How exciting! You’re all signed up for your golfer’s first tournament. Let’s take a look at what the day might look like ..
Plan to be at the golf course the day of a tournament at least an hour prior to your tee time. When you arrive, the competitor will need to sign in at a table somewhere. After you’re signed in, you can go through a warm up. Some kids tournaments include range balls in the registration fee, others charge for a bucket of balls; usually it’s just few dollars. We’ll talk about warm up and what will work for your golfer, but, arrival one hour early should allow for a thirty minute warm up after ten minutes for signing in. Then ten minutes for a bathroom stop if needed and get to your starting tee ten minutes before your tee time. Being on time in this fashion is a critical habit to form from the very beginning. Keep in mind that penalties may be assessed to your player if he is late to the starting tee.
Don’t forget the number one purpose for golf at this age is fun! The parents have a much easier time forgetting this than the kids. The time before the tournament can be a great social opportunity for the young players. Try to keep this in mind and find your own mix of warm up focus and fun. We found that heading out to the practice tee first to hit no more than two or three balls per club type, for example, 9 iron, 7 iron, 3 hybrid, 3 wood, and driver, could take only about fifteen minutes. After about eight minutes of chipping green warm up with a wedge, it’s off to the putting green. The practice green is where the kids will usually putt together and even have little contests among themselves.
Each family will have different motivations; some are more serious than others. Find your own objectives for the sport, but keep in mind the value of this social interaction and play time on the practice green. This time even has value for the day as it allows the player to relax and ease into the competition. I would be remiss not to mention, selfishly, the joy of watching my young golfer on the practice green “with the boys”. Those memories are gifts to my wife and me, each and every time.
Now it’s time to head to the first tee. Get there no later than 10 minutes prior to your tee time. Have fun!