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Growing Up Golf: Part 2 -- Play Time

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#1 zakkozuchowski

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:48 PM

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Growing Up Golf: Part 2 -- Play Time

By Kadin Mahmet


GolfWRX Contributor


Click here to read more stories from Kadin's series, "Growing Up Golf."


As our daughter approached her third birthday, my wife and I thought it was time to move towards purchasing her some real golf clubs. Now when I say clubs I am referring to an 8 iron and a putter. There really isn’t a need for anything else at this stage of development. So I headed out to our local pro shop and spoke with a PGA Certified Instructor on what he felt would be a good fit. He showed me what they had in stock for children. He asked me how tall she was and I told him 40” and he looked at me and asked me how old she was. I said “She is turning three” and quickly followed with “yea I know she’s very tall for her age.” Our daughter falls into the 99 percentile for height. So we picked out an 8 iron and a putter that were the correct length for her height. My wife and I wrapped her new presents and were excited to see her open them.

The day of her 3rd birthday arrived and she opened the clubs and smiled that big smile that all parents love. She pulled the 8 iron out, stood up and attempted her first swing with a real club. The problem is she swung this club like it was a sledge hammer. Now our daughter is far from being a frail little girl. She can pull herself up on monkey bars and hold her own weight on a climbing rope. I was shocked to see that the club was just too heavy. She insisted that she wanted to use it and she’s a “big girl” and wants to use real clubs like Mommy and Daddy. Ok, no worries. I said, “Come on sweet heart, lets go to the store and pick out one that feels better to you.”

But the problem was that the next smaller club was too short for her -- one was too short and the other one that fit her perfectly was too heavy. Now what? Well, we kept the club that was the correct length as I saw no benefit to having her use a club that was too short. The putter fit her perfect and wasn’t an issue at all.

The numerous attempts to find an iron that wasn’t too heavy for her proved to be an exhausting search. Every club that was the correct length was always too heavy. So I am now in the process of having some weight removed from the head of the club by a local machinist. Prior to that we let her use the club that was too heavy and our daughter would take short back swings and hit chip shots with it. We figured it was better than nothing, and what a perfect way it was for her to develop her short game. She still plays with the plastic clubs with her brother and will take full swings with him. All was not lost. She gets to use her “big girl” clubs and still has fun playing with the plastic ones.

Now that we have our children interested in the game of golf how do we keep them interested in it? That is an excellent question and one of the easiest to answer. Simply by keeping it fun! I know, it sounds so simple right? Before we get started I would like you to take note of the following words and phrases:
Practice, Work, Concentrate, Focus, Pay Attention, Try Harder, More Effort and We didn’t come here to play around.

I know what your thinking, the list seems ridiculous. But time and time again I will be on the range and there is some parent there with their child and this is what I am listening to:
  • “You need to practice and work on your swing”
  • “Concentrate and focus on what you are doing”
  • “Would you pay attention and try harder please”
  • “You’re not giving enough effort -- we didn’t come here to play around”
If I was that child I couldn’t wait to get off the range and go do something else. Then the parent can’t figure out after a short time why little Johnny or Suzy doesn’t want to continue to play golf. Here is the key word that we as parents need to focus on: PLAY.

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There is a reason why I titled this article “Play Time.” I want you to visualize a play ground. Now, if you will picture a golf course or better yet the practice area of a golf course what do you see? Well, at the play ground I see a bunch of fun things to play with or on. What do I see when I look at the practice area? I see a putting green, bunkers, flags, buckets of balls and maybe a rake for the bunkers. So now let's take a look at it from a child’s perspective. What does the child see when they look at a playground? They see the same thing you did, a bunch of stuff to play with or on. Now what does the child see when they look at the practice area? Guess what? It’s not a putting green, bunkers, flags, buckets of balls or a rake. They see the same thing they saw when they looked at the playground. A bunch of stuff to play with or on.

Now the time has come to take that first visit to the range or short game area. I said to my daughter, “Do you want to go with Daddy and play golf." I always use the word “play.” I never say, “Lets go work on our game” or “Lets go practice.” To a child, the words work and practice don’t sound like fun at all. Of course she couldn’t wait to get there, even though the course is literally is just a few blocks from the house. But she must have asked me five times, “Are we there yet?” She was more excited than I was.

