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How make them believe they can score low


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#1 tiger1873

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 08:06 PM

Ok I am trying to see what everyone does to make you kid believe they can score really low maybe even below par. Iíve notice that my kids tend to think they messed up their score because they got a bogey on a hole.

I been watching golf on tv with them and they were surprised proís make bogeys all the time and make it up by getting birdies.

I think a big part of scoring low is believing you can do it is there anything during playing practice rounds on your home course you can do.

Edited by tiger1873, 04 July 2018 - 08:07 PM.


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#2 Tannerbug33

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:09 AM

If my son is having a bad round and I see him get frustrated I will move him closer on tee shots just to get him mentally back in it.
Although that's not working anymore he has discovered his putting is letting him down alot so we have spent alot of time on that.
But on practice rounds I do everything possible to keep it fun but push him also. He still wants to beat his score from yesterday when sometimes I want to work more on other things to reinforce a point and encourage certain things like fairway placement vs just going low. It's hard with kids they are not always on the same page with you

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#3 BrianMcG

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:14 AM

When I was a kid, I always used to think you had to play perfect golf to shoot low.

If I bogeyed the first hole I was already packing it in. Mentally I was thinking ďgreat, now Iím going to shoot 18 overĒ.

It wasnít until I started really looking at players entire tournament scores and watching their entire round that they hit some real stinkerx too and can even have a few ob or water balls and still score.

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#4 Sean2

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 10:27 AM

I have read that some D1 coaches have their players play the forward tees at the beginning of the season to get the feel of scoring low. I saw an interview with Brad Faxon a few years ago and he said at the beginning of the season he would do the same thing.
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#5 iteachgolf

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 10:29 AM

Play shorter courses.  Period.  They wonít believe they can shoot low until they do.  Have to set it up so they can make 6-7+ birdies a round


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#6 leezer99

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 10:35 AM

View Postiteachgolf, on 05 July 2018 - 10:29 AM, said:

Play shorter courses.  Period.  They won't believe they can shoot low until they do.  Have to set it up so they can make 6-7+ birdies a round

Meh... false sense of accomplishment in my opinion.  Play longer courses and learn to score when you can't reach a par four in two.

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#7 iteachgolf

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 10:42 AM

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 10:35 AM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 05 July 2018 - 10:29 AM, said:

Play shorter courses.  Period.  They won't believe they can shoot low until they do.  Have to set it up so they can make 6-7+ birdies a round

Meh... false sense of accomplishment in my opinion.  Play longer courses and learn to score when you can't reach a par four in two.

Thatís how you learn to not shoot high scores. Not how you learn to shoot low scores.   Itís a very quick way for players to get good at not being bad yet never actually getting really good.   Playing courses where you canít reach par 4s in two is very dangerous for development IMO.  Iíve seen it happen a TON.

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#8 tiger1873

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 11:45 AM

View Postiteachgolf, on 05 July 2018 - 10:42 AM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 10:35 AM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 05 July 2018 - 10:29 AM, said:

Play shorter courses.  Period.  They won't believe they can shoot low until they do.  Have to set it up so they can make 6-7+ birdies a round

Meh... false sense of accomplishment in my opinion.  Play longer courses and learn to score when you can't reach a par four in two.

That's how you learn to not shoot high scores. Not how you learn to shoot low scores.   It's a very quick way for players to get good at not being bad yet never actually getting really good.   Playing courses where you can't reach par 4s in two is very dangerous for development IMO.  I've seen it happen a TON.

I can see both sides of an argument here.  If there playing courses too long there simply is no way to score low. Kids have to score low for it to sink in. On the other hand if you play courses too short they don't learn how to recover when they get in trouble.

We try and vary up the tee's  a lot. Too me the most dangerous thing is playing on a course with a lot layups because there of lots of hazards and it made for a certain type of player.  

We have started to track rounds in Game Golf and that is a real eye opener for us you can really focus on what is costing you strokes.  The nice thing I am noticing is we can isolate problems and I can show here what her score would be without those holes.   It seems to be working but I am not sure if there a better way.

One method I was told to have her play 2 balls and write down the lowest score and when she scoring lower take one ball away until she makes it with that ball.  Keep repeating until she as low as she can get.

