Tournament Journal

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ingles, but in keeping with her fondness for a good challenge, she now enjoys doubles, too. “I like the mental part of doubles. It’s mostly about placement,” she says, “and you really do have to go with how do you confuse the other side.”

In singles, her strategy is much simpler: Hit it where your opponent isn’t. Cox is also a firm believer in focusing on one point at a time and staying under control mentally. “I don’t lose the perspective that it is a game,” she says. “I try to keep in mind that I’m doing this for fun, for exercise, and mentally as a stress-reliever.” After a very, very difficult day at the office, there’s nothing like going out to hit some balls to release the tension. And I try not to get so serious that I walk off the court upset with my partner or someone I played against.”

That’s not to say Cox is shy about expressing her feelings. If she feels she’s being wronged, she deals with it diplomatically. “Trouble is, tennis players tend to be some of the most competitive people you run into,” she says. Truer words were never spoken.

So you’re thinking about introducing your child to golf. But where to start? Who to call? Should you buy those junior clubs or get a used set of adult ones cut down to size? These are the questions that can try parents’ souls.

Unlike baseball, football, soccer and other sports, golf is not yet one of those pursuits that you can sign your kid up for at virtually any recreation department and then watch nature and coaching take its course. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more legwork involved with this increasingly popular sport. How you address it can make all the difference in the world. If you golf yourself; much of this isn’t news to you. But if you don’t know a 7-iron from a sand trap, pay attention.

Chances are, there are golf programs and clinics going on in your area that just haven’t been well publicized. Contact a local club pro, the YMCA, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the golf association of your state and other civic organizations in the vicinity. National governing bodies such as the National Minority Junior Golf Foundation (602-258-7851), The United States Golf Association (908-234-2179), the Professional Golf Association (904-205-3700) and the Ladies Professional Golf Association (904-274-6200) can also be helpful in pointing you in the right direction. The LPGA, for example, in conjunction with the USGA and the Girl Scouts, has a nationwide program that teaches girls age 7 to 17 to play golf and enables them to sample competition in a non-threatening environment. Each member receives the LPGA magazine and is allowed free entrance to any LPGA tournament worldwide. The NMJGF, on the other hand, specializes in offering junior clinics for minority youth across the nation, especially in inner city neighborhoods.

Most junior golf clinics are free and are designed to

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