Posts Tagged ‘Injuries’

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: Protect Your Body

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at how and why junior golfers must protect their bodies. Protection and caution particularly against non-golf injuries is where we are going here.

With the PGA Championship week here, I can’t help but wonder how defending champion Rory McIlroy will do. After tearing up his ankle in a pickup soccer game with friends, his practice and physical prep has been severely limited. The 2 conversations I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall on are:
1. the call from Nike to Rory’s agent after learning that Nike’s highest paid professional golfer was going to miss 1 major tournament, The Open Championship, and could possibly miss a 2nd major, The PGA Championship.
2. the call from Rory’s agent to Rory.

While I am not a lawyer or sports agent or manager, I do know that most professional athletes have clauses in their contracts prohibiting or at least strictly limiting any physical activity outside of that required to perform at a high level in their sport. Sports teams and sports endorsement companies, Nike here, pay big bucks for an athlete to play well and bring positive attention to their product or service and every game an athlete misses means the endorser loses money. I wonder if there was a penalty clause to Rory if he missed a major championship, which he did, because of a contract violation. Wow, interesting stuff. And frankly, how embarrassing.

How does this affect your junior golfer? Simple. Please impress upon him that if golf is the sport he intends to play, then he will need to give up some other sports in order to limit the possibility of injury. S3 incurred a couple of minor injuries playing pickup basketball and throwing a football…with his golf teammates at an away tournament. Now, he was able to play, but was a bit uncomfortable. It required constantly reminding him to tell his buddies that being healthy for his golf was more important that playing pickup games. He was disappointed at first but you know, after the first couple of strains and sprains, he got the point and quit messing around.image

So, when you are at the family reunion and that traditional flag football, basketball or volleyball game starts up, remind your kiddo that the best choice is to not play and stay healthy for all the wonderful golf activities on the fall calendar. Yes, there will be some sadness, but not nearly the amount of sadness there would be if your son missed a tournament or 2 because of an injury sustained as a result of a poor choice. As the Knight’s Templar said in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, “He choose poorly.”

Enjoy PGA Championship week! Tape the tournament and the “live from PGA” that airs on The Golf Channel. There is much excellent golf wisdom dispensed during these broadcasts!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

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