Junior Golf: 5 Reasons To Watch The Open Championship

This Wednesday Waggle is a quick one that is hopefully going to rev up your level of excitement about The Open Championship which begins tomorrow, 12:30am, central time, Thursday morning.

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Photocredit:Golf Digest

Here are 5 compelling reasons to watch:
It has become the World Championship of Golf (men’s golf). One of the Golf Channel announcers mentioned that basically every top golfer in the world puts The Open Championship on his calendar. There you go!
The scenery and courses are so different than most of those here in the U.S. Genuine links courses have the same grass from tee to green, just cut to differing lengths. The rolling fairways and greens, deep pot bunkers, tough rough, gorse and other trees and shrubs we rarely see add to the intrigue and excitement. Beautiful!
The weather! Oh, man! Summer in the British Isles means everything from sunny and 70-degrees to windy, rainy and 50-degrees. And play goes on as long as the course is playable and the wind isn’t blowing a stationary ball all over the place. Davis Love III was once asked, “What is the most layers of clothing you have ever worn during a tournament?” His reply, “That’s easy, 5 layers. It was the 198x, (I don’t recall the exact year) British Open!” Yes, fans love it, players really don’t care for it, but they have no choice but to accept it.
The shotmaking! Links golf is different from the style of golf we play in the U.S. Here we mostly shoot, fly the ball in the air, to a target and try to get the ball to stop as close to it as possible, with not much rollout. I believe it was 5-time Open Championship winner Tom Watson who said, “Links golf begins when the ball hits the ground.” What does this mean? Weather and course design are friendly to a lower ball flight and the players with the best imagination, creativity and visualization and execution, of course, can understand how to find the spot to land the ball so that it rolls, sometimes a very long way, to get in a proper position for the next shot. You roll your ball to the desired position, rather than fly it. Target golf in Scotland needs soft greens and light winds. You will see shots this week that will truly amaze you at the talent level of these players. Absolutely fascinating!
The fans. The British fans have a reference and respect for golf that is deep and profound. Yes, they would like one of their guys to win, but they appreciate proper shotmaking on their golf courses and they give props to those who make them. 2 of the most beloved, by the British fans, Open Champions, are Americans Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson. There is no adequate measure of the love and respect these great men receive from this audience. We can learn from this wonderful attitude of respect for the game and those who play it.

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Photocredit:Royalbirkdale2017open.com

OK, that’s enough for now. Hopefully this has you fired up for that start of play at 12:30am, central time, tonight, on The Golf Channel. Double-check the TiVo.

See you on #1 tee ready to play some creative shots… Sam

 

Junior Golf: It’s Open Championship Week-Get Excited!

In this week’s Monday Mulligan there is so much history, so little time! It’s my favorite golf week of the year, the week of The Open Championship-formerly called The British Open, the 3rd men’s major championship of 2017.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

 

This Thursday will mark the start of the 146th Open Championship. There is not enough time to get into the history of golf’s oldest championship. Here’s a taste of what will get you fired up!

Arnold Palmer’s Dad told him that if he was going to be a great golfer, he had to be great all over the world. In those days it mostly meant playing in The British Open. He did for the 1st time in 1960, coming in 2nd and won the next 2 years. Jack Nicklaus joined him and more Americans followed, elevating the quality of play because at that time, with a few notable exceptions, the Americans were the best golfers in the world. Now all the world’s greatest golfers want to be in this field.

Let’s get to it. One of the most important things this week involves freeing up space on your TiVo because there is a ton of hours to record. Next make sure you have The Golf Channel on your TV package because ALL The Open Championship coverage is on it, Directv Channel 218. Now be sure to record Live At The Open because you will learn more interesting golf stories and history and tips this week than in any other week of the year. There must be at least 50 hours of LATO.

Now record the tournament coverage. 1st round coverage begins at 12:30am, central time, this Thursday, July 20. Same start time for Friday. Saturday and Sunday play airs on The Golf Channel starting at 3:00am, central time. And, as always, record at least 1 extra hour past Sunday’s scheduled ending time, in case of a playoff.

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Photocredit:The Golf Club Secretary

Be advised, minimize your access to social media. There is always someone posting the latest scores, leaders and great moments as soon as they occur. If you would prefer to find out theses things on your own you’ll need to take precautionary measures to protect your exposure to updates. When you wake up Sunday morning, in the U.S., at least, there will be a new Champion Golfer Of The Year. If you want to learn who it is on your own, stay away from social media. Get ready for an amazing week!

