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Calling all Parents of Junior Girls


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#211 dpb5031

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 01:32 PM

Another great post.  I think a mental coach is probably a good idea for many as long as they're on board with it.  I'm going to look into it for my daughter.  

Her skill set, power, etc., was better than ever last season after some early year swing modifications, yet she really didn't have a really great tournament season in 2016.  She'd go around in practice rounds at even par, then play horribly in the actual event getting beat by girls who do not hit it nearly as well.  Truth be told, as she's gotten older her physical game has improved immensely,  but her mental game has deteriorated.  I think it's pressure, expectations, and fear.

This is a kid who can actually compress a golf ball (many girls really don't much) and move drives out there longer than most.  We know the ability is there because of some of the low scores she's posted on tough tracks, and the fact that she's made it through sectional qualifying to get to 2 USGA national championships including the 2015 Women's Am.

Think I'm going to look into a mental coach for her for this season...


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#212 nikegal

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 01:34 PM

A lot of excellent posts and Birdeyman's comments on instructors is the best and most accurate summation that I have seen on this or any board. Excellent thoughts Birdey :) Good luck to you all and more than anything, enoy the journey, never forget that she needs you far more as her daddy, no matter her age, than her golf coach, agent or instructor and be there to dust her off when she stumbles and falls.
Also, FWIW, I would be very very very careful(hint, hint, hahaha :) ) about getting a girl a mental coach at the age of 17-18yo.  :) Madison

Edited by nikegal, 15 March 2017 - 01:39 PM.


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#213 heavy_hitter

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:33 PM

Another great post Birdie.


Fortunately for my daughter, the school she is going to has a Sports Psychologist all the golfers have to see at least once a month.  

My daughters swing coach has really served the purpose of her shrink, so to say the past couple of years they have worked together.  He is one of the better playing professionals in our area and he really has taught her the mental part of the game.

My son is the crazy one.  Sounds a lot like your son and daughter combined.  Pinehurst World Championships two years ago he was 4 over through 10 holes.  Goes to Number 11 and makes a bogey on a Par 5.  It of course was my fault because I told him the wrong club.  He goes to number 12 pissed off and raging almost to tears because of a bogey.  Before I know it he gets to the tee box without waiting for his competitors.  He takes ZERO practice swings and pull hooks his tee shot into the woods.  Over the next three holes he goes Quad, Bogey, Triple to finish the day with an 86.  

He goes through these self destructive modes and it is the only thing that holds him back.  Has all the talent in the world, but sometimes something gets into him to the point that he can't see the self destruction in the round he is causing himself.  We talk about it all the time.  His expectations are so high for himself when he thinks he should par or birdie a hole and doesn't he would lose it for the next several holes.  

I recognized this pattern and thought that it was maturity and he would grow out of it.  We would talk about it and I gave him books to read (Golf is not a Game of Perfect) as well as others.  Helped for a week and then back to the same ole same ole.  I then stumbled onto focusing techniques and Concentration Exercises for the Mind by Remez Sasson.  I got him to start training his mind through different techniques.  After a month I started to see a difference.  It takes between 5 and 15 minutes a night and they are extremely easy exercises to train your mind to learn how to focus.  Your mind is just like any muscle in your body.  To get it to focus you have to teach it to focus.  I have seen an incredible difference over the past several tournaments he has played in.  Fewer doubles and fewer runs of bogey or more over two to three holes.  It is mush easier to get him back and he begins to realize when he starts the self destruction mode.  The other thing I have seen with the focus techniques is his ability to move in and out of the "Zone."  He is really able to focus down on the greens and make putts when he is using the focus techniques around the green.

I noticed another behavior with my son as well.  He was playing the first 14-15 holes anywhere from 1 to 2 over.  Then he would get to the last few holes and go double, par, bogey or bogey, double, bogey.  He would just blow it and he would seem to start getting frustrated easily around number 13 when he was playing good golf.  His mind was becoming unfocused and he would make bad decisions.  His coach said it was diet.  I told him what he was eating on the course and he told us to change his diet.  It took us 2 tournament rounds to get his diet correct for tournament days.  The easy part is my boy doesn't drink sodas so I didn't have to snap that away.  We changed to 3 eggs, banana, 32 oz of water for breakfast.  Get to the course and on the walk from warm up to first tee he drinks a bottle of water and eats another banana.  After he tees off he pulls nuts out of his cooler and opens another bottle of water.  He will eat a handful of nuts every hole and drink a bottle of water at least every three holes.  At the turn is another bottle of water and we pack him a tupperware with 8 oz of shredded chicken breast with a little bit of mayo.  As soon as he is done he opens another bottle of water and snacks on nuts the rest of the round with the same routine.  We don't do Gatorades anymore as it has too much sugar.  No bars because there are too many carbs which turns to sugar.  Since we nailed this eating routine down he has been able to finish rounds very strong.  I never did believe that your diet could influence a round so much, but it does.  He doesn't get as cranky and mentally fatigued.  His last tournament he won by 6 strokes shooting a 1 over par in 25-30 mph winds.  Nothing bothered him

Still a work in progress with him and he is only 11.

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#214 dpb5031

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 06:30 AM

Diet is an important factor.  Sugar is a self perpetuating nightmare.  It satisfies briefly then you crash and the only thing that gets you back is more sugar.  In my experience it takes a good 3 or 4 days of being very disciplined about what you consume to get "over the hump."  The first few days are hard, but once you do, your energy and moods will be much more level and easily sustainable. It takes knowledge and discipline to maintain.

For those uncertain about what to look for and what to avoid just Google the Glycemic index. It lists foods by the rate at which your body will burn the carbohydrates.  Higher numbers are bad (fast burning carbs) and low numbers are good (slow burning).

As HH has noted with his son, lean proteins, nuts, slower burning fruits & veggies, etc, are better fuel for your mind and body than sugary drinks or anything with processed wheat flour and/or added sugar.

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#215 dpb5031

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:17 PM

View Postnikegal, on 15 March 2017 - 01:34 PM, said:

A lot of excellent posts and Birdeyman's comments on instructors is the best and most accurate summation that I have seen on this or any board. Excellent thoughts Birdey :) Good luck to you all and more than anything, enoy the journey, never forget that she needs you far more as her daddy, no matter her age, than her golf coach, agent or instructor and be there to dust her off when she stumbles and falls.
Also, FWIW, I would be very very very careful(hint, hint, hahaha :) ) about getting a girl a mental coach at the age of 17-18yo.  :) Madison

Maddy, thanks for the "hint!"

Curious to hear your reasoning because I know from your posts and Richard's posts that you both believe the mental part of the competitive game to be so important?



