Yes, I did write that, even though it doesn't feel like Spring.
With a Winter Storm Warning in place, the date should be March 11th not April 11th. One thing I do know, though, is that it will warm up at some point and we will find ourselves in the midst of another Canadian golf season before we know it.
I thought it was a good day to pull out the Long Term Player Development guide for golf and make a plan for what this summer will look like for myself and my kids. Although I am quite familiar with the guide, I am always happy to roll up my sleeves and delve into this great resource. It gives me an idea of how many hours of practice, how many ball strikes and how many competitive rounds of golf we should strive for based on the kids' ages and ability levels. It also helps me keep from overdoing it.
Some things to keep in mind:
1) Note that each level has an age range as well as an activity range. If your child is on the younger end of the age range, they will also be on the lighter end of the activity range; they don't need to hit that high activity level when they're just starting out.
2) Regardless of age, start the season off slowly. Plan how you are going to start incorporating golf activities into your schedule and build from there. This goes for parents too - be sure to hit the practice facility a few times before you head out for your first round!
3) Compete or don't compete - the choice is yours. Start off with one competition and see how it goes. You can always add more if your child enjoyed the experience. If you do decide to compete, stick within the suggested ranges. For kids in higher levels, lay out the competition schedule early in the year and be sure to leave some "down time" in between.
4) Familiarize yourself with all aspects of the LTPD and the Future Links program. If you have questions, go to your Coach for clarification. He/she can provide parent readings for you to help you navigate.
5) Have FUN! It may be busy, but it shouldn't be stressful. Golf is a game that your family can enjoy together. There are days that I'm the parent and playing with my children but there are also days when I'm the child and playing with my parents. There are few sports where this is the case...enjoy every minute.
To download the Long Term Player Development guide for golf go to:
After you've had a chance to go through the guide, I'd love to hear what you think of it! I'm also happy to answer any questions you may have.