See you on #1 tee wanting to be Champion Golfer Of The Year… Sam

Junior Golf: Check Out Great Local Opportunities For Your Girl

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our focus on girls’ golf which is certainly getting a tremendous amount of positive attention during the Women’s U.S. Open week.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

 

Girl’s golf is booming! If you are not the parent of a junior golfer, you may not be aware that the fastest growing segment in golf in the United States is girls under the age of 18. A quick look at leaderboards or at the attendees during golf camps should provide a quick glimpse into what’s going on.

A lot of the credit goes to the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf program. With more than 400 chapters nationwide, there is likely a group convenient to you and your girl. It’s easy to search for Local Girls Golf and see what comes up. This is a multi-faceted regimen that keeps girls interested, having fun and making new friends. Fun is a big factor and the youngsters are staying on board while enjoying improving their golf skills.

Some good examples are all the younger players on the LPGA and Symetra Tours. Many of these ladies are former participants in this excellent girl’s golf program.

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Photocredit:Chris Keane/USGA

This boom in girl’s golf is exciting and is having an extremely positive effect on women’s athletics all over the country. Please take a minute and read the linked article. I think it may certainly be helpful for your girl’s junior golf career and rev up her level of interest! For some details and very interesting reading go here.

More golf today includes the Scottish Open coverage on The Golf Channel. The weather is brutal. Chilly, windy and rainy, the weather fans love and players hate. Oh, unless you grew up in it like the guys from the British Isles! But Rickie Fowler is leading right now. This makes for great tv! Look closely and see if you can discern any players exhibiting Tom Watson’s bad weather behavior. It has been said that the 5-time British Open-now The Open Championship winner always looked liked it was 75-degrees and sunny, no matter what the actual conditions were. He was enjoying playing golf! That’s surely one mark of a great champion!

See you on #1 tee with 75-degrees and sunny weather, I hope… Sam

Junior Golf: Be Sure To Watch The Ladies This Week

In this Wednesday Waggle we will focus on women’s golf. This is a perfect time for you and your daughter and yes, your son as well, to watch the top women’s golfers compete for a major title.

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Photocredit:golf digest

It’s time for the U.S. Women’s Open Championship, July 13-16, 2017 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. This event is the U.S. National Championship for women. Anyone capable of qualifying can enter, including amateurs and various champions/qualifiers from around the world. The field is talented and varied, all vying to be called the 2017 U.S. National Champion.

The reasons for your girls to watch are obvious but for the boys it’s more subtle. Here’s something fun for guys and girls alike. The LPGA’s Paula Reto averages about 250 yards for her drives and she is 100th in driving distance. Joanna Klatten is #1 averaging about 279 yards and the longest American driver is Lexi Thompson at basically 276 yards.

Our good friend and Director of Instruction for Alamo City Golf Trail, David Ogrin says his #1 thing for girls is “getting the driver out there.” Girls need to get competitive distance out of their driver and 250 yards or better will put your girl right up there along with the top 100 on the LPGA Tour.

Boys need driver distance too. To be competitive in college a young man must hit his drives an average of 285-295 yards, period. Working at increasing driving distance, here are some new, fun and measurable goals to look forward to. Now men and boys please make this fun. For most 10-year olds to have PGA/LPGA Pro distance is not happening so let’s stairstep some goals. 1st, let’s break into the ladies’ top 100 and work at getting to a 250-yard average. As your son/daughter gets stronger and longer you can work toward that upper 270-yard range which is the high end of the LPGA and the low end of the PGA Tour players. Make it fun!

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Photocredit:Conservative Daily News

Ok, time to set the TiVo. TV coverage starts this Thursday, July 13, from 1:00pm-6:00pm, central time on FS1, DirectV channel 219. Same time and channel for Friday, July 14. For Saturday, July 15, same time but change to channel 29, regular Fox on DirectV. Same time and channel for Sunday’s final round. FYI we always record 2 hours past the end of regular Sunday coverage. The women’s playoff format is a 3-hole aggregate score. Enjoy!

See you on #1 tee ready to show me what you learned from the ladies… Sam

 

Junior Golf: Tribute To A Persevering Parent

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take a look at a great example of what a persevering parent should be.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

It was about 10 or 12 years ago that S3, Linda and I had the pleasure of meeting Chris and his dad, Randy. Throughout junior golf and college golf as well, S3 and Chris competed against each other and they were pretty evenly matched so their shots provided lots of great excitement.

As we got to know each other’s families better, Randy mentioned that he, Randy, had some serious health issues. He was battling cancer, had his colon removed, was on dialysis and was on a transplant list. Wow, put on that hat and try wearing it for a while!

