Those clubs can get too short in just a few months, so keeping up with club length, swing weight, glove size…all things that can easily be overlooked when the season is in full blown active mode, are some items that we always looked at at least twice a year. Oh, and shoe size! Wow, it seemed like we were buying golf shoes every three months for a while! Please see my previous post about current great buys on golf shoes.

3. Have fun hitting the newest demo clubs at the major golf retail stores like Golf Galaxy, Edwin Watts, Golfsmith, etc. My son, Sam III, and his friends will go to Golfsmith and just relax and try out a bunch of the latest and greatest clubs and may end up with an idea of what they will want for their next set of clubs. This is a no-pressure, fun thing and please just let the clock run. Don't put a time limit on it. Your youngster will let you know when they have had enough. And yes, they will say Dad/Mom that new such-and-such driver REALLY felt good! Can you buy it for me, pleeeeeease! Well, how you deal with that pressure is up to you☺️ A suggestion, work with your junior golfer on creating a golf wish list on Amazon.com.

Ok, golf parents, here are some excellent ways to take advantage of some of the cold, wet weather that has enveloped so much of the U.S. Now go have some golf fun with your junior golfer, or in my case, with Sam III, my college golfer☺️

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