In Eight or Ninth Grade

What should we play in?

Quite often we get questions from parents about how quickly they should be trying to get their junior golfer into the best tournaments, how much travelling they should do and how important is it to play in the "off season" meaning fall, winter, spring.

My first answer is usally to recognize how expensive this sport is to play competitively and so I encourage families to stick close to home when their junior player is in 8th or 9th grade. There is no compelling reason to play in more than one or two big national tournaments during the year at this age.

Getting into the "best" tournaments is usually accomplished by playing good golf and letting the golf speak for itself. In addition those good scores will move the player up in the rankings. Doing well locally will certainly move a player up in their state rankings.

Finally, playing in the "off" season is important for the committed competitive golfer. This accomplishes several things. It keeps the player in form, it teaches them to play in less than ideal conditions, and it builds their competitive record and toughness. Yes, sometimes scores can be higher because of weather but any knowledgeable college coach can see how the whole field was affected and take that into account.

So hopefully,these comments and ideas are of help. Parents - please call if you have questions. That's what we are here for.

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