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#216 birdyman88

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 11:19 PM

I was talking to my daughter about this thread and she thought it was cool that some of us were actually out here getting together and talking about it. She is turning 17 in a month and she still remembers all of what she has been through to get where she is. Again, that is D1 commit, committed summer after 10th grade, +1.3 handicap (tournaments only), started playing at age 10 1/2.  I thought some Q&A with her would be cool to post. My memory is limited so I've had to paraphrase a little, but she approved this before posting. This is not a sales pitch for D1, it's simply the perspective of a girl who wants to play D1.

Did you always want to go to a D1 school, or were you looking at other divisions?
Once I started getting into the 2-day tournaments and meeting some of the good players, I knew I really wanted to eventually end up playing with them in college, which meant D1. I have always been competitive and the lower level of competition at D2 and D3 didn't interest me. I wanted a good academic school too because I may not ever be good enough to pro.

How hard was it to get to your level, and did you ever want to quit?
It was very hard! There are many long days of practice, long drives to the course, swing changes, long rides home from tournaments, summer heat, winter cold, homework at night, and all kinds of other stuff. I wanted to quit several times, but am glad I stuck it out. I'm glad I learned to work through the tough times.

Could you have gotten to where you are if mom and dad had just turned you loose with and instructor and stayed on the sidelines?
Ummm. Well, that depends on how much money you would have spent on my instructor. [ME] You know what our finances look like, so probably once a month at the absolute most - more often when you younger and less often as you got older. [Her] Well in that case, NO. I really don't think I could have gotten this far this fast just working with an instructor. None of my instructors, except maybe "Joe my first instructor", ever bothered to do some of the things you and mom did. Without that I would never be where I am. If you guys weren't looking at my stats, teaching me about nutrition, and doing all the other stuff you did, I would probably still be shooting in the 80's! I mean, if I could go to an instructor once a week or so, like "Jane the world's almost top ranked player", and he was always analyzing my game and figuring out what tournaments to go to and all the other stuff, then maybe yes. But, I still don't know if I could have done it in time to meet my recruiting window. Even, "Jane the world's almost top ranked player" has her mom and dad doing a lot of stuff for her and always pushing her to be better. If I had started when I was 6, like "Jane", then maybe I could have.

Have you ever met an instructor here in our area that does all that for their students?
NO. Well, there is one instructor that sort of does some of that. He seems to be involved more than the others, but neither of his two girls are top players. I mean, they have their moments.  They don't practice near enough and they don't spend enough time at the short game area and nobody makes them.  He shows up at some of the tournaments and does the practice round with them, but his girls still blow up during the tournament. "Susie" is close to getting there, but she's about to miss her recruiting window. She's only a year younger than me and says she wants to play for a competitive D1, but I heard she still doesn't have any of them seriously looking at her. "Ruby Sue" is just not very motivated and her mom won't push her. She told me that gave up looking at D1 and is trying to find a less competitive school.

Have you ever met a highly competitive girl that DOESN'T have a fair amount of parental oversight?
Ummm ... [long pause] ... [still thinking]. No, not really.

Have you ever met a highly competitive girl that DOES have a fair amount of parental oversight?
All of them [chuckle]. At least the ones I know. [ME] Just here in our state? [HER] No everywhere.

What was it that mom and I did that you feel helped you the most?
Pushed me! I might have quit if it wasn't for you guys. Also, you [dad] are really good at analyzing my stats and doing all the number stuff like coming up with a way to adjust for wind and temperature. I mean, I play really good in the wind because of that.  I'm not sure I could have ever done that. I'm smart and all, but there's way too much math and spreadsheets involved. I still don't understand how you come up with some up the stuff you do. Mom really helped me a lot with the nutrition and fitness and she makes me go to gym with her. She also doesn't care sometimes, which is kind of nice when I need it.

What was it that mom and I did that you feel hurt you the most?
I don't know. Nothing really hurt me. There were times when I did things that you [dad] said didn't look right and you wanted me change it. I'm sure it needed to be changed, but just because it looked wrong didn't mean that it was hurting me. [ME - chuckling] Even if the other girls might talk about you behind your back because of it - just like the comments some of the girls make about "Pam the girl with the really slow backswing"? [HER] Hmmm ... okay, I see your point [chuckle]. [ME] And mom? [HER] Hmmmm ... she wasn't really that involved.

You have gone to a "sports psychologist" - good, bad, indifferent?
Good. I wish I had gone earlier. [ME] Could you have figured out the mental side on your own? [HER] Probably, but not in time to hit my recruiting window. Like, if you asked me to to do it now, I could probably figure it out, but it would take some time.  I doubt I would have ever survived last summer out on AJGA without it. There was a lot of pressure out there last summer. [ME] Pressure from where? [HER] From everywhere, but mainly the other girls - they're all good, and they're not always friendly. They're not mean, just some don't like to talk that much. I had to play with girls that were committed to places Baylor, Texas A&M, etc. And some were in the 7th and 8th grade. It's kind of embarrassing to get beat by a 7th grader.

If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you change?
I would start when I was 6, and would go straight to "Bob my current instructor". Oh, and I would go to AJGA much earlier. I really wanted to go Stanford or Duke. I'm happy now though.

Any advice for any of the parents or girls who might read this?
If you want to get into a competitive D1 school, start contacting them when you're like 10 or 12, and you better be playing big tournaments and shooting good scores when you're 12. I started contacting them when I was 13, almost 14. And I was averaging like 79 in the state junior tour when I was 15.  I was WAY too late for a lot of the schools I wanted. All the girls I know going to competitive programs committed before 10th grade. Also, you're going to want to quit sometimes, but don't do it. And practice your short game a lot.

Anyway, hope this puts a little more perspective on the subject. Straight from and approved by my daughter.

Edited by birdyman88, 15 April 2017 - 01:07 AM.


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#217 birdyman88

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 11:59 PM

Boys are so friggin' difficult! When you figure it out, let me know. I will say that my son was coddled a bit growing up. I really think that had something to do with it. Haunted him in other aspects of life for a while. Proud of him for finally realizing this and deciding to move forward in life. He has a lot of regrets though. He really liked playing and wishes he'd been a little more mature. Leaving college to head to military now and seems pretty pumped about it.

Edited by birdyman88, 17 March 2017 - 11:54 AM.


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#218 nikegal

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:42 PM

View Postdpb5031, on 16 March 2017 - 02:17 PM, said:

View Postnikegal, on 15 March 2017 - 01:34 PM, said:

A lot of excellent posts and Birdeyman's comments on instructors is the best and most accurate summation that I have seen on this or any board. Excellent thoughts Birdey :) Good luck to you all and more than anything, enoy the journey, never forget that she needs you far more as her daddy, no matter her age, than her golf coach, agent or instructor and be there to dust her off when she stumbles and falls.
Also, FWIW, I would be very very very careful(hint, hint, hahaha :) ) about getting a girl a mental coach at the age of 17-18yo.  :) Madison

Maddy, thanks for the "hint!"