We pulled up, got out of the car and of course she wanted to carry her bag like a big girl. We headed down to the short game area which consists of a putting green, two bunkers and two flags. It was a perfect set up for her -- Not too much going on with other golfers hitting balls like at the range and it’s big enough for her to get a real feel for playing golf. We started off by placing our bags to the side and I explained to her we never put our bags on this smooth grass. “Why not Daddy?” I explained that is called the green and we never want to put our bags on it because it could leave marks or little dents on it. We want to try and keep it as smooth as possible. Kids for the most part have an inquisitive mind. Now I could’ve started off by explaining all that to her before we put our bags down but I want her to ask why. This way she doesn’t feel like I am giving her limitations or bogging her down with rules. Let them reach out for the information -- you don’t always have to lay it all out on the table for them.

She took out some colored balls out of her bag and grabbed her putter and proceeded to putt around the green. After a few minutes she realized that if you take the flags out you can putt the balls into the holes. I didn’t take the flags out because I wanted her to feel like she was in control of what we were doing. After all, we were playing. I don’t tell her what toys we are going to play with at home, and I wanted her to feel the same way at the course.

o after playing for about 10 minutes she wanted to try and use her 8 iron. I teed up a ball for her and she hit a chip shot. I teed up another ball and she stopped what she was doing and was just staring at the bunkers. So I was just waiting for the question, “Daddy what’s that sand box doing there?” I smiled holding back the laughter and said those are bunkers. “No, Daddy look, the sand boxes.” I said, “Sweetheart those are not sand boxes they are called bunkers,” and she quickly said, “Can we go in them?” Now, you know I am sitting there thinking I would rather you not go in and get sand all over you and then all over the car, but I said, “Sure, we can go and play in there." Again I used the word play and I use it as much as I can when we are playing golf.
She played in the bunker for all of 5 minutes and then she pushed the rake a little and realized sand isn’t all that fun without other toys mixed in it. After her trip to the beach she walked back up to the green picked up her bag and started walking around the green along the fringe in a big circle. Her clubs and balls were on the putting green still. I asked her what she was doing and she said she was carrying her bag like they do on TV. A few trips around the green, a few more putts and she was ready to head back home and play something else.

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Our trip to the practice area lasted around 45 minutes. In that time she made some putts and took one swing all in about 15 minutes. The rest of the time she played with sand and walked around the green. At no point and time did I say to her that we had to hit balls or work on our putting. The point I am trying to make and this is probably the most important one that I am going to convey to you. When you are taking your child to your practice area you are there for them. When I say this I mean you can’t go expecting to work on your game and you can’t expect them to work on their game the entire time either. You need to let them explore and play in the sand or with the rake. Even if they just want to walk around the green carrying their bag so be it. Remember, this is play time to them and the practice green is just another playground. As long as you allow them to have fun they will want to keep going back.

When you decide to take them to the course the same is going to hold true there as well. You will need to keep in mind that they may only want to play one hole and be distracted by something else. Let’s revisit that playground again. When you watch children playing, ask yourself this, “When was the last time you saw a child play with the same swing the entire time or go down the same slide again and again?” My guess is probably never, because kids have short attention spans. They like variety when it comes to entertainment or playing. This holds true on the course as well.

In my first article a fellow member had posted a comment regarding his son not keeping an interest on the course to keep playing, he said, “I have a 9-year old son who doesn’t want to do much more than chase frogs or drive the cart when I take him out.” He also explained that his son had lessons from certified PGA Professionals. So we are not talking about a little boy who had no exposure to the game and was going out for his first time. The fact is this is pretty normal behavior for kids. I responded to his post with:


"Keep taking him to the course and let him chase frogs if he wants. He will still associate going to the golf course as fun and may eventually want to start playing. This goes without saying of course... no matter what he decides to do, he will always remember spending time with Dad and how much fun it was going to the golf course to chase frogs."


Sometimes we as parents just have to let our kids chase frogs, play with the sand in the bunkers and so on. As long as we allow them to have fun they will always want to go back.

The keys to keeping your child interested in golf is by allowing them to play and have fun. Even if they are not swinging a club or putting on the green as long as there is an association with golf during the activity you're doing ok. These activities can be as simple as allowing them to play with the head covers from your clubs. A lot of the covers today are animals and characters you could even put on a little puppet show with them. My daughter loves to color on my golf balls. Let them mark a few for you. My son has an obsession with wanting to go through all the zippered pockets on my bag. So from time to time I will bring my bag into the family room and let him rummage through it. You can color golf balls with any over-the-counter clothing dye. Try coloring some like Easter eggs. All these little activities have nothing to do with swinging a club but all are associated to golf.

