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Golf Tips: Programs abound to give young golfers the basics

By: Shawn Kelly
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Remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. It is the day set aside for us to remember our veterans who have served and given their lives so that we all may have our freedom. Some folks attend ceremonies or parades, others pray and some even stop to thank a vet personally. Unfortunately there are too many who feel it is just a day off work or school and time to party. Let?s not forget the true meaning of Memorial Day. Be certain your children understand the reasons why they have their freedoms and why they are to be treasured. Since I seem to be on my personal soapbox for kids to remember the true meaning of the day, lets talk junior golf. Junior golf has never enjoyed more awareness. In fact, there are burgeoning programs all over the world successfully promoting junior golf. There are programs such as the PGA?s ?First Tee? and others for beginners. Regionally, there are tournament programs such as AJGA and SAY Golf, for young golfers who want to play competitively at their highest level. Whatever a junior?s level there is a program nearby to get them involved. Here are some tips to help juniors get involved with golf. ? Get into a PGA junior program. These programs teach the basic fundamentals in an appropriate atmosphere with their peers. Most programs will supply loaner clubs so you won?t need to buy clubs until their interest has fully developed. ? When a junior does get serious, get clubs that fit properly. Adult clubs that have been cut down typically don?t work because they are usually too stiff and heavy. Ill-fitting equipment will impair progress and ultimately discourage a promising junior. A dynamic club fitting with a competent PGA professional will work wonders. ? Local school programs are awesome right now. Keeping your grades up and trying out for your school?s team is a great way to improve your tournament play. ? Tournament golf is huge around the world and especially in Northern California. If you are interested in playing tournament golf, there are three levels of competition. Beginners should participate in a club with a local course or junior programs to learn the basics. Next you can test your skills in area golf leagues like SAY Golf and at the highest level. You may even want to be competing in events at statewide or national levels, such as NCPGA or USGA events. A special note to parents: Just let the kids play. A slight push to get them started is great, but too much pressure seems to burn them out. Juniors will let you know when they become serious. For encouragement, lend a helping hand by transporting them to and from and they will succeed at their own pace. Junior golf is an incredibly popular sport right now for youngsters. There are plenty of programs to get kids involved with the game, find the best program for them then stand back and let them excel. Merchandise designed especially for juniors, is readily available now. Here is a list of some of the most popular. Golf shoes - They give the adequate support they need and some companies offer the full range of small sizes. Golf bags- Bags with stands or new shoulder harnesses can make it more comfortable to walk when they play. These bags are slightly smaller to fit kids and their clubs. Pushcart - If they can?t carry their bag, these make it easy to transport their clubs around the course. Head covers of animals or your favorite sports team can make it fun. Weather gear, rain suits, wind jackets, and other items are available in the smallest of sizes. My father, a veteran himself, instilled the true meaning of the day in me at an early age. Enjoy your holiday in a manner that expresses your gratitude to those that gave all. Keep safe and remember to thank a vet. Be certain that your children understand that the freedoms that we all hold so precious didn?t come cheaply, without sacrifice.