Curious to hear your reasoning because I know from your posts and Richard's posts that you both believe the mental part of the competitive game to be so important?
Hi DP :) My reasoning is fairly simple and consists of a number of reasons. First, as hard as it is to find a quality junior Teacher to instruct a child, young teenager or a 15-18yo, and as few quality Teachers as there are, it is even harder to find a "Mental coach," and there are, at least in my mind, far far fewer "mental coaches." The vast majority use a broad brush approach, based totally on theory, because most have absolutely no experience of Playing "under the gun," as Pete and Sam used to say, so they have absolutely no idea what a child/teenager is feeling, other than what they've read in a book. Then most that I have spoken to when I've asked them about their philosophy and theories, it's similar to a system Teacher of the swing- They will attempt to fit every individual, regardless of their physical make-up, strengths and weaknesses, into their swing system, except a mental "coach" does this with a child's mind, which I believe is a very poor approach and potentially much more damaging and tougher to correct than a physical swing flaw.  I'm sorry, but for me, and more importantly, my kids, that is simply not good enough.

Richard has worked with boys from the ages of 14-18 for just over 20 years, starting when he was coaching football and before we had met. He noticed that he had players who had all the physical tools, had performed well on the practice field, and where as a practice round of golf is indeed a light hearted affair, football practices can be very intense and Richard was known as a very intense coach and he has always believed that the closer that his players practiced to game "Speed," from a speed , intensity, focus and concentration standpoint, the better prepared they would be for games. He has easily over 100 books on the psychology of performance from academic texts to mental performance books written by shrinks, Coaches and athletes. He does not really speak of this on the board but he said that he didn't care if I mentioned this and he  works with boys only and at first I could not understand why but after getting to know him, and seeing his relationship with his mother and sister, and how he treats me and my daughters, well, he adores us and while he can separate his feelings with guys and boys, he told me and I can see it and that is he totally lets his guard down and is very "soft" with the females in his life and he treats all females with respect and dignity and he speaks often of "turning it up," well, he cannot "turn it up" with females, whether it be his mother, me or Ava or a little 14yo girl, lol. He is much softer with my girl students than I am, lol. I am not "hard," but they have him wrapped around their fingers, lolol.

The reason that I am mentioning Richard is because my mental training for selected students is based off of his program.  He has 36 boys that he works with, 17 for football, 14 for golf and 5 for lacrosse. He could probably have twice that number or more but he does it part time and that is the number that he feels allows him to give each boy the time and attention that they deserve. He only works with boys who play a sport that he did and though he did not Play college lacrosse, he received scholarship offers and was also a two-time All-State in lacrosse and he feels very strongly that having been "under the gun" and "been there done that," at least at the highest levels as an amateur in those three sports, he can better relate to and assist a boy to gain what he refers to as the "Three C's," Confidence Commitment & Courage and not just in their chosen sport but more importantly to Richard, in their lives. I agree that without these three traits deeply entrenched in one's psyche, it is impossible to perform consistently at a high level regardless of the Sport, activity or endeavor. It's funny because I have seen these three traits spoken of and written about over the years but Richard's Mentor in football, the NFL linebacker that he has spoken of and I got to meet shortly before his death from cancer and I feel terrible  but I only remember his first name, Pete, and he spoke of these three and had a consulting/public speaking business called "3 C's" and Pete instilled these three traits in Richard, but our Teacher, Pete Snead, said that Richard always had them from the time that he knew him because of his Grandmother's influence.

The Confidence to believe that you ARE an excellent Golfer, football Player, business person, etc., and you are deserving of all that comes from being amongst the very best in your particular sport/field and the Commitment to know that you have prepared the very best that you can and to TRUST your preparation and have no self-doubt, whether it be the shot that you have selected, the club that you have selected or most importantly, the swing that you are about to make. Like Richard always says,"Zero Doubts, Zero Regrets." This leads into the third "C," Courage. The Courage to know that you may not hit the shot, you may not win the match and you may not get the victory. It doesn't matter one bit!! You are a Champion and Champions hit bad shots, Champions have bad rounds and Champions will have bad tournaments. But a Champion learns from their mistakes, poor shots and bad rounds and tournaments. They analyze, they correct their shortcomings/mistakes and they come back harder and stronger than before and they overcome obstacles, because ever obstacle that they overcome moves them that much closer to their goals! My last word in that last sentence is CRITICAL! GOALS!! Short, mid and long term. Written down. Read each and every day and this is the most critical measurement that a young person can monitor. Not GIR, PPR w/GIR, FWs hit or LA or spin rate  but did they do something that day to move closer to achieving their goals?? We have them keep a diary if you will, and speak to their feelings and emotions each day, and write them down and monitor them because it's great to say "give 100% every time out" and I used to think that this was a great thing to say and strive for until I listened to Richard with his Players and then his employees because he never said this. He said simply, "I want you to give EVERYTHING you've got to give today, to this." Some days we will not have 100% to give, we may only have 80%, for whatever reason(s), and everyone of you knows what I mean. Fine, but just give me EVERYTHING you've got. There is a difference and I observed people giving Richard more than they realized that they had to give, and spoke to a few and they said that they appreciated that he realized that they were human and as such, had great days where they were 100% and others where they were at 80%, but they gave him everything that they had that day. And this is what both he and I Teach our students.

At my(and Richard's) first meeting with a student, and I never do this on a day when we have a physical golf lesson, I will go over the four foundational pillars of our Mental Mastery Program(MMR):

1) Goal Setting
2) Imagery
3) Energy Managememt/Focus
4) Self Talk

We also do an initial assessment of the student's current mental skill level by having them complete a customized form which covers-

~ Coping with adversity
~ Concentration
~ Confidence & Achievement Motivation
~ Goal Setting & Mental Preparation  
~ Peaking under Pressure
~ Freedom from worry

This more or less gives us a baseline on the child and shows us where their strengths and weakness lay and we can use their strengths to turn their weaknesses into strengths. Gosh, as I look back over this I am as bad as Richard as far as rambling, hahaha. It's just that this is such a critical area for any person, child or adult, and I am just not overly impressed with the generic garbage can theories and theorist parading around the lines at tournaments handing out cards as "performance coaches," lolol. Probably the biggest thing that I got from Richard was that after observing he and his students for a few years, I noticed that he would work with them for a period, and this varies according to the individual, however they came up with a mental "game plan," which he put together sitting with the student, and it would have their objectives goals and the strategies, tactics and drills to achieve those goals, and Richard would teach the student to "own" his mental game just as he hopefully worked to own his physical swing and game. It really was incredible to watch because Richard would take a quiet reserved and off of the golf course a somewhat shy and insecure boy and help instill the confidence needed so that he could step away and they could take control of their mental game and hopefully their lives, with a written template and game plan to fall back in when needed and they have always know that he is a phone call away(he hates texts and e-mails, hahaha).

