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5 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

A constant debate among households & sports. To participate in travel or not. 

At 7 IMO probably too young to start that road. It won't stop anytime soon. 

It would be a blast no doubt but I don't think at that age it is necessary. 

I'll say this: several years ago, I watched the documentary "The Short Game." It tracks several kids leading up to the Junior World Golf Championship at Pinehurst. A couple of the young ladies from that documentary have gone on to be very promising players; they even teamed up for the Women's US Amateur.

But my big takeaway: it would be an amazingly unusual child to deal with that level of pomp and accolades at ages 7 and 8 and do it well. For our family (no judgment at all implied for anyone who chooses differently), I decided that we were not going to plan to pursue that kind of thing in these early years. As a family, there are decisions we want to make before they have to be made, because when certain opportunities are sitting there, open, it's really hard to say no in the moment. If you're going to choose intentionally, I think it's easier to do so ahead of time.

So @THEZIPR23, I definitely appreciate the spirit of this comment. In this regard, it actually works out well that finding a tournament for Kirke is inconvenient for us. I think that the sheer impracticality of it will help it from getting out of hand, even if we were to choose to bring Kirke to this event.

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Periodically, I post here about my son Kirke. I thought I'd start a thread in which I can bring all those posts together, so that those interested can read them, and those not interested aren't seeing

First Tournament Recap Kirke and I left for the Twin Cities on Sunday afternoon. We were looking at about a 4.5 hour drive. But along the way, I remembered a sign I'd seen for a course along the

Still awaiting the link to the official posts on the DCP website, but I can forward along Kirke's results from today. He was one of about 25+ boys in the 7–9 bracket. He didn't have a strong show

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Another cool highlight for Kirke: his bucket shot that I posted earlier got retweeted by Dude Perfect yesterday!

Since I'm pretty sure we've watched every Dude Perfect video for the past five years, this was a big deal in our house.

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1 minute ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Another cool highlight for Kirke: his bucket shot that I posted earlier got retweeted by Dude Perfect yesterday!

Since I'm pretty sure we've watched every Dude Perfect video for the past five years, this was a big deal in our house.

get him in the scramble !

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The winners from the swing contest were (finally) announced yesterday, and Kirke didn't place. The winners for his age group being at 12:41 in this video:

I told him before we watched the announcement video that whatever the result, he's got a good swing. We enter these things for fun; it would be fun to place, but playing golf, enjoying it, and playing well are more important than a swing contest. He handled it well. And we'll go out and play again, hopefully tomorrow.

To tie up a loose end from a previous post: I did register Kirke for his first tournament on August 24. Obviously, I'll post here to let y'all know how it goes.

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How about this impact position?

 

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Closing in on Kirke's tournament debut! He and I will drive from here to the Twin Cities Sunday after church services here (it's about a 4.5 hour drive). The tournament is Monday with tee times starting at 2:00pm (specific tee times will be announced tomorrow, I think).

Our current plan is to arrive in MSP Sunday evening and head to one of our favorite practice facilities: https://www.threeriversparks.org/location/eagle-lake-youth-golf-center. They have a tiny par 3 course (total yards: 575!). I think I beat Kirke by a stroke or two the last time we played it; I'll need to have my partial wedges totally dialed in or else he's almost certain to beat me this time. So far, Kirke hasn't beaten me if we've played from the same tees; perhaps Sunday will be the day?

They also have a giant practice green, which is important, because Kirke needs to practice lag putting. As I've noted in other threads, the greens at our course are tiny, so I want Kirke to spend some time two-putting from 40+ feet.

Monday morning, we'll plan to take it easy. I'm not looking to wear Kirke out before his round. We'll probably head to a golf store (always a treat for us, since there aren't any where we live). I'll probably grab him a sleeve of new balls. We might also check out the next length of US Kids drivers. I've found that the employers are a bit amused when I ask if Kirke can test a driver in the hitting bay against his current driver.

I'm not at all sure yet when the course opens for warm ups, but I know that when we get there, I'll need to slow Kirke down a bit. He tends to rifle his way through a bucket of range balls. I would imagine that tendency might be heightened with his excitement for the tournament.

A couple days back, the tournament director emailed me the yardages for Kirke's age group. I'm pretty excited on this: the course (as best I can tell from online maps) looks fairly flat, with no obstructions in front of the greens (water or bunkers). There are hazards, but you have to go offline to find them. The total length is same that Kirke normally plays (1,500 yards for 9 holes). But because our home course has only two par 5s and three par 3s (for the whole 18), the distribution of yardage is different on the tournament course, which is a more traditional 5-4s, 2-5s, 2-3s setup. In particular, Kirke's par 5s at home are both 300 yards; for this tournament, they are 235 and 265. With any luck, he should be putting for eagle on the shorter par 5.

