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Fall=August in USKG Tour world: Getting the kids back in the saddle against tough fields

 MB19 ·  
MB19MB19 Members  148WRX Points: 108Posts: 148 Fairways
Joined:  in Juniors/College Golf Talk #1

It hasn't been a full week since the end of Worlds, but here we are--starting the Fall Tour this weekend. The Stuart field will be strong as usual, with several of the kids coming fresh off (mostly) strong performances at Pinehurst. I do have to wonder if you really need to play the local tour at 7/8/9 y.o. the week after Pinehurst, but hey--I can't wait to hear about some of stories they bring back with them.

My kids are excited to enter the fray again after taking most of the summer off from tournament golf. It's going to be fun and a little scary to see how they play and react to the level of competition. This is their first foray into the South FL golf scene, where it is very possible they could each come in last in their respective fields. But hey, as our very own @heavy_hitter told me months back--they have to start somewhere. If they want to compete, I'll train them best I can and then turn them loose. We've practiced, sweated, broken down, geared up and it's tournament time once more.

Is anyone else starting Fall Tour soon? For those just coming of Worlds, does it make the local tour seem small or easier when you come back?

Posted:
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Comments

  • hangontighthangontight Members  791WRX Points: 247Posts: 791 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #2

    Supposedly we are getting a local tour back this fall in Charleston, SC, although website still doesn’t show schedule. But USKG has confirmed it will happen. When we lost our tour 3 years ago we spent one season driving 2.5 hours to nearest tour..... that got old quick and since we’ve just done state,regionals, worlds. I think it’s been nice to stick to the multi day tmnts, but do think my son will enjoy the locals again if some of his friends play. He hasnt faired too well in multi days over last year so curious to see if playing locals again helps...more “reps” kind of thing. Also, with any luck (lots of luck) I may be able to get my 6 year old daughter out 🤞

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  • MB19MB19 Members  148WRX Points: 108Posts: 148 Fairways
    Joined:  #3

    I'm happy for you guys for getting your local tour back. If USKG wants to help keep growing the game, they are going to have to have tours in a golf-friendly state like SC.

    I know my kids are looking forward to the social interaction as much as anything, and hopefully you can sell your daughter on that aspect.

    My kids will probably play their first multi-day in December, and thankfully it is just a 30 minute drive for us. Taking as much travel out of the equation for these young kids is a good thing, even if the benefit is mostly for us parents :)

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  • hangontighthangontight Members  791WRX Points: 247Posts: 791 Golden Tee
    Joined:  edited Aug 8, 2020 4:02pm #4

    We used to have an outstanding director, but he moved onto other things. As we've all seen, all local tours are not created equal. Very much dependent on level of commitment and involvement from each director. Its not making them rich, so they need to have some level of passion for it. Probably a lot of thankless work behind the scenes with not a ton of payoff. We've played in some that were a complete waste of time. USKG basically farms out the model and its up to the director to put the work in. Columbia (SC) and Savannah both have outstanding tours, hopefully our new director gets it.

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  • mrshinsamrshinsa Members  309WRX Points: 154Posts: 309 Greens
    Joined:  edited Aug 8, 2020 5:04pm #5

    Kudos for your enthusiasm.

    My son is at the cusp of moving on from US Kids and I'm so relieved that he can finally play by himself w/o the parent caddy circus.

    As explained in the past my biggest gripe with our local tour was the price and the overbearing parents.

    Some parents have zero etiquettes while others have over-the-top etiquettes. The later being worst than the former.

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  • hangontighthangontight Members  791WRX Points: 247Posts: 791 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #6

    Agree, but prob fair to say the next pasture isn’t going to be as green as advertised. Every stage of everything has its PITA’s. *I am a huge fan of them playing by themselves, don’t get me wrong. IE - Football, Soccer - On the field by themselves , parents are still an issue. Just sayin.

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  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members  1632WRX Points: 422Posts: 1,632 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #7

    The best tours for kids under 12 are local pga sections.

    the best pga section by far for young kids is the North Texas junior tour. I think Southern California is similar. Here in south Florida the tour is okay but really is lacking for younger kids especially for 9 holes. The only real option is US Kids.

