Tag Archives: kids learning to golf

The Lesson Was on Me This Time

7 Jun

When something goes wrong, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?Judgement — as in what were you thinking?

Making a decision and thinking before you do something. You take many things into consideration before making a decision. Think before you swing. Think. Listen, and make a good decision. This was what we talked about at golfing school today. And although this was the word of the week for my son and his three and four-year old golf school classmates, I think it was more of a heads-up for the parents.

The Spring Competition is next week. All the golf skills he practiced and learned at school will get tested before the spring session ends. It’s the end of the semester fun skills test. Key word here is fun. The kids are supposed to have fun. They’ll do everything from putting, chipping, and swinging away on the range.

Judgement on the putting green

I informed my son of the championship and just told him it would be a contest and all he had to do was his best. Listen, focus, and do your best, and we’ll be fine next week. We’ll practice, but not too much.

Sometimes parents get all crazy when it comes to their kids and sports. They might not get pageant crazy, like those moms on the TLC show with Little Miss Sunshine weird-looking toddlers with makeup and crowns, but sometimes the parent wants to win more than the kid. And that’s when the craziness begins.

In truth I’m competitive myself, but I’ve seen those parents press their kids and then the entire experience just sucks for everybody. So I try not to do that. I’m hoping I don’t get crazy, and knowing me I won’t. I’ll check myself. But I can see some parents on that trip, without a self-checker.

I’m hoping my son will do all right. In truth he has a pretty good chance of winning but anything can happen. While some kids take two strokes to sink the ball on the green, which is pretty awesome, my son in his best hockey stance takes about ten swings, or at least he did so today. He averaged seven today. He gives me the thumbs up when the ball finally rolls into the hole. He’s pretty pleased with himself.

I shake my head and smile. “Good try. Good try.”

“Yes. It was a good try. I was great.”

Judgement. Judgement tells me not to act like that crazy parent that yells in frustration and tells his kid to do it right or else they’re not leaving.

Judgement tells me to smile, give him a thumbs up in return, and say: “Yeah, you are great, all we need is a little more practice before the championship contest next week. But for now, how about some Goldfish Crackers?”

“Yeah. Goldfishes for me being great.”

 

 

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My Three-Year Old Son, Golfing School, and the Courtesy Incident

31 May

Last week the word for the day was perseverance.

“Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, MOM!”

“What!”

“Watch this swing.”

“Dude. I’m totally looking at you.”

Ball does not go in the hole.

“Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, MOM!”

He knew perseverance. It really didn’t have to be explained to him when we were on the course. He had the concept. It’s the competitive side in him. 

This week however the word of the day was courtesy. Something that all three-year olds and hostile moms who drive Exagerators that steal your parking spaces should know. This is the key to a peaceful existence everywhere not just on the golf course. It’s too bad not too many people go to golf school with their kids. We’d have better parking lot situations if they did.

Courtesy. Coach Jeff tried to explain the basics on that one. You are polite. You are nice to other golfers on the course while you play. You wait your turn and you don’t talk when someone is swinging.

Pretty simple. We thought everyone got the concept. So we went right to it.

He hit a bucket of balls on the driving range and played the first hole on the course. It was his first time playing any course. The coach’s original plan was to play the first two holes, but three and four-year olds do not necessarily put the ball in the hole after three tries. More like ten.

It took about an hour for six kids to play one hole. Let me tell you, sunscreen rocks at that point.

The First Tee.

Most of the parents were courteous and encouraging. We all knew our kids, so it was fine. There was no rolling of the eyes or sighs of exasperation. But we did have a one or two kids and dads just putting away and swinging while other kids were trying to tee off. Coach Jeff continued his “courtesy” reminders. But getting hit with a golf ball … that’ll work. No reminders needed. Hey, live and learn. Live and learn the hard way on the golf course.

Anyhow after the hour was done and we got a nice tan, we headed back to the clubhouse. Coach Jeff was pleased that all the kids tried their best and busted out the rewards. The Tootsie Roll Lollipop. The chewy chocolate candy that usually comes out of pinatas was right there within reach.

My son was excited of course and decided to rush Coach Jeff.

“You have to be courteous, remember. That little boy was in front of you. Wait your turn. Courtesy.”

“Right!” He repeated as he lined up behind the little boy. “Courtesy. Mom. I’m being courtesy.” 

My son waited and it was finally his turn. As he reached for the orange lollipop, another kid walked in from outside approached Coach Jeff and tried to take the same one. My son looked up at me then at Coach Jeff with this hey-hey-hey-what’s-the-hell-is-going-on-here look.

Coach Jeff removed the Tootsie Pops away from reach and reminded the other little boy about the word of the day. The kid didn’t take it well. His mom was the lady in that drove the Exagerator. It didn’t surprise me. The kid went to the back of the line, upset.

Coach Jeff took out the Tootsie Roll Pops again and my son smiled. He grabbed the orange one and walked toward me.

“Look mom. Here is my reward. Coach Jeff said I was great golfing today. I am courtesy too.” 

Then he turns to look at the boys still waiting for their Tootsie Roll pops and then looks back at me, points, and whispers.

“He was not courtesy, mom.  He tried to take my lollipop. No lollipop for him, only a timeout.”

My Three-Year Old’s Definition of Confidence and Golf School

14 May

Some people have too much of it. Some people have too little. Either way that’s a problem. There has to be some kind of balance otherwise you can be an insecure basket case or just an ass.

As a writer confidence is a concept that comes and goes. One day you think you’ve written one of the best pieces of your life, only to have it rejected with a generic it’s-not-you-it’s-me letter from the publisher. Other days someone sees your writing and a small compliment can set you straight. All you ever need is a boost.

I learned this a long time ago, but was reminded of it by my son.

Confidence was the word of the week at my son’s golf school. “Believe in yourself. You can do it.” This is how I helped define it for him. Confidence combined with the putting green was something I found hilarious.

The Putting Green

All the ball has to do is go in the hole, whether you’re two feet away or ten feet away the mind games begin. So this is when the you-can-do-it-believe-in-yourself phase commences.

There they were … my son’s classmates lining up and knocking down the two-footers in one or two strokes. Then they’d move on to the next hole and repeat.

Then comes my son. One stroke. Two strokes. Ball still outside the hole. He looks at the ball confused. He steps back, pauses and examines the situation with all of his three-year old golf experience. He lines up again. Three. Four. Ball in the hole.

“I did it! I did it! Coach Jeff. I did it mom. The ball went in the hole.”

I smile. He comes over to high-five me and then goes on to hole No.2.

Throughout all the practice holes on the putting green I noticed the other kids making hole-in-ones. I noticed my son observing. I thought he would feel bad, and I was ready to cheer him up and tell him not to worry, that every golfer was different. But that didn’t happen. He got a little frustrated from time to time, but kept going. The best putt was hole No. 7, where he made it in two attempts.

He came back to the beginning and smiled.

As he drank his Gatorade, I asked him how he did.

“I did good. I have confidence, but my ball was not working.”

“Are you sure? I think they were all working.”

“No. No it wasn’t. The ball didn’t have confidence. But I made it anyways. We were winners. We believe in myself.”

Confidence.