Kirke is very excited; definitely talking about this all the time now. I'm trying to help him focus on things he can control: having fun. Hitting one good shot at a time. And having a good attitude. I'll keep everyone posted with pictures and videos over the next few days.

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7 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Closing in on Kirke's tournament debut! He and I will drive from here to the Twin Cities Sunday after church services here (it's about a 4.5 hour drive). The tournament is Monday with tee times starting at 2:00pm (specific tee times will be announced tomorrow, I think).

Our current plan is to arrive in MSP Sunday evening and head to one of our favorite practice facilities: https://www.threeriversparks.org/location/eagle-lake-youth-golf-center. They have a tiny par 3 course (total yards: 575!). I think I beat Kirke by a stroke or two the last time we played it; I'll need to have my partial wedges totally dialed in or else he's almost certain to beat me this time. So far, Kirke hasn't beaten me if we've played from the same tees; perhaps Sunday will be the day?

They also have a giant practice green, which is important, because Kirke needs to practice lag putting. As I've noted in other threads, the greens at our course are tiny, so I want Kirke to spend some time two-putting from 40+ feet.

Monday morning, we'll plan to take it easy. I'm not looking to wear Kirke out before his round. We'll probably head to a golf store (always a treat for us, since there aren't any where we live). I'll probably grab him a sleeve of new balls. We might also check out the next length of US Kids drivers. I've found that the employers are a bit amused when I ask if Kirke can test a driver in the hitting bay against his current driver.

I'm not at all sure yet when the course opens for warm ups, but I know that when we get there, I'll need to slow Kirke down a bit. He tends to rifle his way through a bucket of range balls. I would imagine that tendency might be heightened with his excitement for the tournament.

A couple days back, the tournament director emailed me the yardages for Kirke's age group. I'm pretty excited on this: the course (as best I can tell from online maps) looks fairly flat, with no obstructions in front of the greens (water or bunkers). There are hazards, but you have to go offline to find them. The total length is same that Kirke normally plays (1,500 yards for 9 holes). But because our home course has only two par 5s and three par 3s (for the whole 18), the distribution of yardage is different on the tournament course, which is a more traditional 5-4s, 2-5s, 2-3s setup. In particular, Kirke's par 5s at home are both 300 yards; for this tournament, they are 235 and 265. With any luck, he should be putting for eagle on the shorter par 5.

Kirke is very excited; definitely talking about this all the time now. I'm trying to help him focus on things he can control: having fun. Hitting one good shot at a time. And having a good attitude. I'll keep everyone posted with pictures and videos over the next few days.

I started getting those good anticipation nerves just reading this!   Go get em Kirke!!! (Have a ton of fun)

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22 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Closing in on Kirke's tournament debut! He and I will drive from here to the Twin Cities Sunday after church services here (it's about a 4.5 hour drive). The tournament is Monday with tee times starting at 2:00pm (specific tee times will be announced tomorrow, I think).

Our current plan is to arrive in MSP Sunday evening and head to one of our favorite practice facilities: https://www.threeriversparks.org/location/eagle-lake-youth-golf-center. They have a tiny par 3 course (total yards: 575!). I think I beat Kirke by a stroke or two the last time we played it; I'll need to have my partial wedges totally dialed in or else he's almost certain to beat me this time. So far, Kirke hasn't beaten me if we've played from the same tees; perhaps Sunday will be the day?

They also have a giant practice green, which is important, because Kirke needs to practice lag putting. As I've noted in other threads, the greens at our course are tiny, so I want Kirke to spend some time two-putting from 40+ feet.

Monday morning, we'll plan to take it easy. I'm not looking to wear Kirke out before his round. We'll probably head to a golf store (always a treat for us, since there aren't any where we live). I'll probably grab him a sleeve of new balls. We might also check out the next length of US Kids drivers. I've found that the employers are a bit amused when I ask if Kirke can test a driver in the hitting bay against his current driver.

I'm not at all sure yet when the course opens for warm ups, but I know that when we get there, I'll need to slow Kirke down a bit. He tends to rifle his way through a bucket of range balls. I would imagine that tendency might be heightened with his excitement for the tournament.

A couple days back, the tournament director emailed me the yardages for Kirke's age group. I'm pretty excited on this: the course (as best I can tell from online maps) looks fairly flat, with no obstructions in front of the greens (water or bunkers). There are hazards, but you have to go offline to find them. The total length is same that Kirke normally plays (1,500 yards for 9 holes). But because our home course has only two par 5s and three par 3s (for the whole 18), the distribution of yardage is different on the tournament course, which is a more traditional 5-4s, 2-5s, 2-3s setup. In particular, Kirke's par 5s at home are both 300 yards; for this tournament, they are 235 and 265. With any luck, he should be putting for eagle on the shorter par 5.

Kirke is very excited; definitely talking about this all the time now. I'm trying to help him focus on things he can control: having fun. Hitting one good shot at a time. And having a good attitude. I'll keep everyone posted with pictures and videos over the next few days.

