Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Welcome to Crazy Town: Golf Dads Need to Chill Out, Man!

Published

on

Golf has become a big-time sport driven by not only opportunities for college golf scholarships, but also fame and fortune on the PGA Tour. Although some play for the love of the game, more and more start playing because they or their parents want them to be golf’s next billionaire.

I have watched the mania evolve over last the 25 years: first as a player, then as a junior golf coach, then as a college golf coach, and now as a mentor to some of the best junior golfers in the world. It’s all heady and intoxicating, and it has a huge impact on the relationships between players and their parents and coaches. What I see ranges from healthy and loving to what can best be described as “Crazy Town.”

Crazy Town is a land of delusion, frustration and slow, painful failure. It’s a place where the whole point of the process is missed. For me, golf is not about where a kid places in a tournament or shoots; it’s about teaching young people the habits and skills they need to succeed at everything, not just golf. Nowadays, too many parents and coaches create zero-sum evaluations during a child’s most fragile and important stages of maturation and development. The result is not only athletic failure, but also the erosion of faith in family, coaching, and the process of success.

Here are three key considerations for a parent who wants to avoid crazy town.

1. Do You Know Where You End And Your Child Begins?

The golf belongs to the kid. It‘s your child’s golf endeavor, not “yours” or “ours.” If you hear yourself talking about how “we” played today, what “we” shot, or what “we” won, then you already reside in Crazy Town.

Do you speak about “our” grades at school, “our” piano lessons, or cleaning “our” room? If so, maybe you have lost sight of where you end and where your child begins. Quickly get some separation, distance, and perspective. This is not about you or your family; it’s about your kid.

2. Who Wants This? You or Your Child?

The fact is that golf requires lots of long and lonely hours if your child want to play at the highest level, especially at the beginning when the child needs to invest huge sums of time in creating the proper patterns. The fact is that you can only demand they invest their time for so long. As children mature, they need to be able to explore boundaries and learn to be responsible for themselves. Once you have helped your child understand the investment needed and provided them a safe learning environment, your job is done.

At this point, your child is either going to have ignition and work at their game or not. If they don’t, then I recommend you help your child find another endeavor that does create a spark in them. It might be track and field that ignites the passion to learn and grow. Whatever it is, your job is to help your kid find it… then leave him or her to follow the dream.

3. Have You and Your Junior Learned the 6 C’s?

Dr. Richard Learner is a researcher at Tufts University where he’s the chair of the Institute of Applied Research in Youth Development. He’s known for his theory of relations between life-span human development and social change, and for his research about the relationship between adolescents and their peers, families, schools, and communities. His work centers around children developing what he terms the 5 C’s: Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, and Caring.

Researcher Jean Cote suggests a sixth “C,” specifically for sports: Competition. Together, the research suggests that when students work toward developing these skills, they become more successful human beings. Ask yourself if what you are doing is developing the 6 C’s in your child, because if it is then you and and him or her are likely headed in a good direction.

Remember, introducing sport to your son or daughter is not about the scholarship dollars or potential fame; it’s a way to teach them the skills and habits they need to live enriching and fulfilling lives. Use sport to help your child learn competition, friendship, humility, self-confidence, determination, challenging work, passion, and honesty. Reward them for learning these lessons and remind them, using your own experience, why they are playing sport. Over the long run, I promise you will be happy you did.

Your Reaction?
  • 86
  • LEGIT12
  • WOW3
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP3
  • OB1
  • SHANK10

Brendan is the owner of Golf Placement Services, a boutique business which aims to apply his background in golf and higher education to help educate players, their families and coaches about the process! Website - www.golfplacementservices.com Insta - golf.placement.sevices Twitter @BMRGolf

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Tom54

    Jul 31, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I know when I was young I would have loved the opportunity to play golf all the time if we would have been able to afford it. I’m not sure whether it would have gotten boring or not but I always enjoyed the time spent on the course. All parents try to look out for their childs best interest but I guess some also guilty of trying to produce the next golf phenom. At least young golfers are learning a game for life. Nothing wrong with that

  2. Ron

    Jul 31, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I don’t completely disagree, but this isn’t the point of the article. The article focuses on parents who are basically putting too much pressure on their kids to succeed at sports. Your argument as to whether or not the parent is a good teacher for the kid is something entirely different.

    I agree with this article. Seen it so many times growing up playing a different sport than golf. Parents try to live vicariously through their kids and sometimes even treat them differently based on how well they played that particular day. It’s sick.

  3. James G

    Jul 31, 2017 at 10:25 am

    My son plays in competitions at 13 and I see what the author is speaking about all the time. Some insane parents that believe their child is the next Nicklaus. It’s the same mentality I see at son’s baseball games as well. It’s as if the parents seek some sort of validation for the lives if their child is a star athlete. Sad thing is, many of the kids who are good at 12 or 13, won’t be the top players at say 17 or so. Some kids are on the steady path of improvement and some that are great at a young age are as good as they will ever be at that young age.

  4. Lloyd

    Jul 31, 2017 at 2:49 am

    Rules: Our staff and moderators maintain a friendly environment that is in compliance with our rules, specifically in our forums. From Day 1, we’ve asked the GolfWRX Community to do the following, and it has been instrumental to our growth:

    Take the high road.
    Treat others as you would want to be treated.
    Lead by example.

    Today, we are the world’s largest and best online golf community, and we will continue to innovate and improve our site so we can stay on top and remain the go-to destination for golf on the web.