    US kids is okay as a tour but the focus is too much in how kids place and going to worlds. All of which is great but I think can really turn off kids and parents as well. Plus the cost to play 9 holes With registration is a lot for what what is.

    having a good a good regional or state tour where you don’t have travel more then 200 miles is perfect for kids under 12. Unfortunately a lot people do not have this options.

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  • darter79darter79 Members  902WRX Points: 321Posts: 902 Golden Tee
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    NTPGA can't even touch STPGA and I don't think STPGA is overly great but I do know of people who love STPGA. I do tend to think local PGA do run better events overall, with better season ending championships and able to age up vs USKG you can only play what age you are regardless of score and skill. Seems at 10 and above USKG looses its luster that it had at age 7 for example. Tiger did you ever play in the TJGT?

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  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members  1632WRX Points: 422Posts: 1,632 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #9


    We could argue all day on this but my perception of local pga sections is there to provide a local place for kids to play. When kids get more serious they should be playing TGT and Legends. For most kids that starts once there older then 12.

    TGT and the legends tour in Texas are ok I put them on the same level as Florida state.

    when it comes to 9 holes tournaments for kids under 10 I think NTPGA is way more competitive then almost anywhere else’s.

    a lot of this has to do with the local population a lot people don’t understand that the DFW area alone is probably the size of Orlando and Miami together.

    This why TGT tournaments are good competition. Texas is a large state and I would say overall has more kids playing golf then Florida by a long shot. I played in both states and Florida has tough competition but there are more girls in Texas playing for sure.

    i also had my kids play in smaller states and even the large competitions feel like a small event. The reality is you have to travel.

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  • leezer99leezer99 Boy - 2026 Members  1919WRX Points: 1,305Handicap: A BillionPosts: 1,919 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #10

    LOL, you guys are crazy.

    US Women’s Am champ Rose Zhang - SCPGA


    LPGA champ Danielle Kang - SCPGA


    PGA Major champ Collin Morikowa - SCPGA

    Posted:

    There's definitely something more important that I should be doing.

  • hangontighthangontight Members  791WRX Points: 247Posts: 791 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #11

    Another topic derailed. C’mon ,Tiger . Stick to OP original topic /inquiry , or start a new thread with what you want to talk about .

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  • Kcct82Kcct82 Members  344WRX Points: 230Posts: 344 Greens
    Joined:  #12

    My kid is gonna play So Cal State tomorrow. First time being out of the house and seeing grass in 5 months. 2 of the kids in the field are US kids world top 20’s. I have zero expectations lol.

    Posted:
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  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members  1632WRX Points: 422Posts: 1,632 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 10, 2020 11:28am #13

    Actually I was answering the OP's question that best local tours are pga local Junior sections. A lot parents who play worlds get this Idea that US Kids and worlds means there kid is the next super star.

    There are only 2 reasons to play local events the first being you just want to startthe kids in their first competitions and second you want to qualify for regional and US Kids worlds and gain status.

    If you kid won or placed in the top 10 at US Kids worlds and you playing US kids locals every week you need to find harder competition out there and stop bragging to parents who are just starting out in golf. If you hear a parent bragging about US kids they have no clue about how hard high level junior and Professional golf really is. The goal of every parent of young kids is to get them to play real courses and distances without caddies as soon as possible.

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  • darter79darter79 Members  902WRX Points: 321Posts: 902 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #14

    Locals USKG events flavor will be different in each age group in market. We are lucky as **** where we are, we have 3 kids in our group who placed top 20 this year, 1 in the top 10, one that was just outside that. In previous years had them in the top 5. So By playing USKG locals while short in yardage we are getting a chance to play against girls who can play and its about having great competition to play against. Do some need to play locals no, but at certain ages USKG is the best option out there for kids under 11 I would say at least around here.

    I will say in the past after worlds when we had a summer tour to come back to the events after worlds were a lot easier mainly because of how much shorter it was vs worlds in some cases up to 500 yards difference. This year no events right after don't start up again till the end of August and are aging up so not as big of a difference. You never NEED to play USKG locals unless you need status to play in a regional or getting into worlds but for younger kids not really a better option out there. Once they hit 18 holes that's a different statement plus where you live there could be other alternatives that are better. Again our flavor of USKG is pretty loaded.