Where most of these shrinks/coaches want these students dependent on them, and I don't care what they might say, watch them and how they "teach," lol. The vast majority do not teach themselves out of a job with a student. I thought this was because Richard did it more as a hobby to help boys versus a job to make a living, even though he does charge a fee, but when I asked him he just laughed and said that I was not even in the right league, lolol. He said that having gone to shrinks himself, though not for mental performance skills, they all worked to build that dependency and unlike when you go to any other doctor or individual to treat a condition, once it is treated and you are "cured," you move on and if and when you have another ailment/condition, you contact them, get diagnosed, they affect the cure and you move on. Not with shrinks. They build a dependency, some more discreetly than others. Ironically, Richard said that the Best that he'd gone to did an initial evaluation, and I've never been to therapy but I guess that this is rare, and he worked with Richard in dealing with his issue(He was sexually molested as a child), assisted Richard in developing the "tools" necessary in dealing with his issues, and then one day Richard showed up and his therapist said that he felt that Richard was "good to go," and if he ever needed him, he was a phone call away. That really impressed Richard and he used that as his standard. We should be teaching children the mechanisms and tools to "own" their mental and psychological games, not teaching them to be dependent on a coach, Teacher or shrink for the next 60-70+ years to get them through pressure situations. Sorry for veering DP, lolol, but this is why I am skeptical of mental/performance "coaches." If they are not going to give your child the necessary tools for successfully dealing with pressure and performing under pressure themselves, and basically "coaching" or "teaching" themselves out of your children's lives, then they aren't worth the ink on their business cards, regardless of what they children think or say. Independent Confidence is one of the greatest traits that I can Teach my own children and I try to teach others. Take care :) Madison

Edited by nikegal, 20 March 2017 - 12:31 PM.


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#219 dpb5031

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:28 PM

Madison,
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond so thoroughly and thoughtfully!  I am traveling and do not have time to respond in kind, but will do so when I've got the appropriate time to re-read your post and respond appropriately. 😊


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#220 Forged4ever

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 04:56 PM

HaHa, I am not too soft🤗

Girls are different and you can communicate my stuff better than I can to them. I can turn it up and down with a guy, whether he's a boy or a man. I can't turn it up with a female, lol.

Besides, the last time that I worked with a lil girl was my 7yo niece, my Sis's youngest, and I was talking to her about playing the body versus the ball in Soccer, lmao⚽️

She is an intense little thing, much more so than her 14yo sister, who just orally committed to UNC Chapel Hill as a Freshman(which I think is a HUUUUUGE mistake but that's a whole nother thread ;) ). So she not only plays the body, she knocks the other little girl off the ball, off her feet and gets a red card.

Well, I know next to nothing about soccer however I figured that Playing the body works in football, it works in lax, WTF, it made sense to me for soccer, especially for a 7yo girl cuz most of the girls are timid and Riley is aggressive, lol.

My sister had a friggin conniption, lol-

Turns out that was the first red card in the 7-8yo division in almost a decade and you'd have thought that I embezzled millions from her, lmao

I was banned from even speaking to Riley about any sports and my sis didn't talk to me for a good two weeks, lol, and even my Bro-in-Law got pissed at me cuz she got mad at him for trying to make excuses for me as I really wasn't that familiar with the rules of soccer-

She wasn't buyin in, lol

I'm just sticking to guys!!

Have a nice evening/day :)

My Best,
RP

Edited by Forged4ever, 20 March 2017 - 04:59 PM.

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#221 heavy_hitter

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:16 AM

View PostForged4ever, on 20 March 2017 - 04:56 PM, said:

HaHa, I am not too soft��

Girls are different and you can communicate my stuff better than I can to them. I can turn it up and down with a guy, whether he's a boy or a man. I can't turn it up with a female, lol.

Besides, the last time that I worked with a lil girl was my 7yo niece, my Sis's youngest, and I was talking to her about playing the body versus the ball in Soccer, lmao⚽️

She is an intense little thing, much more so than her 14yo sister, who just orally committed to UNC Chapel Hill as a Freshman(which I think is a HUUUUUGE mistake but that's a whole nother thread ;) ). So she not only plays the body, she knocks the other little girl off the ball, off her feet and gets a red card.

Well, I know next to nothing about soccer however I figured that Playing the body works in football, it works in lax, WTF, it made sense to me for soccer, especially for a 7yo girl cuz most of the girls are timid and Riley is aggressive, lol.

My sister had a friggin conniption, lol-

Turns out that was the first red card in the 7-8yo division in almost a decade and you'd have thought that I embezzled millions from her, lmao

I was banned from even speaking to Riley about any sports and my sis didn't talk to me for a good two weeks, lol, and even my Bro-in-Law got pissed at me cuz she got mad at him for trying to make excuses for me as I really wasn't that familiar with the rules of soccer-

She wasn't buyin in, lol

I'm just sticking to guys!!

Have a nice evening/day :)

My Best,
RP

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#222 birdyman88

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:40 AM

Very nice insight Madison. I am so glad that you mentioned the dependency thing, because I sometimes think I'm being a little harsh on psych's and instructors. Every job I every had, I had to actually complete it!

Honestly, most every instructor I've run across doesn't care if you make it to college, or whatever your goal, they just want to you to keep paying for lessons. It's just a job for them - nothing more. One of my daughters good friends that I mentioned in a previous post has this problem. Mom keeps paying her instructor $125 a lesson, once every week or two - and she still struggles out of the sand. I mean seriously, this girl averages 2 strokes out of every sand trap, and nobody seems to care. The instructor keeps tweaking the swing and working on "aim point". I've literally seen this girl lose a tournament just because of bunkers. We've warned them and tried to help them, but they don't want to hear it. She's going to miss her recruiting window for D1.  So sad, very talented otherwise. The instructor is making a lot of money off this girl though!

Edited by birdyman88, 21 March 2017 - 09:01 AM.


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#223 4jag

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 01:49 PM

View PostForged4ever, on 20 March 2017 - 04:56 PM, said:

... 14yo sister, who just orally committed to UNC Chapel Hill as a Freshman(which I think is a HUUUUUGE mistake but that's a whole nother thread ;) ).
Soo you've got me really curious about this statement?  Are you saying its a mistake because she committed too early or is there more of a concern?
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#224 Forged4ever

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:42 PM

View Post4jag, on 21 March 2017 - 01:49 PM, said:

View PostForged4ever, on 20 March 2017 - 04:56 PM, said:

... 14yo sister, who just orally committed to UNC Chapel Hill as a Freshman(which I think is a HUUUUUGE mistake but that's a whole nother thread ;) ).
Soo you've got me really curious about this statement?  Are you saying its a mistake because she committed too early or is there more of a concern?
Yes, I think this whole recruiting scene is warped and we're talking about a 14yo girl who they started "watching" at 12yo on these traveling teams which are basically an All-State team and I mean they fly to these tourneys 3-4 states away and it's crazy. I was recruited for football starting my sophomore year though I guess times are different but my lil niece hasn't had her first BF(at least what she tells me, lol) and she has a different favorite song every week and at 14yo she makes a decision on a college that is three plus years down the road???