Good Luck to Kirke!!!

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On 8/21/2020 at 8:46 AM, GolfSpy MPR said:

Closing in on Kirke's tournament debut! He and I will drive from here to the Twin Cities Sunday after church services here (it's about a 4.5 hour drive). The tournament is Monday with tee times starting at 2:00pm (specific tee times will be announced tomorrow, I think).

Our current plan is to arrive in MSP Sunday evening and head to one of our favorite practice facilities: https://www.threeriversparks.org/location/eagle-lake-youth-golf-center. They have a tiny par 3 course (total yards: 575!). I think I beat Kirke by a stroke or two the last time we played it; I'll need to have my partial wedges totally dialed in or else he's almost certain to beat me this time. So far, Kirke hasn't beaten me if we've played from the same tees; perhaps Sunday will be the day?

They also have a giant practice green, which is important, because Kirke needs to practice lag putting. As I've noted in other threads, the greens at our course are tiny, so I want Kirke to spend some time two-putting from 40+ feet.

Monday morning, we'll plan to take it easy. I'm not looking to wear Kirke out before his round. We'll probably head to a golf store (always a treat for us, since there aren't any where we live). I'll probably grab him a sleeve of new balls. We might also check out the next length of US Kids drivers. I've found that the employers are a bit amused when I ask if Kirke can test a driver in the hitting bay against his current driver.

I'm not at all sure yet when the course opens for warm ups, but I know that when we get there, I'll need to slow Kirke down a bit. He tends to rifle his way through a bucket of range balls. I would imagine that tendency might be heightened with his excitement for the tournament.

A couple days back, the tournament director emailed me the yardages for Kirke's age group. I'm pretty excited on this: the course (as best I can tell from online maps) looks fairly flat, with no obstructions in front of the greens (water or bunkers). There are hazards, but you have to go offline to find them. The total length is same that Kirke normally plays (1,500 yards for 9 holes). But because our home course has only two par 5s and three par 3s (for the whole 18), the distribution of yardage is different on the tournament course, which is a more traditional 5-4s, 2-5s, 2-3s setup. In particular, Kirke's par 5s at home are both 300 yards; for this tournament, they are 235 and 265. With any luck, he should be putting for eagle on the shorter par 5.

Kirke is very excited; definitely talking about this all the time now. I'm trying to help him focus on things he can control: having fun. Hitting one good shot at a time. And having a good attitude. I'll keep everyone posted with pictures and videos over the next few days.

It sounds like you've got a wonderful father/son putting planned and I hope y'all have fun. The tournament experience will be good for Kirke, but I think the memories made with his dad will be priceless. Have a safe trip, have fun, and I can't wait to hear about the trip. 

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53 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

First Tournament Recap

Kirke and I left for the Twin Cities on Sunday afternoon. We were looking at about a 4.5 hour drive. But along the way, I remembered a sign I'd seen for a course along the road. We impulsively decided we needed to check it out, and that was a great decision.

Grantsburg (WI) Golf Course was a total blast to play. Just under 2,000 yards for 9 holes. They charged $10 for the 9 with cart, and didn't charge for Kirke.

He and I decided to play it as a two-man scramble. There is a shorter set of tees as well, and that bailed us out on one hole when I duck-hooked a drive. Nearly every hole is blind on at least one shot. I probably wouldn't want this to be my home course, but for a quick nine, it was a total blast! It was the kind of course you finish and immediately want to go around again because you would have a better idea of how to attack it the second time.

Monday morning, we got up early (I didn't think Kirke had a chance of sleeping in; he was pretty excited). We grabbed Chik-Fil-A for breakfast and headed to Eagle Lake Youth Golf Center for some morning practice. We starting with Kirke practicing some longer putts.

image.png

We then got a bucket of range balls. Kirke was on fire on the range. He was peppering the 100 yard sign with his driver (he normally carries the ball right around there), and he hit one in the 50 yard net on his second attempt. His swing was looking really sharp:

But we got hit with a thunderstorm (with quite a bit of lightning) partway through his bucket. We took shelter for a while to wait it out. The storm was going to pass in about a half hour, but more concerning was the fact that the radar looked to be showing an enormous storm system over the whole Twin Cities just about the time of Kirke's scheduled 3:12 afternoon tee time:

image.png

Once the initial storm cleared, we headed over to the short course for what (I'm pretty sure) was our third match on the Eagle Lake pitch and putt. The longest hole is 90 yards. This course is the scene of one important golf first for Kirke: when he was 3, it was the first time he beat me on a hole we played at the same yardage. It was a 40-yarder, and at the time, he hit hybrid on the green and two-putted for par; I went over the green and made a bogey.

