Calling all Parents of Junior Girls

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  • killer21killer21 Killer Members Posts: 104 ✭✭✭
    Not sure where you are in the world and your means to travel but U.S. Kids Golf has international events and has been great for my 7 Year Old.

    We are from Canada and have a local Niagara Tour which recently hosted the Canadian Invitational.

    The U7 Girls division was attended by 3 girls from U.S. and my daughter (4 total in the flight). It was a great learning eye opening experience to how good the competition was and what kind of work we have to do moving forward. She finished 4th of 4 to some of the top girls I would say in the world as the girl who won finished top 3 at the Pinehurst World Under 7 Championships and the other 2 girls also competed at Pinehurst Worlds by U.S. Kids.

    It was a great experience playing against the U.S. girls and showed us how we stack up. Might be worth checking out if any international events come near you are in Ireland. We met some great people too.
    Ping I15 8* Fubuki Tour
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  • mcneergolfmcneergolf Members Posts: 25
    New here as well much interested in reading and hearing others info.. Here has been my take so far and questions. My daughter picked up a club at 8 after watching "the short game" on netflix. Taking her to scrambles with me, playing on the course/driving range first year,look for junior clinics in your area, some lessons every now and then. We entered a few local tournaments where she was the only girl and sometimes one other in her age group and really kind of felt the same way (and coach confirmed) she needs to be with more peers to really enjoy the game. So we started traveling 2 hours to the US kids events where there are more girls her age. Another good avenue we have found for her is the LPGA Girls Golf association. Membership is like 15 dollars and they put on clinics and fun activities with all girls of various ages and she really enjoys that...



    She can smash a driver and when 8 hit two drives in Drive Chip Putt that measured 175yds and 178 yds and she made it to the regionals last year.

    However, she has struggled with two things one I am not sure how to overcome. Short game has been a challenge and very frustrating.. almost driving greens at uskids and then takes 5 or 6 more strokes to get in the hole. Either 2 chips or 3+ putts and believe me we have worked and worked and worked on short game. I am hoping it is something that will click with a little maturity(just turned 10 last week) . The biggest challenge has been mental game. She is very hard on herself and while I try to be fully supportive and put no pressure on her to win there are some days I just cant take it anymore lol. She has tasted victory to some extent and doesn't like to lose. Often in a round she will be doing great even leading and then about that 4th or 5th hole will have a disaster hole. 8 or worse..

    She falls apart.. starts almost crying.. loses all focus and then takes 2 or three holes for me to get her to recover all while I am about ready to yank her off the course. She knows not to slam clubs or be mean to anyone(except me) or I would but its hard to get her back into it after that and of course its my fault. This went on for basically the last 4 tournaments we played. I almost rather not caddie for her because of the conflict and she shot her record low in a tournament with the coach caddying. We thought about taking a break and we have somewhat but its not something she wants to give up on either. I only let her initiate a practice or tournament now and am encouraging her into other sports. I don't want her to burnout! First tournament of the fall this weekend though so any suggestions prior would be great on how you deal or dealt with that..



    You can find us both on twitter @McNeerGolf
  • TimberBeastTimberBeast Members Posts: 38
    edited Aug 26, 2016 #184
    mcneergolf wrote:


    New here as well much interested in reading and hearing others info.. Here has been my take so far and questions. My daughter picked up a club at 8 after watching "the short game" on netflix. Taking her to scrambles with me, playing on the course/driving range first year,look for junior clinics in your area, some lessons every now and then. We entered a few local tournaments where she was the only girl and sometimes one other in her age group and really kind of felt the same way (and coach confirmed) she needs to be with more peers to really enjoy the game. So we started traveling 2 hours to the US kids events where there are more girls her age. Another good avenue we have found for her is the LPGA Girls Golf association. Membership is like 15 dollars and they put on clinics and fun activities with all girls of various ages and she really enjoys that...



    She can smash a driver and when 8 hit two drives in Drive Chip Putt that measured 175yds and 178 yds and she made it to the regionals last year.

    However, she has struggled with two things one I am not sure how to overcome. Short game has been a challenge and very frustrating.. almost driving greens at uskids and then takes 5 or 6 more strokes to get in the hole. Either 2 chips or 3+ putts and believe me we have worked and worked and worked on short game. I am hoping it is something that will click with a little maturity(just turned 10 last week) . The biggest challenge has been mental game. She is very hard on herself and while I try to be fully supportive and put no pressure on her to win there are some days I just cant take it anymore lol. She has tasted victory to some extent and doesn't like to lose. Often in a round she will be doing great even leading and then about that 4th or 5th hole will have a disaster hole. 8 or worse..

    She falls apart.. starts almost crying.. loses all focus and then takes 2 or three holes for me to get her to recover all while I am about ready to yank her off the course. She knows not to slam clubs or be mean to anyone(except me) or I would but its hard to get her back into it after that and of course its my fault. This went on for basically the last 4 tournaments we played. I almost rather not caddie for her because of the conflict and she shot her record low in a tournament with the coach caddying. We thought about taking a break and we have somewhat but its not something she wants to give up on either. I only let her initiate a practice or tournament now and am encouraging her into other sports. I don't want her to burnout! First tournament of the fall this weekend though so any suggestions prior would be great on how you deal or dealt with that..



    You can find us both on twitter @McNeerGolf




    Man this made me laugh, I could have written this exact post about my daughter a year ago. McNeer I see you are from MS, we are too, we are on the Coast. We have a US Kids local tour here now so we do that sometimes, there are a couple good girls in my daughter's age group from Louisiana and Mississippi that she has made friends with that do the tournaments so they are good for us. My daughter is 11, we were actually thinking about letting her play up this fall to get her used to walking 18 holes, but there are a few posts here that have me rethinking that. Like pretty much every other post in this thread, my daughter pretty much has no girls to play with at our club, especially that are on her level, so the US Kids is good.



    You should also look at MJGA (Mississippi Junior Golf Association) next year. There is one more tournament this year in October in Jackson that we will definitely do. Check out http://www.missgolf.org/juniorschedule. One of the best on that tour is the Greenville tournament in May / June. We have done it the last couple years and it is outstanding, they really do everything they can for the kids. We do have a few other junior golfers in the state our daughter's age that are good, but they are all spread out, so the MJGA tournaments are fun and they get to catch up with each other. Hopefully next year we will start looking at the Southern Junior Golf Tour, but it's 36 holes so will have to get ready for that.



    On the attitude stuff, my daughter used to do the exact same thing, I mean word for word of what you described. One shot would get her mad, she usually would recover pretty quick, but it drove me crazy (and we still go through it sometimes but not as bad). I was always teetering between yanking her off the course and wanting to hug her at the same time because I felt sorry for her. Like you said, I didn't even want to caddie sometimes. The funny thing is we put zero pressure on her, it's all her. She has told me before that I am too positive! She plays tennis, golf, basketball, and softball so like you said, I am very big on her playing other sports. I think that is very important to take the pressure off golf. At her age my biggest fear is burn out. As she is maturing a little bit more, she is starting to cool down a little bit, but I know exactly what you are going through.



    Anyway, message me if you ever need anything, we have been doing the tournament stuff in MS for a couple years now so I'm getting more familiar with what's out there. I am sure we will cross paths sometime. I am very glad to hear of another golfer in the state that will be in their age group.
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Jupiter, FLMembers Posts: 5,366 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting that some of you are seeing your young ones exhibit frustration and putting pressure on themselves. My daughter was the opposite. Maybe a little nervous when she was younger about playing in bigger stuff, but no real anxiety or stress about her play/performance. She just went out and played and won a number of events because the older girls would fall apart in tough conditions or on a difficult course. I don't think my kid knew what was hard or what was easy at that age and it worked to her benefit.



    She's 17 now and verbally committed to play D1 golf on scholarship. You'd think the pressure would be off and that she'd be playing great. In actuality, combined with a planned change in her back swing/take-away, she's mostly played (mostly) worse since committing. She's become too results oriented and has let a few rounds get away from her once she started going bad. In the end, the results have been worse even though her total skill set including length/power and short game are better than ever. Fortunately things have begun to come around in her most recent events. The bottom line is being in a good emotional state and having a strong mental game are as important as swing fundamentals!



    No two kids are the same, and every journey will be different! There's no perfect recipe for developing young golfers, in spite of what Earl Woods might have led some to believe.
    USGA Index: ~1

    WITB:
    Ping G410 LST 9 degree - Tour AD IZ 6x
    Taylormade M2 Tour 15 Fujikura Pro TourSpec 73 
    Kasco K2K 33 - UST Axivcore 65 Tour Green 
    Callaway RazrX Tour 4h - Tour 95 shaft
    Ping i200 5-UW (2 flat) - Nippon Modus 105X
    Taylormade HiToe 54 (bent to 55 & 2 flat)
    Taylormade HiToe 64 (Bent to 62 & 2 flat)
    Palmer AP30R putter (circa 1960s)
    Taylormade TP5X Ball
  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,242 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    dpb5031 wrote:


    Interesting that some of you are seeing your young ones exhibit frustration and putting pressure on themselves. My daughter was the opposite. Maybe a little nervous when she was younger about playing in bigger stuff, but no real anxiety or stress about her play/performance. She just went out and played and won a number of events because the older girls would fall apart in tough conditions or on a difficult course. I don't think my kid knew what was hard or what was easy at that age and it worked to her benefit.



