Are you paying attention to your junior golf schedule?

Play Less To Play Better

I am asked SO often, from other junior golf parents, about how to set the right competitive schedule.  It’s certainly a challenge.  So, when I read this article today, I wanted to share it with you.    Happy Scheduling – Amy
Courtesy of  from Golf Performance Coaches
There has been much debate about the amount of time it takes to reach an elite level in any discipline. The goal of this post is to elicit thoughts about how we approach competition schedules for our young athletes.  Competitions offer a critical component of a young athletes experience of the game, and the building of a suitable competition calendar should be a major focus of any training plan.

At the end of the day, what we have come to realize is that “Excellence takes time”  (one of the new 10 Key Factors in the Canadian Sport for Life LTAD model which I will be referencing in future posts).   The key becomes how we spend our time on the journey to excellence…


One of the ways to slow the rate of skill development in any youth athlete is to expose them to a high frequency of games / competition at a young age and neglect the countless number of hours that are needed in training physical & technical skills. This is particularly true between the ages of 8 – 12, as research has shown that just prior to hitting their “Peak Height Velocity” kids are able to develop skills (i.e. chipping, putting, tee shots, deadlift, squat etc.) at an accelerated rate.

Overcompetiting and undertraining is becoming a norm in many sports and can ultimately lead to sport burnout, increased injuries, and physical and mental fatigue.  Often these symptoms result in the athlete leaving the sport.

Imagine that we think of competitions like an exam at school, an opportunity to “test” skills rather than develop them. You could only imagine how difficult it would for a grade 9 student to experience success in a subject if they had exams every week.  Not only would the student lack time to prepare, but you can image the toll this would take on the student’s body, both physically and mentally.

In Canada, we are at a time when we work with players and families to help support them with designing their competitive schedule for the upcoming golf season. We feel that it is important for the junior golfer to take ownership of the selection process as it will help them to understand at what time throughout the season they need to be “peaking” (very similar to a student understanding when exam’s occur during an academic year).

We encourage our players to take the following approach when building their competitive schedule:

Step #1: Identify “major” competitions – typically 2 – 5 provincial and national level events for most competitive junior golfers.

Step #2: Select “secondary” competitions – 2 – 5 smaller regional level events which grant players “Order of Merit” points for provincial and national rankings.

Step #3: Fill in calendar with 5 – 10 regional and local competitions to help prepare player for their “majors” – these would be competitions at the players home club or golf courses which they have experienced success at in the past.

Once the player’s schedule is in place the coach can now help them peak for competitions through various strategies.  One of the key strategies is “tapering” – a special training period immediately before a major tournament during which the training and practicing is decreased to achieve a peak in performance. More scientifically, tapering produces a superior biological state characterized by ideal health, quick adaptability to training, and a very fast rate of recovery. Tapering is a strategy that has been a norm in other sports but has been seldom used in golf.

Tapering for a junior golfer would typically consist of the following strategies:

Recommended Time period: 3 – 4 Days prior to competition

  • Physical Training: Reduced to excellent warm-ups and cool down
  • Golf Practice: Elevate intensity (quality repetitions) and slightly decrease volume, frequency (# of sessions), and duration (shorter time) – Ensure to spend the majority of your time simulating competition conditions in practice. Please reference post on “Deliberate Practice Essentials” for ways to ensure golf practice is high quality.
  • Stress: Eliminate all stress!!! Unload all stress from your life outside the athletic arena.
  • Rest: Extra sleep and recovery – ensure that you are never training if you are fatigued.
  • Nutrition/Hydration: Consume high quality foods (stay away from processed foods) and ensure you maximize water intake.

Implementing these strategies prior to competition will ensure that the athlete’s body and mind are fully ready to handle the demands of the competitive environment and have the best opportunity to succeed.

Please contact us if you need any support selecting the appropriate competitions for your junior golfer and navigating the competitive junior golf landscape in Canada.  E-mail: jeff@golfperformancecoaches.com

Golf Performance Coaches

Junior Golf Development Tips

Player Development: It’s a Matter of Skill & Time As parents, we understand that many things happen during a golf round.  We see the great shots and errant shots and sometimes shake our head and say, "why did that just happen?"  Golf shots … [Continue reading]

Junior Golf + Pinehurst, NC = The Perfect Combination

If you haven't taken your junior golfer to Pinehurst, NC yet... I would put it on your schedule soon.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge fan of Pinehurst, NC.  I'm always asked the "why" question, but it's hard for me to put my finger on … [Continue reading]

34% of the Donald Ross field was DQ’d in 2012. Let’s not repeat history in 2013!


    I am reposting this 2012 blog post as a reminder to all the Donald Ross Championship players out there today competing in the 2013 Championship.  This was one of the most popular posts ever on Junior Golf Parents.  Let's hope history … [Continue reading]

All In The Family: GOLF

All in the Family: Golf  Guest Contributor ~ Richard Flores (Thank you to Richard Flores for sharing his wonderful story with Junior Golf Parents!) These days, spending quality time together as a familyand participating in an activity that … [Continue reading]

Nominate your December Junior Golfer of the Month today!

Our junior golfers deserve to be highlighted for all of their hard work and dedication they make to the game. Each month, Junior Golf Parents will highlight a special junior golfer. It's not about their handicap, average score, or how many … [Continue reading]

100 Top Golf Ideas

A big thanks to Frank Darby, St John's College Golf Coach, for providing his top 100 golf ideas.  Pick a few, have patience, and get to work!   Social Media … Linkathletics.com… Showcase yourself…Kevin Streelman… Pace of … [Continue reading]

Congratulations to Caroline Howes, November Golfer of the Month!

Caroline Howes

Caroline Howes, age 18 from Granite Falls, NC, is in her fourth and senior year of playing on the Ladies South Caldwell High School Spartans golf team. Caroline has been around golf all of her life, by watching her dad excel in the game over the … [Continue reading]

Congratulations Lewis Eccles, October Junior Golfer of the Month!


Congratulations Lewis Eccles! Lewis is a 12-year-old junior golfer from Doncaster in Yorkshire, England.  At the start of the season, he had a 28 handicap, but has worked hard and is now an 18.   Just this month, Lewis was given an … [Continue reading]

It’s just a number! (Or, is it?)

Who would have ever thought that the numbers 78, 85, 94, or 105 would be so painful?  I mean, they are just numbers, right?  They don't hold any secrets to success or keys to our fortune.  But, when your junior golfer shoots one of these numbers … [Continue reading]