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#9 kekoa

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:37 PM

View Postiteachgolf, on 05 July 2018 - 10:42 AM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 10:35 AM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 05 July 2018 - 10:29 AM, said:

Play shorter courses.  Period.  They won't believe they can shoot low until they do.  Have to set it up so they can make 6-7+ birdies a round

Meh... false sense of accomplishment in my opinion.  Play longer courses and learn to score when you can't reach a par four in two.

That's how you learn to not shoot high scores. Not how you learn to shoot low scores.   It's a very quick way for players to get good at not being bad yet never actually getting really good.   Playing courses where you can't reach par 4s in two is very dangerous for development IMO.  I've seen it happen a TON.

I can only speak from what I've seen with my son and I'd agree with Dan in this case.  I've tried to stretch a course for my son and all it does is frustrate him.  Currently, he plays courses set up at about 2,000 yards right now and that is perfect.  From this yardage, his best is -2 although he has had it lower mid-round.  He can get on the green in regulation on all par 4's and can reach par 5's in two sometimes.  

Last week, he played from 2,700 yards during a PGA Jr. League match and my kid was frustrated the entire day.

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#10 evgolfer

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:41 PM

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 10:35 AM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 05 July 2018 - 10:29 AM, said:

Play shorter courses.  Period.  They won't believe they can shoot low until they do.  Have to set it up so they can make 6-7+ birdies a round

Meh... false sense of accomplishment in my opinion.  Play longer courses and learn to score when you can't reach a par four in two.

No reason you can't do both. Play forward tees, executive, or par 3 courses to groove the feel of going low, and play longer, tournament courses/tees to give them a sense of what they need to focus on attaining. Not zero sum.

Also, I know of no golfer who only wants to play the forward tees. These juniors will get a taste of pars/birdies from the front, and want to be capable of it from the tips -- I guarantee it.

Edited by evgolfer, 05 July 2018 - 01:42 PM.


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#11 leezer99

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:57 PM

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 01:37 PM, said:


Last week, he played from 2,700 yards during a PGA Jr. League match and my kid was frustrated the entire day.


What caused his frustration?

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#12 kekoa

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:16 PM

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 01:57 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 01:37 PM, said:

Last week, he played from 2,700 yards during a PGA Jr. League match and my kid was frustrated the entire day.


What caused his frustration?

The par 4's were like 340-360 yards so more times than not he had a fwy woods into the green.  Thats just not fun for him.  I think par 3's were in the 150 range so he has to hit 3 wood or driver into those.

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#13 leezer99

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:31 PM

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 02:16 PM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 01:57 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 01:37 PM, said:

Last week, he played from 2,700 yards during a PGA Jr. League match and my kid was frustrated the entire day.


What caused his frustration?

The par 4's were like 340-360 yards so more times than not he had a fwy woods into the green.  Thats just not fun for him.  I think par 3's were in the 150 range so he has to hit 3 wood or driver into those.

Reds at RH?  The good news is that the US Kids local tour yardages don't change from 8 to 9.

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#14 kekoa

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:35 PM

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 02:31 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 02:16 PM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 01:57 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 01:37 PM, said:

Last week, he played from 2,700 yards during a PGA Jr. League match and my kid was frustrated the entire day.


What caused his frustration?

The par 4's were like 340-360 yards so more times than not he had a fwy woods into the green.  Thats just not fun for him.  I think par 3's were in the 150 range so he has to hit 3 wood or driver into those.

Reds at RH?  The good news is that the US Kids local tour yardages don't change from 8 to 9.

Yup.  What I noticed in the local tour is that 9 yr olds don't shoot a lot lower than 8's from the same tees, which I think is odd.  I mean just by normal progression, the 9 yr old boys hit it about 20-40 yards further than my son, but no real difference in scoring.  I would think the good 9 yr old boys would rip the course to shreds.

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#15 leezer99

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:46 PM

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 02:35 PM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 02:31 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 02:16 PM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 01:57 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 01:37 PM, said:

Last week, he played from 2,700 yards during a PGA Jr. League match and my kid was frustrated the entire day.


What caused his frustration?

