Withdrawing from a Tournament – Educational Series

Withdrawing from a Tournament

Learning from McIlroy’s ‘Mistake’

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.– Last weekend on the PGA TOUR, Rory McIlroy withdrew from the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on No. 18 without finishing the hole. McIlroy was 7-over par for the round and heading for another missed cut when his second shot landed in the water and he walked off the course – the rest is history.

Any golfer, professional and junior alike, that has participated in a competitive golf round has experienced frustration and disappointment in their own abilities. Withdrawing from a tournament might seem like the best option in a moment of aggravation. In the world of junior golf, having a bad score on a tournament résumé may seem like the worst possible option when looking to play college golf. In reality, withdrawing from a tournament can be a much bigger problem than a bad score.

Withdrawing from an event due to injury or illness is one thing, but withdrawing because of a bad round is an entirely different issue. College coaches look at a wide variety of statistics when they are recruiting. The number of tournaments that a player has withdrawn from can call to question the player’s mental toughness as well as their character.

Coaches do not want a player that quits. Coaches want to see a player who tries their hardest on every shot regardless of their overall score. Golf is a game of ups and downs and college coaches understand that disappointing rounds happen. It is easier to explain a bad round to a coach than it is to explain walking off the course.

McIlroy came back on Tuesday after the completion of the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic and apologized for his withdrawal. He was quoted saying that he regretted his decision to withdraw.

“It was a reactive decision,” McIlroy said in an interview. “What I should have done is take my drop, chip it on, try to make a five and play my hardest on the back nine, even if I shot 85. What I did was not good for the tournament, not good for the kids and the fans who were out there watching me — it was not the right thing to do.”

What every competitive golfer can learn from McIlroy’s mistake is that the important thing on the course is to play through the tough rounds. Keep calm and focus on each individual shot. Be sure to take a break after the round and assess what changes need to be made before the next competition.


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Care for the Course – IJGT Educational Series

Caring for the Course: Why It Matters

International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) players are certainly not the only golfers that are asked to care for the course. Nearly every tour, junior and professional alike, requires players to repair ball marks, rake bunkers, fix divots and be aware of their surroundings and respectful of the course. While it may seem tedious and insignificant, caring for the course absolutely matters.

7aec1b74d9e471d8196e0fc9676a523bThe IJGT plays on some of the most prestigious courses in the nation. Courses give up days full of tee times to let our juniors compete. One thing that courses worry about when they allow tour events is how their course will fair during the two-day event with up to 100 players hitting around 72-80 shots each day. Caring for the course shows Superintendents, Members, and Course Staff a level of professionalism and consideration that encourages them to invite the IJGT back year after year.

Fixing ball marks, throwing away trash, raking bunkers and repairing divots properly is also a direct reflection of a player. Each day maintenance crews wake up early and put effort into making the course challenging as well as beautiful. Choosing to walk away after taking a divot shows disrespect for that hard work. Make sure that you stop and fill divots with sand or replace divots based on the type of turf at the course and the course’s preference. This goes for the driving range as well. College coaches on site take note of these behaviors and take them into consideration during the recruiting process.

Lastly, imagine hitting a perfect tee shot that lands in the middle of the fairway, that lands into a divot. If players do not take time to care for the course, this would happen more often than not. Make sure to always take the time to care for the course at IJGT events and practice rounds. It pays off in the long run.