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How important is it to play with better players?


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#1 CTgolf

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 06:43 AM

Was interested to read in some other posts about kids getting discouraged playing with parents, presumably because they could not score as well or beat them.

I actually am struggling with a little of the opposite: I think my son will probably be able to beat me straight up sometime next summer, and so I am trying to think of how we can keep him challenged after that threshold is passed (outside of tournaments).

He is significantly better than any other kid his age in our club and the closely surrounding area, and while there are a few kids who are 3-4 years older who provide an Ďaspirationalí challenge, the reality is those boys donít want to play with someone so much younger (understandably so).

So it leads me to the question, how important is it for my child to continually be playing with kids at his level or slightly better, to maximize his potential in golf?


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#2 Noles

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 09:24 AM

Get him in tournaments that are challenging for him.  You may need to travel.  Very few really good juniors will find real competition at their club.  A kid is fortunate if he/she finds that.

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#3 CTgolf

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 09:37 AM

View PostNoles, on 06 November 2017 - 09:24 AM, said:

Get him in tournaments that are challenging for him.  You may need to travel.  Very few really good juniors will find real competition at their club.  A kid is fortunate if he/she finds that.

He competes in lots of tourneys, but I was more referring to playing casual rounds outside of competition.

It seems like success in racket sports is the most highly dependent on playing/practicing against superior competition; golf is more "playing against the course", but still every instructor I speak to says playing with better players is essential to maximizing potential

Edited by CTgolf, 06 November 2017 - 09:43 AM.


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#4 heavy_hitter

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 09:39 AM

It is different playing with parents, because they are parents.

My daughter was very fortunate because there was another  girl at the same club that now plays D1 golf as well.  They didn't play together a lot, except for high school season, but it did spark a fire under both of them to try to beat each other.

My son is fortunate as well as our High School boy's golf team finishes in the top 10 in the state year in and year out.  Though he wins most of the time locally, there is competition which is a great thing.  Just not a great thing with parents.  He best buddy has gotten better and has been beating my son lately.  It is a golf relationship that has benefited his buddy more than it has my son.  However, my son needs to learn to deal with and realize his buddy has gotten better and he can't take him so lightly anymore.  They will continue at this point to push one another and get better.

You need to get him involved in junior tournaments outside of your area if he is going to grow.

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#5 heavy_hitter

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 09:43 AM

View PostCTgolf, on 06 November 2017 - 09:37 AM, said:

View PostNoles, on 06 November 2017 - 09:24 AM, said:

Get him in tournaments that are challenging for him.  You may need to travel.  Very few really good juniors will find real competition at their club.  A kid is fortunate if he/she finds that.

He competes in lots of competitive tourneys, but I was more referring to playing casual rounds outside of competition.

It seems like success in racket sports is the most highly dependent on playing/practicing against superior competition; golf is more "playing against the course", but still every instructor I speak to says playing with better players is essential to maximizing potential

When my daughter started playing she was terrible.  I mean she was God Awful Bad.  She learned how to play by being thrown to the wolves and watched how other girl's played in tournament golf.  You could see her wheels spinning watching these other girl's.  She learned how to get up and down to save par.  She learned how to scramble and grind.  She didn't learn that on the course at home playing by herself.  She learned from watching advanced kids play while she was putting up 100's.  She kept grinding and taking notes.  Within 6 months she shot her first tournament round in the 70's.  

It isn't playing the course, it is about watching others and learning how they do it then incorporating into your game.


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#6 leezer99

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:48 AM

When I take my son, who is nine, up to practice after school he always plays with the number one or number two kid on the local high school team.  Sometimes they play straight up and other times they play challenges from random spots on the course.  Either way they are both trying to put up a low number.  To me, it seems that this format encourages each of them to be creative and gives them a good gut check.  The high school boy doesn't want to lose to a fourth grader and my fourth grader really wants to beat a high school kid.

edit: I'll add that our families are close and that the boys are good friends as well.

Edited by leezer99, 06 November 2017 - 10:51 AM.


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#7 ABARTSCHMID

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 11:31 AM

My son is only 7 so I can't speak from experience with my own kid but why not do reverse of what you do with young kids. Make your son play a farther back tee then you are playing to level the field. From my own golf game I can testify that playing with better golfers will make you better. Playing with a bunch of scratch golfers helped me tremendously. Not only could I see how they attack a course but I could also see that they did not do anything super-human. I could hit the shots they hit and that gave me confidence.
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#8 kekoa

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 04:26 PM

I feel its very important for a child to play with better players.  Especially for the mental aspect.  Winning tournaments doesn't mean much if you are beating a weak or mediocre field.

When my son practices, we normally go out with kids a year or two older than him and also play at the older kid's yardage.  Sink or swim.

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