PGA Tour Parents

You have heard of Soccer Moms and Little League Dads, but PGA Tour parents are the worst.

If you fall into this group your choices are hari kari (for those who don’t know, it’s disemboweling yourself with a samurai sword) or cut it out now.

I practice at a public course with a really nice facility. It gives me a chance to be comfortable in t-shirts and cargo shorts.

What I saw yesterday afternoon made me sick because I see it almost every day.

I saw a little boy who couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 getting a chipping lesson, all the while the parent was shouting instructions. I don’t mean basic “here’s how you hold it” stuff, I mean real mechanical perfection type stuff. I had to leave the chipping green and go to the range to get away from this.

Then I went to the range and started hitting balls. There was a teenager about 15 or 16 hitting balls next to me and getting lessons from his dad. I thought the chipping lesson I just witnessed was technical. “Your plane is off 3 frames into the back swing” and “lead more with the left shoulder,” were a few of the beauties I heard. Now is where it gets interesting. It was late in the afternoon and the shadows were long.

“Excuse me, your shadow is bothering my son’s practice.” I practice with music from my Oakley wireless sunglasses on, so I often can’t hear people talking on the range…thank GOD. He then taps me on the shoulder and repeats.

I asked him if he was kidding and if his kid wanted to play on Tour someday, he better get used to distractions worse than this. He then very forcefully told me that his son’s practice was very important and I either needed to move, or make sure my shadow was out of the way when he was hitting.

I couldn’t decide whether to separate this guy from a few of his teeth or embarrass him really bad. Since there is no internet in jail, I obviously chose option two.

I told him I would play he and his son a best ball for any amount of money he wanted.

“Your son looks like a low single digit and by the way you are talking to him, I judge you to be at least a 15, if not a 20. Am I right?”

I got a stunned look from the dad and the kid started to laugh.

“Look, I’ll make you a deal, let me finish warming up and I’ll give you one of two choices. We can play the match for $100 a hole, or you can let your son hit the rest of his balls without your input.”

After I hit my first driver, he sat on the bench and silently motioned to his son to hit the rest of his balls.

The point of this story is not how awesome I think I am and what a jerk I am to people who bother me at the golf course (although both of these things are true), it’s that parents need to leave their kids alone because they don’t know jack **** about golf and how to make their kids better. Let them whack it around and have a good time.

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6 Comments

  1. Tony Kim

    This post kinda hit close to home for me….except I didn’t get the benefit of someone pointing out the handicap disparity between my pops and I. My Dad’s a great guy, but he often made the game pretty friggin miserable for me!! I cringe at some of the instruction he gave me…

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      I just get very frustrated with people who aren’t very good at golf giving tips to their kids when they don’t know what they mean or how to implement them. It hits home because my dad was an 18 and spent every round we played doing this to me. My dad once read in Golf Digest that in the low side was the amateur side and the high side was the pro side in putting. For the next six months if I missed a twenty footer on the low side, he would say, “you missed that on the amateur side.” He was not kidding and never let up and it ruined my putting for about a year. I was missing two footers on the high side just so I wouldn’t have the hear that BS.

      That is why handicap disparity is important to realize.

      Reply
  2. jeff

    I just got a good chuckle off this post. This is the first time I read your blogs and basically I think I sat here and ened up reading all of them! I am a teacher and a coach (baseball). I totally agree with you and see the craziest stuff from parents. I’m not as quick witted as you are, haha but that comment was very funny. Seems like today’s reality is that parents know best. Sometimes kids just need to get out and experiment and find out stuff on their own. Good work, I enjoy reading the blogs!

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Thank you Jeff. I am happy to hear I am not the only person who is angered by parents who live vicariously through heir kids. I would not want to give a pre-teen child a golf lesson. Maybe a really advanced 11 or 12 year old, but even then, just let them have fun and give a few balance, grip and set up pointers. If they are natural players to begin with, they will pretty much do what is correct anyway.

      Reply
  3. Mike Avalos

    Hi Monte, I just read your message on GEA and wanted to take a look at your blog. I have to say I agree with you 100% about the parents teaching kids thing about the swing when they don’t know what they are taking about. I have 2 boys that I am trying to get into the game. They are 9 so, I try and limit what I teach them (I am a 16 hcp). I want them to just enjoy going out on the course with me, hitting balls and learn to love the game as much as I do.

    Thanks!

    Mike.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Mike, that is the best thing you can do to make them better players. Make sure they have fun. The more fun I have, the lower I shoot.

      Reply

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