    She's 17 now and verbally committed to play D1 golf on scholarship. You'd think the pressure would be off and that she'd be playing great. In actuality, combined with a planned change in her back swing/take-away, she's mostly played (mostly) worse since committing. She's become too results oriented and has let a few rounds get away from her once she started going bad. In the end, the results have been worse even though her total skill set including length/power and short game are better than ever. Fortunately things have begun to come around in her most recent events. The bottom line is being in a good emotional state and having a strong mental game are as important as swing fundamentals!



    No two kids are the same, and every journey will be different! There's no perfect recipe for developing young golfers, in spite of what Earl Woods might have led some to believe.




    My daughter is exactly like yours.



    I thought I was reading my own posts reading McNeer and Timber when it comes to my son.
  • twounderpartwounderpar Members Posts: 17
    mcneergolf wrote:


    New here as well much interested in reading and hearing others info.. Here has been my take so far and questions. My daughter picked up a club at 8 after watching "the short game" on netflix. Taking her to scrambles with me, playing on the course/driving range first year,look for junior clinics in your area, some lessons every now and then. We entered a few local tournaments where she was the only girl and sometimes one other in her age group and really kind of felt the same way (and coach confirmed) she needs to be with more peers to really enjoy the game. So we started traveling 2 hours to the US kids events where there are more girls her age. Another good avenue we have found for her is the LPGA Girls Golf association. Membership is like 15 dollars and they put on clinics and fun activities with all girls of various ages and she really enjoys that...



    She can smash a driver and when 8 hit two drives in Drive Chip Putt that measured 175yds and 178 yds and she made it to the regionals last year.

    However, she has struggled with two things one I am not sure how to overcome. Short game has been a challenge and very frustrating.. almost driving greens at uskids and then takes 5 or 6 more strokes to get in the hole. Either 2 chips or 3+ putts and believe me we have worked and worked and worked on short game. I am hoping it is something that will click with a little maturity(just turned 10 last week) . The biggest challenge has been mental game. She is very hard on herself and while I try to be fully supportive and put no pressure on her to win there are some days I just cant take it anymore lol. She has tasted victory to some extent and doesn't like to lose. Often in a round she will be doing great even leading and then about that 4th or 5th hole will have a disaster hole. 8 or worse..

    She falls apart.. starts almost crying.. loses all focus and then takes 2 or three holes for me to get her to recover all while I am about ready to yank her off the course. She knows not to slam clubs or be mean to anyone(except me) or I would but its hard to get her back into it after that and of course its my fault. This went on for basically the last 4 tournaments we played. I almost rather not caddie for her because of the conflict and she shot her record low in a tournament with the coach caddying. We thought about taking a break and we have somewhat but its not something she wants to give up on either. I only let her initiate a practice or tournament now and am encouraging her into other sports. I don't want her to burnout! First tournament of the fall this weekend though so any suggestions prior would be great on how you deal or dealt with that..



    You can find us both on twitter @McNeerGolf






    My daughter went through a very similar experience as yours when she was 9 or 10. Moments of panic led to 4 putts from say 30 feet. Eventually grew out of it. The good thing was these episodes did not discourage her from competition. We dealt with her stress by encouraging her to enjoy the competition, regardless of the results. It mostly worked but not always. Almost every round, we could anticipate when there would be a meltdown if she was doing well. All we could do was to focus on the positive aspects of a round and push the reset button if the overall round was poor. We did, however, let her control the frequency of tournament participation; luckily she always wanted more of it. That was 10 years ago. Allowing her to play other sports competitively really helped release stress from just one sport. Eventually, of course, she had to drop all the other ones by age 15 to concentrate on golf. She's now a junior at a D1 school, enjoying the hectic life of a student-athlete.



    Good luck and ENJOY THE JOURNEY. It goes REALLY FAST.
  • mcneergolfmcneergolf Members Posts: 25

    mcneergolf wrote:


    New here as well much interested in reading and hearing others info.. Here has been my take so far and questions. My daughter picked up a club at 8 after watching "the short game" on netflix. Taking her to scrambles with me, playing on the course/driving range first year,look for junior clinics in your area, some lessons every now and then. We entered a few local tournaments where she was the only girl and sometimes one other in her age group and really kind of felt the same way (and coach confirmed) she needs to be with more peers to really enjoy the game. So we started traveling 2 hours to the US kids events where there are more girls her age. Another good avenue we have found for her is the LPGA Girls Golf association. Membership is like 15 dollars and they put on clinics and fun activities with all girls of various ages and she really enjoys that...



    She can smash a driver and when 8 hit two drives in Drive Chip Putt that measured 175yds and 178 yds and she made it to the regionals last year.

    However, she has struggled with two things one I am not sure how to overcome. Short game has been a challenge and very frustrating.. almost driving greens at uskids and then takes 5 or 6 more strokes to get in the hole. Either 2 chips or 3+ putts and believe me we have worked and worked and worked on short game. I am hoping it is something that will click with a little maturity(just turned 10 last week) . The biggest challenge has been mental game. She is very hard on herself and while I try to be fully supportive and put no pressure on her to win there are some days I just cant take it anymore lol. She has tasted victory to some extent and doesn't like to lose. Often in a round she will be doing great even leading and then about that 4th or 5th hole will have a disaster hole. 8 or worse..

    She falls apart.. starts almost crying.. loses all focus and then takes 2 or three holes for me to get her to recover all while I am about ready to yank her off the course. She knows not to slam clubs or be mean to anyone(except me) or I would but its hard to get her back into it after that and of course its my fault. This went on for basically the last 4 tournaments we played. I almost rather not caddie for her because of the conflict and she shot her record low in a tournament with the coach caddying. We thought about taking a break and we have somewhat but its not something she wants to give up on either. I only let her initiate a practice or tournament now and am encouraging her into other sports. I don't want her to burnout! First tournament of the fall this weekend though so any suggestions prior would be great on how you deal or dealt with that..



    You can find us both on twitter @McNeerGolf






    My daughter went through a very similar experience as yours when she was 9 or 10. Moments of panic led to 4 putts from say 30 feet. Eventually grew out of it. The good thing was these episodes did not discourage her from competition. We dealt with her stress by encouraging her to enjoy the competition, regardless of the results. It mostly worked but not always. Almost every round, we could anticipate when there would be a meltdown if she was doing well. All we could do was to focus on the positive aspects of a round and push the reset button if the overall round was poor. We did, however, let her control the frequency of tournament participation; luckily she always wanted more of it. That was 10 years ago. Allowing her to play other sports competitively really helped release stress from just one sport. Eventually, of course, she had to drop all the other ones by age 15 to concentrate on golf. She's now a junior at a D1 school, enjoying the hectic life of a student-athlete.



    Good luck and ENJOY THE JOURNEY. It goes REALLY FAST.




    Great to hear the replies and know that we are not alone in this and there is hope!!



    We have almost thought maybe we should see some kind of sports psychologist or something of that nature. Looking back there are two things that may or may not have contributed that I would probably do over. One was making it to the regionals of DCP at 8. At the regionals, the meltdown came after first drives were OB and drive score was low. Then it got worse from there with her worst performance at the event. Also, I think it put a lot of pressure on her to make it again this year. Both wife and I were almost relieved she didn't make it through the local this year and one comment she made also made me think that it was pressure for her to repeat. The second thing was we had told her we might possibly go to US Kids World one day but she would have to qualify which was a 46 for her age group. I think in tournaments when she saw she was in danger of not hitting that score it was meltdown time. So we said forget that for now and we will reconsider in future years but its still in her head i'm sure.. Will find out this weekend lol



    I can always improve also and it is hard for me (whose only caddying) not to show my emotions as well but I am working on it! Look forward to hearing all of the stories here and I still have a million questions for new topics



    TimberBeast,

    We are from north MS and close to Memphis. Up here is USJGT which are 2 days events and is really good for JR high to High school but not so much young girls. We also play Sneds tour in the Summer time and it had a good turnout of younger girls but its only summer. There are no US kids here so our choices are Nashville (3 hours) ,Little Rock (2.5hrs) and I have looked at MJGA but they are typically 3 hours away(Jackson). I will definitely look into the Greenville one next year and maybe the Oct one!
  • RiddleyscottRiddleyscott Members Posts: 5
    Hi,

    This must be a problem with most of our daughters. My daughter take her golf very serious and when she has one bad hole it is if her world is about to fall apart. I found talking to her helps a little and trying to let her know that it is just a game and nobody has died, but I have also noticed as she is getting a little more mature the melt downs are not as bad. My wife puts her mood swings down to the age she is at now. I would recommend letting you daughter play as many other sports at a young age and not just golf, my daughter plays gaelic football which is quite physical at under 12 & 14 level and this helps. She is also playing soccer and dose outdoor actives with the scouts.



    As I don't live in the States can you tell me what a D1 school is?



