Some things in golf disgust me, and probably most revolve around the etiquette of the game. For example knowing that in my entire life I have never been in a bunker I haven't raked, and yet I seemingly get into bunkers that look more like Miami Beach after Spring Break. I feel no matter how hard we try, some things will never change. However, one side of golf that has become very disturbing, is the lack of junior golfers sticking with the game. It has become very apparent that we are not nurturing the young generation, like the way my generation was taken care of. I can't tell you how many of my friends have become golf professionals or are working in a golf related job. As juniors, we used to get excited to play every round of golf we could. We were extremely competitive and loved to beat each other and if one lost, we would try and redeem ourselves on the putting green in our famous putting contests. I walk into facilities and see juniors but the kids just don't have the spark like we used to have. I know through time, attitudes and personalities change, like fads and trends... but this is different. The kids getting into competitive golf are being lead astray. They're being put into the fire early and way to often....
Junior golf was a big thing for me. It paved my road into the golf industry and made me the player I am today. Growing up in the Hamilton area I had lots of golf tournaments to play in and was very central to many. However, my father encouraged me to play local events and said if I couldn't win in my backyard, then there was no reason to play away from home. I first qualified for the Hamilton/Halton Junior Golf Tour in 1995 at the age of 15. The Junior Tour was very deep when I played and the first year I qualified I shot 81 and made the cut by one shot. I got exempt for the 1997 season by finishing in the top 15 in 1996. I finished 10th in 1997 but did not win an event. In 1998, I finally won. I shot 69 in the first event of the season and eventually finished 2nd in the overall standings....
Back of the Range
Jim will be allowing readers into his world as he writes about golf through his heart and experiences as a professional golfer, instructor, father, and a fan.
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- Back of the Range