I digress. Monday morning was a new first: the first time Kirke and I played nine holes from the same tees and he beat me outright:

Note that he shot a solid even par 27. I skulled my tee shot on 2 OB over the green and missed a few short putts for a 30, so Kirke thumped me thoroughly. A cool accomplishment for him, and it certainly won't be the last time I lose to this boy.

From there, we headed to another place that Kirke has wanted to go for a while: Topgolf!

We spent most of our time competing on the Junior Quick Nine game: three shots each to the nearest three targets. I had to shoot for the red and yellow targets that were further from our bay to even it up a little, so of course Kirke ended up beating me a little more often than I beat him.

After a quick stop at the local PGA Tour Superstore, we began the drive to the course.

When we arrived, I was struck by the 1) number of kids and 2) the dollars spent on youth golf equipment. It's a different world.

Anyway, we waited the COVID-approved half hour before Kirke's tee time before he went to the putting green. Given the amount of swings he'd already taken that morning, he didn't feel the need to hit any range balls.

They were only a few minutes behind schedule for Kirke's tee time. Kirke was paired up with one other 7-year-old boy; they both had the same Cobra junior bag. There was no rain when the round began—and not a drop fell during the round. We were grateful to be able to play, having come from so far.

As per my earlier post, I had done as much online scouting as I could of the course and was pretty confident that it would set up well for Kirke. What I didn't realize was the degree to which most of the greens were set well above the fairways, most with pretty severe false fronts.

On the first hole, Kirke hit his approach well above the hole. Given the speed of the practice green and the fact that the green had some significant slope to the front, he was very timid with his first putt, barely getting it halfway to the hole. It ended up as a three-putt bogey.

I'm not going to recap every single shot in part because, already, they're blending together a bit for me. Here's his card:

image.png

He made a solid par on 2. The 3rd was another that had a severe incline; he flared his 6 iron right and short and didn't get up and down.

The surprise hole for me was 5; it was one that, given the yardage, I had hopes he would birdie. He hit a perfect drive, leaving him just over 100 yards to the green. But his FW cut a bit on him and he ended up in a pretty deep greenside bunker. His first bunker shot hit the lip and rolled back to the same spot. He got out on his second try, 2-putting for a bogey.

The thing I was most proud of him about, though, is that although he was 4-over through five holes, he wasn't down at all. That's (honestly) a bit unusual for him; when he starts with a few bad holes, his attitude can get frustrated and a bit sulky. Monday, though, nothing seemed to phase him; he just wanted to go to the next hole and keep playing. The next three holes he rolled up solid pars.

The final hole was a blind drive, and although he hit it well, when we came over the hill we found he was in the right rough. This left him with about a 75-yard shot from pretty heavy rough over a deep bunker; that's a tough shot for a little guy. He ended up bunkered; got out in one shot and two-putted to finish with a bogey (his par putt just missed; that ended up being more important than we thought in the moment).

To be honest, neither nor I were expecting 5-over to finish well. We were the first group to get done, and Kirke's playing partner clipped him by one, shooting a 4-over 40. But as each group came in, no one was posting anything lower than Kirke's 41.

So Kirke ended up T-2.

I'm pretty sure he thinks that medal is the greatest thing ever!

image.png

After the round, we hit a gas station so Kirke could get a much-needed and well-deserved Mountain Dew slushie. Then we enjoyed a four-hour drive home (with lots of good conversation). It was a great two-day road trip, with lots of really special father and son memories made. We've got the ball from his first tournament set aside (to go with his first hole-in-one ball).

Kirke appreciates the support so many of you guys have shown: I share your comments and such with him. Thanks for that!

We're still not planning to make a habit of driving to these events on any sort of regular basis, especially in the near future. I did find out, though, that there's a Upper Peninsula Golf Association that has a junior tour here. It's already done for this season, but I'm hoping that maybe next year, Kirke'll be able to play an event or two.

Way to go Kirke!

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Great recap and treated to some awesome lifelong memories!

Really cool that he was able to stay level headed after a tough start. He's got half the field beat already!!

Can't wait to see what the future holds.

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2 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

First Tournament Recap

Kirke and I left for the Twin Cities on Sunday afternoon. We were looking at about a 4.5 hour drive. But along the way, I remembered a sign I'd seen for a course along the road. We impulsively decided we needed to check it out, and that was a great decision.

Grantsburg (WI) Golf Course was a total blast to play. Just under 2,000 yards for 9 holes. They charged $10 for the 9 with cart, and didn't charge for Kirke.

He and I decided to play it as a two-man scramble. There is a shorter set of tees as well, and that bailed us out on one hole when I duck-hooked a drive. Nearly every hole is blind on at least one shot. I probably wouldn't want this to be my home course, but for a quick nine, it was a total blast! It was the kind of course you finish and immediately want to go around again because you would have a better idea of how to attack it the second time.