    Just wondering are some of the members of your local club putting pressure on your daughters if they show some potential, I have noticed this in our club with some of the lady members as my daughter is the youngest lady member playing competitions, I know they don't mean anything by it but I notice my daughter is going out to prove these people right all the time.
  • twounderpartwounderpar Members Posts: 17
    mcneergolf wrote:


    mcneergolf wrote:


    New here as well much interested in reading and hearing others info.. Here has been my take so far and questions. My daughter picked up a club at 8 after watching "the short game" on netflix. Taking her to scrambles with me, playing on the course/driving range first year,look for junior clinics in your area, some lessons every now and then. We entered a few local tournaments where she was the only girl and sometimes one other in her age group and really kind of felt the same way (and coach confirmed) she needs to be with more peers to really enjoy the game. So we started traveling 2 hours to the US kids events where there are more girls her age. Another good avenue we have found for her is the LPGA Girls Golf association. Membership is like 15 dollars and they put on clinics and fun activities with all girls of various ages and she really enjoys that...



    She can smash a driver and when 8 hit two drives in Drive Chip Putt that measured 175yds and 178 yds and she made it to the regionals last year.

    However, she has struggled with two things one I am not sure how to overcome. Short game has been a challenge and very frustrating.. almost driving greens at uskids and then takes 5 or 6 more strokes to get in the hole. Either 2 chips or 3+ putts and believe me we have worked and worked and worked on short game. I am hoping it is something that will click with a little maturity(just turned 10 last week) . The biggest challenge has been mental game. She is very hard on herself and while I try to be fully supportive and put no pressure on her to win there are some days I just cant take it anymore lol. She has tasted victory to some extent and doesn't like to lose. Often in a round she will be doing great even leading and then about that 4th or 5th hole will have a disaster hole. 8 or worse..

    She falls apart.. starts almost crying.. loses all focus and then takes 2 or three holes for me to get her to recover all while I am about ready to yank her off the course. She knows not to slam clubs or be mean to anyone(except me) or I would but its hard to get her back into it after that and of course its my fault. This went on for basically the last 4 tournaments we played. I almost rather not caddie for her because of the conflict and she shot her record low in a tournament with the coach caddying. We thought about taking a break and we have somewhat but its not something she wants to give up on either. I only let her initiate a practice or tournament now and am encouraging her into other sports. I don't want her to burnout! First tournament of the fall this weekend though so any suggestions prior would be great on how you deal or dealt with that..



    You can find us both on twitter @McNeerGolf






    My daughter went through a very similar experience as yours when she was 9 or 10. Moments of panic led to 4 putts from say 30 feet. Eventually grew out of it. The good thing was these episodes did not discourage her from competition. We dealt with her stress by encouraging her to enjoy the competition, regardless of the results. It mostly worked but not always. Almost every round, we could anticipate when there would be a meltdown if she was doing well. All we could do was to focus on the positive aspects of a round and push the reset button if the overall round was poor. We did, however, let her control the frequency of tournament participation; luckily she always wanted more of it. That was 10 years ago. Allowing her to play other sports competitively really helped release stress from just one sport. Eventually, of course, she had to drop all the other ones by age 15 to concentrate on golf. She's now a junior at a D1 school, enjoying the hectic life of a student-athlete.



    Good luck and ENJOY THE JOURNEY. It goes REALLY FAST.




    Great to hear the replies and know that we are not alone in this and there is hope!!



    We have almost thought maybe we should see some kind of sports psychologist or something of that nature. Looking back there are two things that may or may not have contributed that I would probably do over. One was making it to the regionals of DCP at 8. At the regionals, the meltdown came after first drives were OB and drive score was low. Then it got worse from there with her worst performance at the event. Also, I think it put a lot of pressure on her to make it again this year. Both wife and I were almost relieved she didn't make it through the local this year and one comment she made also made me think that it was pressure for her to repeat. The second thing was we had told her we might possibly go to US Kids World one day but she would have to qualify which was a 46 for her age group. I think in tournaments when she saw she was in danger of not hitting that score it was meltdown time. So we said forget that for now and we will reconsider in future years but its still in her head i'm sure.. Will find out this weekend lol




    Funny, took my daughter to the Golf Channel regionals in Denver when she was 10. Did well until she three putted the 15 footer. We "celebrated" by gorging ourselves on sushi that night. Never forget it. Also did the US Kids Worlds a couple of times, together with Jr Worlds. Wonderful experiences if your daughter can handle the pressure and disappointment of not finishing high (Good players shoot under par there). Feeling pressure from external sources doesn't end with just being young. At 15 or 16 years old, my daughter would feel pressure from college recruiting every time she shot a high round. You just have to help her manage her expectations.



    Ridley, D1 is NCAA Division I. There are also DII and III and NAIA. All are umbrella college sports organizations.
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Jupiter, FLMembers Posts: 5,366 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi,

    This must be a problem with most of our daughters. My daughter take her golf very serious and when she has one bad hole it is if her world is about to fall apart. I found talking to her helps a little and trying to let her know that it is just a game and nobody has died, but I have also noticed as she is getting a little more mature the melt downs are not as bad. My wife puts her mood swings down to the age she is at now. I would recommend letting you daughter play as many other sports at a young age and not just golf, my daughter plays gaelic football which is quite physical at under 12 & 14 level and this helps. She is also playing soccer and dose outdoor actives with the scouts.



    As I don't live in the States can you tell me what a D1 school is?



    Just wondering are some of the members of your local club putting pressure on your daughters if they show some potential, I have noticed this in our club with some of the lady members as my daughter is the youngest lady member playing competitions, I know they don't mean anything by it but I notice my daughter is going out to prove these people right all the time.




    The members at our club have been overwhelmingly supportive of my daughter and very interested in tracking her progress. It's funny, but even though they're close to the sport, most have very little knowledge of what it takes to have a kid competing at the highest levels of junior golf. I think at times,knowing that so many people are going to be looking at your results, has added pressure. I'm truly thankful however, that we belong to a club with a membership that is very junior friendly and supportive of kid's golf.
    USGA Index: ~1

    WITB:
    Ping G410 LST 9 degree - Tour AD IZ 6x
    Taylormade M2 Tour 15 Fujikura Pro TourSpec 73 
    Kasco K2K 33 - UST Axivcore 65 Tour Green 
    Callaway RazrX Tour 4h - Tour 95 shaft
    Ping i200 5-UW (2 flat) - Nippon Modus 105X
    Taylormade HiToe 54 (bent to 55 & 2 flat)
    Taylormade HiToe 64 (Bent to 62 & 2 flat)
    Palmer AP30R putter (circa 1960s)
    Taylormade TP5X Ball
  • 4jag4jag Members Posts: 89
    edited Dec 9, 2016 #192
    dpb5031 wrote:


    . She strikes the ball well but is taking way too many putts per round (mid to high thirties), mostly due to poor lag putting. We put all of her tournament scores into the GHIN system. Her current handicap index is 4.2 and her scoring average is 79.6. If her putting comes around she should easily be able to drop 3 strokes off of her average.




    Wow this sounds familiar - you are describing my HS Junior aged Daughter exactly , right down to the HCP and scoring average.
    Forever trapped between single digit and trunk slammer.
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Jupiter, FLMembers Posts: 5,366 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Hello all, I'm glad to see this thread is still alive. I just re-read through most of it and there's a lot of good info here. I suppose time really does fly...I started this topic nearly 5 years ago!



    My daughter is in her final year of HS and recently signed her NLI to play NCAA D1 golf on a full athletic scholarship. Heavy_hitter has been a valuable contributor here and his daughter recently did the same. It's been quite the journey!



    I will post some photos and some more details when I get the time. Thanks to all who have posted and best of luck to you and your daughters!
    USGA Index: ~1

    WITB:
    Ping G410 LST 9 degree - Tour AD IZ 6x
    Taylormade M2 Tour 15 Fujikura Pro TourSpec 73 
    Kasco K2K 33 - UST Axivcore 65 Tour Green 
    Callaway RazrX Tour 4h - Tour 95 shaft
    Ping i200 5-UW (2 flat) - Nippon Modus 105X
    Taylormade HiToe 54 (bent to 55 & 2 flat)
    Taylormade HiToe 64 (Bent to 62 & 2 flat)
    Palmer AP30R putter (circa 1960s)
    Taylormade TP5X Ball
  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,242 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    dpb5031 wrote:


    Hello all, I'm glad to see this thread is still alive. I just re-read through most of it and there's a lot of good info here. I suppose time really does fly...I started this topic nearly 5 years ago!



    My daughter is in her final year of HS and recently signed her NLI to play NCAA D1 golf on a full athletic scholarship. Heavy_hitter has been a valuable contributor here and his daughter recently did the same. It's been quite the journey!



    I will post some photos and some more details when I get the time. Thanks to all who have posted and best of luck to you and your daughters!




    It has been a ton of fun. Hard to believe our kids will be in the same state playing D1 golf at different schools next year.
  • 4jag4jag Members Posts: 89
    dpb5031 wrote:


    Hello all, I'm glad to see this thread is still alive. I just re-read through most of it and there's a lot of good info here. I suppose time really does fly...I started this topic nearly 5 years ago!



