I've said it in another thread but this is by far the best golf forum on the internet I have seen and I am very glad that I found it.
I'm 44 and most of my "best" golf is behind me but as Yoda told Luke... "there is... another" which is why I am looking to improve my golf knowledge. I have a talented 13 year old son who I think could be successful in at least the high school level and depending on how much he is willing to work, possibly college. We started out chipping around the yard when he was around 4 years old and going to putt putt. He destroyed plastic clubs with one or two swings so I ended up cutting down a old PW and making a duct tape handle.
He loved it and was surprisingly good for his age. Three things made me think he could be at least a better than average player.
1) We would use real balls and I had a large yard (an acre and a half) where we would pick out trees around the house as "flags" and the game was to hit the tree first. 50 to 60 yard shots. Half wedge for me but basically full swings for him to get close. As a 4-5 year old taking full swings, he would hit little draws. That got my attention a little as something rare. Plus,I was the only one who ever hit the house.
2) One day when he was around 7 or 8 we were at one of the local practice range / greens and it was pretty cold (in the 50's). It started raining really hard and I had enough and said we were leaving. He said no so I said to myself... "well he'll quit soon enough" and sat in the car and watched him chip and putt in the cold miserable rain for at least 45 minutes.
3) When I try to "mess with him" during his swing he has no idea that it is happening. For example, when he is set up for putting or a shot, I will sometimes make shadows over his ball or in his line or move around in his peripheral vision fully expecting him to back off and laugh (We have fun when we play even though sometimes as much as a whole dollar is on the line) and he will just hit his shot and has no idea that I was messing with him at all. A shadow moving up and down ON the ball as he is trying to putt and he doesn't notice it? It sort of creeps me out a little to be honest but I think it is a tremendous advantage.
The main obstacle I face now and for the foreseeable future is the expense of golf and lessons. I knew he had outgrown my "coaching" a couple of years ago and a local pro (who played on the Nationwide tour and a few PGA events) was very kind and gave him a summers worth of lessons two years ago because he saw potential in my son and knew I just don't have a lot of money. He had some serious health issues and couldn't teach last year and I'm not sure where he is right now to be honest.
So, while I 100% understand the value of hiring a PGA teaching professional and would do so in a heartbeat if I could budget it, I am increasing my knowledge of the swing and coaching techniques to help him in the meantime. His joining the high school team next year should help him out by getting him into competitive situations. I know the deck is stacked against him in a lot of ways without having the money to put him into junior tournaments or camps or even the incredible looking Golf Evolution school up in Erie which is only 45 minutes away from my house but I'm going to try to give him the best chance I can to at least try for a golf scholarship (if he is willing to work for it... I tell him often that talent alone won't cut it in golf.)
Anyway, long ramble over. I'm very glad to have found this site and this hopefully explains why.