During all the tournaments where we saw Chris, Randy was also there. He was the most consistent parent attending his child’s golf events we have ever seen. My guess is that from age 5 to 21 years old, Linda and I missed maybe 5 of S3’s events. Randy was just like us. He wanted to see his son play golf and he made extraordinary efforts to attend.

So Randy and his wife and some additional family members were a great support team for Chris. Randy and usually Chris’ Mom and some additional relatives were present to watch Chris play. They definitely were the family we saw more than any others, out there on the golf course cheering on their junior golfer!

Randy passed away earlier this week and we are sad that our good friend is gone. The legacy he leaves as an exceptional persevering parent who relentlessly supported his child is even more impressive when you consider that Randy always walked. I never saw him ride in a golf cart to follow his son. 100 degrees didn’t matter. Windy and wet didn’t matter. Randy was walking following his son, colostomy bag and all. That’s wanting to be there, hanging in there, being tough, whatever you want to call it. How many of us are setting an example like this?

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One of the best days we all had together was a couple of years ago during the San Antonio Men’s City Championship. Chris was in the group right behind S3 so Randy and I had plenty of chances to interact during the round. So everything’s backed up at a driveable par 4 and Randy comes up to me and asks: “How’s Sammie doing?” I replied “2-under, how about Chris?” “He’s 5-under,” Randy replied and we both smiled so big!

Chris finished at 5-under par. Randy walked up to S3 and asked,”How’d you end up Sammie?” S3 looking a bit disappointed because he did not finish as well as he would have liked, said, ”Even par.” Randy stuck out his hand and with a huge enthusiastic smile said, “That’s a damn fine round round, Sammie, congratulations!” That’s the kind of guy Randy was. His son had just smoked the course with a 5-under par round and he, Randy wanted to make sure that my son understood that even par on this course was also an excellent performance. It was one of those special moments!

Parents, we all can be more like Randy. It’s requires persistence, perseverance and yes, unconditional love.

See you on #1 tee ready to leave a wonderful legacy… Sam

Junior Golf: Happy Birthday America!

In this Monday Mulligan, let’s keep it simple. Tomorrow is July 4th. Take some time to relax with family and friends.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

In our family we make an effort to spend some time, perhaps just a few minutes to explain the purpose of the individual holidays and the accompanying celebrations. Giving some depth and meaning to these important events gives your junior golfer some substance to grasp the significance of what’s going on.

If you are inclined to do this, it’s helpful to take a couple of minutes to think about what you are going to say and right before you serve the hot dogs and hamburgers is a great time, because you really have everybody’s full attention!

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Photocredit:Health Magazine

While our words change a little bit from year to year, we always encourage our kids to have sincere gratitude and appreciation for being able to live in a country where they can pursue their dreams, including the dream of playing junior golf, perhaps college golf and maybe even professional golf. We live in a special place and it deserves our respect and thankfulness.

Happy Birthday America! ‘Enjoy your 4th!

 

See you on #1 tee thankful to be there… Sam

Junior Golf: Midsummer Check List-5 Things To Do Now

In this Friday Flop Shot we will offer some things that should be done right now to prepare for upcoming fall events.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

Your kids are growing, his/her golf skills are improving and the career of a junior golfer is a marathon, not a sprint. Parents must be the ones to not just keep,up, but stay ahead of what’s going on.

Here are 5 things to get after right now:
Have your child fitted for the driver or longest club in their golf bag. Drivers that are too short, too long, wrong loft or too heavy put your kiddo at a disadvantage. Any PGA pro can do this.
Check the fit of his/her golf shoes. Kids notoriously wear shoes that are too small. Have them put on a pair of golf socks and the shoes and you feel where the longest toe is. If there is any doubt about fit, buy a larger size. Your youngster will grow into them at some point.
Do the golf shirts, shorts or skorts fit properly? Clothes that don’t fit can hinder the golf swing, be uncomfortable and even lead to chafing and irritation during a round. There’s enough stress during competition without having to deal with ill-fitting clothes.

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Photocredit:Green Valley Country Club

What is the weakest part of their golf game? If you don’t know, go to the range or play a round with your kiddo. Then you’ll know. Look online or at The Golf Channel Academy for some drills that will improve this.
Does your state have a tax-free weekend or sale period? Currently about 16 states have sales tax holidays which include clothing. Check out this link. Here in Texas that saves basically 8%. Look up states with sales tax holidays to see if your state is included. Most dates are in July and August and shoes, perhaps even golf shoes are included. This is a great way to save some money!

Ok, that’s it for today. Watch the LPGA KPMG PGA Championship this weekend and get ready to celebrate the 4th!

See you on #1 tee looking prepared… Sam

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