    True to our mission, we will also continue to prize and protect the purity of the opinions of our readers, and will evolve our platforms to make them more engaging. We want our readers to feel proud to contribute to GolfWRX, and protect their interests by offering an unbiased place for them to learn, share and discuss.
    Hey ooffaa, abide by the forum rules or flick off!

  5. Mad-Mex

    Jul 30, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    ATTENTION PARENTS: Its a GAME!!!!!!!!!!! your role is take the kid to the field or course AND pick them up,,,,,,,,,,

  6. Lloyd

    Jul 30, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Interesting to note that ooffaa only responds to Obs with personal attacks to threadjack his comments. Makes you wonder how ooffa is connected to the forum. Anybody?

  7. Tom

    Jul 29, 2017 at 11:30 am

    parents reliving their past thru their children…..

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Club Junkie

Club Junkie: VA Composites Nemesys wood shaft review and a big golf week for me!

Published

on

This week is a big golf week — playing in a member invitational! Got the bag sorted out and there are 14 clubs that I am going to live or die on the course with. I have been hitting the new VA Composites Nemesys wood shaft and am very impressed. A great counterbalanced option with a mid-low launch and low spin.

Your Reaction?
  • 8
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

Book review: The Golf Lover’s Guide To England

Published

on

There is this notion in the British isles, completely foreign to America, that states that visitors shall have access to all but a smallish passel of private clubs. In abject contrast, the finest clubs of the USA do their level best to keep their gates closed to both the riff and the raff, neither of which is nearly as detrimental to their continuity as some fearful members might believe. In this era of the database, would it be that hard to allow a visitor access once in her/his/their lifetime to Cypress Point, or Friar’s Head, or Prairie Dunes? Into the database their GHIN number would go, and if said individual were fortunate enough to win the lottery for a coveted golden ticket, err, tee time, that would be it for all time. I digress, however, as that rant is not the purpose of this book review.

The Golf Lover’s Guide To England, written and compiled by Michael Whitehead, lists 33 elite golf clubs across that country, divided into four regions, which are further divided into nine districts. Each of these clubs would be identified as unlikely in the USA, but is certainly accessible in England. The short story is: this nearly-pocket-sized compendium should accompany any traveler of golfing purpose, as it is invaluable for understanding the ins and outs of making contact, locating courses, and learning of their nature and history. The long story goes quite a bit deeper.

Michael Whitehead has the forethought to organize his works (Scotland was his first TGLGT volume) in meticulous fashion. The volume opens with a colorful map of the targeted country, complete with numbered flags to identify each of the courses reviewed within. The entire book explodes with wondrous colors, both in page background and course photography, and heightens the sensory experience of its study.

A delightful touch is the location of the Acknowledgements section in the front of the book. Typically relegated to one of the final pages that we skip past, before closing the cover, this is not the case here. Whitehead recognizes the invaluable assistance of his supporting cast, and situates them front and center. Good for you, Mr. Whitehead.

A brief history of the game in England is followed by the first of the four (North, Midlands & East Anglia, South East, South West) regions. The most populous of these is the South East, and we will use it to break down the districts. Five courses occupy an unnamed, scattered district. Five more are situated in the Surrey/Berkshire sandbelt, and four of those sites offer 36 holes on property. A final three fit into the Kent Coast district, and one of them has 27 holes within its confines. Thus it goes throughout the other three regions, albeit at a less-frenetic pace.

Moving along, each of the 33 seminal courses is granted six pages for description and assessment. Whitehead assigns color-coded price guides to each course, ranging from the up-to-49-British-Pounds entry point to the over-200-British-Pounds stratum. He also offers seasonal stratification, identifying the High (expensive) season, the Shoulder (mid-range) seasons, and the Low (economic) season. To facilitate contact with the club, Whitehead does his level best to provide online, email, and telephone booking options for each of the clubs. He adds in area courses of interest, in case the reader/traveler is confined to a specific locale. What more could one need, in advance of the golf trip of a lifetime?

For starters, one might wish to know a bit more about the course. Mr. Whitehead goes into the distances of teeing grounds, the need (or not) for a handicap certificate, the availability of caddies and rentals (push cart, electric push cart, clubs and motorized carts), the dress code, and (if any) tee time restrictions. In other words, any botched planning falls squarely on the shoulders of the golfer. Michael Whitehead has led the horse to the trough, filled it with water, and essentially dunked the equine mouth in the aqueous substance.

I’ve a friend who hates to know anything about a course he has yet to play. Attempt to mention any facet of the course and his response is a loud and grating LA-LA-LA-LA-LA, ad infinitum or until you cease your attempt at enlightenment. For the rest of us sane travelers, a bit of back story about the property, the architect, and the laying out of the course adds to the anticipation. As an architecture aficionado, I base the majority of my trips around the works of the golden-age architects, here in the USA. If afforded the opportunity to travel to England, I would seek out the works of Harry Colt, Alister MacKenzie, Herbert Fowler, and their contemporaries. Thankfully, all of this information is listed in Whitehead’s thorough volume.

The old carpenter’s motto of measure twice and cut once can certainly be applied when considering a purchase of this volume. Abandon its opportunity and you risk a return trip to the lumber yard, at considerable expense. Take advantage of what it has to offer, and your trip’s chances at success are doubled at the very least.

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: What’s your target score?

Published

on

Without a target score, you are just wandering in the field like a feather in the wind. The North Star for your mindset starts with a target score!

 

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending