Budgeting for junior Golf

GolfSRQGolfSRQ Members Posts: 53 ✭✭
My son is 14 and has gotten serious about golf this year. He made varsity and a freshman and just won a tournament last weekend with 75 ( which we are proud of early 2018 he was lucky to break 100 and this was just a hobby.

Now we are trying to figure out how often he should play in tournaments and where. We live in Florida and there are lots of options.

Question is how much should I be prepared to spend on this ? It looks like all in could be between $1k-$3k per month ? With lessons, travel, entry fees, equipment , etc?

This is new to my wife and I and we’re trying to figure this out. Any input would be great on costs and tournaments we should be looking at.
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  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,098 ✭✭
    GolfSRQ wrote:


    My son is 14 and has gotten serious about golf this year. He made varsity and a freshman and just won a tournament last weekend with 75 ( which we are proud of early 2018 he was lucky to break 100 and this was just a hobby.

    Now we are trying to figure out how often he should play in tournaments and where. We live in Florida and there are lots of options.

    Question is how much should I be prepared to spend on this ? It looks like all in could be between $1k-$3k per month ? With lessons, travel, entry fees, equipment , etc?

    This is new to my wife and I and we're trying to figure this out. Any input would be great on costs and tournaments we should be looking at.




    It really depends on what your/his motivations are.



    If he is looking to possibly go to college, then he needs to play FJT and AJGA. Really don't need to play anything else. FJT will be the best competition in the state and often enough just as good as an AJGA open. Depending where you live, there is also the SFPGA and the NFPGA sections. My son isn't in high school yet and we are looking at budgeting around $5,000.00 a year just for FJT/AJGA tournaments. This doesn't include equipment, lessons, practice sessions, or golf membership. Costs get run up by travel. We are looking at around 15 events from January to next August that covers around 5 states.



    As has been noted on here a countless number of times, college coaches aren't concerned with high school golf. A 75 in high school golf or a one day tourney doesn't necessarily equate to a 75 in a multi day tournament. There is a lot to learn from in the travel and playing a tournament schedule.



    What we do in planning tournaments is this:

    A. Anything inside of 2 hours we drive back and forth. Outside of 2 hours and it is a hotel room. If the tournament is a late Saturday start and between an 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours we may drive down Saturday morning and stay in a hotel on Saturday if the Sunday start is early.



    B. During the school year we try to limit to 1 tournaments a month. Doesn't always work out, but that is what we shoot for. Will only play 2 if the next month is limited to choices.



    C. Never play in tournaments in back to back weekends. Will make exceptions during the summer. Just depends on the load.
  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,059 ✭✭
    edited Dec 15, 2018 #3
    when someone asks the question how much do I need to budget. I tend to think that they are worried they can’t afford their kid to play golf.



    I think in general kids who play golf tend to be upper middle class. Most them make sacrifices but at the end of the day they can afford the cost of tournaments, club membership and lessons and travel to be competitive.



    For a dollar standpoint I would say 5–10k is pretty standard and may even be low for ideal an ideal situation. I am including golf course membership or green fees in the figure above.



    There are ways to reduce it and of course spend more. I also think that pretty much any sport not sponsored by public school is going to be similar too and even then you can still spend the same amount with camps.



    The sad fact is if you are a kid and have parents who are unwilling or unable to support you competing in junior golf will be tough unless you have a sponsor. The other fact is if your good enough to get a sponsor and actually very very good the goal probably should be to turn pro as soon as possible which makes getting a scholarship pretty tough since staying an armature is not an ideal situation for them.



    If you don’t want get too serious I would just enter them In Local PGA junior tournaments the cost is cheap and you play on great courses. I would think you probably can get by for less 1k and the kids will get to play private courses. Also high school golf is a good option as well when it is availble for a lot kids.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • GolfSRQGolfSRQ Members Posts: 53 ✭✭

    GolfSRQ wrote:


    My son is 14 and has gotten serious about golf this year. He made varsity and a freshman and just won a tournament last weekend with 75 ( which we are proud of early 2018 he was lucky to break 100 and this was just a hobby.

    Now we are trying to figure out how often he should play in tournaments and where. We live in Florida and there are lots of options.

    Question is how much should I be prepared to spend on this ? It looks like all in could be between $1k-$3k per month ? With lessons, travel, entry fees, equipment , etc?

    This is new to my wife and I and we're trying to figure this out. Any input would be great on costs and tournaments we should be looking at.




    It really depends on what your/his motivations are.



