The 9 year-old golf standout is getting better every week we meet. We work on very little technique and more on distance control.

“Beat the Pro” is a game I have introduced to my junior golfers to make practicing golf skills a lot more fun.  Recently, Caleb Gerdes was able to “Beat the Pro” on the putting green and the chipping green as well. 
The 9 year-old golf standout is getting better every week we meet. We work on very little technique and more on distance control. 
Chipping and putting are all about accuracy and distance control. We all go through the same issues of “skulling” a chip shot clear across the green and into a small creek, or “chunking” the ball only three feet. However, now and then, we manage to make perfect contact and watch the ball roll up to the edge of the hold. Those moments are unforgettable. Sometimes the ball even drops into the cup, making the moment even more special. 
Caleb has experienced many of the highs and lows of golf at his young age, but he will experience so much more in the future. We never stop learning because perfection is almost impossible. So, having little contests with your golf teacher or parent is a good way for a junior golfer to practice.
Silas Manitas is another outstanding junior golfer in my program. He is only 7 years old, but looks like he’s 10. He swings his clubs left-handed and putts right. He has also had the good fortune to “beat the pro.” Silas will be a good athlete in whatever sport he plays. He has the motor skills as well as a great attitude. 
Most all of my junior golfers have good attitudes, and that is a reflection of their parental influence. So a special thanks goes out to all the parents who provide encouragement and guidance to their children.
One aspect of golf instruction I really enjoy teaching is “trouble shots.” Try to hit a chip shot between two trees and onto the green. The more narrow the opening, the more challenging it is to pull off the shot. Sometimes we hit a tree and the ball goes who knows where. Sometimes we “thread the needle” and end up just fine. That is the joy and challenge of golf. I often allow my junior golfers to create the difficult golf shot, and of course, I have to go first. They make me go first and I give them every opportunity to watch me fail. They laugh at me and that’s okay. My junior golfers love to say, “I beat the Pro.”

Rod Sims is the PGA Teaching Professional at Mount Shasta Resort. He would love to hear from you and he can be reached at 209-329-5634.