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Slow Start - advice needed


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#1 kcap

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 05:14 PM

Golf season has just begun for us in the north east.  My son has has struggled mightily.

As background, he had really improved a lot last year and the hope was that with all the work during the winter he would take the next jump from scoring high 70s/80s to the mid low 70s.. did not expect him to shoot high 80s/90s!

Nothing is working for him right now and I think the frustration is making him play worse.

I do believe he has had a growth spurt which is impacting his swing- some irons are fat, some are thin, there are days he can hit one length well and the next he hits the other length better..

Short game was quite okay to start but that has gone down as well.

What has made it tougher is that he is playing quite well on the range but has not been able to transfer that on the course.

I do realize that the season for us is less than two weeks old and it still in 30s-40s outside. He has not had good practices and unfortunately all his rounds have been tournaments.  

Have any of you had similar experiences?  How do you handle a change in mechanics due to growth spurts etc.

I am pretty sure he will bounce back and he needs a couple of good days and practice to get his mojo back but do I stay in tournaments or just forget those till he starts playing well on weekend rounds?

His emotions have run the gamut from.. tears, anger, frustration, self doubt and back to anger!


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#2 Hawkeye77

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 09:55 PM

He's 10 or 11?  This world where kids that young are playing nothing but tournament rounds 2 weeks into a season that started in late March in the Northeast puzzles me.

Figure out the physical issue with the growth spurt, if there is something going on there would be good to know, put the clubs up until the weather/courses/conditions are more favorable and work on reasonable expectations for someone that young?

No clue really.

Edited by Hawkeye77, 10 April 2018 - 09:56 PM.


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#3 wildcatden

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 12:07 AM

1. How old is he? How tall is he? What is his driver swing speed?  What clubs (and lengths) is he playing?

2. Have you had his lie angles checked on his irons?

Strange that he is not struggling much on the range. Is the range grass hitting area or mats?

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#4 jslane57

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 12:34 AM

Has he had his eyes checked? Every time my son went through growth spurts he needed new RX for his glasses. I'd do your best to set him up for success, but at the end of the day, he's got to find it on his own.
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#5 CTgolf

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 01:51 AM

View Postkcap, on 10 April 2018 - 05:14 PM, said:

Golf season has just begun for us in the north east.  My son has has struggled mightily.

As background, he had really improved a lot last year and the hope was that with all the work during the winter he would take the next jump from scoring high 70s/80s to the mid low 70s.. did not expect him to shoot high 80s/90s!

Nothing is working for him right now and I think the frustration is making him play worse.

I do believe he has had a growth spurt which is impacting his swing- some irons are fat, some are thin, there are days he can hit one length well and the next he hits the other length better..

Short game was quite okay to start but that has gone down as well.

What has made it tougher is that he is playing quite well on the range but has not been able to transfer that on the course.

I do realize that the season for us is less than two weeks old and it still in 30s-40s outside. He has not had good practices and unfortunately all his rounds have been tournaments.  

Have any of you had similar experiences?  How do you handle a change in mechanics due to growth spurts etc.

I am pretty sure he will bounce back and he needs a couple of good days and practice to get his mojo back but do I stay in tournaments or just forget those till he starts playing well on weekend rounds?

His emotions have run the gamut from.. tears, anger, frustration, self doubt and back to anger!

kcap,

I think I know what you are going through, as my son experienced something similar last spring.  I think it is too early to hit the panic button - I remember feeling that my son’s game was way off even in mid-May, but by early June he had adjusted to growth, new clubs, etc and was back to playing his best..

I know it must be frustrating, as it sounds like he had been practicing over the winter (presumably indoors?).  I do think there is an adjustment from hitting off of mats back to actual turf, and the cold (spring has gotten off to a very bad start) does tend to affect individuals differently, from mechanics to mindset (not to mention greatly reduced distance).

