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Advice on Practice and Instruction. 7yr son.

us kids 7yr 8yr junior

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#1 zachpoker

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 12:08 PM

My son is turning 8 in December. He has played about 6 US Kids tournaments; about 3 per season. He plays in local golf course leagues (very low competition level). He also plays with me when I can.

As for instruction, 95% comes from me. I'm not a good golfer (15hc, picked up the game 5yr ago) but Iv'e studied a lot and taken lessons and really know a lot about the swing and game in comparison to my scoring I get him a handful of lessons (4 total in 4 years) when he is struggling with something specific and I feel like I'm unsure of the remedy. The last thing I want to do is give him the wrong advice, so I am careful with that when I'm not confident of what things he should work on.

He lacks consistency but has good talent. He loves the competition and loves practicing long and hard when we go out. He plays in the LA US kids local tour which I think is a competitive tour. He usually places Of 6 kids he usually places 3rd thru 5th. His best score is 40 (2x) but he has totally off days too (shot 49 last event).

https://www.dropbox....4?dl=0††(driver swing)

His form and fundamentals are as good as some of the winners. He lacks consistency in ball striking and massively with putt distance on lags. I think his prescrption is more repetition which he would gladly do but its just a challenge getting him somewhere to practice enough.

He gets 1-2 days of golf per week.

Sorry for the long write-up but just looking for any advice from somebody who has gone thru the process. Do you suggest more frequent lessons from a coach? more practice? anything else?

Thanks

Zach


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#2 heavy_hitter

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 12:42 PM

View Postzachpoker, on 01 October 2018 - 12:08 PM, said:

My son is turning 8 in December. He has played about 6 US Kids tournaments; about 3 per season. He plays in local golf course leagues (very low competition level). He also plays with me when I can.

As for instruction, 95% comes from me. I'm not a good golfer (15hc, picked up the game 5yr ago) but Iv'e studied a lot and taken lessons and really know a lot about the swing and game in comparison to my scoring I get him a handful of lessons (4 total in 4 years) when he is struggling with something specific and I feel like I'm unsure of the remedy. The last thing I want to do is give him the wrong advice, so I am careful with that when I'm not confident of what things he should work on.

He lacks consistency but has good talent. He loves the competition and loves practicing long and hard when we go out. He plays in the LA US kids local tour which I think is a competitive tour. He usually places Of 6 kids he usually places 3rd thru 5th. His best score is 40 (2x) but he has totally off days too (shot 49 last event).

https://www.dropbox....4?dl=0††(driver swing)

His form and fundamentals are as good as some of the winners. He lacks consistency in ball striking and massively with putt distance on lags. I think his prescrption is more repetition which he would gladly do but its just a challenge getting him somewhere to practice enough.

He gets 1-2 days of golf per week.

Sorry for the long write-up but just looking for any advice from somebody who has gone thru the process. Do you suggest more frequent lessons from a coach? more practice? anything else?

Thanks

Zach

There are a lot of good guys on the forums from that area that can help point you in the right direction.  Leezer and Kekoa are on here all of the time.

At his age, I think he just needs to play more golf.  He might need a lesson every other month or so, but that is about it.

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#3 hangontight

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 12:48 PM

My son is also 7, 8 next month.  Been at the US Kids golf stuff since he was 5 so a few years now and have seen ups and downs.  He has pretty solid fundamentals and his consistency depends on how much he plays / practices. He has solid fundamentals so I am not too worried about some major swing flaw that needs fixing - I do most to the instruction ( minimal as possible).   I'me a mid Hcp like you, but know enough to be dangerous and have in a few instances when I just couldn't help him figure it out sought the advice of a pro for helping him. I doubt we'll go see a pro regularly before age of 10 unless we find someone who is an absolute great fit.  

Anyhow, I've found his biggest improvements come when he spends a LOT of time on SHORT GAME - no surprise of course!.  Especially in 9 hole age divisions... not 3 putting and being able to make a good % of those 5'-12' putts with consistency is big.  As important, when he spends a lot of time on chipping and pitching , that practice seems to push over into improving his full swing iron game as well.   Also worth noting is making games out of the practice - usually against a buddy at the course , otherwise him vs. dad....or solo games.  Straight up "drills" will drive most 8 year olds away from anything.   I think the consistency you are seeking can only come from more practice (of course, quality of practice is important too) - no time shortcuts, practice as much as time allows as long as he is enjoying it.  These kids are busy though, I would say during golf season we usually practice 2-3 hours/week, and then maybe a (9h)round on weekend.  Its really not a lot, but there are other priorities. Each kids is different, but I have a pretty good idea of what kind of practice/play my son gets the most benefit from.

Edited by hangontight, 01 October 2018 - 01:08 PM.


