Posts Tagged ‘junior golf tournament’

Junior Golf: Control This And Empower Your Golfer

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at 1 of the things that we, parents actually can control or at least have some control over. This can be very beneficial to our youngsters on tournament days.

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photocredit:jennleforge.com

Really, all the prep should be done before the actual day of an event. Depending on your son’s/daughter’s personality he/she may not have gotten much quality sleep the night before the competition starts. Parents, we must be aware that there are a million things going through our young golfer’s mind as soon as he gets out of bed. What he doesn’t need is Mom or Dad adding clutter to the pre-tournament environment.

What does this look like? Control your emotions, your words and your body language. Stick to the regular morning routine. “Good morning, son, how are you? What would you like for breakfast?” Keep it simple and non-golf until you get ready to load up and go to the course. Then, before you get in the car, you just need to go over the pre-tournament checklist, again standard routine.

In the car, let him listen to his headphones or favorite music. This is relaxing to him although it may not seem like it to you. Less talk is better. Idle comments such as, “Oh, this is such a big tournament,” or “Wow, there are so many great players in this field!”, are not helpful. This is pressure and your youngster already has a ton of pressure so please don’t address the event at this point. Parents, control yourselves. Be aware of what is happening in your son’s mind right now! Be the adult! And yes, it can be very difficult!

Linda and I developed a relatively standard final few sentences for S3 as he was going up to tee off. “Remember Son, it’s just fairways and greens. You know what to do. Take a breath and have fun. Enjoy your round! We love you!” That’s pretty much it.

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Once the round starts, your contact with your child is extremely limited. Understand however, that he can hear your voices better than you ever imagined, no matter what else is going on. His hearing is tuned to Dad and Mom’s voice frequencies. Please control what you say, no matter the subject. And your boy sees and perfectly interprets your body language. A parent’s slumped shoulders or head down convey a horrible message, whether it was intended or not. Again, we must be the encouraging parents!

The bottom line is that the more we control our body language by minimizing/eliminating the throwing the hands up, shaking the head, uttering words of frustration and disappointment, the more we can lift up our child. Heads up, thumbs up, shoulders back, big smiles and “Love you Son,” all add up to positive encouragement. That’s where we as parents must strive to get to and it’s tough, but you know what, you can do it, if you will do it!

See you on #1 tee with an encouraging gallery… 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.

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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 Tournament Registration: 4 Steps for Success

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan, we’ll look at the 4 steps that will result in a successful junior golf tournament registration. While entering your child’s first or any new golf tournament can be a bit confusing, they all have some common ground. After filling out a few different entry forms, you will have a decent comfort level. (tjgt photo from mygolfpros.com)

Step 1: confirm that your athlete actually wants to play in a given tournament. If you are forcing them to play when they really don’t want to play you will have an undesirable situation. Sometimes your family needs a few days to make a decision and this is OK, we have done this many times over the years. Do diligently keep in mind the Closing Date for every tournament. These are notoriously strict, by rule, and virtually never have exceptions.

Step 2: determine that there is a skill level appropriate for your kiddo’s golf proficiency. Entering an inappropriate division is not good. We discussed the difference, scorewise between beginner, intermediate and advanced last week. “Playing up” is only advised if your child is consistently playing beyond the skill level of his peers. “Playing down”, sometimes called “sandbagging” is something to never do and a “sandbagging” label can stick with a player for years and it is a very derogatory term that can cast doubt on your kiddo’s and your character.

Step 3: confirm that you can afford the entry fee. Usually you can pay online, over the phone or by mail. Just make certain to get a confirmation of your payment. As you become more familiar with the hard costs associated with junior golf tournament play, you can more effectively budget for the summer, the school year or all 12 months. A tournament budget is important and should have its own line item in your golf budget. (photo from Alabamajuniorgolf.org)

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Step 4: make sure the logistics work for you and your young golfer. Who is providing transportation to and from the course? Can you, your spouse or both stay and watch your child play this wonderful game? Is the course a reasonable driving distance from your home?

Now, fill out an entry form and get your confirmation. In the Wednesday Waggle we’ll look at how to prepare for the tournament.

See you on #1 tee… Sam

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