Just Play

Rankings matter just a little. The true story is elsewhere

Over the last couple of years we have heard a variety of stories and comments about junior players quitting... yes quitting... when they think their score or where they play is going to hurt their ranking. From parents who coax their children to quit to players who would rather sit on a couch than go play, it has become a distressing chorus.

Let's be perfectly clear.

What you shoot is what matters and since we throw out the poorer scores for players who get caught in bad weather, learning to compete in all conditions and/or against having just played a bad round is what matters. Everyone watching who knows anything about the game of junior golf knows that weather can be a factor and that junior players have bad days. Learning to deal with adversity, learning to play against all comers on all courses, and keeping your game sharp is what coaches and other observers look for. They want to see how a player handles themselves and are far more impressed by players who bounce back from an 85 than those who pack their bags and go home. Coaches also look at rankings as one of the last things in their final recruiting decision. And parents... if a coach ever found out you pulled your child off the course, start looking elswhere for your child to go to school.

Let's remember that there is always a golf course to be conquered with the lowest score you can shoot, that scoring is three times more important than strength of field, no one ever got better sitting on a couch, and this is a game of honesty, integrity, and discipline.

Bravo to the parents and players that understand that. Those who don't... we hear tennis needs players.


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