Junior.Golf sat down with board member Joe Ogilvie to discuss player development, practicing with a purpose and developing a lifelong love of the game.
Growing The Game
Junior.Golf: What is the #1 piece of advice you would give parents looking to introduce their child to golf?
Joe Ogilvie: Let them drive the golf cart…it’s fun for a kid. Second, golf is a game, make it fun, let her/him hit the ball from the fairway, the tee, putt around and then let them take a break. Be positive, golf is harder than every sport at the beginning, but they will play it for a lifetime.
Junior.Golf: What is your recommendation for keeping a child interested in golf if they are just an average player and will never really play competitively?
Joe Ogilvie: The vast majority of golfers will never play or have never played competitively. Find a friend for them to hit balls with or play with. If none of their friends play, highlight the fact that you and her/him will have so much fun playing the game on vacations, family reunions and whenever you get together.
Junior.Golf: At what age did you know you wanted to pursue golf as a career and what did you do to accomplish that goal?
Joe Ogilvie: I grew up in around Columbus, OH, the hometown of Jack Nicklaus, so I admired him and wanted to be like him…as a kid you set your goals high. My love for golf just happened naturally. I was a small kid growing up, but in golf it did not really matter. I practiced my short game and putting more than anyone so once I started to grow, I had a huge advantage and great base to improve. Incremental improvement is very powerful.
Junior.Golf: Practice can get so boring, but I know it’s important if you want to be a top golfer. What are some methods you’ve used to stay motivated and focused?
Joe Ogilvie: Practicing was boring for me, but I fooled myself into playing games, so it didn’t feel like practice. I spent hours a day trying to make 100 foot putts, back and forth, back and forth. Helped on speed and hitting my targets, I didn’t think it was practice, but I became a pretty darn good putter because I had fun while “practicing.”
Junior.Golf: How does a player develop a strong mental approach to the game?
Joe Ogilvie: Mentally, I looked at golf as a game, what is the best way to get the ball from the tee to the green. What is the best angle, where is the trouble, where is the best place to recover from, how do I leave myself an uphill right to left putt (I’m right handed in golf).
Junior.Golf: How long did you practice on short game vs practicing on the range?
Joe Ogilvie: 85% inside of 120 yards, 10% tee shots, 5% irons.