So remember it’s “Play Time” and there is no difference between Candy Land and Golf to our children. Keep it fun and allow them to make the decisions just like when they are playing with toys at home. When the time comes to go out on the course they just might chase frogs instead of birdies.

In Growing Up Golf Part 3, I will share with you 25 activities that you can do with your child. I will also give a review of a product that I found while searching for solutions to lighter golf clubs.


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#2 billybob19606

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:34 PM

Again, another great article!  Keep 'em coming.  I can SO relate to these :-)

#3 Kadin 25

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:01 PM

Thank you!

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#4 Dscvrr St Louis

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:05 PM

Great follow up to part 1, Kadin.  Again..you hit on the head.  When my son first got the starter set...not just a driver...it came with a sand wedge...mind you  he was 10...but at the range we would go to...they had a 'sand box'!  He hit his usual assortment of driver, fw, irons, etc...then asked..'can I go hit out of the bunker?'....sure go for it...take some balls with you...gone for about 10 minutes and came back..said it was fun.  I didn't ask how he did...he wanted to go by himself and it was just out of sight around a wall.  Let him experiment...I will give him tips if we play and he is in one and hits a bad shot...give him a mulligan and see if the second time--tip in brain--is better.

At 15 he is wanting to play whenever I do...but I have a normal foursome, all older than me, NO KIDS, so he won't be going there...the others in the group feel like they have to act different, can't cuss( he is 15...think he doesn't hear all those words already), can't drink...etc....but truth is he will beat a couple of them...that is why.  He hits it long...he breaks 50 most of the time, lately more like 45.  Old men's ego's are fragile...I guess I am not that old...my ego not that big...an 18 year old kicked my butt by 6 strokes the other day...I could say was CONGRATS...he had shot his lowest round to date...78.
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#5 Kadin 25

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:03 AM

"At 15 he is wanting to play whenever I do"

This is exactly how it needs to be too. I never have to ask my daughter if she wants to go because she is asking every day if we can play. Unfortunately the weather is turning and getting a little too cold for her now. So we play putting games in the family room. :) As long as they keep asking to go, we are in good shape my friend.

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#6 dkothari

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:33 PM

Kadin - another great write-up.  I agree with you for the most part, but I don't know if I agree with you completely.  Clearly, being an over-bearing and demanding parent is a sure way to kill your children's love for the game - if they're not enjoying the game, they're not going to stick with it or have a passion for getting better.  However, I also believe that gentle persuasion to encourage them to get better is also part of being a parent.  It's definetly a judgement call - and you have to be able to understand your child to know how much you can push.  I do think there is a path in the middle where you're not making it feel like "work" for them and they're having fun, but also they are progressing in their development.

#7 Kadin 25

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:58 PM

View Postdkothari, on 18 October 2012 - 08:33 PM, said:

Kadin - another great write-up.  I agree with you for the most part, but I don't know if I agree with you completely.  Clearly, being an over-bearing and demanding parent is a sure way to kill your children's love for the game - if they're not enjoying the game, they're not going to stick with it or have a passion for getting better.  However, I also believe that gentle persuasion to encourage them to get better is also part of being a parent.  It's definetly a judgement call - and you have to be able to understand your child to know how much you can push.  I do think there is a path in the middle where you're not making it feel like "work" for them and they're having fun, but also they are progressing in their development.
Thanks! Oh and I agree, I'm not saying you can't show them how to hold the club, where to stand and all the other basics. "Gentle" is the key word. You definitely need to guid them. You just need to make sure it's not complicated. My next article is going to cover that.

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#8 Kadin 25

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:35 AM

View PostAthletic Golf Training, on 20 October 2012 - 07:48 AM, said:

More potential golf and sports parents should read these articles you have. It's a shame the way too many parents act with their kids in the vane hope they will become champions one day. When all along they should be spending the time developing a great kid to become a great adult. Not a golfer. Something that is evidence and studies based is the effects of early specialization and the negative effects this has. I touched on the topic here; http://athleticgolft...-specialization.

Looking forward to part 3!
Thanks Alex!

