CHOOSE THE RIGHT JUNIOR GOLF TOURNAMENTS TO SET YOUR PLAYER UP FOR SUCCESS
Choosing the right tournament schedule for your junior golf is very important. There are many factors and reasons for playing tournaments as a junior golfer, not only for their next steps in golf, but for their self confidence as well. Playing the right tournaments allows junior golfers to stay on track for reaching their goals and best prepare them for College Golf and beyond.
Here are some considerations when deciding what tournaments to play;
Skill Level of the player - Do you want to be able to go to event and easily win? Do you want a shot at winning? It is important for understand the skill level of the junior playing the event, not putting them in over their head and not making it too easy for them. Setting them up for growth and hunger for winning. For example, playing your home course against the same players and winning every time isn't going to help the growth of the junior player, they need to move onto the next level. Keep in mind the Junior Golfer's confidence as well.
Competition - You want to start at the right level, playing in events that push you to win. Have a look at the previous years results and it will give you a good idea for the scores and where your junior golfer would place. Also you don't want to crush their competitive spirit - a good "car discussion" after the event is to talk about the players that won, how to better prepare for an event, and also discuss how your junior golfer can improve their score (this can easily be driven by the stats of the round, greens, putts, fairways).
Rankings - These are given too much credit. Yes, some find them very important, but the rankings that matter the most are the ones that can get you into events that require certain qualifications. You don't have to gear each and every decision for tournament play based on rankings.
Timing - Has your junior golfer been practicing? Are they busy with their academic studies? Have they put in enough time to prepare for the event? Can you arrive in enough time for the practice round? Timing and the schedule of the junior golfer must be taken into account to best prepare them for the event.
Location and Course Set up - It is important to have a mix of events where you can stay at home and also some where you can experience traveling. As you move into College Golf, you want to be able to know how to pack, prepare and play in an event. Also look at the course yardage and make sure you practice on those yardages, don't go to a tournament and expect to be prepared if you haven't played rounds and prepared for that yardage.
Cost - Always a factor as golf is an expensive sport - be sure to understand the cost of a tournament, the cost of travel, practice rounds and accommodations. If Juniors are traveling on their own, many of the larger events will offer private housing - this is a great experience for junior golfers.
Number of Rounds - We wouldn't suggest going from an 18 hole round tournament to a 72 hole event, or the USGA events that are close to a week long if you make it completely through match play. Go through the steps the way you would do anything, one step at a time, small steps and work your way through the events. This is the same with young juniors who decide to "play up"from their age group, until you are no longer challenged at your age level, you should stay there and move up when age dictates.
College Coaching Presence - College Coaches attend many of the major events throughout the year, however if you currently live on the East Coast but really want to attend school on the West Coast - our suggestion is to play some events in that area. Many coaches will attend events locally in their area and it also gives the junior golfers opportunity to complete a school visit and play in the climate they would hopefully be playing in during their collegiate career.
Students at Premier Golf Academy have access to over five tours locally with some of the strongest competition in the country. Our students play events through; AJGA, PGA Southern California Junior Tour, Future Champions Tour, PGA Junior Development Tour, USGA. There schedules are customized and individualized according to their goals, training plan and college golf plan.
Tournaments that we recommend looking into (some are nationwide and others are regionally based tours, we have focused on the nationwide tours) For questions regarding regional/local tours, please contact us - firstname.lastname@example.org.