Junior Golf: This Win Can Motivate Your Junior Golfer

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a look at the winner of The 2017 Valero Texas Open. His path to a victory has been long and filled with a number of curves. Let’s see how this particular win can become an excellent motivator for your child.

photocredit:jennleforge.com

Golf is very competitive at all levels. Whether your son/daughter is 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years old, there are plenty of golfers who can play as well or better than he can. One of the things S3 learned at a young age was that there were maybe a dozen guys in our area that he would be competing with for his whole junior golf, and to a degree, in his college golf career. And you know what, that’s a good thing.

1st off he became great friends with several of these guys and 2nd off he learned that on any given day anyone in this group, including himself, could beat any and all the rest of the group. It was great competition for a number of years. Yes, it was wonderful! And learning that he/she as in your son/daughter, can come back and beat somebody, perhaps more than 1, that beat him/her in the previous tournament is a fantastic life lesson!

So let’s take a look at Kevin Chappell. He had a great amateur career. I’m not sure if you would call him a phenom, but he functioned at high levels in some very rarified amateur air! He turned professional in 2008 and had 1 win on the then, Nationwide Tour, now the Web.com Tour. 

photocredit:stevedykes

He earned his PGA Tour card for 2011 and started his career on the big boy pro circuit. Kevin had some success with enough earnings and placements to keep his PGA Tour card and maintain some status in certain events. A win, as in his 1st win on the PGA Tour, was hard to come by. A couple of 2nd’s, a playoff loss, so close, yet so far away! How on earth does a person keep coming back after being in reach of the gold ring and falling short, time after time? Man, it’s tough!

Psychologically, there’s a lot going on. A couple of major points are that Kevin had won golf tournaments before, he just had not won at this very highest level. So he knew he could win, he just hadn’t done it yet. And next, he believed in himself enough to keep getting back up after being knocked down, knowing that at some point a victory would be his.

Persistence overcomes resistance! Please Dad and Mom, learn this phrase and help every one of your family members ingrain it into their minds. This is one of the great truths of life! There is some debate over whether the 2017 VTO was Kevin’s 180th, 181st or 182nd PGATour start and it really doesn’t matter here. The point is that this 30 year-old teed his golf ball up in at least 180 events on the PGA Tour before he logged his 1st win. 

This is a classic example of persistence overcomes resistance. How many times did Kevin Chappell have to get back up after being knocked down? That’s what competition is about. That’s what life’s about! Come on Folks, this is great stuff! The tears in his and his wife’s eyes as they stood on the 18th green were a great testimony to sheer persistence.

A great takeaway for your junior golfer is Kevin’s response to an announcer’s question of, “How was today’s round different from your other final rounds where you didn’t pull out the win?” To paraphrase Kevin, “I was calm all day.” And when asked about the 8’2” birdie putt he made to beat Brooks Koepka by 1-shot, Kevin said, “I definitely had more nerves.” Meaning he had more control over his nerves than in a couple of previously events where he left potentially winning putts well short. This putt, however, went right into the center of the cup and Kevin won! No playoff! Congratulations Kevin on your 1st PGA Tour victory! 

See you on #1 tee looking persistent, believing in yourself and having a calm control of your nerves… Sam

Junior Golf: Go To The VTO Or At Least Record It

In this Friday Flop Shot we will do a little promoting of our hometown PGA Tour event, The Valero Texas Open. 

photocredit: Dubai Golf


Perfect weather here through the weekend with 80’s today and low to mid 70’s on Saturday and Sunday. Minimal chance of rain. Come on out to TPC San Antonio and enjoy the great golf, amazing facilities and the world-class environment that is a PGA Tour tournament.

The logistics are simple and really it is not necessary to spend a ton of money to attend. The shuttle buses run from several locations and they, in our opinion are the way to go. On-site parking is crazy expensive and seems to not offer much, if any advantage over using the shuttle buses. A very convenient departure location for the shuttles is Retama Race Track on I-35 in Selma. Just park your car, pay a few bucks and get on a bus. Simple and inexpensive.

Day passes are $20 in advance, $30 at the gate. Military and first responders receive special benefits and children 12 years old and under are free. The day passes are all you need to have a great time. There is plenty of open/free/public seating all over the course. And the AT&T Oaks Course is very walkable. More gently rolling than hilly. 

Food and drinks are plentiful and there is tremendous variety, so don’t be concerned about being hungry or thirsty. When you arrive, you will be scanned and then be admitted through the vendor area. It’s easy to spend a lot of time in this part of the grounds because there is so much interesting stuff. Free items, drawings, just fun times. You exit this area through an air-conditioned PGA/TPC/VTO tent with event logo shirts, caps, etc. Plenty of great souvenirs!