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#9 super7

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 01:35 PM

I would like to share some thoughts on raising junior golfers. I have been involved in junior golf for the past 27 years and have changed my views on the best approach. My son completed his junior golf career at the top of all 3 junior ranking systems, won multiple major junior and amateur events, was a Rolex First team All American several times and played in his first PGA event all before starting college. I give some of this background because my method with him was not the mainstream approach.
    His introduction to golf was as a spectator first, I would take him to junior events, Am and College events and PGA events as a spectator.  Mostly to watch his cousin (my nephew) play in those events. To look back now I think this was key for his success. He developed a love for the game as a golf fan first. He loved watching the golf channel and PGA tournaments with me on the weekends and learned through watching. Even though he begged me to take him to the golf course to play I told him he needed to wait until he was older (around 6 years old). My thought process was that I wanted him to be strong enough to control the club head, and also old enough to take instruction. Now I’m not saying that this is the best approach, I know a number of kids that started earlier with great success (Tiger for one). It just worked really well for us.
      The other thing that worked for us was that I was heavy on the instruction from the first time he hit the range. He never hit balls without me watching and encouraging him. We worked on every aspect of the golf swing not just grip, posture and alignment, but swing plane and pivot. I had other people come up to me on the range and tell me my son was too young to understand what I was telling him. The point was not for him to understand but to feel the movement when he did it correctly. In my opinion the hardest thing for a junior to do is break bad habits that were set in at an early age. Sometimes these habits can be lifelong works in progress. It’s very difficult to get the plane and the pivot working correctly together if they don’t start with that good foundation. Now that starts with clubs that fit properly and of the correct weight. Club adjustments were always being made sometimes 3-4 times a year. I have seen juniors swinging standard adult clubs that could only be hit with a flat swing plane. As those kids got older they struggled with improper swing plane and are fighting those habits today.
    Also I put him in competition right off the bat. My son had only played maybe 3 rounds of golf before he entered his first junior tournament. He had however spent a lot of time on the driving range and putting green. It may seem to some that I was a pushy parent and you may think that my technique was not fun for him. Well that’s where you have to know your kids, and he loved it! He soaked up the instruction like a sponge and his swing today is not much different than it was when he was 8 years old. If I didn’t think he was having fun I would have explored other ideas. It’s just that every kid is different and you have to find what it is they have passion for. Then feed that passion as much as you can.

#10 Kadin 25

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:44 PM

@Super7

Thanks for sharing. Definitely a different approach to introducing your son to golf and it appears to be one that was very successful. Very nice!! I want to touch on something you mentioned.

"Even though he begged me to take him to the golf course to play I told him he needed to wait until he was older (around 6 years old)."
.
If you read my first article, I mentioned that I owned and operated a baseball softball academy. I stated that we wouldn't take a student under the age of 7. You were spot on with the age to introduce lessons. Now of course there are exceptions to the rule and every child is different.  I believe more parents would have greater success with structured lesson by waiting until their child reaches the age of 7 or in your case 6. There is no need to rush into it by no means and your post shows that exactly.

Thanks again for contributing!
Kadin

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#11 Palmetto Golfer

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 07:28 AM

Super7....we have very similar experiences.  My 6 y/o is consumed by golf and has been since he was 2.  As he has gotten bigger and stronger, I realized very quickly that I didn't know very much about the golf swing.  He started taking lessons from the local pro and it has been a big success.  He soaks up whatever the pro says.  We are also very lucky that our pro is great with kids.  He keeps things very simple and teaches the swing through athletic moves rather than structured positions which I tend to agree with.  I am always amazed how the pro can spot a problem, suggest a drill to correct it, my son perform the drill, and the problem goes away.  I do not have enough knowledge or experience to provide this to my son.  Without the lessons, I believe my son's interest would wain as he would be struggling a lot more.

I can easily see why the conventional thinking is to wait until the child is older before lessons as most kids would not enjoy it.  I just have a different kid.  On his own, he is very structured and orderly and likes that kind of environment.  Most of the lessons are 30 minutes but he has done a few hour lessons with out a problem.  I am thankful for the lessons for another reason.  I have coached tee-ball and I find that I am very patience........with the other kids.  I am not as patience with my own. It is something I am working very hard own.  The less I try to coach my son in golf the less chance both of us have at being frustrated.  After a lesson, I can just reinforce what the pro wants him to do and it makes it very simple.  Plus, my son KNOWS the pro knows more than me and tend to listen to the pro more anyways.  The more I am a caddy/spectator and the less I am a coach the better the experience is.......for all of us.

Please keep this thread going as I think people can learn a lot from other.

