PGA Junior Golf Camps Blog
Three Tips to Tune-Up for Summer Golf

June 24th, 2019

Remember a month ago, as your child was gazing out the window, watching the snow fall and temperatures plunge in what seemed like a never-ending winter? You weren’t the only parent wishing for sunny skies and warmer weather! But now – fingers crossed – the forecast has finally turned for the better and the golf season has officially arrived!

That means it’s time to help your child tune-up their game for the exciting months to come as they venture back onto the course for an upcoming PGA Junior Golf Camp, school tournament or a casual round with friends. However, they’ve likely been cooped-up inside or focused on other sports in the off-season, which means getting back into the game might require a slight transition.

That’s why we’ve asked PGA Junior Golf Camps Co-Director, Ryan Smith, PGA to help us get ready for the upcoming golf season. Ryan has been recognized by U.S. Kids Golf as a Top 50 Kids Teacher for the past two years, so he knows how to help junior golfers get back into the game.

Here are three of Ryan’s top tips that your child can utilize to shake-off the rust from a long layoff and have their best season yet!

Focus on the FUNdamentals

Even though your child may have gripped a golf club thousands of times, a refresher on one of the swing’s most important components is always important.

“A good grip is the first step to controlling the clubface,” says Smith. “If we learn to control the clubface, we learn to control the ball… and we have more FUN!”

So, what should your child think about when they grip the club for the first time in a few months?

“Place the heel pad of your lead hand (left hand for righties and right hand for lefties) on the top of your grip, and wrap the last three fingers of your lead hand around the club, with the thumb on top,” says Smith. “That will help lock the club into place and control it. Finally, use your trail hand to cover up that lead hand thumb and keep both hands close together. Make sure to keep an eye on this grip every day!”

Movin’ on up

It’s easy for your child to over-swing when they’re getting back on course for the first time in a while – they’re excited and want to swing faster, hit the ball farther and see results quickly! But doing too much, too soon can wear your child out before summer arrives and their PGA Junior Golf Camp begins.

“Although it may seem like playing a lot will be the best way to build on improvements made last year, it can really actually hinder your confidence,” adds Smith. “You focus on too many things at once, overthink, overplay and eventually burn out.”

Instead, encourage your child to experiment with other formats than a full 18-hole round. Consider just playing 9-holes at a time or starting each hole from 25 to 50 yards away with a focus on the short game and recapturing their feel.

“Once you can shoot low scores or feel your swing returning, move back to 100-150 yards,” says Smith. “Then 200 yards, and, finally, the actual tee box. By building on the little things each week, you’ll avoid the early season burnout. Why? Because by the time you’ve reached the tee box, you’ll have covered all aspects of improvement and still be mentally fresh to play your best golf.”

Leave the Driver in the Bag 

It may be tempting to take out the “big dog” and rip a few drivers on the range, but Smith says to instead focus on two other aspects of your game: feel and touch.

“Concentrate your first few practice sessions on and around the greens, and work on the touch and feel shots for better distance control with your putter and chipping clubs,” he adds. “Those types of shots are often overlooked after a long layoff and require some extra polishing before the season starts. Not to worry… your driver will still be there and a summer full of fairways await!”

 

Ryan Smith, PGA, is a Teaching Professional at the Marc LaPointe Golf Academy and a Camp Co-Director for PGA Junior Golf Camps at Springfield Golf Club in South Carolina. You can learn more about PGA Junior Golf Camps, held at more than 140 facilities nationwide throughout the summer, by visiting PGAJuniorGolfCamps.com.

Here's How This Golf Facility Beats the Desert Heat

May 30th, 2019

Maybe you think a golf camp isn't a good idea in the Summer heat. Well think again! When temperatures in the Arizona desert creep into the 100’s, many golfers cut their day short and head to the pro shop. Like a mirage in the distance, The Legacy Golf Performance Center offers a unique combination of golf technology and indoor practice options that junior golfers are sure to love.

 

Featuring 5 indoor hitting bays outfitted with the best and latest in golf technology, golfers of all ages are able to avoid the scorching sun while continuing to hone their skills.

 

Image result for jeremy anderson legacy golf

Led by PGA Professional Jeremy Anderson, junior golfers will learn from the best! Known as the guru of golf swing Jeremy is a six time Nominee for Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year and has had students qualify for USGA events, get scholarships and win college tournaments! His mantra to his students is that 'If you outwork everyone your only opponent is the moment.