    My daughter is in her final year of HS and recently signed her NLI to play NCAA D1 golf on a full athletic scholarship. Heavy_hitter has been a valuable contributor here and his daughter recently did the same. It's been quite the journey!



    I will post some photos and some more details when I get the time. Thanks to all who have posted and best of luck to you and your daughters!
    Thank-you for all of the valuable insight and congrats to you daughter!
    Forever trapped between single digit and trunk slammer.
  • mcneergolfmcneergolf Members Posts: 25
    Congrats to you guys and your daughters accomplishments! Just a update on mine. We played in the US kids Fall tour (10-11) in Little Rock this year and we focused on positive attitudes and good emotions before anything else. Told her didn't care of score, what place she finished or whether she qualified for World's. She shot 51/56/45/49 with a cool head and good attitude for every round which was a good improvement from the summer. Some bad shots got mad but quickly shrugged it off. We also did not practice very much because of soccer but the short game was much more consistent which made a difference in scores. The 45 qualified her for priority status and unlocks to the state and regional tournaments and possible World's. Since we were only able to play 4 out of 8 for the tour it was just blue priority status but we will take it and she was so proud of herself. Her goal for Worlds is to finish within 70th place, which might be a reasonable goal and I think we are going to go this year if blue can get in! Now I have a 100 questions about all that for another topic lol
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Jupiter, FLMembers Posts: 5,366 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    mcneergolf wrote:


    Congrats to you guys and your daughters accomplishments! Just a update on mine. We played in the US kids Fall tour (10-11) in Little Rock this year and we focused on positive attitudes and good emotions before anything else. Told her didn't care of score, what place she finished or whether she qualified for World's. She shot 51/56/45/49 with a cool head and good attitude for every round which was a good improvement from the summer. Some bad shots got mad but quickly shrugged it off. We also did not practice very much because of soccer but the short game was much more consistent which made a difference in scores. The 45 qualified her for priority status and unlocks to the state and regional tournaments and possible World's. Since we were only able to play 4 out of 8 for the tour it was just blue priority status but we will take it and she was so proud of herself. Her goal for Worlds is to finish within 70th place, which might be a reasonable goal and I think we are going to go this year if blue can get in! Now I have a 100 questions about all that for another topic lol




    Nice to hear she made some progress with managing her emotions! We traveled to the US Kid's Worlds 3 times so don't hesitate if you have any questions about that experience.
    USGA Index: ~1

    WITB:
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    Taylormade M2 Tour 15 Fujikura Pro TourSpec 73 
    Kasco K2K 33 - UST Axivcore 65 Tour Green 
    Callaway RazrX Tour 4h - Tour 95 shaft
    Ping i200 5-UW (2 flat) - Nippon Modus 105X
    Taylormade HiToe 54 (bent to 55 & 2 flat)
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    Taylormade TP5X Ball
  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,242 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    dpb5031 wrote:

    mcneergolf wrote:


    Congrats to you guys and your daughters accomplishments! Just a update on mine. We played in the US kids Fall tour (10-11) in Little Rock this year and we focused on positive attitudes and good emotions before anything else. Told her didn't care of score, what place she finished or whether she qualified for World's. She shot 51/56/45/49 with a cool head and good attitude for every round which was a good improvement from the summer. Some bad shots got mad but quickly shrugged it off. We also did not practice very much because of soccer but the short game was much more consistent which made a difference in scores. The 45 qualified her for priority status and unlocks to the state and regional tournaments and possible World's. Since we were only able to play 4 out of 8 for the tour it was just blue priority status but we will take it and she was so proud of herself. Her goal for Worlds is to finish within 70th place, which might be a reasonable goal and I think we are going to go this year if blue can get in! Now I have a 100 questions about all that for another topic lol




    Nice to hear she made some progress with managing her emotions! We traveled to the US Kid's Worlds 3 times so don't hesitate if you have any questions about that experience.
    dpb5031 wrote:

    mcneergolf wrote:


    Congrats to you guys and your daughters accomplishments! Just a update on mine. We played in the US kids Fall tour (10-11) in Little Rock this year and we focused on positive attitudes and good emotions before anything else. Told her didn't care of score, what place she finished or whether she qualified for World's. She shot 51/56/45/49 with a cool head and good attitude for every round which was a good improvement from the summer. Some bad shots got mad but quickly shrugged it off. We also did not practice very much because of soccer but the short game was much more consistent which made a difference in scores. The 45 qualified her for priority status and unlocks to the state and regional tournaments and possible World's. Since we were only able to play 4 out of 8 for the tour it was just blue priority status but we will take it and she was so proud of herself. Her goal for Worlds is to finish within 70th place, which might be a reasonable goal and I think we are going to go this year if blue can get in! Now I have a 100 questions about all that for another topic lol




    Nice to hear she made some progress with managing her emotions! We traveled to the US Kid's Worlds 3 times so don't hesitate if you have any questions about that experience.




    Love the updated profile pic.
  • bub72ckbub72ck Members Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    I posted very early on in this thread and someone recently liked my post so it brought me back. I'm happy to see the success of your kids in this thread and wish them the best of luck in college. My little guy will be five in February and is already out on the driving range and goes out to play nine with me from time to time.
    Titleist TS3 9.5* Kuro Kage 70X
    Taylormade Jetspeed TI 16* Speeder 869 X
    Taylormade Rescue 09 TP Aldila XVS9
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    Vokey SM5 50*, 54* and 60* TT DGS400
    SIK Pro Custom
  • birdyman88birdyman88 Members Posts: 9
    edited Mar 14, 2018 #200
    I've been reading the GolfWrx forums for years, usually for club info, but have just now become a member - so greetings everyone!



    This is a great thread that hits close to home. From all I've read, dpb5031 and I have traveled very similar paths with our daughters. In fact, so close that we almost went to the same AJGA tournament last summer. Yes, I have figured out who your daughter is dpb5031! If you look at my home state, you can probably figure out who mine is! If I see you at any AJGA's this summer I will find you and say hello. Anyway, I really wanted to share my experiences with my daughter here as well. We have done things a little differently than some folks and thought that sharing might benefit some of you. I will do my best to protect the identities of everyone I talk about! If I say "parent", it could be either the mom or the dad. There are lots of golf moms out there who are in control of the ship. Also, everything I say comes from actual experience, whether or not it agrees with what other people have said or written.



    But first, I'll give you a long-winded paragraph on my daughter's background so you get where I'm coming from. My daughter is 16 and a top student academically. She just verbally committed to a large public D1 in our state last summer. They are the 3rd best womens team in our state and were ranked right around #50 nationally when she committed. They have a great coach and have made it to NCAA regionals past 2 years. Our state girls (by graduating class) usually rank anywhere from #4 to #8 in the U.S, behind CA, TX, and FL according to Junior Golf Scoreboard (NJGS). They are extremely competitive here and we have a very excellent junior golf tour here in the state. She currently has a about a 1.5 differential on NJGS and is ranked about #110 in her class nationally - we expect it to be 0.3 by the summer. She started playing when she was 10 and started local 9-hole tournaments when she was 11 and won almost all of them. She started playing local 18 hole tournaments at age 13 and won most of them. She entered her first state girls junior that year. She started playing 36-hole tournaments at age 14 and that's where the travel began, and that's where she quit winning everything. At age 16, she went out onto AJGA (2016) and did well, qualifying into 2 open tournaments and placing top 10 in 3 out of 5 AJGA Opens. She has enough stars now to pretty much do what she wants on AJGA. She plays a mix of Ping and Taylormade clubs, a Pro V1x ball, and has stiff shafts in all clubs except 1 (it is tipped 1" though). Her irons are Nippon 950GH Pro stiff, her driver is Fuji 60 Pro stiff at 46". All of her clubs are purchased 2nd hand (usually eBay), and I am the builder/modifier/fitter. I started learning back in 1999 at GolfSmith in Austin TX and just never put it down. She carries a distance card that is virtually identical to the average LPGA player - 220 carry on drive, 115 PW. She is below LPGA average height. Her stats are pretty much spot on with the average LPGA player with 2 exceptions - her putts per GIR is way off, and she has the occasional double bogey. Her short game is excellent. She practices 4-6 days a week, and plays an average of around 12 36-hole or 54-hole tournaments each year. She plays maybe 20 rounds a year on our home course and uses those as practice rounds preparing for tournaments. We put 40.000 miles on the minivan last year - 75% of that was traveling for golf related purposes. If I have left anything out, please forgive me.



    How good do I have to be and what types of tournaments do I play?