She may hate soccer by then, lol-

We've spoken about the expectations, the pressure and she is the one who told Madison and I(my Sis and Bro-in-Law do not know this as I type this) a few weeks ago that "it is becoming like a job"

The real pisser???

She's never had a friggin job and has no idea what it is like😂😜

Ahh hell, maybe it's me, lol

Carolina Blue and pink are her favorite colors so WTF, maybe it's ok, hahaha

Stay well My Friend👊

My Best,
RP

Edited by Forged4ever, 21 March 2017 - 09:48 PM.

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But For The Way That The Sound Of Her Voice Can Silence My Demons....



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#225 heavy_hitter

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:02 AM

View PostForged4ever, on 21 March 2017 - 09:42 PM, said:

View Post4jag, on 21 March 2017 - 01:49 PM, said:

View PostForged4ever, on 20 March 2017 - 04:56 PM, said:

... 14yo sister, who just orally committed to UNC Chapel Hill as a Freshman(which I think is a HUUUUUGE mistake but that's a whole nother thread ;) ).
Soo you've got me really curious about this statement?  Are you saying its a mistake because she committed too early or is there more of a concern?
Yes, I think this whole recruiting scene is warped and we're talking about a 14yo girl who they started "watching" at 12yo on these traveling teams which are basically an All-State team and I mean they fly to these tourneys 3-4 states away and it's crazy. I was recruited for football starting my sophomore year though I guess times are different but my lil niece hasn't had her first BF(at least what she tells me, lol) and she has a different favorite song every week and at 14yo she makes a decision on a college that is three plus years down the road???

She may hate soccer by then, lol-

We've spoken about the expectations, the pressure and she is the one who told Madison and I(my Sis and Bro-in-Law do not know this as I type this) a few weeks ago that "it is becoming like a job"

The real pisser???

She's never had a friggin job and has no idea what it is like����

Ahh hell, maybe it's me, lol

Carolina Blue and pink are her favorite colors so WTF, maybe it's ok, hahaha

Stay well My Friend��

My Best,
RP

I agree.

Unfortunately, this is now the world we live in.

My wife and I were running our budgets last night.  Over the past 3 years we have spent on golf for my daughter the equivalence of one year in college.  All college scholarships are guaranteed one year (unless you are in a Power 5 conference and they can still take money away in equivalency sports).  She has a full scholarship year one and that is it.  She will have something year 2, but a mystery to what it will be.  If she performs, she will earn a full ride again, if not she may get 50% and I will be on the hook for 17 grand.

She makes good grades.  Had she not played golf and had stayed in state, she would have earned enough Academic Scholarship money,  that it would have cost us only $10,000 a year to have paid for her to go to a state school.

It is going to work out for her in the long run and we are happy to go through the process.  Playing a sport and earning a scholarship really has to be a financial decision in the long run.  Too many people put their dreams of their kids making it big and live vicariously through them.  Every one does it to a degree.  I have this same discussion within our business several times a month.  I deal with a lot of baseball coaches and parents youth through high school.  Many of these parents would be better off spending their money on an Academic Tutor than throwing their money away paying for hotel rooms and travel.  Playing in tournaments isn't the expense, it is $100 a night for hotels, food, gas.  Take all of that money and ensure your kid has a 3.5 or better.  If he/she plays sports on top of that, they will get Academic and Athletic money.  There isn't enough money in equivalency sports (Baseball, Golf, Track, Softball, etc.) to give most kids full rides, even if they are really good.  If a student has grades, they can go to college and play sports while having most of it paid for.  If they don't have grades, you have dumped your dreams into your kid getting a full ride, and will still be paying out the rear for them to go to school and play sports.  

Percentages of schools that can recruit you depending on your GPA.
4.0  90%
3.5  72%
3.0  51%
2.5  21%
2.0  8%
If you have a mere 3.0, you have already eliminated 49%, basically half of the schools that can recruit you because you can't get into their institution.  Getting a dumb dumb in to school in an equivalency sport isn't the same as getting a dumb dumb into school for football or basketball.  

There is really only one sport that has to be recruited anymore at the high school level and that is Football.  The AAU phenomenon has crossed every other sport.  Yes, to some degree schools will recruit a little through high schools, but they don't have to.  The AAU phenomenon has become a business that sells parents a dream.  This holds true for Travel Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling, Lacrosse and even AJGA in golf.  These are businesses that sell a dream of getting kids to the collegiate level and scholarship money.  In an equivalency sport, you aren't guaranteed any money and certainly not a full ride.  90% of the parents do not understand this.  A lot of these are non profit organizations, so what, they have Directors that receive salaries.  

This entire scholarship thing is a catch 22.  Spend tons of money to play a sport to earn a scholarship that you aren't necessarily going to get a full ride for.  It is awesome your niece received a scholarship, but at what expense.

These colleges now are getting verbal commits from 8th graders.  The bigger golf schools are done recruiting 2018, 2019, slim pickings for 2020.  They are recruiting 2021's, frigging 8th graders.



End rant.


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#226 killer21

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 08:42 PM

View Postbirdyman88, on 16 March 2017 - 11:19 PM, said:

I was talking to my daughter about this thread and she thought it was cool that some of us were actually out here getting together and talking about it. She is turning 17 in a month and she still remembers all of what she has been through to get where she is. Again, that is D1 commit, committed summer after 10th grade, +1.3 handicap (tournaments only), started playing at age 10 1/2.  I thought some Q&A with her would be cool to post. My memory is limited so I've had to paraphrase a little, but she approved this before posting. This is not a sales pitch for D1, it's simply the perspective of a girl who wants to play D1.

Did you always want to go to a D1 school, or were you looking at other divisions?
Once I started getting into the 2-day tournaments and meeting some of the good players, I knew I really wanted to eventually end up playing with them in college, which meant D1. I have always been competitive and the lower level of competition at D2 and D3 didn't interest me. I wanted a good academic school too because I may not ever be good enough to pro.

How hard was it to get to your level, and did you ever want to quit?
It was very hard! There are many long days of practice, long drives to the course, swing changes, long rides home from tournaments, summer heat, winter cold, homework at night, and all kinds of other stuff. I wanted to quit several times, but am glad I stuck it out. I'm glad I learned to work through the tough times.