Monday morning, we got up early (I didn't think Kirke had a chance of sleeping in; he was pretty excited). We grabbed Chik-Fil-A for breakfast and headed to Eagle Lake Youth Golf Center for some morning practice. We starting with Kirke practicing some longer putts.

image.png

We then got a bucket of range balls. Kirke was on fire on the range. He was peppering the 100 yard sign with his driver (he normally carries the ball right around there), and he hit one in the 50 yard net on his second attempt. His swing was looking really sharp:

But we got hit with a thunderstorm (with quite a bit of lightning) partway through his bucket. We took shelter for a while to wait it out. The storm was going to pass in about a half hour, but more concerning was the fact that the radar looked to be showing an enormous storm system over the whole Twin Cities just about the time of Kirke's scheduled 3:12 afternoon tee time:

image.png

Once the initial storm cleared, we headed over to the short course for what (I'm pretty sure) was our third match on the Eagle Lake pitch and putt. The longest hole is 90 yards. This course is the scene of one important golf first for Kirke: when he was 3, it was the first time he beat me on a hole we played at the same yardage. It was a 40-yarder, and at the time, he hit hybrid on the green and two-putted for par; I went over the green and made a bogey.

I digress. Monday morning was a new first: the first time Kirke and I played nine holes from the same tees and he beat me outright:

Note that he shot a solid even par 27. I skulled my tee shot on 2 OB over the green and missed a few short putts for a 30, so Kirke thumped me thoroughly. A cool accomplishment for him, and it certainly won't be the last time I lose to this boy.

From there, we headed to another place that Kirke has wanted to go for a while: Topgolf!

We spent most of our time competing on the Junior Quick Nine game: three shots each to the nearest three targets. I had to shoot for the red and yellow targets that were further from our bay to even it up a little, so of course Kirke ended up beating me a little more often than I beat him.

After a quick stop at the local PGA Tour Superstore, we began the drive to the course.

When we arrived, I was struck by the 1) number of kids and 2) the dollars spent on youth golf equipment. It's a different world.

Anyway, we waited the COVID-approved half hour before Kirke's tee time before he went to the putting green. Given the amount of swings he'd already taken that morning, he didn't feel the need to hit any range balls.

They were only a few minutes behind schedule for Kirke's tee time. Kirke was paired up with one other 7-year-old boy; they both had the same Cobra junior bag. There was no rain when the round began—and not a drop fell during the round. We were grateful to be able to play, having come from so far.

As per my earlier post, I had done as much online scouting as I could of the course and was pretty confident that it would set up well for Kirke. What I didn't realize was the degree to which most of the greens were set well above the fairways, most with pretty severe false fronts.

On the first hole, Kirke hit his approach well above the hole. Given the speed of the practice green and the fact that the green had some significant slope to the front, he was very timid with his first putt, barely getting it halfway to the hole. It ended up as a three-putt bogey.

I'm not going to recap every single shot in part because, already, they're blending together a bit for me. Here's his card:

image.png

He made a solid par on 2. The 3rd was another that had a severe incline; he flared his 6 iron right and short and didn't get up and down.

The surprise hole for me was 5; it was one that, given the yardage, I had hopes he would birdie. He hit a perfect drive, leaving him just over 100 yards to the green. But his FW cut a bit on him and he ended up in a pretty deep greenside bunker. His first bunker shot hit the lip and rolled back to the same spot. He got out on his second try, 2-putting for a bogey.

The thing I was most proud of him about, though, is that although he was 4-over through five holes, he wasn't down at all. That's (honestly) a bit unusual for him; when he starts with a few bad holes, his attitude can get frustrated and a bit sulky. Monday, though, nothing seemed to phase him; he just wanted to go to the next hole and keep playing. The next three holes he rolled up solid pars.

The final hole was a blind drive, and although he hit it well, when we came over the hill we found he was in the right rough. This left him with about a 75-yard shot from pretty heavy rough over a deep bunker; that's a tough shot for a little guy. He ended up bunkered; got out in one shot and two-putted to finish with a bogey (his par putt just missed; that ended up being more important than we thought in the moment).

To be honest, neither nor I were expecting 5-over to finish well. We were the first group to get done, and Kirke's playing partner clipped him by one, shooting a 4-over 40. But as each group came in, no one was posting anything lower than Kirke's 41.

So Kirke ended up T-2.

I'm pretty sure he thinks that medal is the greatest thing ever!

image.png

After the round, we hit a gas station so Kirke could get a much-needed and well-deserved Mountain Dew slushie. Then we enjoyed a four-hour drive home (with lots of good conversation). It was a great two-day road trip, with lots of really special father and son memories made. We've got the ball from his first tournament set aside (to go with his first hole-in-one ball).

Kirke appreciates the support so many of you guys have shown: I share your comments and such with him. Thanks for that!

