Ho to be a golf star
January 16, 2018
PEOPLE WONDER HOW PLAYERS SUCH AS MORIYA AND ARYIA JUTANUGARN, THAIS WHO PLAY ON THE LPGA, MANAGED TO MAKE IT. COMING FROM POOR BACKGROUNDS, THEY CERTAINLY DIDN’T HAVE EVERYTHING HANDED TO THEM BY WEALTHY PARENTS. SO, HOW DID THEY MANAGE TO CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE PILE?
So why did they make it and how can players inVietnam emulate it?
The frst step is starting young and also evaluating if the child has any natural talent. While skills can be learned, it’s very important to see if the child has any raw natural abilities on which to build. The earlier a child starts, the more experience he/she will gain and that is important when it comes to tournaments. You need to remember there is a world of difference between playing golf for fun and playing tournaments, or later playing golf for a living. So, it’s important to fnd a qualifed teacher for your child.
Not all teachers are created equal, some who are very good with adults are not good with children. Also, lessons are structured differently due to a child’s limited attention span. The most important thing during the beginning is making sure the child is having fun and developing a love for the game. Without that, there is zero chance the child will stick with it long enough to become a great player.
Note: Too many parents are trying to live their own dream through their children. Playing on Tour might be YOUR unfulflled dream, but it probably isn’t your child’s. He or she is only trying to make you happy. Don’t force a square peg into a round hole. If the child wants it, support their dream. If not, back off. Finding proper equipment for the child is very important. Using cut down clubs from their parents just isn’t good enough. Those clubs aren’t weighted correctly and don’t have the proper ﬂex. One problem is children so fast the parent can expect to go through three to six sets of clubs for the child from ages six to 16, not to mention shoes.
There is an old adage that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a great player and that is true to some point, but practice is not just hitting balls mindlessly on the range. This means there has to be a lesson plan and it must be followed, practice included.
Practice doesn’t make perfect, but perfect practice certainly helps.
This is not something that comes easily and it required single-minded dedication. You have to practice in the sun, rain, cold and heat. You have to practice even when you don’t want to. There is no other option. Your hands will develop blisters and your back will be sore. Get used to it. No pain, no gain.
Anyone can learn to hit a golf ball, but that’s not “playing golf” and it certainly isn’t tournament golf (which is a completely different animal altogether from playing with friends). The child will have to start playing tournaments, just to get the experience. In this respect, Thailand is light years ahead of Vietnam as the TGA and TPGA have been existence a lot longer than the VGA and have very advanced junior programs that act as a feeder system for the national team. Still, the VGA has a few events including the Faldo Series and a few others north and south, but this really isn’t enough. More events need to be scheduled. Thailand also has a full-time paid coaching staff for the national team and treat golf as seriously as they do football.
The sad part is that out of 80 million golfers worldwide, only .0003 have any chance at all to get on the PGA Tour. Only 245 players get their Tour card and cannot even keep it past the frst year. And the Asian Tour isn’t much easier. This is why I tell students to shoot for a golf scholarship to a major US university and get a degree so they have something to fall back on later. But, to even get to university, you need to be a 16-17 year old child with good marks in school to even be considered for a golf scholarship. The child will also need to have a golf handicap index of around 2.0 and a solid amateur tournament background. Winning a national championship also helps.
Don’t be afraid to dream, but have a back-up plan.