Getting Your Junior Started In Golf (Part 2 of 2)
Last week I wrote about exactly how to get your junior involved in golf. I wrote about junior camps as well as junior coaching programs, and if you have not already read it, I recommend you do so by visiting The Daily Press website or our website or Facebook Page.
For part 2 we are going to really focus on exactly why these two systems work, and the nuts and bolts of what makes them so effective. For starters, we know most young golfers will not make golf a profession. So, we strive to teach the nine core values highlighted by The Frist Tee in order to make these juniors champions in life, not just on the golf course. The nine values taught in all of our programs are Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, and Judgement.
With those nine core values providing the foundation of everything that we do, we’ve created an Improvement System for juniors that simplifies things and makes the game fun!
Our Junior Improvement System
We created the hat system to give both our juniors and their parents a clear path to improvement like you have in martial arts. The hat system is based on having our juniors focus on the parts of the game they can master at their age & strength level. All players start at a White Hat Level, which is based on scoring from 100 yards from the hole and in. This the most critical part of golf, and the part that juniors can master and play to a level way beyond their age and strength level. They are unable to hit the ball 250 yards physically, but they can play to that equivalent level in their chipping and putting. If we want our juniors to love the game they have to be able to see improvement, have success, and be on a path to mastery.
Junior Developmental Tour
For a junior to advance in our hat system they will play in our Junior Developmental Tour where they play 9 holes with their teammates from weekly sessions on a Sunday afternoon with a parent or grandparent caddying. This gives them the opportunity to compete, which unfortunately in the past was not an option for beginning junior golfers. Unlike other sports where you play matches, games, and scrimmages right away (baseball, football etc), golf has been set up that you only play tournaments when you are a “good golfer.” Well, how are you meant to get good if you can’t play tournaments? So, this is why we created a junior tour for 2018 where our players can learn how to play the game with their friends with very little pressure on a course they can succeed with lots of fun and prizes.
The Hat System:
In each hat level, we have stars,
Level 1: White Hat (100 yards and in)
Play a tournament – 1 Star Pin to add on junior’s hat
Shoot 50 or lower – 2 Star Pins to add to junior’s hat
Shoot 45 or lower – 3 Star pins to add to junior’s hat
Shoot 39 or lower – Advance to Yellow Hat
The Progression then follows to Yellow Hat once a player shoots 39 or less & progresses all the way to The Blue Hat Level. As your child advances through the Hat System, they advance in our programming getting additional coaching time, skill development and mentoring.
Example Junior Golf Path
Starting Point –
- Participate in a Camp (5days 1.5 hours per day)
- Join Golf Coaching (1.5 hours Once per week after school)
- Play in Junior Tour (parents get to caddy for a fun family afternoon out)
- Advanced Coaching (Player shoots 39 or lower from 100-yard makers) 2 Hours weekly & On-Course Coaching
- Elite – 4 Hours weekly (Coaching 2 hrs. on course + Skill development focusing on swing and short game 2hrs
- College Path – Adds mentoring 2 x per month to support your junior golfer in creating a path to playing college golf through college selection, tournament schedule/stat tracking, and more.
- Mastery Classes are in addition to these programs are Intensive Courses to fast-track a player in a certain area in which they most need to improve.
My goal in writing these two junior golf articles is to give you (the parent) a better understanding on not only where to start but to better understand all of the options for your junior, no matter the skill level. There is no right or wrong way to get started, but I’ve found that it hasn’t always been clear on how to even get started. I really hope these two articles provide that clarity.