The par 4's were like 340-360 yards so more times than not he had a fwy woods into the green.  Thats just not fun for him.  I think par 3's were in the 150 range so he has to hit 3 wood or driver into those.

Reds at RH?  The good news is that the US Kids local tour yardages don't change from 8 to 9.

Yup.  What I noticed in the local tour is that 9 yr olds don't shoot a lot lower than 8's from the same tees, which I think is odd.  I mean just by normal progression, the 9 yr old boys hit it about 20-40 yards further than my son, but no real difference in scoring.  I would think the good 9 yr old boys would rip the course to shreds.

Dan said boys 9 usually scores the lowest to par of all the age groups but I noticed the same thing you are seeing.  Scores just weren't that much better than when they were 8.  Some kids got better and the better ones at 8 years old kind of just stayed the same.


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#16 Sean2

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 03:03 PM

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 02:16 PM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 01:57 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 01:37 PM, said:

Last week, he played from 2,700 yards during a PGA Jr. League match and my kid was frustrated the entire day.


What caused his frustration?

The par 4's were like 340-360 yards so more times than not he had a fwy woods into the green.  Thats just not fun for him.  I think par 3's were in the 150 range so he has to hit 3 wood or driver into those.

There are some who think hitting fairway woods into par 4's and on par 3's is fun. I guess whatever floats your boat. I prefer hitting irons in those situations.
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#17 hangontight

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 03:13 PM

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 02:16 PM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 01:57 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 01:37 PM, said:

Last week, he played from 2,700 yards during a PGA Jr. League match and my kid was frustrated the entire day.


What caused his frustration?

The par 4's were like 340-360 yards so more times than not he had a fwy woods into the green.  Thats just not fun for him.  I think par 3's were in the 150 range so he has to hit 3 wood or driver into those.

I know what you mean, we start PGA JL next week and have 4 matches in July.  Heading into Worlds in less than a month, the course lengths are not conducive to preparing for Workd. Wondering if I should explain to him that the PGA course is longer and to temper expectations for GIRs, to embrace the challenge as good scrambling practice, which he will need at mid pines.

Edited by hangontight, 05 July 2018 - 03:15 PM.


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#18 heavy_hitter

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 03:24 PM

View Postiteachgolf, on 05 July 2018 - 10:42 AM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 10:35 AM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 05 July 2018 - 10:29 AM, said:

Play shorter courses.  Period.  They won't believe they can shoot low until they do.  Have to set it up so they can make 6-7+ birdies a round

Meh... false sense of accomplishment in my opinion.  Play longer courses and learn to score when you can't reach a par four in two.

That's how you learn to not shoot high scores. Not how you learn to shoot low scores.   It's a very quick way for players to get good at not being bad yet never actually getting really good.   Playing courses where you can't reach par 4s in two is very dangerous for development IMO.  I've seen it happen a TON.

I agree with Dan.  Playing longer yardages doesn't teach you how to score, it teaches you how to get up and down.  Kid will hit less greens and has to learn how to grind.

If you really want to learn how to score, shorten the course.  My son usually plays from 6500 yards with his buddies and when he is with his coach.  That means no par 5's in two and Par 3's up to 215 yards.  You have to know how to play these and understand when you are only driving the ball 240-250 it can be a grind.  When I take him out he will play front 9 from 5400 yards and back 9 from 5800 yards.  I want him to get and play under par on the front nine which is easy from that yardage then maintain or go further under on the back 9.

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#19 leezer99

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 03:51 PM

View PostSean2, on 05 July 2018 - 03:03 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 02:16 PM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 01:57 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 01:37 PM, said:

Last week, he played from 2,700 yards during a PGA Jr. League match and my kid was frustrated the entire day.


What caused his frustration?

The par 4's were like 340-360 yards so more times than not he had a fwy woods into the green.  Thats just not fun for him.  I think par 3's were in the 150 range so he has to hit 3 wood or driver into those.

There are some who think hitting fairway woods into par 4's and on par 3's is fun. I guess whatever floats your boat. I prefer hitting irons in those situations.
You can, just hit your irons twice.

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#20 wildcatden

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 05:51 PM

Me to my 7YO son: So you just need to trust your swing and believe in yourself. You have scored birdies before and will score many birdies after. Remember when you shot -3 as a 6YO on this course?