Chris

#12 Kadin 25

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:42 AM

@Palmetto Golfer

"Plus, my son KNOWS the pro knows more than me and tend to listen to the pro more anyways."

Every single parent who brought their child to us for lessons would say...

"I was trying to get him/her to stop doing that (whatever the swing fault may have been)  for a month, you tell him/her one time and they listen and stop doing it".

And you can see the frustration in the parent,  they wanted to help their child, but the child just doesn't want to listen to mom or dad. I would tell them exactly what you said. "my son KNOWS the pro knows more than me". I would always tell them... "Yea but your Mom/Dad". Kids for the most part think you don't know anything when it comes to coaching. Even though this is not true and you may indeed be an excellent coach, kids view you as MOM or DAD and not COACH. And this goes without saying, there are exceptions to the rule. If from the start you are involved as a coach chances are you will have an easier time guiding your child with mechanics. But there does come a point and time when the child believes you have reached your "coaching knowledge".

So for you parents out there who mean well and are probably correct in what you are informing your child they may just not listen, because...well, your MOM or DAD.

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#13 MichiganMike

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 10:27 AM

Good stuff Kadin, but I disagree a bit on the club fitting.  With the (hopefully) obvious disclaimer that I haven't seen your daughter try to swing real clubs, I'd bet the real club really isn't too heavy.  The issue is simply that the club has any weight at all.  Think about it, she's been swinging plastic clubs which have next to no weight.  In many ways swinging plastic clubs probably feels no different to her than swinging her arms without any clubs.

Now you're giving her a real club which moves a weight out 15(?) inches beyond her hands.  She's probably never felt anything like it before, especially in comparison to her plastic clubs.  Her body and muscle memory is expecting the real club to feel exactly the same as the plastic clubs.  By the laws of physics that is impossible.  Give her some time with proper length clubs and she'll intuitively figure out how to make them swing "easier."

As a fellow baseball coach, here's a relevant example you might appreciate.  I'm a former college baseball player like you, but with 4 & 6 year boys, I've touched almost nothing but those softer and slightly lighter t-ball balls for several years.  On the rare occassion I do pick up a regular ball, it feels like it's super waterlogged.  Is a real ball too heavy for me?  No.  It's just not what I'm used to.  But give me a couple days to play catch with one and it will feel completely normal again.

Just my 2 cents.  Keep up the good work.

#14 Kadin 25

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:24 AM

View PostMichiganMike, on 25 October 2012 - 10:27 AM, said:

Good stuff Kadin, but I disagree a bit on the club fitting.  With the (hopefully) obvious disclaimer that I haven't seen your daughter try to swing real clubs, I'd bet the real club really isn't too heavy.  The issue is simply that the club has any weight at all.  Think about it, she's been swinging plastic clubs which have next to no weight.  In many ways swinging plastic clubs probably feels no different to her than swinging her arms without any clubs.

Now you're giving her a real club which moves a weight out 15(?) inches beyond her hands.  She's probably never felt anything like it before, especially in comparison to her plastic clubs.  Her body and muscle memory is expecting the real club to feel exactly the same as the plastic clubs.  By the laws of physics that is impossible.  Give her some time with proper length clubs and she'll intuitively figure out how to make them swing "easier."

As a fellow baseball coach, here's a relevant example you might appreciate.  I'm a former college baseball player like you, but with 4 & 6 year boys, I've touched almost nothing but those softer and slightly lighter t-ball balls for several years.  On the rare occassion I do pick up a regular ball, it feels like it's super waterlogged.  Is a real ball too heavy for me?  No.  It's just not what I'm used to.  But give me a couple days to play catch with one and it will feel completely normal again.

Just my 2 cents.  Keep up the good work.
Thanks...
I feel your theory has merit in some cases. The issue for my daughter wasn't so much that she switched from plastic to a real club it was more that when she switched she had to move up to the next age bracket of clubs. Her height was the main issue for this. The starter clubs which is where she would have started for her age bracket were not too heavy, just too short. So she had to move up a size which were intended for the next age group. With the longer club, comes a heavier swing weight. So now instead of using a club made for 3-5 year olds she was forced into the 5-8 year old lengths which proved to be a little too heavy for my daughter who at that time was only 3 years old.

I got the idea to shave some weight off the longer club from Earl Woods's book "How to train a Tiger". He mentions taking the club in to have some weight removed because Tiger was also very young when he started and the club proved to be too heavy as well.

