Posts Tagged ‘junior golf tournaments’

Junior Golf: Why Your Junior Must Play The Big Tournaments

In this Friday Flop Shot will we offer some reasons why it is imperative that your junior golfer play in the big, elite and yes, quite expensive events.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

If you child is regularly scoring 85 or below for 18 holes, it’s time to start booking high profile tournaments. If your youngster is shooting higher scores, please save this information as future reference.

Linda and I certainly understand family budgets and the effort required for many parents to find the money to cough up nearly $300.00 for each top-tier event. Family teamwork, advance planning/budgeting and sticking $20-dollar bills in a sock helped us a lot. S3 played in a minimum of 6 or 8 elite tournaments, in addition to his high school/college tournaments every year, starting in junior high school.

Here’s why our whole family decided to make this effort:
Elite tournaments draw college coaches. If you and your kiddo are serious about a college scholarship, this is a no-brainier.
Elite tournaments are almost always on legendary or very tough courses. Your child needs to learn that he/she can compete on these types of golf courses. These courses are another reason college coaches come out.
Elite tournaments get the most skilled players, some from other states or countries. Your child needs to be paired with 2 players that are better than her/him. After the 1st few holes of semi-intimidation by longer/straighter hitters who seem like they could shoot 20-under par on 18 holes, your child will likely settle down and start playing her/his game. This is a good thing.
Making a few pars or perhaps a birdie or 2 on 1 of these courses is a confidence-building experience. There’s nothing quite like having a few, or more than a few, good holes on a tough golf course to help your child’s confidence. They need to learn that they can compete in these situations.

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Photocredit:Pinterest

How about a real-life story. In S3’s freshman year in high school, his team was scheduled to play in a tournament that included the final round at Ram Rock Golf Course at Horseshoe Bay, Texas. I arrived early Saturday morning and was struck by the sheer beauty of the place. Since it was my 1st time at the Horseshoe Bay complex, they have 4 courses, I entered the pro shop and asked the attendant: “You have some beautiful golf courses here, are they always fairly crowded or is it easy to get a tee time?” He replied,”We’re not that crowded usually and pace of play is pretty good, but that course your son is playing is so tough, the members won’t play it. You can get on it any time!” That’s when I learned that Ram Rock has a super high rating, like 76 or 77 and some of the bent grass greens are only 11 yards wide. And for years it was ranked in the Top 5 toughest courses in Texas. After playing in this event all 4 years in high school S3 always finished 7th or better, individually. He loved playing Ram Rock and was not intimidated by it at all.

Set up a family meeting and make a plan.

See you on #1 tee ready to play in a big event… Sam

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.

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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.

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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: Go Beyond The Game

In today’s Monday Mulligan, we will ask parents to take an out-of-the-box line of thought. We’re going to ask you to consider going beyond the game.

Photo credit: jennleforge.com

At some point, strength and conditioning training will need to be incorporated into your son’s/daughter’s regimen. Basically, all the PGA and LPGA players have strength coaches and/or personal trainers. During the Dell WGC Matchplay Championship, won by Dustin Johnson, the announcers commented about how well he, the World’s #1-Ranked Golfer, is playing. In addition to being a gifted athlete, DJ works out twice a day, 7 days a week. Wow, that is a serious routine and it’s really paying off!

So what does going beyond the game look like to the parents of a junior golfer? Simply put, it is doing something that is not golf that will help them play better golf, be physically stronger and have better endurance. It is very common to see junior high golfers gasping for air in the freshman year of high school when they have to carry their bag and play well for more than 9 holes. And the same thing happens during the freshman year of college when your son has to play 36-holes, walking of course.

In addition to the standard s&c workouts here are a couple of different and informal, spur-of-the-moment ways for Mom and Dad to go beyond the game and help their kiddo get into better golf shape, the ability to walk, carry their golf bag and play well for all the holes in their tournaments.

First, find some time for both of you to walk together around the neighborhood carrying golf bags or backpacks with weights or bricks in them. Just 15 minutes several times a week can be a genuine benefit to both of you. And it gives you time to talk, enjoy each other’s company and increase your understanding of where your child is at mentally during this stage of his/her life. These can be very special times and deepen your relationship with your child.

Second, and you will want to make this fun, have some of what we call p&p contests (push-ups and planks). Grab your son and tell him that it’s time for some push-ups. Depending on his/her strength level he may need to begin by doing push-ups on his knees and progress to his toes once he gets strong enough. See who can do the most or who can do the most in 30 seconds or such. Then do a plank or 2. Planks are amazingly beneficial to the whole body and are excellent for the building the very important core muscles. Time the planks and see who can outlast the other one. There are regular planks-arms extended, elbow planks-on elbows, side planks and even reverse planks. Unending planks! Tough, but oh so good for everybody! Yes, planks help increase the parent-child bond.