 

The Legacy Golf Performance Center uses the most advanced golf technology as necessary to give each golfer verifiable feedback. The cutting-edge technologies provides junior golfers with a “tour quality” training environment and accelerates the learning process.

 

Image result for legacy golf resort

The golf technology used at Legacy will give a greater understanding of how the golfer’s body moves throughout the swing, as you are able to view your golf swing in 3D and from 4 camera views with bio-feedback. Training with 3D animation enhances every golfers learning experience. The visual and audio feedback enables the student to concentrate on their golf swing thoughts and changes while at the same time determining if they are in the right position and practicing the correct positions.


Interested in registering you junior golfer for camp at Legacy Golf Performance Center or one of the other 140 camp locations? Click here!

Give Your Child the Gift of Golf This Summer

May 30th, 2019

When summer rolls around, Amber Shimel of AmberLikes.com lets her kids pick what type of summer camp they want to attend. Her oldest son chose to tee off at golf camp! PGA Junior Golf Camps are held at more than 140 facilities nationwide throughout the summer and are led by PGA Professionals. Read more about her experience below and why it's a great idea to give your child the game that lasts a lifetime!

How many different sports and activities have your children tried? If you’re like us, you’ve tried quite a few! But even though we’ve tried so many different sports and activities, I’m always open to them developing more skills! And summer is the perfect time to explore new things. In our family, we let each child pick one summer day camp each year. They can choose theater camp, soccer camp; one year a child picked circus camp! I try to let them be as creative as possible and choose something that really appeals to them. If it’s at all possible, I try to make their choice happen. And this summer, my oldest son has chosen golf camp!

PGA Junior Golf summer camp

 

PGA Junior Golf summer camp

 

My son loves to golf, but has never done so competitively. He’s done several recreational programs off and on. Also, my husband and my sons often golf on vacation as the perfect guys bonding time. It’s something they all really enjoy doing together!

PGA Junior Golf summer camp

 

PGA Junior Golf summer camp

 

“Golf is a lifetime sport.” I’d heard people say that often growing up. But I never really understood what it meant until after I got out of college and stopped playing collegiate sports. It was really disappointing when I couldn’t easily play a game of competitive indoor volleyball like I’d done for years. My husband felt the same way about baseball. Although team sports are great, they are really hard to continue as an adult. Also, they can be really hard on your aging body. “Lifetime sports” like golf and tennis, can be played later in life, and are done in a more social setting. So whether or not your child will turn into Tiger Woods, golf is a wonderful skill to learn. Feeling comfortable on the golf course is a gift to give your child that will carry them through their lifetime.

PGA junior golf

 

Living in Orlando, there are lots of options for golf! We drive by many courses pretty much anytime we are out and about. But sometimes, it can be hard to know how to get into golf. But it’s actually pretty easy! Did you know your child could participate in a PGA Junior Golf Camp this summer? And probably at a course close to your home! Here in Orlando, there are two PGA Junior Golf Camp locations. One is located at Wekiva Golf Club, and the other is at Orange County National golf course. Check out this description of what your child can expect at camp:

- Action-packed camps include hands-on instruction led by certified PGA Professionals.

- Signature PGA camp curriculum focuses on developing golf skills (full swing, short game, rules and etiquette) while keeping the experience fun and engaging (games and activities).

- A fun, safe and educational environment designed with your child’s well being in mind.

- Low student to instructor ratio (approximately 6:1)

There are half day and full day camps available, as well as a special week of Girl Power Camp! There are also advanced/high school camps for those wanting more specialized instruction.

PGA Junior Golf summer camp

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for ways to wear out my kids, especially with my oldest son! And after a full day at golf camp, he will sleep well, be off electronics for the entire day, and develop a lifetime skill. It’s a total win for a parent! Be sure to visit the PGA Junior Golf Camp website and find the camp closest to you. Give your child the gift of golf this summer!

PGA Junior Golf summer camp


You can learn more about Amber and read additional blogs by checking out her website, AmberLikes.com and following her on Instagram!

Five Tips to Becoming a Complete Junior Golfer

May 29th, 2019

Much like the current campers he teaches as PGA Junior Golf Camp Director at Rick Smith Golf Performance Center in Doral, FL, John Stahlschmidt used to be an avid junior golfer himself.

Picking up the game from his dad when he was eight-years-old, Stahlschmidt started playing in tournaments by age 12, honing his game into good enough shape to earn a golf scholarship to the University of Alabama.