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#4 kekoa

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 03:07 PM

Don't get discouraged with some high scores as your kids starts out in tournament golf.  Depending on which tour you are on, competition can be pretty tough at the top.  Just to put things into perspective, my son shot 53 in his first US Kids tournament as a 5 yr old with a low round of 31 a couple times as a 7 yr old.  Bottom line, it can be done and with very little instruction.  He just practiced and played a lot and the improvement came.

As an 8 yr old, we practice and play a lot still, but we have a lot more purpose when we are on the range and course.

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#5 MikekiM

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 04:33 PM

Sounds like to me you're doing just fine.  Keep the game fun for him.  Too much structured practice and expectations can hurt his confidence and tire him out.  Seeing a coach once in a while can help groove the swing, but isn't necessarily something where more is better.  Too many lessons can start to raise his expectations and frustrate him if he isn't seeing improvements with his scoring.  At this age its more about hanging with new kids and having fun around the golf course.
If he's self motivated to keep practicing and playing them find a good practice facility where he can hone his short game.  I grew up at the range at Griffith Park, and always felt it was a decent place to practice, however haven't been back in many years.  Have him work on his short game and he'll start to see the scores come down.


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#6 zachpoker

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 04:36 PM

Thank you. Sounds like we are on the right track. I try to limit my instruction but it's so tough. For example, when he putts his takeaway is too fast and he will look at the putt prematurely after impact. I constantly remind him of those things after each putt when it appears. He takes it well, not bothered. But I wonder if I should just let him keep making the mistakes? It's a tough balance.

The key takeaway is that he would benefit from more practice time. I'll have to find a way to get him out there a bit more.



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#7 BertGA

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 05:30 PM

View Postzachpoker, on 01 October 2018 - 04:36 PM, said:

Thank you. Sounds like we are on the right track. I try to limit my instruction but it's so tough. For example, when he putts his takeaway is too fast and he will look at the putt prematurely after impact. I constantly remind him of those things after each putt when it appears. He takes it well, not bothered. But I wonder if I should just let him keep making the mistakes? It's a tough balance.

The key takeaway is that he would benefit from more practice time. I'll have to find a way to get him out there a bit more.

My daughter can be stubborn about learning to keep the head down while putting, etc. For one, I think at a young age many kids are completely unaware what their body is doing. Just not much self-awareness. But I have found when she doesnít trust her old man that I just show videos of pro after pro keeping their head down through the putt.

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#8 tiger1873

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 06:50 PM

A lot is going to depend on where you live but is there a junior coach nearby that teaches lots of kids? A good junior program teaches fundamentals and take them out on the course and will even teach them rules.

For a 7 year old that is perfect. I have a 7 year old girl and tried to do individual lessons once every few months. It really hasnít been working as she was not having a lot fun having to practice by herself. I was beginning to think she didnít like golf like her older sister. I put her in group lessons a few times a week and she now having fun and learning. She even asks when her next tournament is now. She loves riding around in the cart and doing games where she competes with the other kids and gets really happy when she wins.

Think back when my older daughter who lives and breathes golf now really only got executed after she did classes all the time. I will be the first to admit group lessons may not help win a lot tournaments it does help with keeping them interested when they are younger.

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#9 zachpoker

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 08:53 PM

Interest has never been an issue with my son. I don't think he has ever asked to end a practice session. If we are playing closest to pin shipping contest or playing horse putting he could go endlessly. My bigger challenge is just getting him out there more often. I work evenings I get my wife to take him to the Junior program scramble League once per week and then I tried to go with him one more time on the weekend.

Tiger, maybe that's the thing I just lose sight of. Like when I tell him to keep his head down after the putt. He really wants to please meet. But then he just keeps lifting it. I think I forget how little awareness of their body they have. Sometimes he impresses me with how quickly he can Implement things new. But then the simple stuff he just forgets over and over. I'm going to try to keep that in mind more.

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#10 leezer99

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 09:06 PM

Don't ask me... my kid told me we couldn't go to the course today because he had too much homework.  I must be doing something wrong.


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#11 zachpoker

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 09:25 PM

Sorry for all the typos. *not going to post using voice to text again.

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#12 wildcatden

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 11:21 PM

View Postzachpoker, on 01 October 2018 - 08:53 PM, said:

But then the simple stuff he just forgets over and over.

If I had a nickel for every piece of golf information I have had to repeat to my kid...

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#13 BertGA

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 08:28 AM

View Postwildcatden, on 01 October 2018 - 11:21 PM, said:

View Postzachpoker, on 01 October 2018 - 08:53 PM, said:

But then the simple stuff he just forgets over and over.

If I had a nickel for every piece of golf information I have had to repeat to my kid...

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