High School Golf Coach looking for advice

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  • JimJamJimJam Members Posts: 119 ✭✭
    I just graduated, and I felt the most important thing our coach did was make us feel closer as a team. Go out to eat as a team, spend time together. Really bond as a team. Offer advice for stuff on and off the course. Players often times need it. Especially at that age. After a while it felt like i was playing with a second family. In turn we were all more comfortable and worked together a lot better, and played better too. That's my best advice.
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  • MarylandGolfer2018MarylandGolfer2018 Members Posts: 103 ✭✭
    So my highschool season has started, if your team is anything like mine, 100 yards and in IS THESE MOST IMPORTANT mostly putting and make sure everyone can atleast get out of a bunker!
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  • Rhythm&TempoRenzoRhythm&TempoRenzo Rhythm&TempoRenzo Members Posts: 594
    edited Aug 21, 2015 #34


    My team always does a drill where you try to hit every club to the 150 yard flag at your range, you see some very interesting shots!




    I agree - my coach (Charles Foster) had me do that drill daily except it was 100 yards not 150. The surprising thing was that my putter was not exempt from that drill. The other drill was a putting game where I was required to get 12 consecutive balls (3 balls from 4 locations) within 6" of the hole (or better) before I could go home. If you miss - you start over... Tough game, but when I put today I remember that game and I feel no pressure what so ever... Good luck Coach, I hope your team does well. image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
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  • migolfcoachmigolfcoach ClubWRX Posts: 189
    jcvandamme wrote:


    Hi all-



    I'm just starting my 2nd season as a high school golf coach and I want to be more than just a glorified taxi driver. So I have a few questions for all of you. Is there anything that your high school coach did that you felt really helped you? Any drills or practice games or something like that? My team has players that range from single digit handicaps to kids just picking up a club for the first time, and I want to be able to help them all improve. Any tips or tricks that I could use? Thanks.




    A great way to make them practice short game that they don't hate in my experience is to have them play "up and down" from around the greens, match play against each other. So have them play 6 holes of match play, each picking a spot around the green to play from, then chipping and putting till it's in the hole. We do a little bracket style championship in practice for about an hour, winners playing the winners and losers playing the winners. They get competitive and focus, but it's not too intense.



    A good other putting drill I like that you might modify a bit for high school (I'm a d3 college coach) is each player sets a tee at 3 feet, 6 feet and 9 feet. They have to make 3 from each distance all in a row, so all 9 in a row, before they can go play on the course. If you miss at any distance, you have to start over. You make a ton of 3 footers and believe me, the pressure is on for that 9th putt. For HS maybe just 3 and 6 footers? I don't know. But it makes them practice hard so that they can then go play.



    Anyway, I've got tons of stuff we do, PM me if you want more.
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  • GirlGolferPink4EverGirlGolferPink4Ever Members Posts: 23
    I go to a golf academy and although we don't have a team we still have our own coaching groups and I used to play for a high school team. But my friends and I always try to come up with new and productive contests here are a few.



    Putting:

    Catch Up: Find a hole and circle it with 6-8 tees about 5-7 ft from the hole, have one person start at one tee and another at the opposite end, each player attempts to make the putt and move to the next tee, if they miss they stay there until they make. The object of the game is to catch up to your opponent, so if player 1 misses the putt, and player 2 makes, player 2 goes to the next tee, then if p1 misses again, p2 makes the p2 moves to the next tee, if p2 reaches the same putt as p1 and makes it before p1, p2 wins. It's fun, and teaches you to putt under pressure



    Tennis: pick two holes about 10-15 Ft from each other one player goes to one hole and the other goes to the other and tries to make the 10-15 Ft. so p1 putts and misses, p2 putts and misses, then each would hit each others ball back trying to make it, if p1 makes it first they get a point and the players switch sides, the first player to 7 points wins. Great practice for those "makeable putts)



    Ladder drill: place tees a few feet apart from 12- 25, and place an alignment stick or pin 18 in behind the hole, start in the middle distance and slowly go to the tee in front then the tee in the back, until a putt is hit from every tee. The reason for starting in the middle is you will learn distance control better going from shorter to longer distances rather than progressively moving back, scoring goes like this, short or past the stick 0 points, within the safe zone (front of hole- stick) 1 point, and a make is 2. It's a good way to test a players lag putting, you can do the same with the shorter putts.





