How to start tournaments well

My 6YO gets nervous and messes up at the beginning in every tournament. We’ve played about 10 local events so far and I notice he doesn’t get going until the 3rd or so hole. I’ve tried from getting him to the course an hour early to warm up (small bucket, chip, and then putt) to doing a full 2 hour practice session before the game. His first few shots are always wild, he would slice, hit the ground, thin it over the green, or even miss the ball completely. At the most recent USKG local event he started with a triple bogey on the 1st hole, but managed to finish in 37 strokes (+1). If he’s going to break par or be competitive at higher level events he’s going to have to get this sorted. Anyone have experience dealing with this side of the game for juniors? Thanks

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  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,011 ✭✭

    He is 6 you are lucky he can get though 9 holes. If I was you I would concentrate and him having fun playing tournaments. Make it something that they can look forward to. Consider it social golf with other kids at a young age. If he eventually does well do higher bigger events.

    Lots of parents get to serious too soon. There is a time a place just save money and have fun.

  • Palmetto GolferPalmetto Golfer Posts: 151 ✭✭
    edited Apr 15, 2019 12:43pm #4

    My son has dealt with some serious anxiety issues over the last year and a half. When I say serious, I mean pulling to the side of the road multiple times on the way to the tournament so that he could throw up. He is much better now but we had to get some help with it. Kid puts a ton of pressure on himself so I am always looking for ways to diffuse it.

    2 years ago at Worlds he is on on the first tee and I could see the anxiety on his face. So I whispered in his ear..."When you tee off...don't faart because everyone is going to hear it!!". That got him to laugh and he went on to birdie the first hole. Pulling up funny youtube videos as we walk to the first tee helps as well.

  • darter79darter79 Members Posts: 682 ✭✭

    He is 6 they are very up and down at 6 best thing you can do is practice the opening tee shot as part of the warm up. I would expect that. Shooting +1 with a triple is a great feat in itself. A lot of golfers take a bit to get their round going. And as for warm up I've seen my daughter flush it on the range only to see that she left all her good ones out there. I've seen days where she has no nothing on there range and would have a great ball striking day. Warm up is what it sounds like just to loosen up the body.

  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,003 ✭✭

    @Palmetto Golfer said:
    My son has dealt with some serious anxiety issues over the last year and a half. When I say serious, I mean pulling to the side of the road multiple times on the way to the tournament so that he could throw up. He is much better now but we had to get some help with it. Kid puts a ton of pressure on himself so I am always looking for ways to diffuse it.

    2 years ago at Worlds he is on on the first tee and I could see the anxiety on his face. So I whispered in his ear..."When you tee off...don't faart because everyone is going to hear it!!". That got him to laugh and he went on to birdie the first hole. Pulling up funny youtube videos as we walk to the first tee helps as well.

    Funny.... My kid used to get anxiety issues as well. First time we went to Pinehurst they were horrible. He would breathe heavy and pant. They continued for about a year and he finally got used to it. I remember being in Naples several months later and giving him bathroom humor for the first tee. He walked up nervous to his ball, looked at me and smile then ripped one down the middle. I don't even remember what I said, but remember it was something about farting or some bathroom type humor.

  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,003 ✭✭

    @Kcct82 said:
    My 6YO gets nervous and messes up at the beginning in every tournament. We’ve played about 10 local events so far and I notice he doesn’t get going until the 3rd or so hole. I’ve tried from getting him to the course an hour early to warm up (small bucket, chip, and then putt) to doing a full 2 hour practice session before the game. His first few shots are always wild, he would slice, hit the ground, thin it over the green, or even miss the ball completely. At the most recent USKG local event he started with a triple bogey on the 1st hole, but managed to finish in 37 strokes (+1). If he’s going to break par or be competitive at higher level events he’s going to have to get this sorted. Anyone have experience dealing with this side of the game for juniors? Thanks

    Don't focus on score. Way to young. He will figure it out.

  • wildcatdenwildcatden China Cat Sunflower Members Posts: 827 ✭✭

    @Kcct82 said:
    My 6YO gets nervous and messes up at the beginning in every tournament. We’ve played about 10 local events so far and I notice he doesn’t get going until the 3rd or so hole. I’ve tried from getting him to the course an hour early to warm up (small bucket, chip, and then putt) to doing a full 2 hour practice session before the game. His first few shots are always wild, he would slice, hit the ground, thin it over the green, or even miss the ball completely. At the most recent USKG local event he started with a triple bogey on the 1st hole, but managed to finish in 37 strokes (+1). If he’s going to break par or be competitive at higher level events he’s going to have to get this sorted. Anyone have experience dealing with this side of the game for juniors? Thanks

    This why you need to get a mental coach/sports psychologist as soon as possible. Or you could just focus on having fun since he is 6 years old. One gets pricey. The other is free (excluding tournament fee).

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