How to ensure your kids enjoy the game, courtesy of SoCal Golf Insider & Eric Lohman, PGA GM.
Long before Eric Lohman was the PGA General Manager at Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point, he was an accomplished junior player in the Coachella Valley who competed on the Southern California PGA Junior Golf Tour and later on the UCLA golf team.
With a combination of more than 25 years in the industry and his experiences growing up in the game, who better to seek out for advice on helping kids enjoy the game?
Here is what we learned from the 2017 Southern California PGA Golf Professional of the Year who now sits on the Board as the Secretary of the SCPGA:
Success can be measured in many ways
Does your child enjoy what they are doing and does their effort pay off with some sort of quantifiable result such as a win, a high finish, making a team, happiness, exercise, or friendship? The answer to that question is different for everyone.
There should always be a goal, and if that goal is met – whatever it may be – it should be considered a success. If I took 10 kids at age 6 and worked with them weekly for 12 years, they would all be different athletically, physically, and emotionally at age 18, so their definition of success (and their parents’ definition) will likely be vastly different among the group.
Make the most of your opportunities
I was lucky to have a twin brother to always play with, as well as some golf professionals and managers who helped me play affordably. My parents spent their hard-earned money to support us to travel and play regionally and nationally against the best juniors, and we always had good golf equipment we trusted.
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Focus on strengths, work on weaknesses
Looking back, I wish I had spent more time working out to become stronger, spent more time with a sports psychologist to improve my mental game, and worked more with an accomplished swing coach to better fine-tune my technique. These are things that are all best ingrained at a younger stage.
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Golf is not an individual sport
All kids need a good support team, no matter their goals and abilities – family, friends, golf coach, club fitter, and eventually fitness, nutrition, and wellness instructors.
The best players, college teams, academies, and national squads rely on this support structure. At a rudimentary level, all players need a properly fit set of clubs, a swing coach or playing coach, and a good game plan for improvement and competition.
By following these basic tenets, junior golfers stand the most chance for long-term success and enjoyment.
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