    For short game our coaches will set up 6ft and 3ft circles around the short game greens and have us hit a variety of shots from different lies and distances to these pins and test us, outside of 6ft, 0 points, inside 6ft 1, 3 Ft 2, and if you chip in 4 points. Its good to check progress every few weeks, you don't always have to keep score.



    A lot of junior golfers struggle with short game because they fail to pick a landing area and try to either fly it to the pin and hope it stops or just take a guess and swing so a good drill is to have the player pick a landing spot and place a towel or even a hula hoop there. The goal is to land the chip, or pitch on top of or as close to that landing area. It helps visualize where to hit and will help them to pick and see the landing spot on the course.
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  • jcvandammejcvandamme Members Posts: 196 ✭✭✭


    Hey Coach, how's it going so far?




    Well we're halfway through the season and we're in second place in our conference. We started slow but have played well our last 2 matches. We're averaging somewhere between 320 and 330 as a team (counting 4 scores). The talent level here in central PA isn't the best. I have 2 guys who can consistently break 80, but after that it's a crapshoot. Still a lot of work that needs to be done between now and the district tournament at the beginning of October. Thanks for asking!
  • canadianrickcanadianrick Members Posts: 248
    Unless you're qualified to teach mechanics and technique (by qualified I mean, you are a certified professional; basic knowledge from playing golf yourself does not count) I would suggest you steer clear of trying to teach anyone, even someone completely new to the game, anything about the golf swing. If you want to bring some teaching aspect into the program, see if a local pro will volunteer some time to come help out (they may end up getting some paid lesson clients out of the deal).



    A previous poster mentioned short game and putting being the key to winning at the high school level. I couldn't disagree more. There is no such thing as a key to winning other then simply getting the ball into the hole in fewer shots then the competition. My philosophy is that every golfers steps onto the tee with his/her game for that day. It might be their A game, it might only be their D+ game, but whatever they have that day they have to find a way to get the most out of it. In my experience, and others may have a different opinion, course management and developing a game plan on how you want to play the course before you tee off can make a big difference. High School kids are no different then any other golfer in that they hit too little club and hit driver way too much. Having a plan in advance that says they hit 3W off this tee and take one club more then they think they need and swing a bit easier can be very effective at managing their game and the course.



    That's what I would do if I were you. a couple of days before the tournament I would map out a route around the course and then encourage the kids to hit each shot on the range leading up to the tournament as if they were playing the round. Driver, wedge. 3W, 9-iron. Driver, 9-iron, etc. I would caution not to push the same game plan on everyone. Some kids might be very comfortable with the driver, others might hate their 7-iron. Customize the game plan with each player to fit their game, then after the tournament you can talk with them about how well they followed the game plan, where they had to adapt, where they made mistakes, and what they learned for next time.
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  • mattyb929mattyb929 Members Posts: 96


    Unless you're qualified to teach mechanics and technique (by qualified I mean, you are a certified professional; basic knowledge from playing golf yourself does not count) I would suggest you steer clear of trying to teach anyone, even someone completely new to the game, anything about the golf swing. If you want to bring some teaching aspect into the program, see if a local pro will volunteer some time to come help out (they may end up getting some paid lesson clients out of the deal).



    A previous poster mentioned short game and putting being the key to winning at the high school level. I couldn't disagree more. There is no such thing as a key to winning other then simply getting the ball into the hole in fewer shots then the competition. My philosophy is that every golfers steps onto the tee with his/her game for that day. It might be their A game, it might only be their D+ game, but whatever they have that day they have to find a way to get the most out of it. In my experience, and others may have a different opinion, course management and developing a game plan on how you want to play the course before you tee off can make a big difference. High School kids are no different then any other golfer in that they hit too little club and hit driver way too much. Having a plan in advance that says they hit 3W off this tee and take one club more then they think they need and swing a bit easier can be very effective at managing their game and the course.