    If he is looking to possibly go to college, then he needs to play FJT and AJGA. Really don't need to play anything else. FJT will be the best competition in the state and often enough just as good as an AJGA open. Depending where you live, there is also the SFPGA and the NFPGA sections. My son isn't in high school yet and we are looking at budgeting around $5,000.00 a year just for FJT/AJGA tournaments. This doesn't include equipment, lessons, practice sessions, or golf membership. Costs get run up by travel. We are looking at around 15 events from January to next August that covers around 5 states.



    As has been noted on here a countless number of times, college coaches aren't concerned with high school golf. A 75 in high school golf or a one day tourney doesn't necessarily equate to a 75 in a multi day tournament. There is a lot to learn from in the travel and playing a tournament schedule.



    What we do in planning tournaments is this:

    A. Anything inside of 2 hours we drive back and forth. Outside of 2 hours and it is a hotel room. If the tournament is a late Saturday start and between an 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours we may drive down Saturday morning and stay in a hotel on Saturday if the Sunday start is early.



    B. During the school year we try to limit to 1 tournaments a month. Doesn't always work out, but that is what we shoot for. Will only play 2 if the next month is limited to choices.



    C. Never play in tournaments in back to back weekends. Will make exceptions during the summer. Just depends on the load.


    Thanks thiis good info. So about 2 tournaments per month

    Good to know about what to stick with as far as AJGA and fit. Still trying to figure all this out. I’m sure if the opportunity presented itself Munson would want play in college. .
  • GolfSRQGolfSRQ Members Posts: 53 ✭✭
    tiger1873 wrote:


    when someone asks the question how much do I need to budget. I tend to think that they are worried they can’t afford their kid to play golf.



    I think in general kids who play golf tend to be upper middle class. Most them make sacrifices but at the end of the day they can afford the cost of tournaments, club membership and lessons and travel to be competitive.



    For a dollar standpoint I would say 5–10k is pretty standard and may even be low for ideal an ideal situation. I am including golf course membership or green fees in the figure above.



    There are ways to reduce it and of course spend more. I also think that pretty much any sport not sponsored by public school is going to be similar too and even then you can still spend the same amount with camps.



    The sad fact is if you are a kid and have parents who are unwilling or unable to support you competing in junior golf will be tough unless you have a sponsor. The other fact is if your good enough to get a sponsor and actually very very good the goal probably should be to turn pro as soon as possible which makes getting a scholarship pretty tough since staying an armature is not an ideal situation for them.



    If you don’t want get too serious I would just enter them In Local PGA junior tournaments the cost is cheap and you play on great courses. I would think you probably can get by for less 1k and the kids will get to play private courses. Also high school golf is a good option as well when it is availble for a lot kids.




    We are not wealthy but have done ok since moving to Florida. We’ve had a CC membership since before my son started playing so I don’t even really count that cost. I’m thinking lessons, tournament fees, travel, equipment etc

    To your point I do see the disparity on his high school team half the kids are from a private country club , other half just trying to get on where they can. Seems like it is tough to make it in golf without decent money to throw at it.
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Members Posts: 5,231 ✭✭
    We belonged to a private club as well, and would have regardless because I play. My daughter got into the game, played high level junior golf and now plays D1 collegiately. We averaged approximately $7500 annually above & beyond club dues between the age of 13-17.



    We used Marriot points, frequent flier miles, Hotwire.com, etc. We also chose venues where we had family or friends we could stay with and/or use their cars. Our family vacations revolved around golf for a few years.



    I think we were pretty resourceful and didn't miss out on much while still keeping a reasonably tight budget, but still, anyone less than upper-middle class income is going to face challenges. In the end it worked out for us as my daughter has a full scholarship worth ~$60k annually, but there are no guarantees.
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  • GolfSRQGolfSRQ Members Posts: 53 ✭✭
    dpb5031 wrote:


    We belonged to a private club as well, and would have regardless because I play. My daughter got into the game, played high level junior golf and now plays D1 collegiately. We averaged approximately $7500 annually above & beyond club dues between the age of 13-17.



    We used Marriot points, frequent flier miles, Hotwire.com, etc. We also chose venues where we had family or friends we could stay with and/or use their cars. Our family vacations revolved around golf for a few years.



    I think we were pretty resourceful and didn't miss out on much while still keeping a reasonably tight budget, but still, anyone less than upper-middle class income is going to face challenges. In the end it worked out for us as my daughter has a full scholarship worth ~$60k annually, but there are no guarantees.


    Looks like it worked out for you guys which is great.

    This golf thing is looking similar to other “travel sports “

    We’re going to have fun with it for awhile and see where it goes.
  • BeerPerHoleBeerPerHole Members Posts: 1,166 ✭✭
    I'm in a similar boat. My boy is 13 and I just learned of AJGA. We're in a private club which has been nice. That's where I've been learning these things. One of our members called me early last year to talk about this stuff. His son's on the Asian Tour right now, and a couple of the older kids at our club have given some advice. We'll see where this all leads...
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  • CTgolfCTgolf Members Posts: 435 ✭✭
    Doesn’t have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don’t need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I’ve seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.
  • kekoakekoa ClubWRX Posts: 8,905 ClubWRX
    CTgolf wrote:


    Doesn’t have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don’t need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I’ve seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.




    What do you mean it doesn't have to be expensive? I guess that's all relative, but if you want to pursue golf- as in get into a D1 school and possibly go pro, I don't see how it won't be very expensive. My son is only 8 and it is expensive (for me). I can't imagine when/if he is good enough for AJGA tournaments.



    We have friends who go see $300/hr coaches for their 8-9 yr olds for no good reason. I ask them all the time what they are learning and the dad's often tell me they are paying for exposure to top level players and pros as opposed to instruction. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's their money.
  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,059 ✭✭
    edited Dec 17, 2018 #11
    kekoa wrote:

    CTgolf wrote:


    Doesn’t have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don’t need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I’ve seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.




    What do you mean it doesn't have to be expensive? I guess that's all relative, but if you want to pursue golf- as in get into a D1 school and possibly go pro, I don't see how it won't be very expensive. My son is only 8 and it is expensive (for me). I can't imagine when/if he is good enough for AJGA tournaments.



    We have friends who go see $300/hr coaches for their 8-9 yr olds for no good reason. I ask them all the time what they are learning and the dad's often tell me they are paying for exposure to top level players and pros as opposed to instruction. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's their money.




    Kekoa,



    Don't you live in in Southern California? I would think the most expensive place to play junior golf is where you live. Everything is crazy expensive out there and I can't imagine what you pay for just balls at the range never mind actually playing on a decent course. For the price you probably pay for a mortgage you could be living in a country club and sending your kid to a top coach and still have money left over if you moved pretty much anywhere else.



    You can't compare any costs in coastal areas of California to anywhere else in the country. Almost everyone I know from living back there left once they had kids and tried to actually do anything. It's just crazy what things cost where you are.



    Golf is expensive but most people who have a good job can afford it for your kid. Heck FJT tournaments have minimal fees and the competition is pretty good. A lot those kids who play in tournaments too are not well off by any means either.
  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,098 ✭✭
    tiger1873 wrote:
    kekoa wrote:

    CTgolf wrote:


    Doesn’t have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don’t need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I’ve seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.




    What do you mean it doesn't have to be expensive? I guess that's all relative, but if you want to pursue golf- as in get into a D1 school and possibly go pro, I don't see how it won't be very expensive. My son is only 8 and it is expensive (for me). I can't imagine when/if he is good enough for AJGA tournaments.



    We have friends who go see $300/hr coaches for their 8-9 yr olds for no good reason. I ask them all the time what they are learning and the dad's often tell me they are paying for exposure to top level players and pros as opposed to instruction. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's their money.




    Kekoa,



    Don't you live in in Southern California? I would think the most expensive place to play junior golf is where you live. Everything is crazy expensive out there and I can't imagine what you pay for just balls at the range never mind actually playing on a decent course. For the price you probably pay for a mortgage you could be living in a country club and sending your kid to a top coach and still have money left over if you moved pretty much anywhere else.



    You can't compare any costs in coastal areas of California to anywhere else in the country. Almost everyone I know from living back there left once they had kids and tried to actually do anything. It's just crazy what things cost where you are.



    Golf is expensive but most people who have a good job can afford it for your kid. Heck FJT tournaments have minimal fees and the competition is pretty good. A lot those kids who play in tournaments too are not well off by any means either.




    FJT is $45.00 for membership and $95 per tournament if you keep a ghin handicap. Some of the best competition in the country.
  • kekoakekoa ClubWRX Posts: 8,905 ClubWRX
    leezer99 wrote:

    tiger1873 wrote:

    kekoa wrote:

    CTgolf wrote:


    Doesn’t have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don’t need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I’ve seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.




    What do you mean it doesn't have to be expensive? I guess that's all relative, but if you want to pursue golf- as in get into a D1 school and possibly go pro, I don't see how it won't be very expensive. My son is only 8 and it is expensive (for me). I can't imagine when/if he is good enough for AJGA tournaments.



    We have friends who go see $300/hr coaches for their 8-9 yr olds for no good reason. I ask them all the time what they are learning and the dad's often tell me they are paying for exposure to top level players and pros as opposed to instruction. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's their money.




    Kekoa,



    Don't you live in in Southern California? I would think the most expensive place to play junior golf is where you live. Everything is crazy expensive out there and I can't imagine what you pay for just balls at the range never mind actually playing on a decent course. For the price you probably pay for a mortgage you could be living in a country club and sending your kid to a top coach and still have money left over if you moved pretty much anywhere else.



    You can't compare any costs in coastal areas of California to anywhere else in the country. Almost everyone I know from living back there left once they had kids and tried to actually do anything. It's just crazy what things cost where you are.



    Golf is expensive but most people who have a good job can afford it for your kid. Heck FJT tournaments have minimal fees and the competition is pretty good. A lot those kids who play in tournaments too are not well off by any means either.




    So Cal golf is well subsidized... my son can play 100's of courses for $5 (or less) plus $2 for a bucket of balls with his SCGA card that I pay $60 per year for. And these aren't garbage courses, they are all courses that are used on the SCPGA Players Tour and the Toyota Tour Cup. One of our nearest places has two golf courses (6,600 yards & 7,200 yards) that he can play for $4. $20 will pay for him to play for an entire week over there.




    I guess it all depends on where you live in Socal and the socioeconomic factor. I mean if you live in Long Beach, there are plenty of great courses and ranges that participate in SCPGA. I think what the OP is really referring to is the costs involved with tournament play, lessons, equipment, travel, hotel etc. for Juniors which will all be on the parent's dime. Again, if you are going to try and have your kid play high level golf the journey will be expensive. Some parents are good at budgeting this kind of stuff, but I'm not.
  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,059 ✭✭
    kekoa wrote:

    leezer99 wrote:




    So Cal golf is well subsidized... my son can play 100's of courses for $5 (or less) plus $2 for a bucket of balls with his SCGA card that I pay $60 per year for. And these aren't garbage courses, they are all courses that are used on the SCPGA Players Tour and the Toyota Tour Cup. One of our nearest places has two golf courses (6,600 yards & 7,200 yards) that he can play for $4. $20 will pay for him to play for an entire week over there.




    I guess it all depends on where you live in Socal and the socioeconomic factor. I mean if you live in Long Beach, there are plenty of great courses and ranges that participate in SCPGA. I think what the OP is really referring to is the costs involved with tournament play, lessons, equipment, travel, hotel etc. for Juniors which will all be on the parent's dime. Again, if you are going to try and have your kid play high level golf the journey will be expensive. Some parents are good at budgeting this kind of stuff, but I'm not.








    I know there are deals but you guys would save lot of money moving. Even if you get cheap golf a hotel in San Diego is a heck of lot more then a Hotel in Vero Beach or Even places like Austin. To compete on the west coast I would say travel costs are about 2 or 3 times as much. Travel costs to me is the biggest cost when competing at a higher level.



    I remember playing in some those long beach courses. I used to think they very nice now I wouldn't play them if they were free. Most of us in Florida are playing on pretty nice courses year round. Of course every area is different but around here it pretty normal to play on courses that maintained and looks like a resort. Even the muni's around here are in pretty good shape.



    I am pretty sure I wouldn't be doing golf or really anything other then working if I stayed in Southern California. I left years ago when it looked like I was going to have to have a 5000 mortgage for a small 1500 house in a bad area. Never really looked back from that.
  • CTgolfCTgolf Members Posts: 435 ✭✭
    kekoa wrote:

    CTgolf wrote:


    Doesn’t have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don’t need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I’ve seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.




    What do you mean it doesn't have to be expensive? I guess that's all relative, but if you want to pursue golf- as in get into a D1 school and possibly go pro, I don't see how it won't be very expensive. My son is only 8 and it is expensive (for me). I can't imagine when/if he is good enough for AJGA tournaments.



    We have friends who go see $300/hr coaches for their 8-9 yr olds for no good reason. I ask them all the time what they are learning and the dad's often tell me they are paying for exposure to top level players and pros as opposed to instruction. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's their money.




    Doesn’t have to be expensive - especially for an 8 year old. I’m not sure if there even 18 hole tournaments at that age. Why spend so much on travel and tournament fees for 9 holes? Better off experiencing lots of different courses nearby, playing competitions with him or him against his friends. Teach your son course management and let him figure out stuff on his own, developing a genuine love for the game. Uneven lies, challenging weather, dealing with slow/bad players, getting out of trouble, learning to score/grind when you don’t have your best stuff that day - these are lessons that can be learned for the price of a green fee.



    In my opinion any serious money spent on equipment or lessons before they are 10 or 11 has probably not been money well spent except for a very tiny percentage of highly gifted juniors who are very mature both physically and mentally. $300 for lessons to get exposure for a kid for whom it most likely won’t matter doesn’t seem like good value - no one cares about an 8 or 9 year old prodigy (except to get the parents excited to pump them for lesson fees). Then again, there are plenty of rich people for whom money is not a limiting factor and they want to buy every advantage they can for their child - but the reality is you can’t buy a game.



    One size does not fit all and YMMV, but for 99% of kids playing golf spending lots of extra money won’t make a huge difference and is not required, even to play at a competitive college level.



  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,098 ✭✭
    Kekoa.... a kid under 11, there is no reason to spend over $400-$500 a year in equipment. Even as a teen it is the least amount of the budget.
  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,098 ✭✭
    CTgolf wrote:
    kekoa wrote:

    CTgolf wrote:


    Doesn’t have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don’t need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I’ve seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.




    What do you mean it doesn't have to be expensive? I guess that's all relative, but if you want to pursue golf- as in get into a D1 school and possibly go pro, I don't see how it won't be very expensive. My son is only 8 and it is expensive (for me). I can't imagine when/if he is good enough for AJGA tournaments.



    We have friends who go see $300/hr coaches for their 8-9 yr olds for no good reason. I ask them all the time what they are learning and the dad's often tell me they are paying for exposure to top level players and pros as opposed to instruction. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's their money.




    Doesn’t have to be expensive - especially for an 8 year old. I’m not sure if there even 18 hole tournaments at that age. Why spend so much on travel and tournament fees for 9 holes? Better off experiencing lots of different courses nearby, playing competitions with him or him against his friends. Teach your son course management and let him figure out stuff on his own, developing a genuine love for the game. Uneven lies, challenging weather, dealing with slow/bad players, getting out of trouble, learning to score/grind when you don’t have your best stuff that day - these are lessons that can be learned for the price of a green fee.



    In my opinion any serious money spent on equipment or lessons before they are 10 or 11 has probably not been money well spent except for a very tiny percentage of highly gifted juniors who are very mature both physically and mentally. $300 for lessons to get exposure for a kid for whom it most likely won’t matter doesn’t seem like good value - no one cares about an 8 or 9 year old prodigy (except to get the parents excited to pump them for lesson fees). Then again, there are plenty of rich people for whom money is not a limiting factor and they want to buy every advantage they can for their child - but the reality is you can’t buy a game.



    One size does not fit all and YMMV, but for 99% of kids playing golf spending lots of extra money won’t make a huge difference and is not required, even to play at a competitive college level.




    Truth. When you look at the best of the best, they usually are playing no more than 8-10 tournaments a year. Usually AJGA and Invitationals only. Many at the top don’t even get to double digits in tournaments.
  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,059 ✭✭

    CTgolf wrote:
    kekoa wrote:

    CTgolf wrote:


    Doesn’t have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don’t need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I’ve seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.




    What do you mean it doesn't have to be expensive? I guess that's all relative, but if you want to pursue golf- as in get into a D1 school and possibly go pro, I don't see how it won't be very expensive. My son is only 8 and it is expensive (for me). I can't imagine when/if he is good enough for AJGA tournaments.



    We have friends who go see $300/hr coaches for their 8-9 yr olds for no good reason. I ask them all the time what they are learning and the dad's often tell me they are paying for exposure to top level players and pros as opposed to instruction. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's their money.




    Doesn’t have to be expensive - especially for an 8 year old. I’m not sure if there even 18 hole tournaments at that age. Why spend so much on travel and tournament fees for 9 holes? Better off experiencing lots of different courses nearby, playing competitions with him or him against his friends. Teach your son course management and let him figure out stuff on his own, developing a genuine love for the game. Uneven lies, challenging weather, dealing with slow/bad players, getting out of trouble, learning to score/grind when you don’t have your best stuff that day - these are lessons that can be learned for the price of a green fee.



    In my opinion any serious money spent on equipment or lessons before they are 10 or 11 has probably not been money well spent except for a very tiny percentage of highly gifted juniors who are very mature both physically and mentally. $300 for lessons to get exposure for a kid for whom it most likely won’t matter doesn’t seem like good value - no one cares about an 8 or 9 year old prodigy (except to get the parents excited to pump them for lesson fees). Then again, there are plenty of rich people for whom money is not a limiting factor and they want to buy every advantage they can for their child - but the reality is you can’t buy a game.



    One size does not fit all and YMMV, but for 99% of kids playing golf spending lots of extra money won’t make a huge difference and is not required, even to play at a competitive college level.




    Truth. When you look at the best of the best, they usually are playing no more than 8-10 tournaments a year. Usually AJGA and Invitationals only. Many at the top don’t even get to double digits in tournaments.


    Lots of truth in the above statements. One thing that is hard to grasp when you start out in junior golf is a lot of the kids winning have parents spending a huge amount of money on stuff.



    The thing is with kids under 13 you can buy you way to the top after that it not so easy. The best pro golfers peak in their 20’s or at least I feel like that would be ideal .
  • wlmwlm Members Posts: 95 ✭✭

    CTgolf wrote:
    kekoa wrote:

    CTgolf wrote:


    Doesn’t have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don’t need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I’ve seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.




    What do you mean it doesn't have to be expensive? I guess that's all relative, but if you want to pursue golf- as in get into a D1 school and possibly go pro, I don't see how it won't be very expensive. My son is only 8 and it is expensive (for me). I can't imagine when/if he is good enough for AJGA tournaments.



    We have friends who go see $300/hr coaches for their 8-9 yr olds for no good reason. I ask them all the time what they are learning and the dad's often tell me they are paying for exposure to top level players and pros as opposed to instruction. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's their money.




    Doesn’t have to be expensive - especially for an 8 year old. I’m not sure if there even 18 hole tournaments at that age. Why spend so much on travel and tournament fees for 9 holes? Better off experiencing lots of different courses nearby, playing competitions with him or him against his friends. Teach your son course management and let him figure out stuff on his own, developing a genuine love for the game. Uneven lies, challenging weather, dealing with slow/bad players, getting out of trouble, learning to score/grind when you don’t have your best stuff that day - these are lessons that can be learned for the price of a green fee.



    In my opinion any serious money spent on equipment or lessons before they are 10 or 11 has probably not been money well spent except for a very tiny percentage of highly gifted juniors who are very mature both physically and mentally. $300 for lessons to get exposure for a kid for whom it most likely won’t matter doesn’t seem like good value - no one cares about an 8 or 9 year old prodigy (except to get the parents excited to pump them for lesson fees). Then again, there are plenty of rich people for whom money is not a limiting factor and they want to buy every advantage they can for their child - but the reality is you can’t buy a game.



    One size does not fit all and YMMV, but for 99% of kids playing golf spending lots of extra money won’t make a huge difference and is not required, even to play at a competitive college level.




    Truth. When you look at the best of the best, they usually are playing no more than 8-10 tournaments a year. Usually AJGA and Invitationals only. Many at the top don’t even get to double digits in tournaments.


    This is true, however, note that the older highest ranked juniors are also playing a few amateur events, usga events, along with the invitationals, so not all of their tournaments show up in junior rankings. And oftentimes, those inviationals are 72 hole events, so it isn't practical to play as often. My 2 cents is to stay local as much as possible at the younger ages, but to choose tournaments that offer AJGA PBE or important exemptions. That way, when your child plays well, they will have been entered into an event that offers a future benefit.
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Members Posts: 5,231 ✭✭
    Good discussion here with plenty of worthy advice. Junior golf can certainly be expensive. I'll address one component, swing instruction.



    Over the years I saw plenty wasted on high frequency lessons. One family close to us was sending their daughter for coaching 4 times per month at $200 per lesson. The instructor was/is reputable and good at his craft, but that's a ton of money and in the end the girl didnt even play collegiately, let alone get a scholarship. Talk about unnecessary overkill and a non-existent ROI!



    I think it's best to have a swing coach who provides a game plan/road map for progress that is within your budget. You should collaborate together with your junior and the coach on performance goals and technical objectives in terms of the swing itself. I dont care for coaches who dont share video, refuse to share their ideology (or dont have one) and who refuse to collaborate with parents.



    Perhaps I'm biased, as I'm a low HC player with decent knowledge of swing fundamentals, but I believe any reasonably intelligent parent with a willingness to learn and stick to the coach's plan without interfering can help his or her kid stay on track. You end up basically being a second set of eyes to check fundamentals and monitor progress. The key is to say less rather than more, and confer with the coach if your uncertain before offering advice. Easier said than done at times!



    My daughter would only see her swing coach about 4 or 5 times annually, and even less now that she's in college. One lesson per month should be more than enough for most. It usually takes at least that long to implement changes from the previous lesson.
    USGA Index: ~2

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  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,059 ✭✭
    edited Dec 17, 2018 #21
    Lots of people may disagree with me but I think the younger they are the more lessons they need. This doesn’t mean you need to have latest hottest most expensive teacher. Having said that my biggest regret was not moving to a better more expensive teacher earlier then I did.



    When a kid is young it important they learn fundamentals and that they develop habits that don’t cause injuries.

