How to Coach High School Golf

By Contributor

Golf is a sport that is growing exponentially in popularity and, unlike gymnastics and football, golf doesn't have a brief age span in the life of the athlete. For this reason, as you coach high school golf, you won't have to spend as much time building morale or encouraging athletes to plan for future careers in the sport. You will, however, have to really build finesse, timing and control in your golfers, since this is one sport in which you can't "muscle" your way to the finish line.

Build Strength and Flexibility

Encourage your golfers to develop a strength training and cardiovascular regiment. Although some pros, such as John Daly, play well without extensive muscle tone, truly fit players can play as well at the 18th and 36th holes as they do on the first nine. When at Stanford, Tiger Woods hit the weights every single day, bringing endurance to his natural finesse.

Introduce your high school golfers to stretching regimens, such as yoga classes.

Since so much of the backswing involves muscles that don't get used in daily life, including the sides of the lower back and the outsides of the upper arms, it's easy for the backswing to be compromised by muscular inflexibility.

Keep Students Scholastically Fit for Sports Eligibility

Encourage students to keep their grades up. Just as in college, high school students who are struggling academically can be pulled out of sports. If your players want to continue playing golf competitively at the NCAA level they will have to learn that keeping their grades up is part of being a successful athlete.

Speak to the school administrator and ask what the GPA is that student athletes may not fall below, and how you can stay abreast of their scholastic status.

Talk to your players about the possibility of applying for golf scholarships at such mighty golf schools as UCLA and Arizona State.

Introduce Students to Adult Players

Participate in inter-school golf meets, but also consider taking your players into a local golf tournament. Allow the players to observe the golf etiquette of adult players, and help them interact with strangers who have a love of the sport. This will stand them in good stead when they represent the school and when they continue on to university.

Offer a class on golf etiquette, and stress it during practice and during meets. As a coach, you want your students welcome at both municipal and private courses.

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