    This is pretty wide open for you to do whatever is most convenient for you until they are 11-13. After that you should really decide where you're daughter wants to play golf eventually. Let's start with most competitive scenario then work our way down.
    • LPGA Tour - however good she is right now, she needs to be better. Repeat what I just said everyday. College choice doesn't seem to be critical.
    • Top 20 D1 (Stanford, UCLA, Duke, etc) - your daughter better be out playing national tournaments (AJGA being the gold standard) by this age. A good reference is 76 average at 6,000 yards on tournament style course when she's 13 years old and 74 average at age 15 from 6000 yards. These schools have their recruits mapped out up to 8 years before they will even enter college and are getting verbal committments from as early as 8th grade. They are also looking pretty heavily at international girls. They will have your daughters class 95% verbally committed by the time your daughter leaves 10th grade. We are friends with one of the top 5 girls in the U.S who just committed to Stanford as a 9th grader. We are also know a top 20ish player who just committed to Vanderbilt who also in the 9th grade. We just met a girl this summer in the 8th grade who is verbally committed to Baylor, and another who committed to Notre Dame early in the 9th grade. And so on and so on. Now, there are some exceptions to this, but they are not common. I mean, if you have a girl who shooting high 60s on the local jr tour from 5800 yards, these schools will probably want to look at her. But, they will still want to see how she does against large, competitive fields. We knew a boy that did this. He set a bunch of local course records and won both of the AJGA opens that he played. He went to his first pick school. UPDATE, 2018 - this boys name is Braden Thornberry and he won the 2017 NCAA championship and placed top 4 at the Fedex/St Jude classic.
    • #20-40 D1 (Tennessee, SMU, Texas, etc.) - the same as the top 20 schools because they are trying to be one of the top 20 schools. Except, their score tolerance can be 1-4 strokes higher at 6000 yards and their recruiting age can be as old 16, but is very dependent on school. Rarely will you see them wait until she finishes 11th grade. They will be 95% recruited by the fall semester of your daughter's 11th grade year. They are more willing to look at local phenoms, girls with potential (big hitters), and girls who may not have developed fully but really, really want to go to that school. They may also be buildng some large teams - like 10-15 girls - so they may take in a girl who may be pretty good, but doesn't need any scholarship money. It always helps to have academic merit aid - for any school.
    • #50-#100 D1 (Denver, UTSA, LSU) - here the guidelines are not so clear cut. The recruiting can be all over the place. Many are trying to improve their rank, so they may try to be picky - but keep in mind that they can't be too picky at their rank. Some of the schools may not be fully funded for the 6 allowed scholarships. Some may weigh your academics more, some may weigh how much you want their school, and others may care more about your scores. Or it can be a mix of it all. It is very school dependent and it really helps if your daughter can get academic merit aid or other merit aid to supplement the athletic aid.
    • Everyone Else - there are many very good teams in the D2, D3, NAIA, and even Jr College ranks. Again, the recruiting can be all over the place, but scores are still the primary factor for many. We know A LOT of girls who only played the state and local Jr tour and averaged 78-90 that are playing for smaller, less competitive schools and love it. But, I have heard from several parents that their girls are not fully funded and they are having to find funding from outside sources (parents, loans, work-study, etc). We are very good friends with a late-bloomer D2 girl who is actually getting full funding because dad is military and the fact that room and board is only $3,000 per year - yes you heard that right - per year!


    My Daughter Wants Be Good - What Tips Do You Have Regarding Instructors?

    Ok, I'm going to tell you from my perspective what worked for us, and what works for others we know. I will only consider the top 20ish girls in our state that are all currently carrying 3.0 or less indexes on NJGS. Some of this may or may not apply to you, but it likely will. You pick up on the fact that I have a bias against instructors. I do, and I admit it. There are many instructors who can handle the needs of the average adult who never intends to play competitive golf. But there are only a few who can take a 1) kid and 2) build them correctly and 3) within your budget while 4) keeping their interest so that 5) they can play competitions with 6) the best players in the country so that 7) in a timely manner they can 8) talk a college into giving them thousands of dollars for college with the remote possibility that 9) they might actually try go on tour one day. Most instructors are not cut out for this and should politely decline rather than wasting yours and your daughters precious time.
    • Instructor Tip #1 - find one that has demonstrated success with taking juniors to the collegiate level. When I say demonstrated, I mean demonstrated. I know of many instructors in our area that have been around for a long time and will tell you how good they are with juniors and how great they were in college. But most of those have never, and I mean NEVER carried a kid all the way to the college or pro level and many are not completely aware of the changed landscape in junior golf. In my metro area of 1.3 million people, there are probably 50+ people that call themselves professional instructors, but about 6 of them account for virtually all of the juniors making it to the collegiate or pro level from the area. In fact, my daughters new instructor can claim about 40% of those kids alone. He's one of the best. These people teach exclusively, and are generally not the ones manning the counter at the pro shop. Now there is an exception to this rule: first, the instructor who is good a getting them started, then handing them off to someone later; we have one of those instructors here and is the early coach of some of the best kids to ever come through the area, including the Stanford commit. There is a second exception: the instructor who is really good at teaching the girl how to be self-sufficient; this is more rare, but it has happened, and my daughter is one of those girls.
    • Instructor Tip #2 - your daughter and YOU must trust his methods. Blind trust has no place here. If you and she don't truly believe in his methods, then she won't work at making the changes, and you or someone else might feel inclined to alter what he has instructed her to do. Two important things to drive home here. First, you're going to put in a lot of work and money making this golf thing happen so you want to believe you are moving forward. Second, your daughter will put in more work than you making swing changes, and she really doesn't want anyone wasting her time. Even the "perception" that someone is wasting your time can be to much handle sometimes.
    • Instructor Tip #3 - your daughter and YOU must like his personality. If you and she don't then heads will butt eventually and you'll probably move on. I've had my own experiences here, and I've moved on from at least 2 instructors. I know lots of parents who have done the same and we all support each other. But to highlight my point, I had an incident with an instructor one time because on the second lesson I asked him to focus on one particular thing that my daughter had been struggling with for almost a year. She was already a good player, and wanted to get this resolved, because it was affecting her stats. Instead, he got sidetracked talking about something not relevant. I very politely tried to get him back on track and he got pretty defensive. He said that I was impeding his ability to instruct her and accused me of being hard to get along with. I fired him that night and my daughter was very happy that I did. I am pretty laid back at this stage, but when I ask someone to do something and they agree to do it, I expect them to follow through, especially when I'm paying them. In retrospect, I should have listened, because my daughter was skeptical of his personality before we even started working with him. Remember, your daughter's time will run out sooner than you think, so you can't tolerate an instructor who can't stay focused and moving forward! And remember, she's the one that do all the work.
    • Instructor Tip #4 - Closely related to Tip #1 is find an instructor that will help your girl find her own swing. Really good golf instruction involves WAY MORE than just reciting a bunch of fundamental stuff or trying to build some "ideal" swing. A good instructor knows what your daughter can and can't realistically do - or won't do. Like Arnie said, "swing your swing". A good instructor will help your daughter figure out what that swing is. My daughter never got REALLY good until, under the encouragement of her first instructor (who moved), she "found her own swing", and she actually did that by watching V1 videos and finding similarities with a popular tour pro. V1 was the best $10 I ever spent, and she is now beating a lot of top ranked players. Her new instructor is totally on board with this, as that has been his teaching philosophy for years. Look, my daughter has a large chest size and will never be able to reliably swing to the 12:00 backswing position, but she is deadly from the 10:30 position and shoots her lowest scores. I have had more than 1 instructor try to lengthen her backswing without any consideration for her physique. Fact, X-factor matters way more than actual shoulder turn. Most of the pros on V1 stop at around 11:00, but they have excellent X-factor. Anyway, you get my point.
    • Instructor Tip #5 - she doesn't have to go get instructed on a routine schedule. You can if you want, but when they get to be pretty good, you should consider letting them "own" their swing. There are some instructors that want you to show up every week or two while they tear down her swing and rebuild it in their image. BEWARE! They may have produced some good players, but for what you just paid them, she better be the best! I'll never forget the Mercedes in the parking lot at one club that had a custom tag reading something like "GOLFMED". Not surprisingly it belonged to the instructor that, not surprisingly, wanted me to bring my daughter in once a week at $150 a pop. Now I have nothing against a person being successful, but let's be honest, my daughter beats the crap out of his students all the time - and she hardly gets a lesson - but she owns her swing. Look, if you like the person then go for it, but again I recommend a "ween off" plan. Anyway, when she's on the course during a tournament and the driver keeps going right or the putts keep coming up short, she can't call the instructor to figure it out. She better know her game well enough to make whatever tweak is needed - and this happens often by the way.
    • Instructor Tip #6 - There are several general areas of the game that your daughter will deal with all the time: Full swing; Short Game, Putting; Course Management; and Mental. There are more, but these are the big ones. Once your daughter starts breaking 80 and is looking to compete at the national level. Short Game, Putting, and Mental are the 3 most critical areas. And when she gets really good, Putting and Mental tend to be the main areas to focus on. With that said, find an instructor who understands this and is willing to mirror your daughter's needs in his lessons. My daughter is literally about 6 strokes from being able to survive on the LPGA tour (6 BIG strokes mind you), and she does not need an instructor who is still toying with her swing plane when her putts per GIR is still .3 strokes above the LPGA average. Think about it. Or when she is having a back nine meltdown and shooting 3 strokes higher than the front because she's letting something distract her from being in the zone during the shot. Think about it.
    • Instructor Tip #6 - this may be the best tip of all once your girl decides to play nationally. Ask yourself if you need a swing instructor, or a sports psychologist. The biggest leap my daughter made with her game was once she went to visit a sports psychologist for several sessions. He did wonders for her, and the high numbers virtually dissappeared from the card. Additionally, she was able to walk onto AJGA for the first time and play rock solid with the best girls in the country.