After trying to play competitively for a few years post-college, Stahlschmidt found a love for teaching and pursued his PGA membership in 2000. By 2008, he was a full-time PGA Member, working with the Tour Academy at TPC Sawgrass, and later on at TPC Scottsdale.

Looking back to his junior golf days, Stahlschmidt remembers what he tended to struggle with, or what he should’ve practiced, and uses that knowledge to help the youngsters he teaches throughout the year.

Below are five tips from Stahlschmidt that he uses during summer camp to help his juniors improve, placing them on a path to becoming a complete, all-around player.

1. Putting: Avoid the Three-Putt by Controlling Distance

“When it comes to putting, distance control is the No. 1 part of their games that juniors need to improve,” says Stahlschmidt. Why?

“Too many three putts,” he adds. “You have to focus on hitting putts solid to become efficient with distance control. Practice your 10-40 foot putts more than you normally do. Try to get them within three feet of the cup, which will eliminate three putts.”

2. Driving: Focus on Balance and Tempo

“Junior golfers have a tendency to overpower the golf ball, especially when they play with others who hit it farther than they do,” notes Stahlschmidt. “Over-swinging leads to losing control of the backswing and lower body, which will lead to yards lost off the tee. To avoid that issue, a junior golfer should focus on tempo and balance throughout the swing. The yards will come as they grow older. Getting a solid hit is what’s most important at a young age.”

3. Fitness: Play Different Sports

Although focusing on golf is good, too much of one sport can lead to burn out. “It’s important for junior golfers to play other sports when they’re younger, as the window to learn movement skills shrinks after 14,” states Stahlschmidt. “Playing baseball, tennis, soccer, really any sport, helps them develop better fundamental movement skills, hand-eye coordination and speed. Learning those skills early on will serve them well as they get older and is one of the reasons we incorporate non-golf athletic movement into our Camps curriculum.”

4. Mentality: Separate Practice from Play

“It’s tough, but once you get on that first tee, it’s time to turn off the technical thoughts, and focus only on balance, tension levels, tempo and visualizing the target,” says Stahlschmidt. “And remember to stay patient. Consistency in golf is a myth. I remember back in my junior golf days, I wanted to hit every shot perfect and be consistent. That’s impossible, and when you get upset and emotional about a bad shot, you’ll get a bad performance. Patience is a virtue for a reason!”

5. Scoring: Short Game, Short Game, Short Game!

Fact: 75 percent of your score is dictated by shots 100 yards and in. Which is why Stahlschmidt believes to get better scores, you need to be better at your short game.

“I highly recommend junior golfers work on pitching, chipping, bunker play and putting for 75 percent of their practice sessions,” states Stahlschmidt. “If they can get their short game sharp, scores will dramatically improve.”

And for those who believe short game practice is mundane, Stahlschmidt says to play competitive games, similar to those he uses in his weekly PGA Junior Golf Camp, that simulate on-course situations.

“Play nine-hole up-and-down contests, trying to get up and down 50 percent of the time

or more,” he adds. “Hit different shots – bad lies, in the bunker, long pitches – and don’t leave until you get a certain amount up and down. There are no repercussions without end goals, so you need to make your practice sessions worth something.”

John Stahlschmidt, PGA is the Director of Instruction at Rick Smith Golf Performance Center at Trump National Doral and a Camp Director for PGA Junior Golf Camps. You can learn more about PGA Junior Golf Camps, held at more than 140 facilities nationwide throughout the summer, by clicking here.

How to Get (and Keep) Your Kids Interested in Golf This Summer

May 9th, 2019

Break out the sunscreen – summer is here! There’s no better way to enjoy the warm temperatures and beautiful sunshine than out on a golf course.

Although it may be difficult to find time for the game with jam-packed schedules, family vacations and the like, PGA Junior Golf Camp Director Brian Jacobs has a few ideas to get your kids excited about playing the game.

As a lead instructor for Mill Creek Golf Club in Churchville, New York, Jacobs draws from his experiences as an accomplished player, caddie and PGA Professional on the lesson tee and knows that summer is primetime for golf camps where youngsters learn the game.

The question for parents the next few months is how they get their child interested in attending a camp that could spur some interest in not just golf, but playing the game for a lifetime.

Below are three ways Jacobs believes parents can answer that question, making this summer a season full of memories on the course!

Play Golf Together

Summer is the ideal time to get out on a weekend and go experience golf as a family. By showing interest that you care about golf, your son or daughter may do just the same.

“Taking your son or daughter to the lesson tee for instruction together is a great way to show passion and love for the game,” says Jacobs. “You’re able to spend quality time together.”