Thanks for the input and thoughts!! :)

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#15 super7

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:12 PM

My junior golf viewpoint here is directed at high level competitive junior golf. The past few years I have been privileged to have been around and gotten to know most of the top 100 players in junior and amateur golf. I have also tried to mentor some local, state and high school junior golfers who want to perform at a higher level. These young golfers are just as passionate and dedicated as their more successful counterparts. Yet their progress is slow in developing. I often wonder why and what the differences are in these kids. I think a lot of it goes back to their introduction to the game. Here are some of the things that I see in the best juniors.
  • Really dedicated and supportive parents – If you want your kid to compete at the highest level you have to be all in. Now that does not mean results oriented, it is more of a team concept that you are there as support. Most all of the successful juniors I know their parents were always there. Not just dropping their kids off at the club to play or for lessons, and then picking them up later. But shagging balls, putting with them on the practice green or Caddying for them in practice rounds. Then doing all the tournament stuff like Hotels, entry forms, scheduling practice and getting them to the Tee on time. It’s even more important to be there when they don’t play their best. That’s when they need you the most. To remind them it’s just a game. Their score does not reflect who they are; it’s something we do for fun.
  • Great Fundamentals- Develop fundamentals as early as possible and be relentless on their adherence. Get professional lessons from the start. Now these lessons are more for the parent than the child. Because usually the kid will not understand what the instructor is trying to do. This is where the parents support is needed to help guide them (be their eyes). There’s one thing that I have always told my son “Feel and Real are not the same thing”. That’s where your eyes and your encouragement become a big part of juniors’ game.
  • Mental game and attitude- This is where I see so many parents fail. They are so busy at trying to perfect their kid’s golf swing that they don’t address the biggest issue in competitive golf (mental toughness). This has to be taught along with the fundamentals from the get-go. Never too early to teach your 6 year old how to have patients and a calmness under pressure.
  • Passion- Let your junior develop a desire to get better. Take them to junior and college events to watch the older kids. It was great fun for us to go to college events and watch kids like Bill Hass play. And most events are free and you and your kid can watch the next generation of golfs greats. Feed their passion at every turn. Passion and Desire trumps swing mechanics every day of the week. Let me say that again! Passion and Desire trumps swing mechanics every day of the week!!
  • Experience and Competitive spirit- Play in as much tournament golf as possible. By the time my son was in contention for a big junior tournament win, he had played in hundreds of junior matches. Nothing teaches you how to handle pressure like experience. Also play the AJGA!! I can’t tell you how much improvement he had after playing in the AJGA especially the invitationals. This is where he met likeminded kids and learned he could compete with the best in the country. If your junior is a teen spend the time learning about the AJGA and their tournaments.
There are always exceptions to the rules, but these things seem to be a common theme. I love to talk to parents of really good Juniors and Amateurs about how they got there and what was the driving force. Love to hear others input.


#16 Kadin 25

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 09:18 AM

Super 7

More great info my friend!

"Really dedicated and supportive parents"  This without a doubt is the number one factor above ALL! I read an online article where they asked 100 professional athletes, What was the number one factor that contributed to your success? And the #1 answer was "Supportive Parents". They also asked, What are your fondest memories from participating in athletics as a youth? The #1 answer was "When my parents said how much they enjoyed watching me play". Some of the atheletes interviewed said that their worst memory from youth athletics, was when their parents would get upset or mad if they didn't do well.

"If you want your kid to compete at the highest level you have to be all in."  Very true as well! Our academy had travel teams, and it was mind boggling how much time, travel, and money that the parents would put into it.  The teams competed in travel tournaments every weekend 10 months out of the year. From indoor to outdoor. These kids would play two games on Friday, 3-5 games on Saturday and 3-5 games on Sunday. Factor in practice and cage time, it was like having a second full time job. Every player's parent was right there the whole time. When it was all said and done 90% of the kids who played on these teams went on to play college athletics, most on scholarships.

"Experience and Competitive spirit- Play in as much tournament golf as possible." The biggest advantage that the children who played on our travel teams was this exactly. They start tournament play at the age of 7-8 years old and play through 18 years of age. These kids had a huge advantage over those who didn't play travel tournaments.

If you really want your child to succeed at a high competitive level, Super 7 is dead on when he says "You have to be all in".   We as parents have to be ready to take this on like a full time job.

Edited by Kadin 25, 26 October 2012 - 09:21 AM.

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