My 7YO son: So, in Star Wars Empire Strikes Back, why did Han's hands go up after he was put in the carbon freeze?


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#21 leezer99

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:04 PM

View Postwildcatden, on 05 July 2018 - 05:51 PM, said:

Me to my 7YO son: So you just need to trust your swing and believe in yourself. You have scored birdies before and will score many birdies after. Remember when you shot -3 as a 6YO on this course?

My 7YO son: So, in Star Wars Empire Strikes Back, why did Han's hands go up after he was put in the carbon freeze?

Fear son, his hands are up because of fear.  Don't be afraid.

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#22 darter79

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:23 PM

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 06:04 PM, said:

View Postwildcatden, on 05 July 2018 - 05:51 PM, said:

Me to my 7YO son: So you just need to trust your swing and believe in yourself. You have scored birdies before and will score many birdies after. Remember when you shot -3 as a 6YO on this course?

My 7YO son: So, in Star Wars Empire Strikes Back, why did Han's hands go up after he was put in the carbon freeze?

Fear son, his hands are up because of fear.  Don't be afraid.

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.....

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#23 tiger1873

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 07:51 AM

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 02:35 PM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 02:31 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 02:16 PM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 01:57 PM, said:

View Postkekoa, on 05 July 2018 - 01:37 PM, said:

Last week, he played from 2,700 yards during a PGA Jr. League match and my kid was frustrated the entire day.


What caused his frustration?

The par 4's were like 340-360 yards so more times than not he had a fwy woods into the green.  Thats just not fun for him.  I think par 3's were in the 150 range so he has to hit 3 wood or driver into those.

Reds at RH?  The good news is that the US Kids local tour yardages don't change from 8 to 9.

Yup.  What I noticed in the local tour is that 9 yr olds don't shoot a lot lower than 8's from the same tees, which I think is odd.  I mean just by normal progression, the 9 yr old boys hit it about 20-40 yards further than my son, but no real difference in scoring.  I would think the good 9 yr old boys would rip the course to shreds.

Is 9 the local junior PGA age they start playing or have the better kids stopped playing locals? I see this in girls all the time the 11-12 age plays from the same tee as girls in the 13-18 age group and the older girls score less. The reason is a lot the better players move on to AJGA and higher level tournaments that are ranked better.

In a lot cases it just may be kids still starting out and are attracted to the same tour as the younger kids. In the case of US kids tournaments at certain point playing local tournaments is not competitive enough.

Edited by tiger1873, 06 July 2018 - 07:52 AM.


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#24 tiger1873

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 07:25 AM

View Postiteachgolf, on 05 July 2018 - 10:42 AM, said:

View Postleezer99, on 05 July 2018 - 10:35 AM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 05 July 2018 - 10:29 AM, said:

Play shorter courses.  Period.  They won't believe they can shoot low until they do.  Have to set it up so they can make 6-7+ birdies a round

Meh... false sense of accomplishment in my opinion.  Play longer courses and learn to score when you can't reach a par four in two.

That's how you learn to not shoot high scores. Not how you learn to shoot low scores.   It's a very quick way for players to get good at not being bad yet never actually getting really good.   Playing courses where you can't reach par 4s in two is very dangerous for development IMO.  I've seen it happen a TON.


Wanted to update this thread because we started following this advice from Iteach and it seems to be helping my daughter understand how to make pars and birdies. She was able to break par the first time in a casual round by doing this and has learn a lot by doing that.

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#25 me05501

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 07:47 AM

Take away the idea of pars, bogeys, birdies, etc. The goal of the game is to get the ball in the hole with as few strokes as possible, nine times in a row (or 18 times). That requires focusing on every stroke. Learning to focus on every stroke, and then forget the result, is a great skill to learn that will set them up for a lifelong scoring attitude.

Single hole scoring metrics are a mental hurdle. The elation one feels after a birdie or deflation after a double bogey can easily cause them to screw up the next hole too.

Likewise, constantly calculating your total strokes or strokes gained/lost against par or the field is a bad use of mental energy on the course. A kid who practices all summer thinking he needs to shoot 42 to make his high school team is going to have trouble finishing strong once his score gets to 30-32 or so IMO.


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