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How good is good? Young golfers

  • 31-07-2020 1:51pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 19,541 ✭✭✭✭ PARlance


    I recently posted about playing with a junior member, a 13 year old, a few weeks back who shot 78 when he joined us. The same guy shot 71 this week, level par. It's his first year outside of junior golf, and he seems to be getting better and better each round.

    He's a phenomenal talent, in my mind anyway, but I never golfed when I was young so I'm not sure what is really really good.

    Can only see this lad demolishing the course when he starts to get some strength. He's probably only driving it 220-230 at the moment.

    He was saying that he's involved in the provincial development etc etc but just curious to know from those more experienced golfers, how good is really good at that age?

    Hard to quantify, I know, but anyone got stories of playing with real talents when they were younger? Anyone extremely low when they were a kid etc? What level (HC or otherwise) would you need to be at the get a scholarship to the States for example?

    Now this lad might hit the booze soon and may only end up a decent Pierce Purcell player but it's the first time I've seen talent like that up close at such a young age. Feel free to add in any stories etc.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,518 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    PARlance wrote: »
    I recently posted about playing with a junior member, a 13 year old, a few weeks back who shot 78 when he joined us. The same guy shot 71 this week, level par. It's his first year outside of junior golf, and he seems to be getting better and better each round.

    He's a phenomenal talent, in my mind anyway, but I never golfed when I was young so I'm not sure what is really really good.

    Can only see this lad demolishing the course when he starts to get some strength. He's probably only driving it 220-230 at the moment.

    He was saying that he's involved in the provincial development etc etc but just curious to know from those more experienced golfers, how good is really good at that age?

    Hard to quantify, I know, but anyone got stories of playing with real talents when they were younger? Anyone extremely low when they were a kid etc? What level (HC or otherwise) would you need to be at the get a scholarship to the States for example?

    Now this lad might hit the booze soon and may only end up a decent Pierce Purcell player but it's the first time I've seen talent like that up close at such a young age. Feel free to add in any stories etc.

    There are far more good young guys these days than there were even 10 years ago.
    We have scores of young fellas with perfect swings who hit it a mile (but most havent built a mental or strategy game yet!)

    Level par at 13 is pretty good going, especially if still hitting a short ball. However he would want to be getting up to 280+ in the next 2 years or he will be left behind from what I'm seeing.

    The competition for scholarships is also crazy these days, you have to be 1 in 1,000 level to get a good one I reckon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,630 ✭✭✭ maddness


    Sounds like the kid can play but if you want to be a tour player you’d want to be about +5 by his late teen years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,116 ✭✭✭ blue note


    As GreeBo said there's loads more golfers shooting those sorts of scores now. A friend of mine was the first scratch golfer in about 100 years in his club. He hit that before he was 18. He now has the worst handicap on their senior Cup team. That change was in the last 20 years.

    Still though, going around level par at 13 is exceptional. Not as exceptional is it was, but he must be one of the top in his age bracket in the country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,050 ✭✭✭ Dbu


    Then comes, football,rugby,girls/fellas and drink..college
    Loads of hurdles yet..


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,922 ✭✭✭ PokeHerKing


    Power/distance isn't guaranteed either. Like all sports, could be great at a very young age and then get left behind for numerous reasons.

    Our SCT only had a handful of JCT players when we were in school for example.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,439 ✭✭✭ Mysterypunter


    It's hard to know, I heard of a young chap who shot 62 at faithlegg off the back tees, I might do that if I was playing 9 holes, seems incredible. It did happen, but I wonder how often it would in the future, it can't be a flash in the pan, but surely the lad would be good enough for one of those one in a thousand scholarships if he can produce that type of play. Just as impressive was that he had birdie putts at 17 & 18, 2 scorecard ruining holes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 mike12


    We have a 13 year old at our club who the Pro reckons is the real deal. Shooting under par on a regular basis off a 1 handicap.

    Our Pro is excellent with juniors we have at least 10 with 3 or less handicaps one just got a scholarship to a top 10 US college.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,478 ✭✭✭ Motivator


    One of the best Junior golfers I’ve ever seen was on every Irish team from 12 or 13 all the way up and would have been on the Walker Cup team at 18 or 19 but gave it all up one day. He had a scholarship to US but his parents pushed him so hard he mentally couldn’t take it and I don’t think he even plays any more. He hit breaking point that young it was sad to see. He’s now a solicitor as far as I know but was definitely good enough to be a touring pro.

    I used to play a lot of Junior golf with someone who led the US Open in 2013, the year Rose won it. The family moved to US and he played day in day out and had the best coaching. His handicap went from maybe 13/14 down to scratch in 2 years. At one stage he was ranked something like 10th in the world as an amateur, ahead of Victor Dubuisson. When you get that far, it all comes down to mental strength and if you can make that final push to find that extra couple of percent to make all the difference. Irish guy played in a couple of US opens as an amateur and played European Tour for a couple of years but never pushed on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,554 ✭✭✭✭ Rikand


    We've had a few down through the years but factors outside of the game stopped them from kicking on for one reason or another. Most are pros teaching at the moment, one is still a good low amateur. One kid whos around 20 now won every scratch cup around the country at the age of 13, thought he was going to be the real deal. He got some bad coaching and his game fell apart. He had no idea where he was hitting the ball for about 2-3 years and it was incredibly frustrating for him and everyone around him. Real natural talent scuppered by someone else who shouldnt have been let near his swing. I heard this year he's gone back to an old coach and he's playing super golf again. It'd be brilliant to see him get back to a low amateur level again.

    You need to be pushing scratch at the age of 15 or 16 to be in the category of those who "make it" but occasionally a Poulter comes along who just grinds his way out slowly


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,284 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010


    Likewise, there was a clutch of young golfers at our club who won loads of junior titles around the country, they are in their late teens now and none play golf regularly, they have other interests. I played against a 16 yr old scratch golfer in an open knockout comp last weekend in atrocious weather, I’ve played a fair bit of golf with tour pros over the years, this kid was as close as I’ve seen to them in a junior, he was brilliant. He was playing MB clubs which are difficult to use, but he could shape the flight of the ball at will. But he wants to do engineering when he leaves school, so this might well be his peak before life/studies take over.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,554 ✭✭✭✭ Rikand


    Dav010 wrote: »
    Likewise, there was a clutch of young golfers at our club who won loads of junior titles around the country, they are in their late teens now and none play golf regularly, they have other interests. I played against a 16 yr old scratch golfer in an open knockout comp last weekend in atrocious weather, I’ve played a fair bit of golf with tour pros over the years, this kid was as close as I’ve seen to them in a junior, he was brilliant. He was playing MB clubs which are difficult to use, but he could shape the flight of the ball at will. But he wants to do engineering when he leaves school, so this might well be his peak before life/studies take over.

    Maybe he'll be the type of fella who forges a good amateur career out of it getting down to around +2 and playing the north/south/east and west as part of his hobby rather than trying to grind a living from it :) It's a nice way to be if you can find an employer who's agreeable to it :D


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