Master Your Golf Game: 10 Tips for High School GolfersPublished on 06/23/2023 · 7 min readGolf Expert Andrew Howard gives ten tips for high schoolers looking to make the most out of their time on the high school golf team!
Photo by Matthew McBray
Playing high school golf is sure to offer new experiences and adventures. The opportunities to grow as an individual are endless. In addition to playing a great sport, the friendships and connections you make along the way are well worth the experience alone. These are the top 10 tips I have to offer from playing high school golf that may be beneficial to you on your journey.
1. Golf with Fitted Clubs
Ditch those outdated hand-me-down golf clubs that are too heavy and long for your golf swing. It is important to golf with the proper equipment according to your golf game and physical characteristics. This includes your height, swing speed, tempo, etc. All of these are important factors when fitting you into the proper golf clubs. It is strongly recommended that you get fit by a Golf Expert like myself. You will reap the benefits from getting properly fitted clubs by being able to swing more freely and comfortably. You will also enjoy the game more, knowing and feeling you have the correct golf clubs for you!
2. Join a Summer Golf League
Joining a summer league during high school, or even before you start high school, is a great way to prepare for high school golf. Take a look at PGA Jr. League for a fantastic option for golfers under 18. It is a great way to feel the competitiveness of golf matches while getting top advice from PGA teaching professionals. If you aren’t able to participate in a summer league, be sure to check out other options like golf clinics or golf lessons, as we will discuss later in the article.
3. Make Practicing Fun and Effective
Practicing with your friends or teammates is a great option because you can have putting or chipping contests or take to the course for match play and any other fun format you want. You could also do target practice at different flags or targets on the driving range, and challenge your friends to see who can hit it the closest!
If you are practicing on your own, give yourself a target score. For example, see how many five-foot putts you can make out of 20. PGA Tour pros make 96.7% of putts inside five feet! Keep track of your stats on your phone or on paper to see your improvements each time you practice. This way you can see the things you need to work on.
When you do go play the course, don’t be afraid to play the front tees. It is not only good practice for your wedge game but also helps you become familiar with the feeling of shooting lower scores. Shooting lower scores can add more pressure on you, so it is important to experience this feeling as much as you can to become comfortable in matches or tournaments.
4. Work at a Golf Course
Take advantage of the possible opportunities around you in your local area and start working at a golf course. You could work at the driving range, pro shop, or even be a caddy. A lot of times there are great benefits to working at a public course, such as discounted range balls and discounted rounds of golf. Do your research and see what you can find—your parents will likely appreciate you lowering the cost of your golf, while you will also be earning some extra money for yourself or to save for college.
5. Take Golf Lessons
Taking golf lessons can be a great way to fine-tune your skills to be ready for tournaments or even for tryouts if you are trying to get on the team. Look around at your local golf courses to check out the PGA teaching professionals in your area. If you are looking to save a little bit of money, group lessons could be a great option. Some courses will hold group clinics that usually include a moderate number of people, often around 10, and are usually pretty inexpensive. The downside, however, is that you won’t be getting a lot of one-on-one attention from the instructor.
6. Get a Rangefinder
A rangefinder can help a high school golfer, or any new golfer, for that matter, become more precise on each shot. Knowing the exact distance to the pin, hazards, trees, etc., will help you become more confident in how far you need to hit each shot. Just make sure your rangefinder doesn’t measure wind or slope (elevation), because it will not be legal in tournaments. Here is a great option for a legal rangefinder.
7. Use a Push Cart
There has been an unnecessary stigma around push carts that is finally starting to die out. Why not take advantage of having your clubs rolling on wheels instead of your back? This will be a great option if your team golf bag is uncomfortable or extra heavy because you have a lot of items in the bag. Save yourself the potential back pain and depleted energy from carrying your bag by getting a push cart like this one! This Izzo is a great option if you are on a budget, but if you have a little extra money to spend, this push cart will be even better!
8. Enjoy the Team Dinners
I can’t say this enough, but do your best to enjoy the little things with the other people on the team, because those years will go by quickly in high school. The car/bus rides and team dinners will likely be something you will take for granted. Cherish those moments with your teammates while you still have them, because they are special. Even the golf practices with your teammates are mostly fun.
Attitude is everything on the team, so allow yourself to build good chemistry with your teammates. Even though golf isn’t seen as a team sport, the positive environment that comes from knowing that your teammates want your success will help you and your teammates be successful. Cheer them on, and yourself as well!
9. Balancing School and Golf
It is likely that you will miss some class time because of a golf match or a tournament a couple of times during the golf season. Be sure to keep in touch with your teachers to see if you can work ahead and stay on track so you don’t fall behind. It can happen rather quickly, and it is likely you will be staying up late some nights because golf will consume most of your afternoons and evenings during the season, due to practices, matches, and tournaments. Don’t hesitate to form study groups with your teammates, especially if you are in the same year as them. This will be especially useful in your success as a student-athlete. Remember you are a student first and an athlete second!
10. Enter Tournaments Outside of High School
For added practice and experience, it will be a good idea to enter tournaments around your hometown to keep your skills sharp. Tournament golf and regular golf are two completely different things. It is important to do more tournaments if you want to be successful and become more comfortable with the pressure. Just do a quick Google search of amateur golf tournaments in your area to find out what is available. Don’t be afraid to test your limits! Even if they are smaller and lesser-known events, it is important to put yourself in tournament situations and get used to the feeling of competing for the hardware! Good luck!
I hope that a few of these tips will be beneficial for you or your child in their high school journey. Playing golf with their team will teach them a lot about themselves and about life. I would highly recommend they give high school golf a shot! Best wishes this season, everyone!