Juniors in Adult Comps

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Post by JAS on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 7:53 am

I may have raised this before but given the result of our big drawn event at the weekend it's ripe for debate again. As I've mentioned previously we have an excellent & thriving junior programme the past 4 years have seen the junior section grow from less than 10 to over 90. We have a graded programme where young kids start off on a shortened course and they move up as they progress eventually getting to full junior status on the full 18 hole course. Where we are at now is that a bunch of the kids from the first wave of the programme are now starting to rip up the 18 hole course.

Sunday's event result went as follows
1st 12 year old girl 81 net 61
2nd 16 year old lad net 66
3rd 12 year old girl net 68
4th first adult net 70

8 juniors were net 71 or better

There have been grumblings and mutterings from some quarters and there has been praise from many others. My personal take is that our adults have to knuckle down and practice as hard as our juniors do or not complain when the juniors take the big prizes.
As far as Sundays result goes, due to recent excellent grass growing conditions our rough has become extremely penal. The thing with most of our juniors is that they may not hit it far but they hit it straight. With that in mind I'm not entirely surprised by the result.
For the record I buffered with a double and a triple on the card (when I say the rough is penal, it's extremely penal!!)

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Post by hend085 on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 8:15 am


the handicap system is not suitable for people who are improving rapidly (or going the other way)

in our club juniors only play competitions in the summer and can only play in men's competitions when they are <16 h/c. every year at the start of the summer the juniors win the first few competition as their handicap hasn't accounted for their improvements since the previous september.

do the juniors scores contribute to the CSS? i presume they do?

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Post by Davie on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 8:31 am

Juniors at my club are allowed to play in certain competitions, but they don't pay an entry fee and aren't eligible for prizes (apart from £1 into the 2's pot)

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Post by McLaren on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 9:19 am

JAS

Does it matter what age the people winning the comp are? Would anyone complain if someone of senior golf age won a comp? If someone can compete then let them play. If anyone should be banned from the medals it should be the hackers. Wink

Sounds like someone put a lot of work into creating a great junior section and the results look good. Your club has a model that should maybe be repeated.

As I said on a thread a week or so back the advantage you get from starting golf early with well coached fundamentals is massive. It should be no shock that juniors start to beat those who have been "hacking" away for years pretty quickly.

I will also add that people should be encouraged to be friendly and welcoming to the juniors playing in the comps. When I was about 13/14 I started playing in the competitions with the adults and a lot of people made you feel very unwelcome and couldn't wait for you to get a rule wrong or stuff up on etiquette.

The best rounds I had as a junior playing with adults was when you got paired with someone who was a teacher or footie coach (or something similar) who took the time to spur you on or make you feel part of the group.


Davie

Thankfully when I was a lad we could win the vouchers, I bought pretty much all my clubs, balls, gloves etc up until age 18 with vouchers from winning comps. My club also had prizes from local sponsors so you would end up winning meals for two at local restaurants or wine shop tokens, which I would trade for cash with my parents.

Hend

Don't know about you but when I was a junior I was pretty keen and would play in the winter league, so my handicap was as relevant as anybodies.
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Post by JAS on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 9:24 am

Yes they will contribute to the CSS Hend, obviously there's a different CSS for the Men & Ladies.

The rapidly decreasing handicap issue is a good point and it's something predominantly but NOT exclusively seen in junior ranks so for that reason (whilst it is a very valid point) it's very difficult to exclude juniors on that basis. Plus where would you draw the line?. We had a couple of juniors last year tumble down through to 10, 7 & 6. Should they be excluded as well? (As they are clearly not as likely to have the same rate of handicap reduction this year.)

Our medals are fee free Davie except for the £1 two's club. Most big drawn events are too although one or 2 have a nominal fee like this coming weekends Help for Heroes event and last months David Howell event but those are for donations to to sponsors charity not for prizes. Well I say that, David provides the (generous) prizes for his event on the basis that competitors make a donation to his chosen charity.


Last edited by JAS on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 9:31 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by JAS on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 9:26 am

Mac, I know it doesn't happen very often but for once I'm in complete agreement with you!! Except the bit about banning hackers, I presume that bit was just put there to be provocative :-p


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Post by McLaren on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 9:32 am

Jas

Yes the hackers comment was followed by a Wink


The national golfing bodies should speak to whoever orchestrated the rise of your junior section. Clearly they know how to grow the game.
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Post by JAS on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 9:54 am

McLaren wrote:Jas

Yes the hackers comment was followed by a Wink


The national golfing bodies should speak to whoever orchestrated the rise of your junior section.  Clearly they know how to grow the game.

