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Daren Hunter

Golf Coaching Tips

4 posts in this topic

Hey All:

I have previously been the Assistant Golf coach at the high school in my town. I am replacing a veteran coach who has had a ton of respect with the kids and community. Big shoes to fill to say the least! I have learned tons and love his coaching style which I plan to try to emulate.

One thing I am concerned about is our team struggles at times with being a team. As you all know - golf is a very individualized sport. These athletes are competing against each other to be playing in matches. But at the matches they need to be focusing on winning as a team and not beating their team mate. Well - in some degree they should be wanting to beat the team mates too! I hope you can see the fine line here.

One major problem we have (a good problem) that arguably our best player is a girl. She is a 4 handicap and this gets the boys all worked up. They get on the defensive and say things that downplay our female golfers golf game.

Can you think of anyway to promote team play and how to get the players to be happy about other players success? To me that should just be a given - but this day in age it isn't.

I thought about doing alternate shot competitions and pairing up people who normally have issues.

Any clever ideas on consequences if players are not putting the team first? I don't really want to punish competitiveness - but I want to teach the kids if they want to be better they have to work at it.

I hope this makes sense! I just am trying to avoid the drama that I forsee coming into the season. Thanks for your thoughts!

D

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One idea could be for practice instead of them playing as a singles for stroke play team them with someone else and have their combined scores be their score for the day.  It would make them work together to make sure the other player had the positive encouragement from the other to play well.

Another idea would be a practice where instead of all player playing one player has to caddy for another.  This is a working together scenario that also promotes team members bringing positive encouragement to each other.

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The golf culture of your community would shape how you organize the team.

If you have several country club kids who have their own golf instructors, you might mesh with the instructors to see what they are trying to develop in their golfers. This could also be a touchy environment dealing with golden children and their parents.

If it's more public course golfers who learned together in summer clinics, or are self-taught, then you have the atmosphere for better group cohesion. Observe the golfers when the practice and/or play, and get a "game improvement" plan for each golfer.

Either way,  you need to talk to the boys about showing more respect for the female who has the 4 HDCP. Over and above golf, they need to start acting like young men and not hateful little boys.

Reinforce the "team concept" idea. Your alternate shot idea, plus what Teamanglerx said, are solid how-to for strengthening the team.

Any chance you and another HS coach could arrange some Ryder Cup alternate shot matches between the two schools?

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Originally Posted by Daren Hunter

... I thought about doing alternate shot competitions and pairing up people who normally have issues. ...

Some HS coaches are doing this in Illinois.

In one recent six-school tournament, each school filled the following competitions tracks:

  • Two golfers competing in a medal play track (individual low score)
  • Two golfers paired in a scramble match (low team score wins)
  • Two golfers paired in a best-ball match (low team score wins)

If your state HS rules permit this, go with it!

And congrats on becoming golf coach. Definitely one of the coolest jobs in the world.

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