Could you have gotten to where you are if mom and dad had just turned you loose with and instructor and stayed on the sidelines?
Ummm. Well, that depends on how much money you would have spent on my instructor. [ME] You know what our finances look like, so probably once a month at the absolute most - more often when you younger and less often as you got older. [Her] Well in that case, NO. I really don't think I could have gotten this far this fast just working with an instructor. None of my instructors, except maybe "Joe my first instructor", ever bothered to do some of the things you and mom did. Without that I would never be where I am. If you guys weren't looking at my stats, teaching me about nutrition, and doing all the other stuff you did, I would probably still be shooting in the 80's! I mean, if I could go to an instructor once a week or so, like "Jane the world's almost top ranked player", and he was always analyzing my game and figuring out what tournaments to go to and all the other stuff, then maybe yes. But, I still don't know if I could have done it in time to meet my recruiting window. Even, "Jane the world's almost top ranked player" has her mom and dad doing a lot of stuff for her and always pushing her to be better. If I had started when I was 6, like "Jane", then maybe I could have.

Have you ever met an instructor here in our area that does all that for their students?
NO. Well, there is one instructor that sort of does some of that. He seems to be involved more than the others, but neither of his two girls are top players. I mean, they have their moments.  They don't practice near enough and they don't spend enough time at the short game area and nobody makes them.  He shows up at some of the tournaments and does the practice round with them, but his girls still blow up during the tournament. "Susie" is close to getting there, but she's about to miss her recruiting window. She's only a year younger than me and says she wants to play for a competitive D1, but I heard she still doesn't have any of them seriously looking at her. "Jane" is just not very motivated and her mom won't push her. She told me that gave up looking at D1 and is trying to find a less competitive school.

Have you ever met a highly competitive girl that DOESN'T have a fair amount of parental oversight?
Ummm ... [long pause] ... [still thinking]. No, not really.

Have you ever met a highly competitive girl that DOES have a fair amount of parental oversight?
All of them [chuckle]. At least the ones I know. [ME] Just here in our state? [HER] No everywhere.

What was it that mom and I did that you feel helped you the most?
Pushed me! I might have quit if it wasn't for you guys. Also, you [dad] are really good at analyzing my stats and doing all the number stuff like coming up with a way to adjust for wind and temperature. I mean, I play really good in the wind because of that.  I'm not sure I could have ever done that. I'm smart and all, but there's way too much math and spreadsheets involved. I still don't understand how you come up with some up the stuff you do. Mom really helped me a lot with the nutrition and fitness and she makes me go to gym with her. She also doesn't care sometimes, which is kind of nice when I need it.

What was it that mom and I did that you feel hurt you the most?
I don't know. Nothing really hurt me. There were times when I did things that you [dad] said didn't look right and you wanted me change it. I'm sure it needed to be changed, but just because it looked wrong didn't mean that it was hurting me. [ME - chuckling] Even if the other girls might talk about you behind your back because of it - just like the comments some of the girls make about "Pam the girl with the really slow backswing"? [HER] Hmmm ... okay, I see your point [chuckle]. [ME] And mom? [HER] Hmmmm ... she wasn't really that involved.

You have gone to a "sports psychologist" - good, bad, indifferent?
Good. I wish I had gone earlier. [ME] Could you have figured out the mental side on your own? [HER] Probably, but not in time to hit my recruiting window. Like, if you asked me to to do it now, I could probably figure it out, but it would take some time.  I doubt I would have ever survived last summer out on AJGA without it. There was a lot of pressure out there last summer. [ME] Pressure from where? [HER] From everywhere, but mainly the other girls - they're all good, and they're not always friendly. They're not mean, just some don't like to talk that much. I had to play with girls that were committed to places Baylor, Texas A&M, etc. And some were in the 7th and 8th grade. It's kind of embarrassing to get beat by a 7th grader.

If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you change?
I would start when I was 6, and would go straight to "Bob my current instructor". Oh, and I would go to AJGA much earlier. I really wanted to go Stanford or Duke. I'm happy now though.

Any advice for any of the parents or girls who might read this?
If you want to get into a competitive D1 school, start contacting them when you're like 10 or 12, and you better be playing big tournaments and shooting good scores when you're 12. I started contacting them when I was 13, almost 14. And I was averaging like 79 in the state junior tour when I was 15.  I was WAY too late for a lot of the schools I wanted. All the girls I know going to competitive programs committed before 10th grade. Also, you're going to want to quit sometimes, but don't do it. And practice your short game a lot.

Anyway, hope this puts a little more perspective on the subject. Straight from and approved by my daughter.

Great to hear from your daughter. You sound like a great family.  This thread is a must read for competitive young golfers, what a great resource, thank you.
My daughter just turned 8, has a strong swing and gets great grades, however I know how good the other 8 year olds are so excited to see where this year takes her as far as her physical development over the winter.  Unfortunately, golf is cruel as their is only one winner each tournament so looking forward to the challenge to keeping her motivated and excited about the sport.  She knows she is good at it and loves to play but she's not obsessive about it which I think is a good thing at 8.  I'm hoping she continues to grow into the game.  And if she doesn't it won't be the end of the world...btw, I  just signed her up for summer soccer again, as we were on the fence because it's time consuming but thought it was too early too specialize in one sport for her - she needs the exercise. It is nice to go to soccer and not worry about results and have no expectations.  Thanks to this forum the advice!

Edited by killer21, 04 April 2017 - 08:45 PM.

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#227 birdyman88

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 01:01 AM

You're very lucky that your daughter is getting involved that early. Her chances for getting to choose her college are much greater. It has been a long road for us, and the one thing that has always been the foundation for my daughter and me is that she is still my golf buddy.  There are times when we are on the course and we really don't care how we're playing. We just call those "practice rounds" - hit two balls, work on recovery shots, look for fish in the lake, figure out a swing problem, listen to music, etc. We're just glad to be out of the house! We had to figure out together over the years when it's time to work and when it's time to goof off.  We never let her game get cold. If it does, it takes few weeks to get it warmed up again. Once at that point, the last 7-14 days before a big tournament is time to work and start getting into the zone. We know a girl who does 25 tournaments per year, practices golf almost every day, and she plays other sports. She's good, but my daughter and I agree that this girl is at high risk of burn out. We truly feel sorry for her and her parents are like slave drivers. We have seen other young phenoms that can hardly break 80 now because they just don't care anymore. I wish you and your daughter the best and because you're out here reading everyone's advice, I have no doubt she will have the best chance at success.

Oh, and my daughter made a 32 the first time she took the ACT, and 34 the second time. She's bringing so much academic money and AP classes into her college team that, when she graduates college in 3 years, the coach is going to fund her through the 5th year athletically (red shirt) to get a masters degree. Have fun and keep the grades up!

Just noticed you're from Ontario. My wife is from up around the Barrie area. Have a good one!

Edited by birdyman88, 15 April 2017 - 03:02 AM.