    We Don't Have A Lot of Money - Can My Daughter Still Play at A High Level

    The short answer is YES! But, you have to be really smart about how you spend your money. Frugal is what you will become, but the parents of the high level players will respect that. They know how much money it takes. My family is slightly upper middle class. My wife and I are both self-employed, and I am one of the most frugal people you'll ever meet - but you would never know it when you meet us. And my daughter does not show it when you see her. Here are some things we've done so she can play 12 36/54-hole tournaments every year and be a member at a decent club. Our per tournament cost averages $500 - yes, that includes meals, gas, and tournament fees - but, it does assume our hotel was using points. Without using points, I have a firm budget of $70 per night after all taxes and fees (see below). We spend 1/2 of what some people spend.
    1. I buy all of our clubs and balls used, mainly from eBay. I will spend 2 months stalking clubs, then go in at the lowest possible price until I win them.
    2. If the clubs needs changes like shafts or grips, I will do it myself using equipment purchased at the lowest possible price. I have been club building for 18 years and am actually better than the local clubmakers and can customize a club just about however I want, including custom paint which my kids have always been complimented on.
    3. We use Karma brand grips from Hireko golf, and we love them, especially at $2 or less per grip. We have used all the brands and we are perfectly happy with the performance of the Karma grips.
    4. I can bend putters myself, but I use local guy for bending irons.
    5. When I buy something new, like bags or clothes, you better bet it was on sale or clearance.
    6. I buy used AAA+ or AAAA Pro V1x golf balls off eBay and I buy 100+ at a time. I get them for less than $.60 per ball. They win tournaments. I don't care if the ball hits the water.
    7. When we're done with a club, it get cleaned, polished, and sold. For most club sales, I usually sell it for more than what I originally paid for it.
    8. We don't go jumping from one tour to the next as that's essentially buying membership into every one of those tours with the non-member pricing. I stick mainly to our statewide junior tour that is only $100 to join and has the best competition, and we play the state girls amateur and the state PGA Junior qualifier, all of which very inexpensive with great competition. This year, we will be looking at the state womens Am and the womens open, again both very cheap for level of competition. By the way, our state junior tour gives her a free golf shirt and a dozen tour balls when you become a member. The balls get sold for cash to my buddies.
    9. When she plays national, it is AJGA. $290 per 54-hole open tournament may sound expensive, but that's only $96 per round, which equates to $193 for 2 days. Most 2-day tournament organizations want $225+ to play the equivalent course, plus the goodies aren't nearly as good. AJGA gives us a dozen Taylormade balls, which I handily sell to my buddies for $30 a dozen cash. Also AJGA gives you a FREE practice round. Whens the last time your tour gave you a free practice round? Plus AJGA is pretty good about feeding not just the players, buts also the parents at least one of the nights - that's worth $30 bucks right there.
    10. Big invitationals, if you can get in, are equivalent cost-wise to AJGA in my opinion. No membership fees.
    11. We drive everywhere unless we have airline miles accumulated. I will go 14 hours non-stop if necessary because its still the cheapest option.
    12. When we eat, we keep it realistic. I go to Sam's and Costco and buy $100 worth of gift cards for $80 to popular restaraunts.
    13. We [almost] always get a hotel that has free breakfast included. Exception would be if the rate is good enough that we could actually eat breakfast out.
    14. I use HotWire a lot and have learned how to get good deals from them. I average $70 per night, 2 beds, with breakfast, all taxes and fees included.
    15. We travel for business, so most of the time I'm using my aquired hotel points. I keep close track of those hotel points and take advantage of special offers - except for the credit card offers. For the money, Hilton Honors or Choice seems to be the best deals. I can get into a Hampton on points for ridulously low point values sometimes. The average Hampton is 30,000 points, but I will drive 30 minutes out of the way to get into a nearby Hampton for 20,000 or even 10,000 points per night. My daughter isn't particularly fond of this practice, but she's a trooper.
    16. We only pick tournaments that she feels good about. It took us a while to learn that.
    17. If you're shooting for AJGA stars, and you live around a lot of competition, don't use your local/regional tour to accrue stars - unless your girl is a top player. Go to AJGA and play pre-season and qualifiers if you have to. Believe me, we spent years out on our local tour trying to get stars and one of our state "ringers" usually showed up and won the tournament. 5 years on our local tour and only 1 star earned. 3 months on AJGA and 30 stars earned. The latter was wayyyy cheaper per star!
    18. Club membership. Just do it! If your girls wants to be a good player, shes's going to need range balls and a good practice area. Her range ball consumption alone will justify the cost of a junior or even family membership at some of the baby blue collar golf clubs. And the members at most any club will be way more respectful to your daughter than the patrons of the non-member course. My daughter is much happier being a member.
    19. Don't be scared to ask your local course if they will let your junior play for free, or at a reduced rate. Some clubs are actually pretty good about letting the juniors use the course for free as long as it's during the slow times. Your daughter might also volunteer to pick the range boundaries, and some courses will let them hit what they pick up. It varies, but it never hurts to ask.
    20. Walk the course and save the cart fees. Your daughter needs to be in shape to do a practice round followed by 54 holes, all walking. Make her walk at your course and she'll be in good shape. Your club is not going under if you don't rent their cart.
    21. Lastly, don't take the shotgun approach to anything in golf. That is a guaranteed recope for financial pain. More lessons doesn't always mean lower scores. Changing equipment just to see if fixes a problem with contact or flight is a losing proposition. Upgrading to the newest equipment ususally doesn't help scores (unless the old equipment no longer fits her game). Entering more tournaments under the assumption she will get better with each doesn't always make them better. Hitting more balls won't always fix the problem. Anyway, you get my drift. Stop, think, figure out the cause, then find a solution. Experiment a little before you throw a large sum of money at something. Always expect a return on your investment, or at least justify why the money should be spent.


    My girl Wants to Play at High Level - As a Parent, How Involved Should I Be?

    Hahahaha! Ok, this from my experience, and I'm fixing to make some waves with the pop-psychologist fans out. You can be as involved as your daughter wants you to be! Now, I've read all the web articles out about how parents just need to stay out of it and let the instructor run everything. Oh, and then let the girl handle everything on her own. Of course, and not surprising, an instructor wrote that! Well, let's be realistic here, and I mean I talking from someone who has one of those girls and is friends with a lot of the parents that have those same high achieving girls. I'm officially calling B.S. on this, though, not totally.

    **Wait, hold on a second . My daughter just texted me from the range to ask me about distance loss using the balls at the particular range she went to today. I concurred that that range normally shows about a 10% loss in distance with their balls.** [That was real, in case you were wondering]

    Ok back to what I was saying. Look, let's be reasonable here. First, it really depends on the relationship between the parent and child. Some are good, some are not so good. My daughter personally WANTS me to be involved. She always has since she was playing softball as a little girl. She trusts me more than the instructors out there. She knows that I will always think something through before allowing her to waste precious time making a change. She knows that I have no profit motive and am willing to solve a problem quickly. She also knows that I know her swing and her game better than anybody on this earth and I can usually recommend a fix, on the spot, if needed on a tournament morning. But, she does want independence in the process, and I respect that and try not to be over-bearing. She does want to see a professional when she and I can't seem to find a solution using her past instruction. She and I both want a professional to help lay out a long-term plan for the swing. She and I both like for her to go to her instructor for the periodic checkup. But, mostly, she has had a couple of instructors really screw her up in the past, and she wants me there to monitor THEM. They know this up front, and we have had good relationships with her instructors - but, they keep moving out of town! Her current instructor is the coolest cat you'll ever meet and he doesn't care what I do as long as I stick to his advice. In fact, he actually advocates that I monitor her when she's first starting to change something. I respect that, and we have no issues. He's wise enough to know that he doesn't want to answer a call at 6:30 in the morning while she's on the range at a tournament and is blocking her drive right. He'd rather me do it if she is comfortable with it. Heck, I'm already standing there and he's probably still in bed! Ok, now the caveat is this. I'm always a cool and calm guy when working with her, and I know the golf swing pretty well. I always start by asking her what she thinks it could be. Then we put it on video, and quit all the guessing. Nowadays, she usually only asks me to hold the camera and hit the record button. She generally finds her own problem.



    Now, I am not alone here. Many of the the best girls we know all have a parent like me who is more involved than pop-psychologists say we should be. But, most of us have learned to be real cool customers with our girls, and we all want the girls to figure it out on their own. We're not always perfect, but we do pretty good. We try not be on the range unless asked. In fact, the very top girls ALL have a parent that they can call on when necessary. Now, let me clear the air say that this not "The Short Game". Yes, we have a few of those types, but their girls generally are not at the top of the food chain, though a couple are.But ponder this, we also have a number of girls that DO NOT have that parent to call on. Ironically, virtually NONE of those girls are at the top of the food chain. It's interesting isn't it?