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  • MB19MB19 Members  148WRX Points: 108Posts: 148 Fairways
    Joined:  #15

    Tiger, my question was why parents feel the need to enter their 7/8/9 y.o. kids into local tournaments a week after Worlds. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy my kids are able to face a strong field--but at this age it seems like a lot after the biggest, longest and most draining event of the year for not just kids but parents.

    For older kids, maybe 10+, I get it.

    As far as USKG goes, there's plenty of talent in the south FL tours. ****, Tiger's kid played in our event (but up a few age groups from us) yesterday and shot -3. In the 10-11 girls group behind us, the leader carded 15 after 5 holes... the girl in 2nd was at 18, 3rd 20 before they called it for darkness stemming from lightning delays. The tour is officially a local, but the talent level is closer to a State with the talent from Palm Beach County.

    Regarding the parents, I found them to be very friendly, kind and as unpretentious as one could expect for the area. As a parent with kids who want to go to worlds for the first time next year, it was great to be playing with two parents who just got back and was open to talk about some of the ins and outs of their trip. Kind of like having a thread on this forum, but in real time.

    Posted:
  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members  1632WRX Points: 422Posts: 1,632 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 10, 2020 3:49pm #16

    A lot parents don't have a home course where you play on. So there paying to play with the kids every time. So if your in that situation sometimes you just play local tours every weekend instead of playing and practicing on a public course (which is not the always the best place to bring kids). I knew a lot people that did this and eventually they signed up to a course to practice on.

    If you have a place to practice I agree why bother playing.

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  • MB19MB19 Members  148WRX Points: 108Posts: 148 Fairways
    Joined:  #17

    Gotcha, that certainly makes sense if you look at it through that lens.

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  • MB19MB19 Members  148WRX Points: 108Posts: 148 Fairways
    Joined:  #18

    Sunday's tournament was one of those you chalk up as a learning experience. It started out with the 9-hole divisions getting delayed for about two hours due to lightning, which is fun for everyone given the current COVID restrictions. Once things got going, the course was pretty saturated and there was a lot of standing water. The wait was so long, several groups didn't get to finish their rounds.

    Thankfully, my son's group was the last one allowed to finish and he tied his personal best (shot in 6U)--although you'd never know it through much of the tournament. If a shot isn't close to perfect, he's not happy. Hopefully that perfectionist gene can be a big advantage for him at some point, somehow. Our group had one kid he'd played with before and another who was friendly--both parents were upbeat and personable. Both of the other golfers were fresh of varying degrees of success at Worlds, and it was cool to hear stories of their trip.

    My daughter's round was one of the groups who only made it through five holes. That was a bit of a disappointment, but she was just happy to get out and play with some girls her age. It was my father's introduction to being a grandaddy-caddy, and he lamented about his mistakes regarding club selection and a few other things he said cost her a few strokes. I was just happy to have him out there, and so were my kids. He's requested a range-finder for next week (we don't have one), and that's the next golf purchase.

    Both kids experienced some success with their short games, which we've worked on a bunch this summer. I know it helped my son quite a bit, as he picked up strokes on the two more experienced players we played with who themselves, gave a couple strokes back to him each in their own short game. Next step is getting that drive out a little farther, as both kids outdrove him every hole. This didn't happen in 6U, so a bit of a wakeup call this was in his first 7s event.

    We'll try it again on Saturday, this time at pretty swanky course. Grandpa gets redemption with a rangefinder for this one.

    Posted:
  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members  3908WRX Points: 1,276Posts: 3,908 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #19

    I think it is more than a perfectionist gene. Certain people think that the only way to score is to hit perfect shots and hit it close to the flag stick. Reality is that very seldom in a great round does a PGA tour player do this. The player has to be conditioned to just hit the shot given and put the ball in the hole in the least amount of strokes. Too many great players never made it because they were too consumed with score rather than having fun playing the game.

    Greg Norman and Tom Watson shared the same caddie at points in their careers. He was asked in an interview what was the difference in the two. I think we can all agree that Greg was more talented than Tom, but Tom had the better of careers. The caddie said "Greg would walk up to his ball and see it in a fairways divot. At that point he would moan, groan, and **** about how unlucky he was. Tom would walk up to his ball in a fairway divot and say 'Watch this Shot!'."

    Posted:

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