Lastly, make sure you yourself don’t show discouragement/anger/bewilderment: stay positive, as kids can sense our emotions and it can exacerbate any frustration they already have.  The best thing you can do as a parent is be supportive and encouraging, reassuring him that it is too early in the season for bad play and tournament performance to be indicative of anything more serious/concerning.


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#6 heavy_hitter

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 08:49 AM

Go through this at least twice a year.  Usually it works it self out within a few days up to a month.  Actually, going through it a bit right now.  Out of no where mine is slicing the ball and HAS NEVER sliced the ball in his junior career.  Just something I have to deal with.  I would say that this being the beginning of the season there isn't too much to worry about for you.  It is frustrating and I have been there, but it will eventually work itself out for the better.

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#7 kcap

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 10:43 AM

Thanks for a lot for your posts.  We are definitely not in panic mode and he is just looking to grind it out.   It is good to hear that a few have gone through this experience, it is our first time and I assume that is why it is the hardest.

He has been hitting only from mats (winter and still), the plan was to practice for a couple of weeks before we start tournaments but the weather has been really bad.  He is 10, swings in the 80s (driver), he has had a growth spurt and i think that is the biggest issue.  I can list out several reasons for the high score which is why we are calm.  If we keep scoring like this in June then I will definitely be in panic mode!

The biggest questions is whether we stop playing tournaments till we get some good repetitions and practice.. or just play, knowing that he will likely put up high numbers and place low.  He still wants to compete and I will give him credit, he is putting in a lot of effort over the last few days..

Thanks again and will let you all know how it goes..

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#8 hangontight

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 10:54 AM

View Postkcap, on 11 April 2018 - 10:43 AM, said:

Thanks for a lot for your posts.  We are definitely not in panic mode and he is just looking to grind it out.   It is good to hear that a few have gone through this experience, it is our first time and I assume that is why it is the hardest.

He has been hitting only from mats (winter and still), the plan was to practice for a couple of weeks before we start tournaments but the weather has been really bad.  He is 10, swings in the 80s (driver), he has had a growth spurt and i think that is the biggest issue.  I can list out several reasons for the high score which is why we are calm.  If we keep scoring like this in June then I will definitely be in panic mode!

The biggest questions is whether we stop playing tournaments till we get some good repetitions and practice.. or just play, knowing that he will likely put up high numbers and place low.  He still wants to compete and I will give him credit, he is putting in a lot of effort over the last few days..

Thanks again and will let you all know how it goes..

It is really HARD, but I think sometimes a week or two off Cold turkey take the mind off of it and make you forget the deamons.  Then hit it hard with a fresh body and mind.  This works for me as an adult and Iíve done similar with my son when his swing and scores start to tell me he has had enough.

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#9 heavy_hitter

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:08 AM

View Postkcap, on 11 April 2018 - 10:43 AM, said:

Thanks for a lot for your posts.  We are definitely not in panic mode and he is just looking to grind it out.   It is good to hear that a few have gone through this experience, it is our first time and I assume that is why it is the hardest.

He has been hitting only from mats (winter and still), the plan was to practice for a couple of weeks before we start tournaments but the weather has been really bad.  He is 10, swings in the 80s (driver), he has had a growth spurt and i think that is the biggest issue.  I can list out several reasons for the high score which is why we are calm.  If we keep scoring like this in June then I will definitely be in panic mode!

The biggest questions is whether we stop playing tournaments till we get some good repetitions and practice.. or just play, knowing that he will likely put up high numbers and place low.  He still wants to compete and I will give him credit, he is putting in a lot of effort over the last few days..

Thanks again and will let you all know how it goes..

He is 10.  Tournaments at that age don't mean anything.  I am going to assume he is a 2025 or 2026 and we are talking about 1 day tournaments.  Think of 1 Day Tournaments as being practice rounds because they don't mean anything.  If he is playing 2 Day JGS ranked events it is a different story.  I am assuming these tournaments are not 36 hole JGS ranked.

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#10 kcap

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 12:07 PM

I hear you.. they mean nothing for his ranking and the placing does not say anything about his future in golf.  