    That's what I would do if I were you. a couple of days before the tournament I would map out a route around the course and then encourage the kids to hit each shot on the range leading up to the tournament as if they were playing the round. Driver, wedge. 3W, 9-iron. Driver, 9-iron, etc. I would caution not to push the same game plan on everyone. Some kids might be very comfortable with the driver, others might hate their 7-iron. Customize the game plan with each player to fit their game, then after the tournament you can talk with them about how well they followed the game plan, where they had to adapt, where they made mistakes, and what they learned for next time.






    Short game and putting is the key to winning at every level.
  • tap in birdietap in birdie Members Posts: 531 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If the kids don't have fun then you failed.



    ...that being said...



    Putting is definitely crucial for every skill level in the game, however I do agree with the person who said to "keep the driver in bounds" I don't necessarily think it has to be a driver, maybe help each player find their safe club like a 3 hybrid or 5 iron that they can simply put in play when the driver swing or the last few holes isn't going their way. I wouldn't focus on putting until I was sure I could get there in a reasonable amount of strokes. Then I'd go straight to the greens and not leave them. I feel like junior golf is largely about not 3 putting and not going OB. Also try to make every stroke the kids take have some form of pressure associated with it like other posters stated, but I'd give it some time first





  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,254 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭


    If the kids don't have fun then you failed.



    I feel like junior golf is largely about not 3 putting and not going OB. Also try to make every stroke the kids take have some form of pressure associated with it like other posters stated, but I'd give it some time first




    This is true.



    Our high school teams qualifying rounds the last three holes are the most important. The last three holes are worth double. Par is par. Bogey is double bogey, double bogey is quadruple bogey, birdie is eagle, eagle is dad gum good (-4). The focus is on finishing the round.
  • KILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGEKILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE 300 YARD DRAWS AND 10 LB HOOKS! Members Posts: 4,524
    edited Sep 16, 2015 #42
    jcvandamme wrote:



    Hey Coach, how's it going so far?




    Well we're halfway through the season and we're in second place in our conference. We started slow but have played well our last 2 matches. We're averaging somewhere between 320 and 330 as a team (counting 4 scores). The talent level here in central PA isn't the best. I have 2 guys who can consistently break 80, but after that it's a crapshoot. Still a lot of work that needs to be done between now and the district tournament at the beginning of October. Thanks for asking!




    Great stuff Coach, keep it up! Are you anywhere near Williamsport or south of there? I played at a course named Deerfield ?
  • ginger718ginger718 Members Posts: 335 ✭✭✭✭
    For me my varsity coach was a taxi driver, and a mental rock that we all needed, but the highest handicapped player our varsity team had was a 5, so he never forced us to practice. I did however play 8 matches on jv my freshmen year, and our jv coach would make us practice. He meanly made all of us work on chipping, and putting, and we had 9 holes on our putting green all of them were a par 2 if we could make 36 or lower on two go arounds of them he would let us leave practice early. Can say that did not happen too often.
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  • carreracarrera Members Posts: 2,603 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Bumping this old thread with a question I didn't see anywhere else. For HS teams, what is the best way (or recommended way) to determine who plays in the lineup for a match or tournament? If you are able to have a team of five for a tournament, or six for a match, how do you "rank" the team to determine who plays in slots 1-5 or 1-6?



    My son's team has no organized system, and the coach is asking for recommendations. Is there an app or system that you coaches use?



    As with most teams, there are a few players who are no brainers to play in matches/tournaments (but even then, who is #1, who is #2, etc. which I guess doesn't matter for stroke play but you'd ideally want your best player playing alongside the other team's best player), but then it gets pretty blurry around the second group of players.



    Thanks.
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  • bulls9999bulls9999 Members Posts: 746 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Mar 4, 2019 4:21pm #45
    How about "Things Not to Do?" => My son's high school coach had a thing in practice (and this was done on the country club course, lol)...that if the player didn't reach the ladies tee, they had to drop their pants down to their shoes until they got to their ball (walking). Don't remember if they had to hit it with the pants down too. Glad my son never had to do that, lol (or at least he never admitted such).


    jcvandamme wrote:


    Hi all-



    I'm just starting my 2nd season as a high school golf coach and I want to be more than just a glorified taxi driver. So I have a few questions for all of you. Is there anything that your high school coach did that you felt really helped you? Any drills or practice games or something like that? My team has players that range from single digit handicaps to kids just picking up a club for the first time, and I want to be able to help them all improve. Any tips or tricks that I could use? Thanks.
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  • leezer99leezer99 I swear I am quitting this site every day... Members Posts: 1,231 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    carrera wrote:


    Bumping this old thread with a question I didn't see anywhere else. For HS teams, what is the best way (or recommended way) to determine who plays in the lineup for a match or tournament? If you are able to have a team of five for a tournament, or six for a match, how do you "rank" the team to determine who plays in slots 1-5 or 1-6?