Yes they do, it's predominately my coach and he is getting involved a bit with junior coaching at county level. That will be good for progression at County level. But from an initial getting into golf, you're right, both County and the EGU should take a look at what's been done and how. Him and his colleague worked tirelessly going into local schools with "lets try golf" taster sessions. The schools were supportive and a few from each school get picked to come up the club for further taster sessions with the emphasis very much being on fun initially. We had a day back in March where over 150 kids from 16 local schools came up for a competitive fun day. Even if only 10% take it further that's 15 new recruits, then you get the roll on effect of some of their mates wanting to take it up too (and parents).

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Post by hend085 on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 10:37 am

the issue arises for us when the an 18ish handicap junior cant play in the mens competitions (as juniors have to be <16). this means they have no counting competitions between September and may. they then start to play in May after 8 months of fast improvement and they win regularly in the early season once eligible for men's comps. their true ability might be more in line with a ~10 handicap but they are playing off ~16.

i personally think they should be in a different section and not contributing to the CSS. if this was the case the level of encouragement from full members would be way higher and participation levels would also be a lot higher.

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Post by JAS on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 11:08 am

hend085 wrote:the issue arises for us when the an 18ish  handicap junior cant play in the mens competitions (as juniors have to be <16). this means they have no counting competitions between September and may. they then start to play in May after 8 months of fast improvement and they win regularly in the early season once eligible for men's comps. their true ability might be more in line with a ~10 handicap but they are playing off ~16.

i personally think they should be in a different section and not contributing to the CSS. if this was the case the level of encouragement from full members would be way higher and participation levels would also be a lot higher.

Flipping that one on it's head Hend, that's exactly what I would expect to happen in that situation. I don't tend to play any qualifiers between early November and end of March either, a lot of lower handicaps don't, they tend to use the winter to work on their games. Our juniors play qualifiers most weekends and they're starting to play a few away events as well so their handicaps are pretty accurate but such is the rate of improvement you're still going to get a few big jumps in improvement.

I would never want to not encourage a kid just because they were capable of beating me. I'm out of work at the moment and after my daily job hunt fest I go up the club for a practice, who do you think I see on the range and on the practice short game area? The adults who moan about the kids winning prizes or the kids who are improving?

As an aside the girl that won on Sunday, she's the kid you sometimes see in the Skysports intro. with the pink top & beige trousers. That was from an American Golf kids tournament that Sky covered last year

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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 12:02 pm

I wonder how many of the grumblers/seniors won comps in their younger days for exactly the same reason(s)? i.e. juniors' handicaps often tumble fast as they're improving and growing pretty fast.

Re. the "should improve/practice as much as the juniors" - hard if you're working/have a family/don't have a 6 week continuous school summer holiday!
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Post by JAS on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 1:06 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:

Re. the "should improve/practice as much as the juniors" - hard if you're working/have a family/don't have a 6 week continuous school summer holiday!

Agree to a point Navy but if people are THAT determined they will find some time at least and/or try and juggle priorities, Most of the moaners barely practice at all and are then surprised when they play Poopie and kids beat them.

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Post by Nay on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 6:55 pm

I have been taking my son to the driving range since he 3, he only really wants the cake he gets but sometimes he stays and hits all his balls. (He has a seven iron and driver)

I know one day he will be better than me but it wont be for many years if i have my way but to keep it that way i need to make sure i as good as possible now.

I don't see how this is any different, if you want to beat these talented young kids, practise to get better. It should be as much of a motivation for the adults not to be beaten by a 12 year old as it os for the 12 year old to beat the adults.

Healthy competition.

The other thing i took from this is that it once again brings course management into focus. Could the adults take less club i.e not driver off the tee so as not to be in the penal rough which would make reaching green easier.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 13 Jun 2016, 1:47 pm

Is the answer handicap limits in comps? Say max handicap of 20, higher handicap players are still allowed to play but off 20. Prevents the issue where a 28 handicap junior cleans up after shooting 18 over. If an 18 handicapper wins after shooting 8 over then fair play to them they deserve the W!

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Mon 13 Jun 2016, 3:46 pm

If you mean for everyone, then you pi55 off the higher h/cap full paying members for cutting up to 8 shots off them. If you mean just juniors I've mis-read it, sorry(!) But then the juniors would be miffed at being treated differently to adults with the same (ie 20+) handicaps and (I'd guess) would be more likely to take the hump and not feel part of the club.

I think some of our (bigger) comps limit juniors to those that are cat 2 or better. Not saying it's a good answer, but it's what we have in place.

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Post by raycastleunited on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 2:13 pm

Roller

I mean everyone. Surely if a 28 handicapper shoots 20 over and wins a big competition it will annoy everyone else regardless of their age. I don't know if 20 is the right number - maybe it should be 24, maybe 18, I guess it depends on the handicap range of members.

