The goals of the American Development Model program are as broad as cutting down childhood obesity to as focused as creating Olympic-level athletes.
Ice cream trucks and a water balloon toss might play as key a role in a child’s development in the game as his first elite junior event.
Wake Forest coach Jerry Haas, a PGA Professional who competed on Tour, said he’s seeing too many wrist and back injuries flaring up in young players.
“They were underdeveloped,” he said, “and hit way too many balls at 10 years old and 12 years old.”
Instead, he’d like to see players compete in several sports throughout high school rather than specialize at an early age. Those well-rounded athletes learn how to win and lose, and by the time they get to Haas, they’re still hungry.
“The pressure of everyone getting so good so young,” said 2019 PGA Professional Women's Player of the Year Joanna Coe. “You don’t have to rush. You don’t have to rush your childhood either.”