We're still not planning to make a habit of driving to these events on any sort of regular basis, especially in the near future. I did find out, though, that there's a Upper Peninsula Golf Association that has a junior tour here. It's already done for this season, but I'm hoping that maybe next year, Kirke'll be able to play an event or two.

That is awesome, we'll done. 

Also his swing is way better than mine. 

  • Like 2

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Hybrid   :titelist-small:  - T-MB 716 3 Iron, Hybrid   :titelist-small:  - T-MB 718 4 Iron, Irons:   :titelist-small:  - AP1 714 5 to PW, Wedges  

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The Ohio and Pennsylvania's turnpike as well as around Baltimore, Maryland. 

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2 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

First Tournament Recap

Kirke and I left for the Twin Cities on Sunday afternoon. We were looking at about a 4.5 hour drive. But along the way, I remembered a sign I'd seen for a course along the road. We impulsively decided we needed to check it out, and that was a great decision.

Grantsburg (WI) Golf Course was a total blast to play. Just under 2,000 yards for 9 holes. They charged $10 for the 9 with cart, and didn't charge for Kirke.

He and I decided to play it as a two-man scramble. There is a shorter set of tees as well, and that bailed us out on one hole when I duck-hooked a drive. Nearly every hole is blind on at least one shot. I probably wouldn't want this to be my home course, but for a quick nine, it was a total blast! It was the kind of course you finish and immediately want to go around again because you would have a better idea of how to attack it the second time.

Monday morning, we got up early (I didn't think Kirke had a chance of sleeping in; he was pretty excited). We grabbed Chik-Fil-A for breakfast and headed to Eagle Lake Youth Golf Center for some morning practice. We starting with Kirke practicing some longer putts.

image.png

We then got a bucket of range balls. Kirke was on fire on the range. He was peppering the 100 yard sign with his driver (he normally carries the ball right around there), and he hit one in the 50 yard net on his second attempt. His swing was looking really sharp:

But we got hit with a thunderstorm (with quite a bit of lightning) partway through his bucket. We took shelter for a while to wait it out. The storm was going to pass in about a half hour, but more concerning was the fact that the radar looked to be showing an enormous storm system over the whole Twin Cities just about the time of Kirke's scheduled 3:12 afternoon tee time:

image.png

Once the initial storm cleared, we headed over to the short course for what (I'm pretty sure) was our third match on the Eagle Lake pitch and putt. The longest hole is 90 yards. This course is the scene of one important golf first for Kirke: when he was 3, it was the first time he beat me on a hole we played at the same yardage. It was a 40-yarder, and at the time, he hit hybrid on the green and two-putted for par; I went over the green and made a bogey.

I digress. Monday morning was a new first: the first time Kirke and I played nine holes from the same tees and he beat me outright:

Note that he shot a solid even par 27. I skulled my tee shot on 2 OB over the green and missed a few short putts for a 30, so Kirke thumped me thoroughly. A cool accomplishment for him, and it certainly won't be the last time I lose to this boy.

From there, we headed to another place that Kirke has wanted to go for a while: Topgolf!

We spent most of our time competing on the Junior Quick Nine game: three shots each to the nearest three targets. I had to shoot for the red and yellow targets that were further from our bay to even it up a little, so of course Kirke ended up beating me a little more often than I beat him.

After a quick stop at the local PGA Tour Superstore, we began the drive to the course.

When we arrived, I was struck by the 1) number of kids and 2) the dollars spent on youth golf equipment. It's a different world.

Anyway, we waited the COVID-approved half hour before Kirke's tee time before he went to the putting green. Given the amount of swings he'd already taken that morning, he didn't feel the need to hit any range balls.

They were only a few minutes behind schedule for Kirke's tee time. Kirke was paired up with one other 7-year-old boy; they both had the same Cobra junior bag. There was no rain when the round began—and not a drop fell during the round. We were grateful to be able to play, having come from so far.

As per my earlier post, I had done as much online scouting as I could of the course and was pretty confident that it would set up well for Kirke. What I didn't realize was the degree to which most of the greens were set well above the fairways, most with pretty severe false fronts.

On the first hole, Kirke hit his approach well above the hole. Given the speed of the practice green and the fact that the green had some significant slope to the front, he was very timid with his first putt, barely getting it halfway to the hole. It ended up as a three-putt bogey.

I'm not going to recap every single shot in part because, already, they're blending together a bit for me. Here's his card:

image.png

He made a solid par on 2. The 3rd was another that had a severe incline; he flared his 6 iron right and short and didn't get up and down.

The surprise hole for me was 5; it was one that, given the yardage, I had hopes he would birdie. He hit a perfect drive, leaving him just over 100 yards to the green. But his FW cut a bit on him and he ended up in a pretty deep greenside bunker. His first bunker shot hit the lip and rolled back to the same spot. He got out on his second try, 2-putting for a bogey.