Depends on what competitions are deemed to be "big" enough that they want to protect it from having a joke winner. Having said that my view is that all the big events like club championship should be scratch anyway, and that's another debate.

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Post by MontysMerkin on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 2:51 pm

I won 1 of our 'big' comps a bit back. Singles stroke play, match play, max 9 hcap. They allowed folk of up to 11 enter but had to play off 9. I found the whole thing very strange indeed. Played the club champ (+2) in the final so in effect I was playing off 11. Beat him by 5 in the end after he airmailed the green on 16 and took 4 to get down from some bracken and nettles. If he'd done the sensible thing like a normal hacker he would have been on the apron with an easy up and down for par and would have probably slaughtered me. Don't think I'll ever be as nervous as that on a golf course again. Thinned 3 chips on 18 and holed out from off the green for a 6 (although a 9 would have done it...)

The juniors we do have won everything a few years back but are now off scratch or better, whereas once a hacker always a hacker keep their advantage.
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Post by Roller_Coaster on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 4:11 pm

The comp sec at our place claims to have statistical evidence that in our comps there is no proof that comps are won more frequently by 18 - 28 h/caps when no restrictions are in place. I saw the numbers and I personally disagree with him (but he will not ever accept any point of view contrary to his so I simply shut up).

However, I do buy into the bigger picture argument that 18 - 28 handicaps being asked to play off 18 is somewhat discriminatory/exclusive and would dissuade a number of people from playing.

Incidentally I won one of our majors playing off 7 and shooting -2 gross (inc a 3 putt par on 17 and a 3 putt bogey on 18, choke choke) - I heard no rumblings about me managing 9 better than h/cap where I'm sure a 24 shooting +15 (for example) would have got all sorts of snide comments!

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Post by I'm never wrong on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 5:37 pm

Used to play in a regular society where one player couldn't hit a barn door one week, then drove it 250 yards down the middle the next time. Won a stableford competition once with 50 points. No ill feeling, because we knew it was a fluke. Plus he bought us all Ale Ale Ale Ale Ale Ale Ale Ale

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Post by raycastleunited on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 12:17 am

I'm never wrong wrote:Used to play in a regular society where one player couldn't hit a barn door one week, then drove it 250 yards down the middle the next time. Won a stableford competition once with 50 points. No ill feeling, because we knew it was a fluke. Plus he bought us all Ale Ale Ale Ale Ale Ale Ale Ale  

That would be me, total beginner one day, major champion the next. Sadly my handicap relfects my potential not average score so I rarely clean up!

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Post by raycastleunited on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 12:20 am

Roller_Coaster wrote:
However, I do buy into the bigger picture argument that 18 - 28 handicaps being asked to play off 18 is somewhat discriminatory/exclusive and would dissuade a number of people from playing.

Incidentally I won one of our majors playing off 7 and shooting -2 gross (inc a 3 putt par on 17 and a 3 putt bogey on 18, choke choke) - I heard no rumblings about me managing 9 better than h/cap where I'm sure a 24 shooting +15 (for example) would have got all sorts of snide comments!

It's hardly discriminatory/exclusive to hold a competition where the best score wins. I do get your point that it would dissuade a number of people from playing... I guess we all have our motivations for playing.

Like you I once had one of those freak wins way under handicap, complete with double bogey choke on 18, but as I was lowest nett and lowest gross I can't imagine anyone grumbled.

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Post by JAS on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 7:39 am

We had one at the weekend too, a 17 handicapper shot 49 points!! He's a regular and has put a lot of work in over the winter. At the moment our course (like many others I suppose) is playing easy if you're on the fairway but will tear you apart if you stray into the rough. The 17 hap'r just had one of those days. He did stray once but it was so bad he ended up on a neighbouring fairway (I know because I was on it) I had no idea at that point he was heading for such a great score. Got to feel a wee bit for the 9 handicapper who shot 43 points as that would normally clean up.


There were no juniors out on Sat on that one as they were all involved in their version of the event on the Sunday. A rather modest net 66 won their event Sunday, a 9 year old off 24. Got to say I think our Club has got quite a good balance, some events juniors get to mix it with us, others they get to compete among themselves.

Club champs draw has been made and I'm out with one of the better juniors. I actually quite like that, because I've been going through all my swing changes, there have been periods of intense frustration and a tendency to "vent". However when there's a junior (or for that matter a lady) in my group "venting" is a complete no-no. In reality it's a complete no-no anyway but it has been playing with juniors on a few occasions that has helped me get to a point where I now better manage my frustrations when things don't go as they should.

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