Golf is Fun!

It’s finally nice out, so why stay inside all day? For some, sunshine and 75 degrees won’t last year round.  This is the time of year to go have some fun!

“Golf is a great summer activity because it involves movement, learning and fun,” adds Jacobs. “At our PGA Junior Golf Camps, we do LOTS of games, making sure each child blends in with others in a friendly, supportive environment.”

Adding small games can make a big difference for a youngster. It keeps them interested, makes them smile, and most importantly, allows them to have a good time!

“We learn and we play as teams and individuals from appropriate yardages based on skill set,” Jacobs says. “We give LOTS of high fives and praise, too!”

Progress Makes Perfect

The time when a child isn’t participating in summer camp may be even more important than the time they spend at camp. Jacobs believes that keeping them active and practicing what they learned will also keep them interested.

“Play games with the kids and make sure they are set at the right yardages so they can improve and grow,” says Jacobs. “I’d also recommend that parents bring the child back to the Camp Instructor for continuation of instruction. He/she knows the child best, and can keep them loving the game and improving.”

Brian Jacobs, PGA, is the Director of Instruction at Mill Creek Golf Club and a Camp Director for PGA Junior Golf Camps in Churchville, NY. Click here to find a PGA Junior Golf Camp near you!

New Camp Locations Added!

May 9th, 2019

Check Out the Full List of Camp Locations Here!


As new locations pop up around the country and abroad, PGA Junior Golf Camps may be closer to your home then you think! Check out some of the most recent additions to our camp list!


Bridges at Poplar Creek Country Club - Illinois


Calling all aspiring college golfers! We are pleased to announce the creation of our newest camp session featuring two NCAA Division I golf coaches! Campers will have the option to attend an evening seminar with a Q&A about playing at the collegiate level.


In this two day program, junior golfers have the opportunity to receive instruction from an outstanding coaching staff led by Northwestern's Head Men's Golf Coach, David Inglis and UCLA's Assistant Men's Golf Coach, Andrew Larkin. Coach Inglis and Coach Larkin along with additional PGA professionals will deliver daily instruction geared toward those high school and tournament level players who are looking to climb their way up the high school ladder, improve their tournament results and have aspirations of playing collegiate golf.


TPC San Antonio - Texas

Image result for tpc san antonio


When you hear TPC you know you can expect a top notch golfing experience. Featuring two championship level course and the latest in advanced golf technology, junior golfers will learn from Greg Hillard, one of the best golf instructors in the state of Texas.


Todd Creek Golf Club - Colorado


Image result for todd creek golf club


The majestic Rocky Mountain backdrop at Todd Creek Golf Club really sets this course apart. The 25 station grass tee driving range allows campers to learn and practice their driving skills with over 65,000 square feet of open land. Located north of Denver and led by popular junior golf instructor Brad Alston, who previously ran Junior Golf Camps at Park Hill Golf Club, Todd Creek will be a golfing experience juniors will never forget.


Camps are filling fast! Register today.

“Start With Questions, Finish With Questions”

May 8th, 2019

Tim Fraley is the Director of Instruction at Awbrey Glen Golf Club in Bend, Oregon. As a long time member of the PGA, Coach Tim has been a fixture of junior golf in the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years. Sign up for Tim's PGA Junior Golf Camps now!

 

 

A successful golf lesson starts with getting their attention!  If you are like me, you enjoy teaching so much that it’s easy to ramble on and quickly lose your student’s interest.  With juniors, it’s important to set the tone by asking unexpected questions like:  How was your day at school? Did you watch the basketball game last night?  What did you do last weekend? How much did you practice last week?  Now that you have their attention, the real instruction can begin.  After each class session is completed, I like to ask questions and have the kids repeat topics they’ve learning during the session.  I challenge them to teach what they know to family members to better grasp and retain the material.  It holds them accountable when mom or dad asks them about a skill learned-and they can deliver! 

 

Parents of junior golfers can use this approach as well. Asking questions and allowing your young athlete to ‘teach’ you is a great opportunity to really solidify what they learned in camp. Not only asking about how their camp was, but asking specific questions like: Have you seen your shot improve? What techniques did learn today? What’s your favorite club to hit?  This is the best way to for you and your young golfer to get the most out of the camp experience.


Want to learn more about Coach Tim? Check out his bio on his PGA Junior Golf Camps location page!

 

Camps are filling fast! Register for PGA Junior Golf Camps today!


1 >