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jga226

Junior golfer advice.

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My name is Joel. I am 13 and last time my handicap was calculated two months ago, it was 18. I have been playing for 3 years. I golf every day, even during the school year, and I feel I should be better than I am. I have made some birdies, an eagle and a hole-in-one on my course, (but those were lucky.) Most of the time, I get pars and bogeys (some double bogeys, too and occasionally triples or worse) I am not a long hitter- my best drive was 230 but it's usually about 200-215, and I have a friend my age who drives it 250-260. My mom and the golf pro at my club tell me not to worry about it right now since I am very small for my age (4'9" and 80 lbs.), but I just feel like my distance hasn't improved much in three years. I really, really want to become a pro golfer. I don't really get lessons, but my golf pro helps me a lot when he has a chance. He tells me I am too much of a perfectionist and that I am too hard on myself, but I think I should be better than I am to make it to the pros. Is there a chance if I work really hard and practice a lot?

Joel

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Sounds like you don't like what you are hearing. My advice is to listen to your golf pro, not a bunch of anonymous guys on the internet.

There are a lot of people here that know a lot about the game, but we don't know about your game. Stick with it and follow the advice of your pro. It will work out.

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You can always video tape your swing and post it in the "My Swing" area of this site.  Their are definitely a few experts on this site that can give you help with your swing if they can see it.

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Here's a question for you:

If this was a basketball forum, and you said you loved basketball, but weren't really very good, would you be asking if you had a chance to make it to the NBA?

What do you think your chances would be. Realistically?

It's the same with golf.

With the evidence you have provided, you can probably work out he answer yourself.

What benefit would there be in someone saying "Yes, you can!" What would they know?

Your aim should be to become the best golfer you can be and just enjoy it.

Ultimately, that means a solid low marker, a struggling mid-handicapper or the next Tiger Woods.

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Some tough love on this forum.

I think you are doing pretty well for only being 13. 18 handicap is better than the majority of other golfers. I think for your age and how long and how much you play that is quite good. I wouldn't expect you to be any better, and am a bit jealous that you are that good at 13.

There are going to be a lot of people who tell you can't do it and you should give up. Those people are cowards themselves and you should never listen to them. Not everyone on the PGA was/is a prodigy golfer, a lot had to work very very hard to get where they are and all of them still do work very very hard to stay at a professional level.

Here is my advice and its a bit lengthy so bear with me. Right now don't worry about distance. You are small so hitting it a little over 200 is nothing to be mad about. It sounds like you still have a lot of growing to do. Distance will come, and with it your swing will probably be hard to maintain as you are able to make generate more power. Right now I would focus on accuracy, your short game, and putting. You can quickly turn an otherwise good hole into a poor one with a 3 putt or a flubbed chip. Keep working on your mechanics, because like I mentioned when your growth spurt happens its going to mess with a lot of things.

There is nothing wrong with being a perfectionist, and I despise people who put others down for this trait. Perfectionists almost always go far in life. I think the biggest challenge in front of you is keeping things in perspective. That can be very difficult for a teenager. I know it was for me and it still is now. Don't forget you still have school and social obligations. If your high school has a golf team try out for it. Even if you don't make it the first year keep trying. There really is no reason for you to ever give up your dream of becoming a professional. Allen Doyle didn't turn make it onto the PGA Tour until he was 46.

Keep up the hard work Kid and don't lose sight.

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Originally Posted by jga226

My name is Joel. I am 13 and last time my handicap was calculated two months ago, it was 18. I have been playing for 3 years. I golf every day, even during the school year, and I feel I should be better than I am. I have made some birdies, an eagle and a hole-in-one on my course, (but those were lucky.) Most of the time, I get pars and bogeys (some double bogeys, too and occasionally triples or worse) I am not a long hitter- my best drive was 230 but it's usually about 200-215, and I have a friend my age who drives it 250-260. My mom and the golf pro at my club tell me not to worry about it right now since I am very small for my age (4'9" and 80 lbs.), but I just feel like my distance hasn't improved much in three years. I really, really want to become a pro golfer. I don't really get lessons, but my golf pro helps me a lot when he has a chance. He tells me I am too much of a perfectionist and that I am too hard on myself, but I think I should be better than I am to make it to the pros. Is there a chance if I work really hard and practice a lot?

Joel


You're doing fine. You are my son and his classmates age and roughly the same size.

My son's classmate plays every day like you, and he is also improving a lot. I wish I could get my son to be as passionate at golf as you and his classmate, so he would practice more than once a week.

In only a couple years, you will start maturing physically, and the distance will come.

Keep up the good work.

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Thanks for your replies.

I think sometimes I compare myself to other players who have been playing since they were 5 or 6 like my friend and I feel frustrated but I have to remember I have a long way to go. I posted because everyone here at my club tells me I am good and sometimes I wonder if they are just being nice, especially when I go to big tournaments and other kids are shooting under par.

I have had my swing analyzed and I've been told I have a great swing, just a bit flat on my backswing. I am working on it.

Joel

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Originally Posted by Dev 0

Some tough love on this forum.

There are going to be a lot of people who tell you can't do it and you should give up. Those people are cowards themselves and you should never listen to them. Not everyone on the PGA was/is a prodigy golfer, a lot had to work very very hard to get where they are and all of them still do work very very hard to stay at a professional level.

Oh gawd.......here we go again.

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Originally Posted by jga226

Thanks for your replies.

I think sometimes I compare myself to other players who have been playing since they were 5 or 6 like my friend and I feel frustrated but I have to remember I have a long way to go. I posted because everyone here at my club tells me I am good and sometimes I wonder if they are just being nice, especially when I go to big tournaments and other kids are shooting under par.

I have had my swing analyzed and I've been told I have a great swing, just a bit flat on my backswing. I am working on it.

Joel


I would also like to note, that your writing is quite good for a 13 year old as well. For that matter, good for an adult as well.

Good luck in your pursuits.

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Originally Posted by Lihu

I would also like to note, that your writing is quite good for a 13 year old as well. For that matter, good for an adult as well.

Good luck in your pursuits.

Thanks. I am a G/T student. My mom always checks me on my writing and my grammar. She wants me to get good grades.

Joel

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I am an old man these days (a privilege not given to everyone I have known) so maybe I have a different perspective than some.  But my advice is to first have fun and give it your best effort to be as good at the game as you can, but first make sure you're having fun because you won't get better unless you enjoy it.

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When you are practicing, have specific things you work on. Don't just pound balls.

You definitely need a good short game, but after that it's important to get your tee shots in the fairway.

At this stage in life, focus on playing better golf and having fun. You might talk to the pro about specific things you can do to help improve your game.

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Originally Posted by Shorty

Oh gawd.......here we go again.

You have a problem with that statement?

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StatlerAndWaldorf.jpg

Seriously Shorty, which of these 2 are you?

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If you really are 13 and only weigh 80 pounds but you're already shooting around 90? I'd say that's awesome man. Once you hit puberty, assuming you don't get unlucky, you'll easily add 15-20mph to your swing speed, likely more as the years go on, you start working out, etc. You can't compare yourself to another kid who's already 5'10" 175, that always happens in sports growing up. All that matters is what happens after you grow up.

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