Golf is a game and game should be fun!
Competition brings out the best and worst in all of us. They say one tournament round is equivalent to 10 social rounds of golf. Tournament golf and social golf are very different. Playing by the rules, playing your ball down, keeping score and reporting your score is part of the tournament experience.
Here are nine things you can do to prepare for your first tournament round.
- Ask your child how much time they need to warm up, add 15 minutes to that to go through registration, get to know where the practice facilities are and a little extra time to get to the first tee 10 minutes prior to your teatime.
- Arrive to the first tee 10 minutes prior to your teatime, usually in tournament golf they will have a starter that will go over local rules, give pin sheets, and distribute swag.
- Your child should announce their score as soon as I pick up the ball out of the hole or before leaving the green, and every green.
- If there are discrepancies on the score, deal with them before leaving the green or make note and bring it to the rules officials attention upon completion of play in before signing a scorecard. When in doubt, play a second ball and meet with the scoring/tournament official upon completion of play.
- The golfers role is to move the golf ball into the hole in as few as strokes possible. The caddy and parents role is to provide opportunity and encouragement, not teach the backswing. In my opinion, parents should not help with set up and alignment, unless they are way off. If you're still working on set up and alignment, they may not be ready to play tournament golf.
- Demonstrate to your child that relationships matter. Take time to get to know your playing partners and other spectators. Some of my best friends have come from rounds with my kids. On a side note, my son and I were paired up with another father and son and the other father asked, "How do you know you're a good golfer?" My son replied, "Shoot the lowest score." He said, "Nope, you get invited back to play!"
- know the rules, but let the kids call their rules infractions. Be ready when they ask, but do not offer advice on rules or call a child on the rules infractions.
- Most junior events, you're not allowed to give advice to players, except for US Kids events where they allow golfers to use a caaddy. Review Caddie rules on the subsequent post (Remember the three ups... show up, keep up, shut up!).
- Laugh, play, have fun! These are our family rules and welcome to the Golf Achievement Community!
I asked my athletes to pack their own snacks, bottles of water for hydration of your choice. I also make them clean their clubs, including their grips with dish soap water. I have them create an inventory checklist that includes what they need to carry in their bag, batteries for the range finder, tees, golf balls, towels, gloves, Advil, athletic tape, umbrella, rain gear etc. If they want something above and beyond, I'll have them pay half so they are bought into the improvement process.
NEVER pay for performance for kids under 16. Games are one thing, gambling is another. I do not recommend paying for performance or for pars or birdies.
If you would like a free 15 minute consultation with Brad Pluth, call 952-401-4653.