"caddy, its Time for a change"
I've golfed many times before with middle school physical education classes, but I'm at that stage in my career when I am always wanting to try something new, engaging, and better. As I was traveling home from spring break, I decided that I really wanted to try TGfU golf. I knew I had the right book for the task, so I dove into the Teaching Sport Concepts and Skills book and found some amazing lessons. Even when you find great lesson, you still have to think, "how can I make this work for my class?" Well, for me it was to incorporate some of the TGfU lessons and also add the teamwork concept of the sport education model into this golf unit. I was already excited and couldn't wait to plan more. My biggest decision was what was my final tournament going to be?!?
In a sport education unit, the culminating event is very important. This is one of my first thoughts when planning a unit. What should I do?!? I initially thought, "The Masters." It was so prestigious and everyone would know about it. Then I thought, "Ryder Cup" because I really wanted to have team play involved. I wanted there to be something for everyone and a reason for the team to work together. I was bummed when I remembered the Ryder Cup was really just two teams. My next thought was, "The Olympics" really...I didn't know it was an Olympic sport, but it was in Rio!! I was leaning toward that because there would be enough countries for teams and individual tournaments. I was set, but then I got a tweet from @PhysEdFreak and he was pumped about the idea. He gave me a plan! Yeah, here it is!
The Open at "Merton" Hills
Ok, ok, I know this isn't a real thing, but guess what; the 2017 US Open is going to be played at Erin Hills Golf Course. This is about 20 minutes from my school. This was the connection was looking for. Yeah! What an idea Mike!
But...I still wasn't sold because there isnt a team competition, until...
Now I had my competition. There was a local tie in to the US Open and I found a perfect team competition that will be really fun to teach my students about. The Merton Skins Game. Thanks, Mike! This is why our PLN rocks!
I still had to work through a lot to come up with all the details of the final tournament, but here is what I am planned. I think it has something for everyone! Over the course of this 7 days golf unit, there will be 3 nine hole golf tournaments. Teams will be helping me create and design a hole for each tournament (more details on this below). Each golf team will have 4 players on it. These players will work together in the beginning lessons to improve on their skills and the tactical problems that arise in a round of golf. Each team will have an A, B, C, and D golfer. These individuals will compete in their respective tournaments while playing a round of golf. The A league will only golf against other members of the A league, so on and so forth. Statisticians will keep track of each tournament. There will be an individual competition in every tournament (A, B, C, & D) and then teams will add their total scores up to make a team competition for each tournament and then a final standings for all tournaments together. I considered having a lunch recess culminating event, but realized this will not be needed, because we can compare scores between different classes.
team contract / Fair play agreement
This is one of the first sport education units that the teams will be decided by me. I will ask the group who has done some golfing in their life and I will spread those players throughout the teams and then add in class members that have never golfed before. I want a different mix of individuals that students are comfortable with, but will also focus on the task at hand during this time of the year (4th quarter after spring break in middle school). I am still unsure about my jobs as of right now, but I am leaning towards a head coach, equipment manager, statistician, and a journalist. I am also considering a course designer or course scout, but I'll keep you update as to what happens with that! As of right now, posted below is what I am handing out to my students for this unit. Let me know your thoughts on jobs you would also include for your teams. Thanks!
Opportunities for Extensions
I realized that with golf, there were many opportunities for extensions outside the class. I really want my students thinking about golf outside the classroom and working with their parents, guardians, grandparents, or bothered and sisters. I will be sending a message to my families with thIs opportunity for extensions. I hope some will take me up on the offer and have a chance to bond together over golf activities. Students can go to the driving range, get in a round of golf and being their scorescatds to school, hit golf balls around their back yard with approval from home, watch YouTube videos about proper swing technique, and even compete in a round of mini-golf. Posted below will be the document that gets sent home and returned to me! I do plan on posting this document on Google Classroom so all my students have the ability to edit it with their accomplishments and then turn it in when they are done. I will also allow them to bring them back to the classroom and turn them into me as well. Sometimes they like being for formal and turning in something like this face to face. Then I can hand them their free mulligan cards right away!I'm excited about this opportunity for this unit!
tactical realiTy Golf
Tactical golfing is new to me. I really like the premise of what it's trying to accomplish. The idea is that students are pretending to golf a round of golf on a specific course. The are supposed to play out a hole or a round through their shots. The golfer should hit their ball in real life and their partner will help them decided where it "lands" on the "golf course." The students then hit the next ball from that location on the map. The can pretend to go around, under, or over different hazards. They can use different clubs and think about different shots. It gives them a simple way to hit many different shots and to think through many different situations. I'm excited to try it out.
I was able to download the official scorecard from the tactical golf course and I'll use it for my students to keep score while they are tactical golfing. It should be just enough to hold them accountable and give it the feeling of actually golfing.
Day #2 & Day #3 Skill Practice
Skill practice will consist of the different tactical problems that golfers will run into during a round of golf. These situations will be set up by me and the students will have task cards to help them practice the skill. The different tactical problems will be driving practice (where to place the ball), hitting out from under a tree, hitting over a hazard, chipping, hitting out of the rough, and getting out of a bunker. Students will have cards that will help them through the problems and pose a scenario to play out. Teams will be working through the stations together and helping each other improve their skills needed to be successful. Teams will be rotating through the different stations so I know that they will cover all the different tavtical
problems and assess each other when asked to as well. See the example scenarios below.
problems and assess each other when asked to as well. See the example scenarios below.
Day #2 & #3 Course design
Before or after the skill practice stations, teams will begin to design their golf holes for the US Open at Merton Hills. Teams will be given a team area of our school grounds and will develop all three holes using that common area. They will all be assigned a par 3, 4, and 5 hole to design. All holes will be required to have an obstacle or hazard. All holes will be marked with a cone as a tee box and most likely two different tee boxes (one for the A & B tournament and a closer tee box for the C & D tournament). The holes will finish into a hula hoop as our hole. This hoop will also have a cone inside of it to show where the hole finishes.
Final team preparations for the tournament and final practice round for each team will happen today. Teams will get to experience holes that other teams designed. Teams will get final instructions and tips from their coach and myself. We are now ready for the US Open.
the us open at MeRton hills
We have made it to the final tournament. Etiquette will have been discussed and reminders given to each class. I will challenge students to dress in their favorite golf clothing and they can bring their golf shoes if they would like. Groups will be assigned by the tournament each student is involved in. Groups will be assigned which hole to begin at based upon which tournament that group is in. Play will begin promptly at the beginning of class and scorecards will be turned in following each class and leaderboards will be posted inside and outside of the gym.