    My son's team has no organized system, and the coach is asking for recommendations. Is there an app or system that you coaches use?



    As with most teams, there are a few players who are no brainers to play in matches/tournaments (but even then, who is #1, who is #2, etc. which I guess doesn't matter for stroke play but you'd ideally want your best player playing alongside the other team's best player), but then it gets pretty blurry around the second group of players.



    Thanks.




    Ranking matches at home course. Top five low scores for the week play. Exceptions might be that seniors always play, etc.

    There's definitely something more important that I should be doing.

  • stimpmeterpstimpmeterp Washington DCMembers Posts: 765 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Whatever you do is great. My high school coach was the football coach and simply had no clue what to do other than smoke cigars and watch us play. My college coach was also the hockey coach and he was truly a glorified bus driver! The fact that you care this much is fantastic and your players are fortunate to have you. Kudos to you.

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  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,254 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    You have qualifying matches just like they do in college. They will vary how they select them, but always have qualifying. Sometimes top 5 scores, sometimes top 3 and then the others as coaches picks. Definitely don’t select your team by seniority.
  • TripleBogeysrbetterTripleBogeysrbetter Members Posts: 140 ✭✭✭


    You have qualifying matches just like they do in college. They will vary how they select them, but always have qualifying. Sometimes top 5 scores, sometimes top 3 and then the others as coaches picks. Definitely don’t select your team by seniority.




    Couldn't agree more. Let them play their way in. Son's team has played teams in the past that were all Seniors.



    Him and another sophomore were the upperclassmen. They led 3 Freshman. Not good in football maybe, but its cool in golf I guess.
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  • BohsauceyBohsaucey Members Posts: 119 ✭✭✭
    carrera wrote:


    Bumping this old thread with a question I didn't see anywhere else. For HS teams, what is the best way (or recommended way) to determine who plays in the lineup for a match or tournament? If you are able to have a team of five for a tournament, or six for a match, how do you "rank" the team to determine who plays in slots 1-5 or 1-6?



    My son's team has no organized system, and the coach is asking for recommendations. Is there an app or system that you coaches use?



    As with most teams, there are a few players who are no brainers to play in matches/tournaments (but even then, who is #1, who is #2, etc. which I guess doesn't matter for stroke play but you'd ideally want your best player playing alongside the other team's best player), but then it gets pretty blurry around the second group of players.



    Thanks.






    Our top 4 were largely set and the 5th and 6th spots were up for grabs during the week, lowest average score across three-four days.



    Once at the tournament our coach would ask what spot we wanted to play in. There wasn't a dedicated place. Usually we would choose on what tee time or starting hole seemed most beneficial to our games. Sometimes it would be the group pairings. If there was a group of 3's from schools I knew, I would give up the 1 spot to jump in with some people I knew well.
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  • SixcatSixcat SWVAMembers Posts: 1,473 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    My daughter's high school has won 6 state championships along with another 2 individual state championships since 2004. My home club offers junior memberships that gives unlimited access for full time students under the age of 22 at a cost of $305 per year. The head professional/GM of my club is also the high school golf coach. We ensure the kids are always competing. Our membership plays team matches against the kids constantly where, the kids stand to lose something. Nothing egregious. They may have to wash and wax the winning teams cars or clean the golf carts. My point is, If the community buys into the program, great things can happen.



    As for seeding, Virginia plays during the fall and official "practice" is permitted to begin August 1st. By August, these kids have already been competing virtually every day for 6 months. Most of those kids also compete in a regional Junior Tour. They already know who should be seeded where for team competition. The coach rarely has to intervene. That may change in a couple of years though. The middle school could easily field two very competitive teams on a state level.



    The junior program also results in about 85% of the junior members becoming full club members.

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