    So, do the psychologists and instructors have it 100% right? Not according to what I'm seeing with my own two eyes. But, we are talking specifically about junior girls playing golf. I can tell you that the boys are different, and having had a son play golf at a high level, he's nothing remotely close to my daughter on this subject. With him it was "dad, I got it". I respected that and gave him space. He never did make it to that elite level, though he really wanted to. Anyway, don't expect to see tears and shouting and parents walking out reading greens and selecting clubs. But, you better believe that a lot of the top girls are doing post-mortems with mom or dad after a bad round, or getting club choice recommendations after **** up that easy par 5, or getting lectured on the finer points of eating something at regular intervals. And here's the kicker - they often play better the next round as a result! I personally believe this is why they are so good. And, that is likely one of the the job roles their college coach is there to fulfill once they make it college. I know my daughter's future college coach does this with her players and doesn't seem to object to me doing it with my daughter right now. I think the 3 R's here are reasonable, respectful, and responsibility.



    And one last point, before I leave this subject. I think it's agreed by all the parents, no matter who they are, that the parent involvement should diminish as the girls game grows. Anyway, you decide for yourself and do what works for you. Me personally, I don't have the money to comp an instructer everytime the game gets a little off.



    Is You Daughter Still Having Fun?

    Yes, she really enjoys it, and never complains about the long pratice sessions, road trips, hotel rooms, and such. Evryone at the club knows who she is now and some of the memebrs go out of there way ask her about her tournaments and even ask her for swing advice. As far as tournaments, there's something about the electricity in the air at the tournament that she seems to enjoy. I think most of the girls at this level probably think the same. The part that she hates the most is first tee shot on first round. Lots of nerves. But she settles in pretty quick. She really enjoys meeting new girls. There's something about hanging out with several other girls and talking about college and what schools they're going to that seems to make all the lonely days in this sport dissipate. She really can't wait to go to college so she be around her team all the time.



    Whe she was younger, she used to talk about going on tour, but we have a world top 5 living in our town and she has given most of the girls around here a reality check. However, she is very much looking forward to playing in college and continues to drive herself forward. All I can do is just making her believe that she can achieve whatever she wants, despite the high bar. At 16, she is beginning to realize though that a bad day on the course can be better than a good day at school. It's possible she could really find her game in college and maybe take a shot at Q-school.



    Her future college coach is a great person, and she turned down some offers from better schools to go play for this lady. This coach likes to thinks of her girls as a wolf pack, and is very particular about the girls she's gettting. Apparently this wolf idea has struck a chord with my daughter and she starting to feel more confident and aggressive in big tournaments. If there's a such thing as a "sweetheart" in the wolfpack, that would be her. She'd rather chat your ears off than to play mind games. It helps knowing that one of best friends from the state tour is also going to this school. You can tell that she's letting go of the child and starting embrace the young woman. Honestly, if she ever finds her full confidence, she will be dangerous. When she's on a run, which is becoming more common these days, she can outplay the elite girls. Confidence is so funny. It's like I said about the mental side. UPDATE,2018 - daughter de-committed from school due to uncertainty over post graduate funding - is now committed and fully funded at another D1.



    Anyway, I wish all of your girls the best of luck on their journey, and I hope you can find a tidbit somewhere in here that might help you. There are some posters out here who have obviously been there and done that, so it's all good stuuf out here.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Jupiter, FLMembers Posts: 5,366 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Mar 14, 2017 #201
    birdyman88, thanks for contributing to the thread! You've offered up some great info with tremendous detail about you and your daughter's journey through the Junior golf world. Anyone who's gone through it can confirm that it ain't easy...lol...on multiple fronts!



    Interesting your perspective on your level of (parental) involvement. My experience with my daughter mirrors yours. I agree that many casual observers and even psychologists would suggest hiring a coach and getting out of the way. Like you, I just don't find that to be reality. Most of the best juniors I have seen had a high level of parental involvement. Rare is the kid who figures all of this out on her own.



    In our case, like you guys, my daughter sees her swing coach quite rarely with me helping her when she needs it in between. We've always had a good relationship when it comes to her swing, and she trusts me to take a look and get her back on track if she goes haywire. She knows that I am more likely to say nothing than to talk if I'm uncertain, and I NEVER veer from her coach's fundamentals. I can't say the same for many parents. In most cases too many cooks spoil the soup.



    One thing I will add that I've come to realize over these years is that when it comes to recruiting, it's easy to get wrapped up in collegiate rankings and desiring for your kid to attend a school with a top ranked golf program. I think its just the nature of being around the sport and having competitive nature.



    The truth is that a college's golf team ranking should not be the primary influence. You need to find the "right" fit for your daughter. That means academically, culturally, size of school, majors offered, geographic location, academic support, sense of being a good fit with the girls on the team, whether your kid will be good enough to start & travel, etc. There are just so many more important factors than rankings. Bottom line is don't choose a school based on the golf. Pick a school that you'd love to attend even if you were not playing on the golf team!



    The VAST majority of D1 female players will never play professionally, but the truth is it doesn't really matter where you go to school. Plenty of pros never attended college and there are some who've come from small schools. All that matters in this game is that you're consistently shooting low scores and winning. Sure, it would be great to contend for an NCAA national championship, but I think many kids & parents would be better served to be realistic and consider some of the other criteria I've mentioned.



    Enough for now...thanks for keeping this thread alive! Hopefully it's been a help to some parents & their girls
    USGA Index: ~1

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  • Palmetto GolferPalmetto Golfer Members Posts: 164 ✭✭✭
    Birdman88...that might be the best post I have ever read on this site. Great job and thank you for sharing.
  • Sean2Sean2 #TheWRX (Callaway Trip) Members Posts: 30,826 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    My best friend's daughter is 19 and now on her second year on the LPGA Tour. They didn't have much money so as a junior she could only play in 5 or 6 high level tournaments a year (as opposed to her peers who played in many more). There is a golf tournament organization in our area--US Challenge Cup--for kids that held a lot of tournaments, she played in those.



    Colleges and universities aren't interested in high school golf experience, they look at how a prospective student does in local, regional, and national tournaments. She had a number of D1 offers, but went through all the stages of Q-school and earned her card. She quickly earned full playing privileges.



    So, as far as college golf goes, tournament experience is the key. And, parents need to be realistic how good their child may or may not be. I have seen lots of parents talk about how great a golfer their child is, when in fact, they are not. It does a real disservice to the child as she may get grandiose expectations.



    The keys as I saw them with Megan were: practice, tournament experience, and a good instructor--single! I have seen many parents bounce their child from instructor to instructor and it only adds confusion. Find a good instructor and stick with him or her.



    Also, a good instructor will go out on the course for a playing lesson. Taking instruction on the range is fine, but is only one half of the component. A really good instructor will attend a tournament his student is playing on occasion...this is the only way to determine how she is REALLY doing. Telling the instructor what she scored doesn't do much. He needs to know how she handles pressure, course management, how her swing holds up, and the like.



    In closing, I also rarely, rarely saw/see an instructor working on the short game with a student. Chipping, pitching, bunker play. Great lies, horrible lies, and everything in between. From just a few feet to a 100 yards.
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  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,242 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    birdyman88





    Very Good Post. Spot On.
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Jupiter, FLMembers Posts: 5,366 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Should add that like birdyman above, I love Hotwire for hotels and car rentals when traveling for junior golf. You can get pretty good at figuring out the Hot Rate hotels before you book. I always go for 3 stars or better if possible. Their customer service is also very good and I've actually spoken with a real English speaking human being on more than one occasion.
    USGA Index: ~1

    WITB:
    Ping G410 LST 9 degree - Tour AD IZ 6x
    Taylormade M2 Tour 15 Fujikura Pro TourSpec 73 
    Kasco K2K 33 - UST Axivcore 65 Tour Green 
    Callaway RazrX Tour 4h - Tour 95 shaft
    Ping i200 5-UW (2 flat) - Nippon Modus 105X
    Taylormade HiToe 54 (bent to 55 & 2 flat)
    Taylormade HiToe 64 (Bent to 62 & 2 flat)
    Palmer AP30R putter (circa 1960s)
    Taylormade TP5X Ball
  • Man In The MiuraMan In The Miura Heee heee heee! Members Posts: 1,011 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Mar 14, 2017 #206
    I also was an early responder to this thread and am happy to see things work out positively for our kids. My daughter was 13 when I first responded! Now she's a freshman at Dartmouth, playing golf, and is absolutely loving her experience as a student athlete. All indications are that a balance between school and sport is possible with careful class scheduling. She got a new set of Miura blades before we said good-bye!
  • birdyman88birdyman88 Members Posts: 9


    I also was an early responder to this thread and am happy to see things work out positively for our kids. My daughter was 13 when I first responded! Now she's a freshman at Dartmouth, playing golf, and is absolutely loving her experience as a student athlete. All indications are that a balance between school and sport is possible with careful class scheduling. She got a new set of Miura blades before we said good-bye!