    I think once there 12 or 13 the need to see them drops off a lot. The need to play Us Kids worlds and win at 7 or 8 is a big waste to me. Spend the money on lessons and range time.



    I am also at the point where lessons hurt more then help. Only do them now if we need a second opinion. But it has taken a lot lessons to get to the point where there not needed.



    You also do not need a club membership either. I know of a few kids who only played tournament golf because it was the cheapest way to play and still do well.



    Lots of us think we need more then we do and have the money so we spend it regardless.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • BeerPerHoleBeerPerHole Members Posts: 1,166 ✭✭
    I would think that if there's a need for a lot of instruction for the swing that's a telltale sign you might not want to rule out soccer, basketball, chess... Can't imagine spending $800/month for lessons as dpb mentions above.
    Ping G400 Max, 8-degrees, tour stiff
    Mizuno JPX900 Forged irons
    Ping G400 5-wood
    Taylormade Spider blade
    Srixon Z Star
    IPA
  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,059 ✭✭
    edited Dec 17, 2018 #23


    I would think that if there's a need for a lot of instruction for the swing that's a telltale sign you might not want to rule out soccer, basketball, chess... Can't imagine spending $800/month for lessons as dpb mentions above.




    If your going to a instructor to learn how to swing your wasting your money no matter who you are. The reason to go to an instructor is to make sure there setup , grip, posture and other things are indeed correct. Also they can learn technique that will save hours of practice.



    If your kid happens to swing fast then the bigger reason is you want to prevent injuries. I can almost guarantee my daughter would have injured her back by the time she was in high school.if it wasn’t for lessons at 8 and 9 from a TPI certified coach.



    In fact the main reason we even see a teacher now is to prevent injuries. I would say keep moving up to better teachers until you can’t find a better teacher at that point stop. You also don’t need butch harmon or Jim McLean either as there are plenty of guys even on there staff who can teach just as good but costs way less.
  • JBirdUtJBirdUt Members Posts: 362 ✭✭
    As public employee, private clubs are out of my range. My daughter has played most the local munis, twilight or kids rates. Look at Youth on Course, in your area. Very affordable and hopefully has courses in your area.
  • hangontighthangontight Members Posts: 553 ✭✭
    dpb5031 wrote:


    Good discussion here with plenty of worthy advice. Junior golf can certainly be expensive. I'll address one component, swing instruction.



    Over the years I saw plenty wasted on high frequency lessons. One family close to us was sending their daughter for coaching 4 times per month at $200 per lesson. The instructor was/is reputable and good at his craft, but that's a ton of money and in the end the girl didnt even play collegiately, let alone get a scholarship. Talk about unnecessary overkill and a non-existent ROI!



    I think it's best to have a swing coach who provides a game plan/road map for progress that is within your budget. You should collaborate together with your junior and the coach on performance goals and technical objectives in terms of the swing itself. I dont care for coaches who dont share video, refuse to share their ideology (or dont have one) and who refuse to collaborate with parents.



    Perhaps I'm biased, as I'm a low HC player with decent knowledge of swing fundamentals, but I believe any reasonably intelligent parent with a willingness to learn and stick to the coach's plan without interfering can help his or her kid stay on track. You end up basically being a second set of eyes to check fundamentals and monitor progress. The key is to say less rather than more, and confer with the coach if your uncertain before offering advice. Easier said than done at times!



    My daughter would only see her swing coach about 4 or 5 times annually, and even less now that she's in college. One lesson per month should be more than enough for most. It usually takes at least that long to implement changes from the previous lesson.




    More great advice from a guy who has been there- done that. dpb5031 , Thanks for your always thoughtful input. This forum is always better for it!
  • BeerPerHoleBeerPerHole Members Posts: 1,166 ✭✭
    tiger1873 wrote:



    I would think that if there's a need for a lot of instruction for the swing that's a telltale sign you might not want to rule out soccer, basketball, chess... Can't imagine spending $800/month for lessons as dpb mentions above.




    If your going to a instructor to learn how to swing your wasting your money no matter who you are. The reason to go to an instructor is to make sure there setup , grip, posture and other things are indeed correct. Also they can learn technique that will save hours of practice.



    If your kid happens to swing fast then the bigger reason is you want to prevent injuries. I can almost guarantee my daughter would have injured her back by the time she was in high school.if it wasn't for lessons at 8 and 9 from a TPI certified coach.



