It has been awhile since I shared my thoughts on how to adapt beaver characteristics to golf. Today, I am reminded of how beavers live in a colony which is basically a fancy term for extended family. They play together and they work together to build and protect their homes which are of course dams.
Teaching golf to juniors of all ages has given me the opportunity to create a community for my students. Just this morning I was teaching three of my female junior students in a group lesson. I suggested it so they could get to know each other, offer each other encouragement and hold each other accountable. They enjoyed it a lot.
Afterwards, they stayed to help me with the homeschool group class. Jayda, Prep Tour Player of the Year, demonstrated how to swing the club. Her accomplishments offered encouragement to the younger female golfers. Leila and Annika stepped in as coaches and cheerleaders very easily. They are an awesome addition to the group.
I personally, believe community for these young golfers is more important than ever. Covid-19 has already changed our lives in so many ways and it has the potential to isolate people. But isn't golf an individual sport? Yes, you are responsible for your own score but 9 times out of 10 you are playing your individual sport with someone. It is my hope that one day the younger golfers will feel comfortable playing a round with Jayda, Leila or Annika. I am quite confident that if asked they would gladly accept the offer.
During the "stay-at-home" order, I posted a couple drills that you could do without a golf ball. Now that the golf course and practice facilities are open it seems the lure of the driving range and smashing balls is more exciting. I'm not saying don't go to the range at all, it just can't be your only practice.
Recently one of my student's shared an article that was posted in Golf Digest back in February 2012 by Managing Editor Roger Shiffman that echoed the benefits of practicing your swing without a ball. It is great read.
I was just starting a new series of homeschool group classes when Palm Beach County started to experience the impacts of Covid-19. As things progressed, the decision was made to postpone and resume at a later date. When Governor Desantis lifted restrictions on summer youth activities, the next step was to receive permission to begin group golf instruction in Palm Beach County. I am pleased to announce that we will resume those classes later this month.
While these permissions have been granted, I am fully aware that the ultimate permission lies with the parents of the junior golfers. These classes are resuming for those families who feel comfortable. Fortunately, the set up I use for group golf lessons already provide social distancing. The major difference will be the mandatory temperature check that will be administered with an infared No-touch forehead thermometer during the check in process. Parents should plan to arrive early for this extra step which requires a signature verification as well.
Credits for unused classes will continue to be extended for those families who choose to wait until the fall.
When it was confirmed that the new management at Okeeheelee and Park Ridge Golf Courses would not be inviting me back to teach, I had to get creative in how to provide lessons. My junior students became especially anxious when the PGA South Florida Section Junior Golf tournament schedule was announced.
Of course, the real discipline happens after they leave the lesson. Do they practice at home with the same focus and attention? Do they approach the golf course with the same awareness of how their preparation impacts the outcome? Only time will tell but I am honored to be along for their golf journey.