Some of my fondest memories of golf as a junior were the many putting and chipping “contests” I would either initiate or participate in. With a PGA Professional as my father, I was fortunate to have access to the game and be surrounded by good players from a very early age. It was great to be able to practice and play with golf professionals and other skilled players. It certainly made me work hard and sharpened my competitive skills.
There was nothing better than having that putting contest on the practice green with one of the golf professionals for that all important “buck” or soda! For chipping contests, I vividly remember playing our version of “HORSE”, each trying to outdo the other with creative and fun shots – flop shots, bump and runs, over or under trees/bushes or even ball washers! I can undoubtedly say that these contests/practice sessions helped me sharpen my short game skills, which became the strongest part of my game. Practicing was always more fun with someone else, and especially when we could combine fun and competition. Even today, when I head out to the driving range with my son, we always have putting and chipping contests!
If you are new to the game, practicing with someone with a higher skill level than you will help you improve faster. Don’t be intimidated by someone who has more experience than you – remember, they were a beginner at some point too, and chances are they are more than willing to help you, just as someone helped them. That’s what’s great about the game of golf – we all want to help each other succeed!
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