Think back to your last golf lesson. There you are, on the range or the course with your PGA Professional, learning how to improve, hitting better golf shots and thinking more positively about your game.
Yet, part of becoming a well-rounded golfer is putting that newfound knowledge to use away from the watchful eye of your instructor. Think about it like this: Before your very first day of school, remember when your mom and dad told you to be polite to your teachers, be respectful to other students and learn all you can? Then, you’re off on your own with that wisdom to help guide you to success. Your mom and dad weren’t there, but sure enough, their advice helped get you where you are today!
Same goes for your golf game. You’ve learned the skills, practiced them and used them in certain situations with your instructor . . . now it’s go time!
PGA Junior Golf Camps Director Eric Jones knows all about taking your “Camp Game” with you, both on the course and off. Eric was the 2014 Northern California PGA Teacher of the Year and a two-time World Long Drive Champion, so he’s been in your shoes before if you’re nervous! Below are his three keys to focus on once you leave Camp.
Stay energized and engaged!
It’s important to hit the ground running right after Camp. Come up with a plan, a checklist or goals on what you want to accomplish and then get after it!
“The best way for kids to use what they learned after Camp is to stay engaged with golf,” says Jones. “We encourage kids to go out with their parents and play, find a year-round junior program in their area, get together with other juniors they meet during camp and arrange days to go on the course.”
Build strong social connections
One big benefit of a PGA Junior Golf Camp is the fact that you have a lot of juniors who live in the same area, and also love golf! It’s easy to build relationships off of those two facts alone.
“Since most of the kids live within a fairly short radius of our golf course they (and their parents) are delighted to know other kids and families who have an interest in golf,” says Jones. “We encourage parents in our opening day orientation to get to know the other parents, so they can help the kids arrange to spend time together – whether for golf or other activities.”
Use your golf skills, and your life skills
“One of the key factors that make PGA Junior Camps stand out is that, in addition to learning great golf skills, the kids also learn valuable life skills,” says Jones. “For instance, we start out each day with a “Word of the Day” describing positive characteristics such as sportsmanship, honesty, friendliness, and perseverance. During Camp, we look for and point out kids who model the behavior. At the end of week, the kids nominate and vote on the “Word” winner.”
It’s important to remember that becoming a well-rounded golfer isn’t just about the score on the scorecard. Golf is a game built on positive characteristics like those that Jones lists above, and if we aren’t using those characteristics to improve ourselves and others, how long with golf last? Come to the course to get better at golf, but also better in life!
Eric Jones, PGA, is the Director of Instruction at the Eric Jones Golf Academy and a Camp Director for PGA Junior Golf Camps in Orinda, California. You can learn more about PGA Junior Golf Camps, held at more than 90 facilities nationwide throughout the summer, by visiting PGAJuniorGolfCamps.com or calling (888) PGA-PLAY.