    MITM, we actually know one of your daughters teammates. My daughter and her have been paired together many times in our states junior tournaments. In fact, paired together so many times that sort of became an insider joke with the girls. Glad to see she's doing well.
  • birdyman88birdyman88 Members Posts: 9
    edited Mar 14, 2017 #208
    dpb5031 wrote:


    Should add that like birdyman above, I love Hotwire for hotels and car rentals when traveling for junior golf. You can get pretty good at figuring out the Hot Rate hotels before you book. I always go for 3 stars or better if possible. Their customer service is also very good and I've actually spoken with a real English speaking human being on more than one occasion.




    Yes, there is a little bit of a learning curve with Hotwire, but like you said, you can figure out the hotel before booking sometimes. I've gotten some 4-star luxury rooms for <$70 before. I quickly learned, like you, to avoid the 2-stars and lower. I got a Knights Inn in one time where the room door was warped and wouldn't close all the way. Figures that my wife would just happen to be with us on that one! No more 2-stars!
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Jupiter, FLMembers Posts: 5,366 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Birdyman, you mentioned having your daughter see a sports psychologist. I have heard a number of very positive experiences from parents who have done the same for their junior golfers.



    Would you mind sharing a bit more about that experience? What led you to consider this for her? How did you go about finding the right person?



    I think many here would be interested in hearing more about this. Thanks
    USGA Index: ~1

    WITB:
    Ping G410 LST 9 degree - Tour AD IZ 6x
    Taylormade M2 Tour 15 Fujikura Pro TourSpec 73 
    Kasco K2K 33 - UST Axivcore 65 Tour Green 
    Callaway RazrX Tour 4h - Tour 95 shaft
    Ping i200 5-UW (2 flat) - Nippon Modus 105X
    Taylormade HiToe 54 (bent to 55 & 2 flat)
    Taylormade HiToe 64 (Bent to 62 & 2 flat)
    Palmer AP30R putter (circa 1960s)
    Taylormade TP5X Ball
  • birdyman88birdyman88 Members Posts: 9
    edited Mar 14, 2018 #210
    dpb5031 wrote:


    Birdyman, you mentioned having your daughter see a sports psychologist. I have heard a number of very positive experiences from parents who have done the same for their junior golfers.



    Would you mind sharing a bit more about that experience? What led you to consider this for her? How did you go about finding the right person?



    I think many here would be interested in hearing more about this. Thanks




    Well, it was no mystery back when she and my son were younger players that the meltdowns on a hole or for an entire round was mental. I mean, it was quite obvious that nothing had really changed in the swing, and 3 putting from 12 feet is almost impossible to attribute to a problem in the stroke. Something between the ears was spinning out of control. With that said, I bought them the Bob Rotella book "Golf is Not A Game of Perfect", and also "Zen Golf" by Dr. Joseph Parent - the latter because I used to do martial arts growing up and really relate to that sort of thing. As it turned out, my son really got into the Bob Rotella book and ended up winning his tour championship that summer. My daughter, who was 13, never really got into either book, but she was pretty solid mentally, so I never pushed it on her.



    Fast forward about a year. Well, my son never bothered keep working on the mental side, but I gave him his space, only periodically reminding him that his game was mostly mental. I mean, the kid had a near perfect swing, but he could ruin a hole with the best of them. My daughter on the other had began playing bigger tournaments and had moments where I thought she would end up tour, followed by moments that made me want to check into the psych ward. When we started looking at her stats, she finally realized the big numbers on holes (doubles/triples) was what really separated her from the top girls. I mean, she was hitting 85% FW, 60% GIR, 33% scrambling, and 2.2 putts per GIR; but, she always had 2 or 3 doubles, triples, or quads on the card. This is when she finally decided to work on the mental stuff (along with short game). She used the Rotella book initially. But much later on, she actually found a connection with the Zen book. It was a tremendous help to her, and she finally got the big numbers under control, and quit 3 putting when the pressure was on.



    So fast forward another year or so. My son just won't work on the mental stuff and he continues to be too volatile to be ultra competitive. I also began to realize that he had no desire to play in college, so we left it at that. My daughter, on the other hand, learned how to keep the train on tracks, and also how to quickly get it back on the tracks when it did get off. She became the poster child for double-bogey followed by birdie. Talk about driving your competitors nuts! It was all mental, and she will tell you that. So, she managed to get down to about 5.5 index on NJGS finishing the 2015 season.



    It was at this point that I did something really out-of-the-box. For competitive reasons, I won't reveal exactly what I did ;=), but just know that I found a trend/pattern in her game that nobody else in this world might have found - and it was worth 3 strokes. Mind you, her scoring average for 2015 was 79.8, so she could be looking at coming down to 76 for 2016, at least from the same yardage. My wife was totally convinced it was physical fitness, even though my daughter was sure it wasn't. I even had an instructor propose that the swing was changing during the round - and of course wanted to play around with the swing. But I knew absolutely, without a doubt, it was mental; and I suspected that I knew what it was. But, it was important to me that my daughter be the one to identify why the pattern occurred. Let me briefly back up - I had noticed this pattern a year or so earlier, but had never verified it with any data. It took about 2 months before she was able to look me in the eye and give me her answer. It turned out to be what I though and it was score related - specifically that she got to thinking about score. After some discussion, she/we decided that a real actual psychologist was worth a shot.



    Finding a psychologist around my area that specialized in sports was impossible. So I went an alternate route, a la Tiger. I found a hypnotherapist in the area that is about as good a psychologist as I could want. He has worked with a lot of athletes and comes highly recommended by some good junior athletes in the area. He himself was a national level shooter at one time and spent many years in the military. He spends most of his time really doing what a psychologist does, but he had the benefit of being able to get her in touch with her subconscious. This was important to us, because my daughter's issue wasn't that she didn't know what to do, she was just having a hard time doing it. The subconscious part of this whole scenario is that she does what she's supposed to do - i.e., stay focused - without having to think about it. It took some time and a cfew different approaches, but boy did it work! And she will tell you, without question, that might be the best thing she ever did for her game besides watching V1 videos. I know you're going to think this is all poppycock, but believe what you want. The reality is that my daughter did drop those 3 strokes for 2016, and ended the season with a 76.9 tournament scoring average from around 5900 yards, which includes a couple of 1-day tournaments. She made no significant changes in her swing. She is hitting the ball longer than in 2015, but her average course yardage also went up about 120 yards from 2015, which kind of cancels out. Virtually all the strokes came from exactly what we were targeting. For the last 8 tournament rounds of 2016, she was only 4 over par TOTAL on the back nine, so her late season average was actually trending downward.



    Anyway, I really don't think it matters what type of help you seek, as long as your daughter is on board, and it targets the right issue. Psychologist, psychiatrist, hypnotherapist, drill sergeant - whatever works. All I know is she is very glad she did this, and doesn't feel like this could ever have happened with books alone. She believes that the effects still have a long way to go and could allow another 2-3 strokes for this year. I can honestly say that I have seen her get on some pretty deadly runs over the past several tournaments. She has now beat every girl in this state with the exception of the #1 and #2, primarily because she hasn't been in the same tournament with them. She qualified into the first AJGA open she ever went to and then proceeded to shoot well enough to make the final group the last day with 2 of the world top 30 players (she wasn't prepared for that one, though). She has been taking scalps from some of the most feared and intimidating players in our state. She beat "The Closer" head to head in playoff in the Fall. I have never experienced that kind of silence during a junior tournament - ever - I swear the birds quit chirping when she saved that par to win. She also beat "Goliath" in match play, coming back from 4 down after 10 holes and sinking a 20 foot birdie to win on #18. I have never experienced that kind of roar during a junior golf tournament - ever - one of the opposing teams girls even ran over to hug her. She shot a fantastic 77 in December in very high winds to turn in the 3rd low score of the day, only behind the #1 from Alabama, and the #1 from Oklahoma - she shot -1 on the back with 30-35 mph gusts. Anyway, I'm a believer.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Jupiter, FLMembers Posts: 5,366 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Another great post. I think a mental coach is probably a good idea for many as long as they're on board with it. I'm going to look into it for my daughter.



    Her skill set, power, etc., was better than ever last season after some early year swing modifications, yet she really didn't have a really great tournament season in 2016. She'd go around in practice rounds at even par, then play horribly in the actual event getting beat by girls who do not hit it nearly as well. Truth be told, as she's gotten older her physical game has improved immensely, but her mental game has deteriorated. I think it's pressure, expectations, and fear.



    This is a kid who can actually compress a golf ball (many girls really don't much) and move drives out there longer than most. We know the ability is there because of some of the low scores she's posted on tough tracks, and the fact that she's made it through sectional qualifying to get to 2 USGA national championships including the 2015 Women's Am.



    Think I'm going to look into a mental coach for her for this season...
    USGA Index: ~1

    WITB:
    Ping G410 LST 9 degree - Tour AD IZ 6x
    Taylormade M2 Tour 15 Fujikura Pro TourSpec 73 
    Kasco K2K 33 - UST Axivcore 65 Tour Green 
    Callaway RazrX Tour 4h - Tour 95 shaft
    Ping i200 5-UW (2 flat) - Nippon Modus 105X
    Taylormade HiToe 54 (bent to 55 & 2 flat)
    Taylormade HiToe 64 (Bent to 62 & 2 flat)
    Palmer AP30R putter (circa 1960s)
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