    In fact the main reason we even see a teacher now is to prevent injuries. I would say keep moving up to better teachers until you can't find a better teacher at that point stop. You also don't need butch harmon or Jim McLean either as there are plenty of guys even on there staff who can teach just as good but costs way less.
    I agree. Note that I said "a lot". The occasional checkup, or whatever, sure. I'm the kind of dolt who actually needed a lot of lessons. I have no future in the game, other than maybe mowing the fairways. My son, on the other hand - two instructors we've seen won't touch his swing. Totally different animal. Reminds me of one of my favorite Clint lines..."A man's gotta know his limitations." And, best of luck to your daughter with her game...
    Ping G400 Max, 8-degrees, tour stiff
    Mizuno JPX900 Forged irons
    Ping G400 5-wood
    Taylormade Spider blade
    Srixon Z Star
    IPA
  • TigerMomTigerMom Members Posts: 214 ✭✭
    kekoa wrote:

    CTgolf wrote:


    Doesn’t have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don’t need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I’ve seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.




    What do you mean it doesn't have to be expensive? I guess that's all relative, but if you want to pursue golf- as in get into a D1 school and possibly go pro, I don't see how it won't be very expensive. My son is only 8 and it is expensive (for me). I can't imagine when/if he is good enough for AJGA tournaments.



    We have friends who go see $300/hr coaches for their 8-9 yr olds for no good reason. I ask them all the time what they are learning and the dad's often tell me they are paying for exposure to top level players and pros as opposed to instruction. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's their money.




    K,



    Spend more money and time on E and S and not just on B



    Better ROI



    IMHO



    TM
  • iteachgolfiteachgolf Members Posts: 16,778 ✭✭
    edited Dec 18, 2018 #28
    I advise parents of kids 8-12 around 4 lessons a year and kids age 13+ every 4-6 weeks. I teach some more frequently than that but we work on the course and shortgame when there’s more than one lesson a month





    I recommend 10-15 events a year plus Invitationals and USGA events for high school aged players
  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,098 ✭✭
    kekoa wrote:

    TigerMom wrote:

    kekoa wrote:

    CTgolf wrote:


    Doesn't have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don't need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I've seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.




    What do you mean it doesn't have to be expensive? I guess that's all relative, but if you want to pursue golf- as in get into a D1 school and possibly go pro, I don't see how it won't be very expensive. My son is only 8 and it is expensive (for me). I can't imagine when/if he is good enough for AJGA tournaments.



    We have friends who go see $300/hr coaches for their 8-9 yr olds for no good reason. I ask them all the time what they are learning and the dad's often tell me they are paying for exposure to top level players and pros as opposed to instruction. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's their money.




    K,



    Spend more money and time on E and S and not just on B



    Better ROI



    IMHO



    TM





    TigerMom your wife?
  • kekoakekoa ClubWRX Posts: 8,905 ClubWRX

    kekoa wrote:

    TigerMom wrote:

    kekoa wrote:

    CTgolf wrote:


    Doesn't have to be too expensive, especially if a parent has some technical knowledge of the swing and is generally a student of the game and can teach the basics while monitoring for bigger issues that need professional assistance.



    I personally think young kids take too many lessons, especially if they have the general fundamentals in place. Their swings will change a lot as they get older and you certainly don't need to pay instructors to babysit your kid while they watch them hit balls. Swing lessons are only worth it if the child is mature enough to pay attention without getting distracted, control emotions, understand/receive instruction and respond accordingly, I've seen so many lessons where parents drop off their kid with the club or local pro and not even watch what is being taught, and the instructor is not making great use of the time. Very suboptimal.



    In my opinion the biggest expense is the time parents have to spend taking kids to lessons, practice, tournaments and supervising them. As stated above if you want to get the most out of instruction parents have to be present and stay engaged.



    Economies of scale by having siblings play same tournaments and practice/play together can also help decrease annual cost per child. Instruction-wise, booking an hour with a really good instructor and having 2 siblings do 30 minutes each once every 2 weeks or so seems like a good way to fine tune periodically while making efficient use of time and money spent.




    What do you mean it doesn't have to be expensive? I guess that's all relative, but if you want to pursue golf- as in get into a D1 school and possibly go pro, I don't see how it won't be very expensive. My son is only 8 and it is expensive (for me). I can't imagine when/if he is good enough for AJGA tournaments.



    We have friends who go see $300/hr coaches for their 8-9 yr olds for no good reason. I ask them all the time what they are learning and the dad's often tell me they are paying for exposure to top level players and pros as opposed to instruction. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's their money.




    K,



    Spend more money and time on E and S and not just on B



    Better ROI



    IMHO



    TM





    TigerMom your wife?




    Ummm... NO



    I wouldn't even wish that upon you or Leezer
  • hangontighthangontight Members Posts: 553 ✭✭
    I keep out of the drama but this(above) put me on the floor image/rofl.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':rofl:' /> . LOL. You all should all meet in person in 2019.
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