The Parents' Role In Junior Golf

By Ed Ibarguen

The Parents' Role In Junior Golf

Hi, this is Ed Ibarguen and GolfLink has asked me to do a series on junior golfers and I wanted to particularly slant it towards the parents of promising junior. Even if you do not think your son or daughter is going to be a college player, how do you encourage them in playing the game. I would like to give you a lot of ideas, I have been around it for 30 years and I have been very involved in it and I think these are all very valid. Number one is, bring your child out when they are very young. If you yourself are a golfer, then bring them with you, let them see how much fun you are having on the golf course. Take them to the putting green. Get them a putter that is properly made for them and let them putt with you, put them very close to the hole. Then take them to the driving range, get a club with a lot of loft, I love getting a seven metal wood that has a shaft that has a lot of whip for them so that they can feel the head an get that ball flying in the air, always using a tee. I think kids are very visual, they want to watch and see what is going on. If you are sitting around watching golf, get their interest up. As they develop into a good player it I s really important that you try to encourage them and support them. If you are a very good golfer yourself and you think you are the one who will be the best teacher for your child go ahead and get them started in the game. If you are not sure about your ability and knowledge try to find a golf professional who will really take an interest and get invested in your child. Number one they are going to have the right information, they are going to be a good role model for you child that is going to tell them about the integrity and values in the game and the honesty that is involved. They are values that will last them the rest of their lives. I think the other thing is that even if you are a very good player yourself, by the time your son our daughter is a teenager they are really going to go through a phase where they are not really quite listening to you. I really think at some point you should turn them over to a PGA professional for their instruction. As they are moving along and they are starting to compete, try not to put so much emphasis on score. I have seen so many juniors that just feel pressured by their parents to produce a particular number and they get confused in terms of their self worth. If they play well they feel good and if they don't they feel bad. That is understandable, but when it begins to reach into their psyche in a negative way then you know you have gone a little bit over the top. I would like to recommend that you simply encourage them and give them support. Give them a pat on the back when they giving you the disciple to go out and practice every day and simply try their very best. These tips for a parent with a child who is playing golf will really make a difference.


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