In Time Out!

If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry! I’m gonna’ lay down on the Daddy Caddy therapist’s couch for a minute.

Played a US Kids golf tournament this weekend. Osprey Point in Boca Raton, Florida. Nice course. Pretty new. A little tight with very unforgiving natural areas. Maybe the hardest part of the course though is a party facility that is part of the park there. Apparently there were some musicians setting up to play an event there. Well, they were “tuning” up and sound checking on a PA system, meant for Woodstock, for our entire tournament. Kudos to all the child golfers who were able to focus through that amazing distraction. I happen to be a guitar player raised in the classic rock days of Robin Trower and Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, but I have to admit, the three hours of sound checks grated on me. I guess it might be sort of like Earl Woods beating pots and pans to distract Tiger as a kid! Maybe we should thank them?

Anyway, it’s no secret that our son has great skills. He can play some golf and make shots that are really quite impressive, but we struggle with keeping his head in the game the hole round sometimes. If he has a bad shot, he can get too dramatic about it. It’s good ’cause he’s passionate, but bad as it can affect 2 or 3 holes.

Well today was one of those days. Fellow Daddy Caddies, can I hear an, “Amen!”

Right on hole one, for his second shot from 203 yards, he wanted to hit a 3 wood. This lay out narrowed significantly at about 30 yards from the green and it was surrounded by this very unforgiving natural stuff.

We learned that most times it’s better to hit to 60 yards and take a full lob or sand iron than    try to thread into the green with bunkers and hazards around.

I strongly suggested he play a 4 hybrid to 150 and set up into a nice wide fairway area for a “short money shot” (a high confidence full swing vs. high variance chipping). Our golfer wanted to hit a 3 wood, which could roll out to 190’ish if hit well, and maybe into trouble. He listened to me, but mis-hit a bit and went into a fairway bunker at about 50 yards from the hole.

So, now I’m in trouble. Of course it was “all my fault” and I made it worse by highlighting that it would have been good if he hit it a bit straighter. “I don’t know why I listened to you? If I hit my 3 wood, I’d be passed the bunker …” Oh boy, here we go.

Well the drama carried into the next hole, a par three, he was on in one and three putted. More drama. When he was on in regulation on the next hole and four putted, I was done for. I could say or do nothing to redirect us.

I learned, for our son, the best thing at this point is to give him the cart and ask him to play on his own for a few holes. He really doesn’t need me and I need to be doing more of that anyway. Letting him play on his own “forces” him to connect back into the game. He needs to get his own distances and clubs and push the cart and sink or swim on his own decisions. I sort of become a crutch, and at moments like this, an excuse.

What’s funny is, when we were backed up on the sixth tee, another Daddy Caddy comes up, extends a hand and says, “So you’re in time out, huh? Been there twice already today!”  He saw me riding with mom for a few holes. Can I get another, “Amen!” from the Daddy Caddies out there?

It can be tough. depending on your kid, your day. At this age of 11 and under, the personalities are all over the place and drama ensues. It just does. You’ll need to find your techniques. But, I assure, you are not alone. Remember, do what the parent should do.

Turns out he parred 7 through 9 … some great golf, and a the good kid was back. I was able to get a hug and an I love you again. That makes it all worth it, though you will see, it can be hard while you’re in it. See you at the 19th hole!

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