When Is The Right Time to Start My Child in Tournament Golf?
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Let me start off by saying: The question of when to start your young junior golfer in tournament play isn’t cut and dry since each child and family dynamic is different. But the thought shouldn’t be entertained until they have demonstrated an interest and a basic degree of proficiency in all areas of the physical parts of the game. Such as making contact 100% of the time with the ball traveling in the air moving towards their general target. Able to make at least 5 out of 10 three-foot putts on the putting green. Lastly, regarding their physical abilities, they should be able to demonstrate that they can successfully hit a ball out of greenside bunker 3 out of 5 attempts. Now, let’s discuss an emotional barometer, and this is important; your son or daughter needs to demonstrate a competitive spirit. Little League sports, running races, dodge ball, checkers, chess, etc. It doesn’t matter where they reveal a healthy desire to win and compete, but it should be evident.
As a cautionary note, the competitive spirit needs to be inside your junior golfer. Not Mom & Dad. If you send your young son or daughter out to play tournament golf too soon. It will feel more like punishment, instead of the stimulating challenge that competitive athletes enjoy. One more suggestion before you have their name announced on the first tee and their score posted on a scoreboard is this. Take them to a Junior Tour event being played locally, or College event and let them get a chance to see how a tournament is set up, and how the kids move about the practice tee, green, then to the first tee and finally on the course. After an hour or so, go home. Come back later in the day to have them experience what the scoreboard activity looks like. This could reduce some anxiety introducing them to something new for the first time.
- Able to make at least 5 out of 10 three-foot putts.
- Making contact 100% of the time with the ball.
- Hit a ball out of greenside bunker 3 out of 5 attempts.
- Demonstrate a competitive spirit.
If you can check all the boxes listed above. The time to introduce your young junior golfer to competitive play could be now. Remember to enjoy the journey, it’s long, but it’s a good one.