For adults reading this I want you to consider a couple of things when it comes to encouraging and helping junior golfers.
For juniors reading this I would like you to also consider a couple of things.
I am going to start with the adults, now you will be broken down into two groups, and each group will probably consider junior golfers differently to the other. The first group of adults is those that began playing in the mid years or later. The second group is those adults that began as juniors working their way up the ranks only to be stopped by the necessities of life and relationships.
To the first group of adults I would like you to consider that junior golfers are the future of golf and that they need all the support and opportunities that you can provide them, whether as parents or a supporting voice in the club at which you are members.
I urge you to treat them as golfers and not as juniors, yes they may need guiding in the right direction, but just as you did, they have to learn somewhere.
To the second group of adults, I would ask you to remember what things were like when you were younger, a junior at a golf club where the rules were strict and you were kept o the fringes of the club, unless you happened to be a hot prospect for the future.
To both groups I beg you to try to encourage all juniors at your club, whether you are parents or golfers. I was lucky enough to have the support of two members at the club I belonged to, their support, encouragement and willingness to play with me improve me as a golfer but more than that taught me the importance of etiquette and respect for my fellow golfers. A trait that I still display today, in fact I am a stickler for the etiquette. It is one of the first things that I instill into my juniors.
So I plead with all adult golfers to accept and welcome playing with juniors at your golf club. Encourage them, put your name down as a “tutor” or “buddy” if you have such a scheme at your local course, take part in club competitions and even sit on the junior committee. The enjoyment and pleasure you will get from seeing a junior golfer overcome their nerves and win their first tournament or play for the club for the first time is reward enough.
To the juniors that feel left out, or feel ostracized from the rest of the golf club, make yourself stand out. Put yourself forward to play in the club competitions, make sure that you are known by the clubs committee members. Be the model golfer, know the rules, abide by the club rules and etiquette and do not be afraid to approach adult members to ask if they would be willing to play with you because you mum or dad doesn’t play.
You must be prepared to be part of the golf club, take part in the club social events when you can and demonstrate your desire to be as good as you can be. Your club pro should be able to help you find adult members that are willing to take you under their wing and give you some moral support.
Until Next Time,
The Golf Swing Doctor