Advice for Parents
Thu May 30, 2013 by Dave Phillips
It is no surprise that junior golf is growing like crazy and these kids are good. With the emergence of Tiger Woods over a decade ago the golfing population is getting younger and younger as kids drop the tennis shoes and lace up the footjoys. Golf is now a kid sport, just take a look at the junior world championships and you will see ten year olds shooting under par with text book golf swings and short games you would die for. The Ladies tour has some bright young stars in Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel that could very well dominate the ladies tour in years to come and they are just teenagers. If your youngster is showing an interest and is developing into a player, here are a few things to keep in mind as they develop.
1) Don’t try and be a coach and parent, you have to know when to let the reins go and get them involved with a golf coach. I have seen many kids walk away from the game because Mom and Dad wanted it more than they did. A good golf coach can not only help your child’s game, they can give them a support structure for life learning skills outside of the home.
2) Proper equipment checks are essential; kids go through growth spurts all the time and they need equipment that can grow with them. If the clubs are too heavy or to light they can affect the development of their golf swings and cause a variety of swing faults.
3) Hit the Gym, the rate at which a junior’s grow is amazing, but their muscles don’t always grow at the same rate as their bones. This can cause their golf swings to become unstable and as a result they will mishit shots and suffer from inconsistency. You need to get them physically screened and develop a personalized fitness program for them. I am always amazed at how inflexible some kids are.
4) For kids in high school that are considering going to college and would love to position themselves for a college golf team then you need to get some advice from the best in the business and that is John Brooks at www.rednumbersgolf.com. John was a college coach for 14 years and now runs a business that mentors talented junior golfers and their parents toward well-informed, sound decisions, that will enhance their overall junior golf development, assist them throughout the college placement process, and lead to long-term success in life beyond golf. John has monthly articles on MyTPI as well!
5) Play more than you practice, at a young age the biggest thing kids lack is experience. Take a note out of the Australian Institute of Sports that runs some of the best junior golf programs in the world, kids should play golf more than they practice and learn how to score.
I have also attached a PDF from www.positivecoach.org, a great resource for parents and coaches.