While it would be easy to call them practice rounds, they do take away from family time and have other sacrifices..

We are still going to play them and hopefully he just blasts his way out of the slump.



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#11 Belmont148

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 12:38 PM

My kid is just turning 11, and the way we have looked at events the past few years is strictly for development. I know it doesn't mean anything until he gets into two day events and HS golf, so we look at it more at what he is going to get out of it vs. what we have to put in. If we can get the same amount of practice and competition playing on our own courses, or the travel or cost is a headache, we skip it. Muni camps, US Kids, etc. can sometimes get just too costly and take too much time. My kid developed much faster playing on his own, or in Jr PGA with older kids to help him out than any other events. If he is in a slump, take out the pressure of the single events, get him in a team event he can have more fun with or just go play a lot more golf together. Sometimes kids need to just cut loose and not worry about a scorecard.
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#12 kcap

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 01:18 PM

View PostBelmont148, on 11 April 2018 - 12:38 PM, said:

My kid is just turning 11, and the way we have looked at events the past few years is strictly for development. I know it doesn't mean anything until he gets into two day events and HS golf, so we look at it more at what he is going to get out of it vs. what we have to put in. If we can get the same amount of practice and competition playing on our own courses, or the travel or cost is a headache, we skip it. Muni camps, US Kids, etc. can sometimes get just too costly and take too much time. My kid developed much faster playing on his own, or in Jr PGA with older kids to help him out than any other events. If he is in a slump, take out the pressure of the single events, get him in a team event he can have more fun with or just go play a lot more golf together. Sometimes kids need to just cut loose and not worry about a scorecard.

We have stuff on the calendar (tournaments) for the next couple of weeks; during that time he should get ample practice outside (spring is finally here) and figure out the clubs.. if he is still struggling after that then we are going cold turkey and or just chilling out with golf..

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#13 darter79

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 01:53 PM

why not get a lesson or two for him. Let a PGA fit him and or look at his swing. I've seen my daughter go through ups and downs and see a coach and she looks like a different kid after an hour.  But growth spurts will mess with the swing lot.

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#14 wlm

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 10:44 PM

He is getting to the age where you should just let him work it out with his coach.  If he doesn't have an instructor/coach, that is probably step 1.  Then your role is supporter/cheerleader...maybe occassionally reminding him of things that he is working on with his coach.  That's just my 2 cents from a dad who now has a high school golfer.

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#15 kcap

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:35 AM

View Postwlm, on 11 April 2018 - 10:44 PM, said:

He is getting to the age where you should just let him work it out with his coach.  If he doesn't have an instructor/coach, that is probably step 1.  Then your role is supporter/cheerleader...maybe occassionally reminding him of things that he is working on with his coach.  That's just my 2 cents from a dad who now has a high school golfer.

He does have a coach and have worked with him for while including the winter.   I don't coach but only remind him what his coach has asked him to work on.  I think his frustration is also driven by the inability to translate a good practice (the few that we have had) into a good tournament round.


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#16 Palmetto Golfer

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 06:08 AM

kcap...my son (11 yo) picked up the clubs 2 months ago after a 5 month layoff.  He played football and basketball and golf was put on the back burner. He was playing his best golf when he stopped. In the last 2 months, he has gotten the ball striking back and is in fact hitting it better than he did before...but the short game is an absolute mess. He is not even close to where he was. He 4 putted from 20' the other day....FOUR PUTTS!!!!!

It is just part of getting back to it. He has played in 2 tournaments and it was like starting all over again when it comes to course management and mental focus. My son has been playing competitively since he was 5 so you wouldn't think this would happen but it does.  When the pros take time off, they talk about getting back into the heat again and feeling the pressure.  

The silver lining could be that he works even harder and in the next few months makes big gains. It seems for my son, his improvement comes in leaps and not baby steps.  He will work hard and his scores will stay stagnant for awhile...then boom...his scores drop all at once. It is not a linear progression for him.

Good luck and keep him swinging!!

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