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#228 killer21

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 09:55 PM

View Postbirdyman88, on 15 April 2017 - 01:01 AM, said:

You're very lucky that your daughter is getting involved that early. Her chances for getting to choose her college are much greater. It has been a long road for us, and the one thing that has always been the foundation for my daughter and me is that she is still my golf buddy.  There are times when we are on the course and we really don't care how we're playing. We just call those "practice rounds" - hit two balls, work on recovery shots, look for fish in the lake, figure out a swing problem, listen to music, etc. We're just glad to be out of the house! We had to figure out together over the years when it's time to work and when it's time to goof off.  We never let her game get cold. If it does, it takes few weeks to get it warmed up again. Once at that point, the last 7-14 days before a big tournament is time to work and start getting into the zone. We know a girl who does 25 tournaments per year, practices golf almost every day, and she plays other sports. She's good, but my daughter and I agree that this girl is at high risk of burn out. We truly feel sorry for her and her parents are like slave drivers. We have seen other young phenoms that can hardly break 80 now because they just don't care anymore. I wish you and your daughter the best and because you're out here reading everyone's advice, I have no doubt she will have the best chance at success.

Oh, and my daughter made a 32 the first time she took the ACT, and 34 the second time. She's bringing so much academic money and AP classes into her college team that, when she graduates college in 3 years, the coach is going to fund her through the 5th year athletically (red shirt) to get a masters degree. Have fun and keep the grades up!

Just noticed you're from Ontario. My wife is from up around the Barrie area. Have a good one!
We're from Stoney Creek actually.  Wow, congratulations.  A Master's degree would be a great accomplishment out of her college career. I would be happy if she played for our Alma mater McMaster University where her mom and I met but hopefully she will reach for the stars!...She's moved up an age group to 8-9 this year and finished third in her first event. She beat the girls she should have beat but there are a couple of 9 year olds who are great so we have some work to do.  We are having fun playing practice rounds (and becoming golf buddies) together and she really understands to work on her short game, she's very good with her wedges.  I want her to work on the short game on the course and play holes and not be a range machine or full swing perfectionist like some of the other girls seem to be.  She is enjoying the game more and her motivation and work ethic is improving so I am confident she will keep improving but who knows...I keep saying if your not involved in this you wouldn't believe how good some of the other girls are out there even at her age....and you seem to confirm that in talking about being recruited at 10-12 years old...that is crazy.  Thanks again for sharing your family's journey.  It is invaluable to read if my daughter is lucky enough to get more competitive.  (On a side note, my daughter is blessed that she has a bit of a bowed wrist and long swing but she ends up in the slot on the downswing every time from the inside to outside - pretty powerful moves - so hoping this translates to some power as she grows - no hint of over the top, always from the inside). I am so jealous that I never had this move.  I'm hoping this translate to a solid swing as she grows.  Thanks again for the great read.
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#229 dpb5031

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 10:18 AM

Well folks, hard to believe I started this thread so many years ago, but the junior golf journey for our family has finally come to an end L.  This past weekend we dropped my daughter off at college.  She's attending Elon University in NC on a golf scholarship.  Elon plays in the NCAA DI CAA conference. Their first event is at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island and the coach has chosen her to travel and play which is great for a “first-year.”  She did pretty well taking 3rd low medalist in our state women’s am several weeks ago, so that helped influence his decision.

I cannot say enough about Elon University, their facilities, the culture there, and truly the entire package of athletics, academics, plus an abundance of resources to ensure student-athlete success.  They treated Haley like a rock-star from the moment we stepped on campus.  I am happy to answer questions about our experience with the recruiting process.

Like many of you, we had our ups and downs through junior golf and I made more than my share of mistakes trying to figure it all out and manage my daughter's career.  Although she had some great highlights in her career, Haley was also never truly "all-in" with golf, competing in multiple other sports and enjoying a wide range of other activities.  We went through several periods of questionable motivation and interest on her part toward golf due mostly to the usual teenage girl distractions, but ultimately she held true to course.  

I’m going to add some pics from this past weekend plus 2 video links.  Haley won the 2017 AJGA-USGA President’s leadership award for community service and they produced a nice video about her.  I’m obviously a very proud dad!



Attached File  Elon - Alamance HAll.jpg   191.8K   3 downloads

Attached File  Elon getting gear.JPG   128.53K   6 downloads
Attached File  Elon - Haley - range.jpg   99.79K   4 downloads
Attached File  Elon Van.PNG   896.48K   3 downloads
Attached File  Elon Golf Center.jpg   86.34K   5 downloads
Attached File  Elon Final Goodbye.jpg   108.71K   8 downloads

Final goodbyes, tears flowing shortly thereafter!

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#230 leezer99

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 11:09 AM

You should be very proud of her!  As the parent of a young lady this thread has been a godsend.  You and HH have laid out the groundwork extremely well for the rest of us to follow.


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#231 dpb5031

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:40 PM

Hereís some more unsolicited advice for parents based on years of experience raising a junior girl who has finally headed off to play college golf:

1.       Remember, itís a marathon, not a sprint.  Be patient with your child and keep in mind that kids all develop differently and on different time-lines emotionally, mentally, and physically.

2.      See above and be cautious about comparing your child to her peers and other competitors.  Some kids develop early and become singularly focused on golf.  Others take different paths with their level of interest as well as their progress going up and down.  (This is more typical)

3.      Make things fun for your daughters and find a friend.  If you make it feel like a job theyíll want to quit in a hurry.  Finding friends for them to share the game with becomes especially important as they become teenagers.  (This was a challenge for us as there were no other kids my daughterís age at our club for her to play/practice with)

4.      Do your homework and find a quality swing coach with a history of developing junior players from tots to college.  Make sure you buy into his/her methodology/philosophy about the swing and about coaching.  Once you find a good one, stick with him or her.  (Too many cooks spoil the soup)

5.      Say less rather than more.  This is a hard one.  Choose your words wisely and understand that if youíre constantly talking golf to your kid sheís eventually going to avoid you or just ignore you/not listen. (As an OCD and over enthusiastic golf nutt I struggled with this)

6.      See above and also realize that you probably donít know what youíre talking about when it comes to the nuances of the golf swing.  Iím a scratch player with a fairly good understanding of the swing yet am very cautious about prescribing any swing fixes.  If/when you spot something in her swing that you know is not correct, best to reach out to her coach for the remedy.

7.      Keep your kid involved in other sports and activities.  Sheíll be more well-rounded as a person, have better fitness, and will be less likely to burn-out and grow to resent golf.  Most college coaches appreciate kids with diverse athletic backgrounds and other sports help develop muscles and skills that will make her a better golfer and giver her more upside once she gets to college.

8.      I highly recommend getting your child involved in some level of community service.  It teaches them responsibility, empathy, organizational skills and the ability to interact with adults.  College coaches and admissions offices look for these things.  We chose the AJGAís Leadership Links program and I highly recommend it.  They have the platform and resources already established to help your child succeed.