The thing I was most proud of him about, though, is that although he was 4-over through five holes, he wasn't down at all. That's (honestly) a bit unusual for him; when he starts with a few bad holes, his attitude can get frustrated and a bit sulky. Monday, though, nothing seemed to phase him; he just wanted to go to the next hole and keep playing. The next three holes he rolled up solid pars.

The final hole was a blind drive, and although he hit it well, when we came over the hill we found he was in the right rough. This left him with about a 75-yard shot from pretty heavy rough over a deep bunker; that's a tough shot for a little guy. He ended up bunkered; got out in one shot and two-putted to finish with a bogey (his par putt just missed; that ended up being more important than we thought in the moment).

To be honest, neither nor I were expecting 5-over to finish well. We were the first group to get done, and Kirke's playing partner clipped him by one, shooting a 4-over 40. But as each group came in, no one was posting anything lower than Kirke's 41.

So Kirke ended up T-2.

I'm pretty sure he thinks that medal is the greatest thing ever!

image.png

After the round, we hit a gas station so Kirke could get a much-needed and well-deserved Mountain Dew slushie. Then we enjoyed a four-hour drive home (with lots of good conversation). It was a great two-day road trip, with lots of really special father and son memories made. We've got the ball from his first tournament set aside (to go with his first hole-in-one ball).

Kirke appreciates the support so many of you guys have shown: I share your comments and such with him. Thanks for that!

We're still not planning to make a habit of driving to these events on any sort of regular basis, especially in the near future. I did find out, though, that there's a Upper Peninsula Golf Association that has a junior tour here. It's already done for this season, but I'm hoping that maybe next year, Kirke'll be able to play an event or two.

Amazing ! Great job kirke really glad you decided to go through with it 

  • Like 3

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3 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

First Tournament Recap

Kirke and I left for the Twin Cities on Sunday afternoon. We were looking at about a 4.5 hour drive. But along the way, I remembered a sign I'd seen for a course along the road. We impulsively decided we needed to check it out, and that was a great decision.

Grantsburg (WI) Golf Course was a total blast to play. Just under 2,000 yards for 9 holes. They charged $10 for the 9 with cart, and didn't charge for Kirke.

He and I decided to play it as a two-man scramble. There is a shorter set of tees as well, and that bailed us out on one hole when I duck-hooked a drive. Nearly every hole is blind on at least one shot. I probably wouldn't want this to be my home course, but for a quick nine, it was a total blast! It was the kind of course you finish and immediately want to go around again because you would have a better idea of how to attack it the second time.

Monday morning, we got up early (I didn't think Kirke had a chance of sleeping in; he was pretty excited). We grabbed Chik-Fil-A for breakfast and headed to Eagle Lake Youth Golf Center for some morning practice. We starting with Kirke practicing some longer putts.

image.png

We then got a bucket of range balls. Kirke was on fire on the range. He was peppering the 100 yard sign with his driver (he normally carries the ball right around there), and he hit one in the 50 yard net on his second attempt. His swing was looking really sharp:

But we got hit with a thunderstorm (with quite a bit of lightning) partway through his bucket. We took shelter for a while to wait it out. The storm was going to pass in about a half hour, but more concerning was the fact that the radar looked to be showing an enormous storm system over the whole Twin Cities just about the time of Kirke's scheduled 3:12 afternoon tee time:

image.png

Once the initial storm cleared, we headed over to the short course for what (I'm pretty sure) was our third match on the Eagle Lake pitch and putt. The longest hole is 90 yards. This course is the scene of one important golf first for Kirke: when he was 3, it was the first time he beat me on a hole we played at the same yardage. It was a 40-yarder, and at the time, he hit hybrid on the green and two-putted for par; I went over the green and made a bogey.

I digress. Monday morning was a new first: the first time Kirke and I played nine holes from the same tees and he beat me outright:

Note that he shot a solid even par 27. I skulled my tee shot on 2 OB over the green and missed a few short putts for a 30, so Kirke thumped me thoroughly. A cool accomplishment for him, and it certainly won't be the last time I lose to this boy.

From there, we headed to another place that Kirke has wanted to go for a while: Topgolf!

We spent most of our time competing on the Junior Quick Nine game: three shots each to the nearest three targets. I had to shoot for the red and yellow targets that were further from our bay to even it up a little, so of course Kirke ended up beating me a little more often than I beat him.

After a quick stop at the local PGA Tour Superstore, we began the drive to the course.

When we arrived, I was struck by the 1) number of kids and 2) the dollars spent on youth golf equipment. It's a different world.

Anyway, we waited the COVID-approved half hour before Kirke's tee time before he went to the putting green. Given the amount of swings he'd already taken that morning, he didn't feel the need to hit any range balls.

They were only a few minutes behind schedule for Kirke's tee time. Kirke was paired up with one other 7-year-old boy; they both had the same Cobra junior bag. There was no rain when the round began—and not a drop fell during the round. We were grateful to be able to play, having come from so far.