Frankly, even the most dedicated junior golfer needs time away from golf, time that is not specifically golf. It’s simple to incorporate these items into your weekly schedule. It just takes doing it, taking the first step. Start with whatever is easiest and add the second one in a couple of weeks. Let’s help your junior golfer and have some fun too!

See you on #1 tee ready to walk all 18 holes… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Ways To Determine If You Are Going Overboard With All This Golf

In this Monday Mulligan we are going to help you find the answer to the question, “Are we going overboard with all this golf? Are we golf nuts or are we going golf nuts? Is this just crazy?” (image jennleforge.com)image

It’s a perfectly normal question really, for any family which has 1 or more children actively involved in extra-curricular activities. If your daughter’s purpose is to improve her skills and pursue a college golf scholarship, then there is considerable effort necessary for her to achieve the desired result.

How do you know if Mom and Dad and your young golfer are spending an inordinate amount of time on golf? This is different for each family. Golf is our family sport so scheduling time for all things golf-related was easy, normal and not really thought about twice in our routine. If your family is new to golf or has more than 1 kiddo doing after school activities, it may take a bit more structure for you to maintain a level of sanity in your home.

Here is a 3-step checklist to help keep things on track:
Does your daughter’s life have a balance to it? Is she spending proper amounts of time on her schoolwork, relationships, social and spiritual life, life outside of golf? Balance in life is very important. Your girl must be allowed to have and enjoy the life of a kiddo. All golf all the time is not healthy. Heck, even the pros need a break now and then!
Is her golf such a consuming part of the whole family calendar that someone, another child or Dad or Mom or even your daughter complaining about the time, effort and money involved in it? Family dynamics are tough enough on a day-to-day basis. Certainly any complaining needs to be intelligently addressed and worked through to a satisfactory outcome for all. Now if it’s your daughter complaining about too much golf, that’s another issue that needs to be addressed immediately!


Is the family budget being decimated by her golf expenses? It’s easy to spend a ton of money quickly supporting a junior golfer. New equipment, a state-of-the-art training aid, new quality golf shoes or entering several tournaments at the same time can all take a chunk out of the household bank account. Parents, you must stay on top of these expenses or risk being shocked at some point by how much money you have been spending on your daughter’s game. Having a golf budget and sticking to it is very helpful!

In the serious pursuit of any goal, much less a life goal like a college athletic scholarship, considerable persistence, commitment and effort is involved from everyone in the family. Parents must be the parents and your role, while different than the role of your girl is equally as important as hers. You must be on-board even more so than she is! Earth to parents, you are the parents, remember?

See you on #1 tee with everybody happy in their own role… Sam

Junior Golf: Parents: Do This To Reduce Game-Day Pressure

In this Friday Flop Shot we will introduce a wonderful concept that can be used in your everyday activities, but has a special place in the world of athletics, particularly when it’s game day or some type of competition is involved. Let’s learn 1 way to reduce the stress on your son. (image offcoursegolf.com)

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There are tons of studies confirming that the majority of kids, really virtually every youngster, does not want to disappoint his parents, he wants to please us. He wants to be affirmed in his efforts. Pleasing parents is a big deal for our kiddos.

How do we show our pleasure as parents? Wow, this is a tough question, because a proper answer requires some insight and honesty. How do you approach this? For starters, look in a mirror and put on the expression you most commonly show when your son makes a mistake or hits a poor shot. What does that face look like? Not pretty, I’m thinkin’! Now show the face you use when he hits a good shot or shows self-control. Is there a difference in these 2 faces, I hope not!

We’re going for credibility here Mom and Dad. And to achieve that, your expressions should look exactly the same, a pleasant smile and a thumb’s up are all that is needed. The end we are seeking is to show our love for our junior golfer. Love that is unconditional, strong and constant.

When your son tees off to start tournament play, you have some idea of a range where you expect his score fall. Perhaps 70-80, 80-90, or maybe 70-75. In any case you have a reasonable expectation of the score he is likely to shoot on any given day. This is a good thing.

If his score is near the low end of what was anticipated, he’ll be pleased with his performance, but if it’s at the high end, your boy may be sad, mad and generally disgusted with his play. Here is a line that Linda came up with and we encourage you, Dad and Mom, to use this sentence or come up with a similar 1 for use in your family: Linda speaking after the round, “Son, our love for you is not based on the number on that scorecard!” In other words, we don’t love you less for a poor round or more for a great round. Our love for you is the same 100% of the time! (image Martinhal)

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This is the point. A child needs the comfort and confidence that his parents love him whether he shoots 70 or 100, period. Please hone in on what we’re trying to convey here. I had to work at changing my disappointment to encouragement and some of you will probably need to do the same. You can do it. You’re the adults in the home, remember, now please act like it.