9.      Begin doing college visits as early as 7th grade.  Take advantage of golf travel and family vacations to visit local universities.  Most college coaches will take the time to speak with you and itís worth it, so call them directly.  We visited dozens of schools over the years with my two daughters and it really helped when it came to decision time.

10.  Be careful not to get caught up in choosing colleges solely (or even primarily) based on the strength of their golf program or their reputation as a football powerhouse.  You need to find the right fit for YOUR KID.  That means culturally, academically, athletically, geographically, etc.  Iíve witnessed families choosing the wrong school for their kid and itís sad and a lot of stress for the kid to have to go through a transfer.

Finally, keep in mind that it is highly unlikely that your child will become a tour level player, and Iím not so sure itís even that desirable an outcome for most anyway.  Only a small percentage of junior players will make the pro ranks, and only an even smaller percentage will get there and make a decent enough living at it to call it a career.

That said, if you play your cards right, have a child with decent interest in the game and some athletic ability, it is likely that she will have an opportunity to play college golf at some level and perhaps get some scholarship money.  At the very least, being a decent junior golfer can help with admissions if your kid is on the bubble in terms of qualifying for a ďreachĒ school.  Itís a differentiator.

Raising a junior golfer takes a huge parental commitment.  Just figuring out what junior tours are out there and how to qualify for them and navigate their websites is a challenge.  Instruction, travel, and course access is expensive.  It can be a very worthwhile investment if you're clever and keep a tight rein on your spending, but can also spiral out of control and cost you nearly as much as tuition if youíre not careful.  We developed some pretty good strategies to keep costs under control over the years that Iíd be a happy to share in a future post.  Anyway, thatís it for nowÖ good luck!

Edited by dpb5031, 29 August 2017 - 04:50 PM.


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#232 dpb5031

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:23 AM

I had a couple of private messages inquiring about how best to mitigate the costs of junior golf travel.  Below is another list of some strategies that worked well for us :happy: :

1.  Pick and choose tournaments carefully based on cost, location, importance, time of year, etc.  Use Google and Junior Golf Scoreboard's search feature to find events in your geographic area so you can avoid overnight travel or at least air travel.  Flights can get very expensive especially with baggage fees for clubs.  (FYI, Southwest Airlines does not charge bag fees)

2.  Establish your budget and try to set your travel schedule as far in advance as possible.  This is not always easy because she will have to get through qualifying as she gets older for certain big events.  Make sure to reserve budget and vacation time for unexpected big things like travel to a US Girl's Junior or Amateur.  If your daughter surprises you and qualifies for a big one (this happened to us), it will be an opportunity you cannot and should not pass up, so be prepared.

3.  I had great success using Hotwire.com for hotel bookings and car rentals.  I believe I typically saved about 40-50% off of regular retail.  You can filter by geographic area and star rating of the hotels.  You pay in advance, so there are no refunds for cancellations, but the savings is worth it.

4.  Inquire about host-family programs at the larger national tournaments.  Host-families are a big tradition in junior and amateur golf.  Contact the tournament director of the event you are considering to ask if they may be able to find you a host family to stay with.  We did this multiple times and my daughter and I even stayed together with a host family when I caddied for her in the US Am.All of her experiences were positive staying with host families.

5.  Avoid tournaments that require travel around peak travel seasons (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.).  It may be convenient because your daughter will have off from school already, but the travel expenses will be high.

6.  Use credit card miles (look for high reward cards for signing up), airline frequent flier programs, and hotel loyalty programs.  My wife travels quite a bit for work, so she'd regularly get us free hotel stays through her Marriott rewards program.  We would default to this if we couldn't find a great deal through Hotwire.

7.  Don't get sucked in to high frequency/expensive golf lessons or it will become a huge expense at $100-$200 a pop or more.  My daughter's coach is great and she only sees him about 4 times per year.  He records a dvd for us of every single lesson so that we can review it over and over.  He taught me what to look for so I can be a watchful eye, and he is also accessible for a call or Skype session.  The result was we didn't go broke paying for instruction and my daughter is more self-sufficient with her swing than most.

8.  We put aside other expensive vacations and travel and often built our family vacations around junior golf tournaments.  They're often in nice locations and at great venues, so you're not really sacrificing much and can still make it a great time for the entire family.

9.  Befriend other junior golf families so you can share in some expenses.  Often times sharing the cost of a two bedroom condo is less than a hotel room, plus you can buy groceries and eat-in.  You may even be able to share the cost of renting a vehicle.  Your daughter will have more fun with a friend anyway!

10.  Try to choose tournament venues where you may have friends or family in the area willing to help you out with lodging and transportation.  This was huge for us.  We live in NJ but my folks live in FL and my mother-in-law lives in Greenville, SC.  We regularly planned for events in those areas because they'd provide airport transportation, lend us their car, plus we'd stay with them.  Don't be afraid to ask friends also.  Most are happy to help and are very welcoming.

Oh, also inquire about discounts from equipment manufacturers.  All AGJA members get a 40% discount on Taylormade clubs and accessories and you can order directly through their website after registering.

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#233 4jag

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 09:16 AM

View Postdpb5031, on 29 August 2017 - 10:18 AM, said:

Well folks, hard to believe I started this thread so many years ago, but the junior golf journey for our family has finally come to an end L.  This past weekend we dropped my daughter off at college.  She's attending Elon University in NC on a golf scholarship.  Elon plays in the NCAA DI CAA conference. Their first event is at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island and the coach has chosen her to travel and play which is great for a “first-year.”  She did pretty well taking 3rd low medalist in our state women’s am several weeks ago, so that helped influence his decision.

Congrats and best of luck to her!!.  My Daughter just had her first official visit and received her first verbal offer from a big Div1 school in MAC conference.  She has 3 more visits planned and then it is decision time, exciting times for her (and us :) ).
Forever trapped between single digit and trunk slammer.

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#234 dpb5031

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 10:01 AM

View Post4jag, on 20 September 2017 - 09:16 AM, said:

View Postdpb5031, on 29 August 2017 - 10:18 AM, said:

Well folks, hard to believe I started this thread so many years ago, but the junior golf journey for our family has finally come to an end L.  This past weekend we dropped my daughter off at college.  She's attending Elon University in NC on a golf scholarship.  Elon plays in the NCAA DI CAA conference. Their first event is at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island and the coach has chosen her to travel and play which is great for a ďfirst-year.Ē  She did pretty well taking 3rd low medalist in our state womenís am several weeks ago, so that helped influence his decision.

Congrats and best of luck to her!!.  My Daughter just had her first official visit and received her first verbal offer from a big Div1 school in MAC conference.  She has 3 more visits planned and then it is decision time, exciting times for her (and us :) ).

Exciting times for sure...keep us posted! I can't stress enough how important it is to choose the school that is the best overall fit, golf being just one part of the mix.

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