As per my earlier post, I had done as much online scouting as I could of the course and was pretty confident that it would set up well for Kirke. What I didn't realize was the degree to which most of the greens were set well above the fairways, most with pretty severe false fronts.

On the first hole, Kirke hit his approach well above the hole. Given the speed of the practice green and the fact that the green had some significant slope to the front, he was very timid with his first putt, barely getting it halfway to the hole. It ended up as a three-putt bogey.

I'm not going to recap every single shot in part because, already, they're blending together a bit for me. Here's his card:

image.png

He made a solid par on 2. The 3rd was another that had a severe incline; he flared his 6 iron right and short and didn't get up and down.

The surprise hole for me was 5; it was one that, given the yardage, I had hopes he would birdie. He hit a perfect drive, leaving him just over 100 yards to the green. But his FW cut a bit on him and he ended up in a pretty deep greenside bunker. His first bunker shot hit the lip and rolled back to the same spot. He got out on his second try, 2-putting for a bogey.

The thing I was most proud of him about, though, is that although he was 4-over through five holes, he wasn't down at all. That's (honestly) a bit unusual for him; when he starts with a few bad holes, his attitude can get frustrated and a bit sulky. Monday, though, nothing seemed to phase him; he just wanted to go to the next hole and keep playing. The next three holes he rolled up solid pars.

The final hole was a blind drive, and although he hit it well, when we came over the hill we found he was in the right rough. This left him with about a 75-yard shot from pretty heavy rough over a deep bunker; that's a tough shot for a little guy. He ended up bunkered; got out in one shot and two-putted to finish with a bogey (his par putt just missed; that ended up being more important than we thought in the moment).

To be honest, neither nor I were expecting 5-over to finish well. We were the first group to get done, and Kirke's playing partner clipped him by one, shooting a 4-over 40. But as each group came in, no one was posting anything lower than Kirke's 41.

So Kirke ended up T-2.

I'm pretty sure he thinks that medal is the greatest thing ever!

image.png

After the round, we hit a gas station so Kirke could get a much-needed and well-deserved Mountain Dew slushie. Then we enjoyed a four-hour drive home (with lots of good conversation). It was a great two-day road trip, with lots of really special father and son memories made. We've got the ball from his first tournament set aside (to go with his first hole-in-one ball).

Kirke appreciates the support so many of you guys have shown: I share your comments and such with him. Thanks for that!

We're still not planning to make a habit of driving to these events on any sort of regular basis, especially in the near future. I did find out, though, that there's a Upper Peninsula Golf Association that has a junior tour here. It's already done for this season, but I'm hoping that maybe next year, Kirke'll be able to play an event or two.

Awesome Job Kirke! Sounds like such a great trip and great bonding. I cherish those times with my Dad as well.

  • Like 3

In my bag:

Driver:  :Hogan: Ben Hogan GS53 10.5* Stiff Mitsubishi tensei blue

3 Wood: :adams-small: Insight BUL Stiff

Hybrid:  :Sub70: 939x Hybrid UST 680 recoil shaft stiff

Irons: :Sub70: 699 irons  KBS tour 90 v Stiff 

52 Deg:cleveland-small: 588 RTX 2.0

56 deg: :cleveland-small: Reg 588 tour action

60 Deg: :cleveland-small: 588 RTX 2.0

Putter:bettinardi-small: Studio Stock #3 (Winn 1.32 Pro x grip)

Rangefinder: :CaddyTek: Caddytek V2

 

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5 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

I did find out, though, that there's a Upper Peninsula Golf Association that has a junior tour here. It's already done for this season, but I'm hoping that maybe next year, Kirke'll be able to play an event or two.

Definitely take advantage of that.  Both of my girls play in Virginia State Golf Association junior tournaments and have really enjoyed the experience.  

  • Like 4

What's in the bag:
Driver - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Wood (16*) - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
2 Iron - :mizuno-small: FliHi (18*) - Recoil 760 ( S )
4i - GW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
SW - LW - :cobra-small: F8 - N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour105 ( S )
Putter - :ping-small: Craz-e
Bag - :1590477705_SunMountain: 2.5 (Black)
Ball -  :srixon-small: Z-Star XV
Instagram - @hardcorelooper
Twitter - @meovino
Facebook - mike.eovino
 

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What great experience for the both of you. That bond you share with your son on the golf course will last a lifetime. Enjoy these times, they grow up so fast. 

  • Like 2

Driver, Ping G400 11* SR Flex

3 Wood, TaylorMade SLDR 17*  R Flex

5 Wood, TaylorMade SLDR 19* R Flex

Hybrid, Cobra Amp 24* R Flex

Irons, Sub 70 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

Wedges, Cleveland CBX 56* & 60*

Putter, Odyssey Marksman Fang 35"

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