Being able to relax and have fun playing golf is important in order to play well. There is enough pressure everywhere so that when you son feels a reduced load of pressure from parents and family members, it gives him an opportunity to shoot lower scores.

See you on #1 tee without much pressure, at least from your parents… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Fast Spring Cleaning Tips For Better Scores

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will address some spring cleaning issues. These are excellent tips that will help your daughter feel more confident with her game and help her achieve better scores. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Spring cleaning, wow! Depending on your exact circumstances those words can strike fear and stress into Mom and Dad’s hearts. Not to worry, these suggestions are fast, easy and effective and really are things that should become a part of your girl’s regular routine.

Clean the grips. Time required: 15-30 minutes. Repeat at least once a month or more often depending on frequency of use and weather conditions. Sweat, dirt, mud, grass and who knows what else can find its way onto the grip of a golf club. Proper texture, feel and softness of the grip are critical to hitting good shots. Clean grips give your daughter the desired feel when she takes the club in her hands. Put some non-abrasive detergent/dish soap in a bowl of warm water. Use a mildly abrasive and clean terry cloth rag or towel or a soft bristle brush and gently scrub the grips until they are clean and regain their correct feel. Rinse and dry.
Clean the clubface and grooves. Time required: 15-30 minutes at home. Repeat after every shot during practice and play. I can’t tell you what age S3 was when he decided that a clean clubface was a good thing. It may have been while we were watching a tournament on TV and a player hit a shot with a ton of spin and handed his club to the caddy who promptly cleaned the face and grooves. It was at this moment that S3 said, “So that’s what those grooves are for!” A clean face and clean grooves give the ball and clubface the opportunity to interact in the manner that was intended and will result in better shots. Correct friction between the 2 is critical. Some soap, water and a brush are all that is required. Scrub the face and grooves to remove all dirt and wipe off with a towel. Having a clean clubface at the start of a round means it’s easier to clean during the round when all that’s available is water and a brush. (golfshake.com)

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Clean the golf shoes. Time required: 30-90 minutes depending on time for soaking. I know that the tops of golf shoes being clean doesn’t technically impact your daughter’s swing but if they look nice it will help her feel better about herself and that’s a positive thing! So clean and polish the tops. Now turn the shoes over and look at the bottom. Is there some rock-hard gunk caked on in some spots? Are all the cleats there? Do they need to be replaced? Great tip: put the shoes in a shallow pan with just enough water to cover the bottoms. Let them soak for an hour. This should be enough to loosen the caked-on mud as well as the threads on the spikes if they need to be replaced. A brush and perhaps a screwdriver to dig out the really difficult junk are all that you should need once you have soaked the shoes as described. Scrub ‘em clean and deal with the spikes as needed.

Congratulations, Dad and Mom you have just set your girl up for success. These simple tasks are extremely important and should now be a regular part of your junior golfer’s regimen.

See you on #1 tee all cleaned up… Sam

Junior Golf: The Best Mindset For Playing In Front Of A Gallery

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take a peek into your daughter’s mind and offer a great way to deal with the mental pressure of playing in front of people, playing in front of a gallery. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106

When S3 was just starting to play golf, there was always 1 more parent who said they couldn’t watch their son play golf because it made him, the son, too nervous. We continued to run into this mindset even with some high school golfers and their parents.

What constitutes a gallery? To a 6 year old junior golfer it might be anybody. Perhaps parents, her own and those of the other players in her group. Friends, relatives or coaches all can make some golfers nervous.

Playing while people are watching is an issue that Linda and I addressed early on with S3. Being kind of the standard Goldfarb family ham, basically being comfortable performing in front of people, S3 never was overly concerned about people watching him play drums, sing or play golf. When the previously mentioned situation about parents watching their kids play was making their kids nervous came up, the 3 of us had a brief discussion.

Our concept that worked wonderfully for S3 and certainly 1 that you can try with your daughter is this: Daughter/Son, be excited that even 1 person has chosen to come out and watch you play golf. If there is more than 1, be it 10 or 100 or 1,000 be even more humbled and thrilled that all these people have taken time out of their very busy lives to come watch you. This is a positive thing! Take a deep breath and inhale all that positive energy. Be grateful and thankful and humbled by these situations. Embrace the moment. Then refocus and begin your normal routine. (image Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open)

Even the pros will tell you they have their moments of just a slight bit of nervousness. Many will admit to having some cases of nerves. Yes, even Jack Nicklaus has fessed up to having some jitters on the #1 tee at tournaments. The bigger the tournament, the bigger the jitters. For most of the professional men and women all they want to do on #1 tee is hit a decent shot and get on with their round.

See you on #1 tee excited that someone has come out to see you play golf… Sam

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