Here’s one of my best tips ever! Once you leave the souvenir tent you are basically at #17 green. This is a driveable par 4 as long as there is not much of a south wind. But Sunday will have a strong north wind and most of the guys will be trying to drive this green. Frankly it’s tough to get a tee shot on this green and to get it to stay on this green. What does that mean for fans sitting at the 17th green? Simply, you will get to see 1 of the great short game exhibitions of your life! 

The risk part of risk/reward will have guys hitting from fairway bunkers, greenside bunkers, short rough, deep rough and bare dirt. They will also be hitting flop shots to a pin they can barely see and from over the back of the green. All of these shots except for the ones from fairway bunkers will be about 30 yards or less! When we watched this exact scenario a couple of years ago, we must have seen 50-60 players doing this and guess what, they’re all really good! There were maybe 3 shots that were not in the very good to excellent to amazing categories! 

How can I say this? On Sunday, sitting at 17 green with a north wind is the absolute best seat on the whole golf course. Go early, stay late. Take a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Have fun!

See you on #1 tee with some great VTO stories… Sam

Junior Golf: Why The Masters Is Important For Your Junior Golfer

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at this week’s PGA tournament and offer some input as to why The Masters is very important for your son/daughter.

photocredit:golfdigest.com


There are more reasons than this space allows as to the importance of The Masters to your son and the rest of your family, in fact to all sports fans everywhere. Let’s hit some highlights.
1st, it’s the first men’s major championship of each year and the field will include many of the best players in the world. That alone should make it very important.

2nd, Augusta National Golf Club, the permanent Masters venue in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most beautiful places anywhere. Amazingly gorgeous flowers are blooming all over the course and the fairways, greens, traps, hazards, paths, every square inch seems to be perfectly manicured. We look forward to every minute of TV coverage so we can enjoy this visual feast.

3rd, The Masters is loaded with great traditions. From the ceremonial opening tee shots, done for years by the legendary Big Three of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. With Arnold’s passing last September, Jack and Gary will do this year’s shots. And then there’s the awarding of the renowned green jacket to the winner on Sunday afternoon and any number of traditions occurring in between.

4th, the golf is great! The players will tell you that this is one of the toughest courses they play. The greens are lightning fast. The undulating and rolling fairways, much more so than the TV cameras show, almost never leave a flat lie and stance for the next shot. Water and traps are just begging for golf balls to enter them. And even with all this there are players shooting under par. Wow!

5th, tickets to this event are widely known as possibly the toughest ticket in all of sports. Just having an opportunity to be a patron, as the fans at ANGC are referred to, is a rare situation. Go for it!

photocredit:pinterest

So what does this mean to your youngster? Hopefully he’ll dream more and bigger dreams. I mean every pro playing in this event dreamed about it as a kid and probably as a pro too until getting his 1st invitation to play in The Masters! Heck, I’ve dreamed about being a patron and that’s tough enough!The sheer beauty, pageantry, traditions and excellent golf should end up being more than enough to get your kiddo revved up.
So Parents, your action is to make sure you TiVo the tournament. Thursday and Friday are on ESPN and Saturday and Sunday are on CBS. We always record 2.5 hours beyond the scheduled Sunday end time to allow for possible playoffs.
See you on #1 tee excited about The Masters… Sam

Junior Golf: Thanks Dad For The Memories

In this Wednesday Waggle we will take a moment to look at some history, Goldfarb Family history. This is San Antonio’s week to host our PGA Tour event, The Valero Texas Open, and the VTO has a very special significance in our family. Join us for some great memories.

img_0102-1

photocredit:golfdigest.com

When I was a kid growing up, going to school and playing golf, I knew my Dad was involved in a lot of civic activities, but really I had no idea how deeply he was participating in some of theses areas.

Golf is our family sport so there was always something golf happening in our world. It was so common and constant that I never looked at it as something special. Even when I was talking to Arnold Palmer after one of his rounds at Oak Hills in the 1960’s, I didn’t realize what a special moment that was. I mean, I was just a kid going along doing stuff that seemed pretty routine to me and in those days, Arnold was always hanging around visiting with folks and my Dad and Mom, and sometimes I were helping run the tournament. So at tournament time, we were always around the players. It was much more casual than it is now.

It also seemed natural that Dad was always holding some big office in SAGA, San Antonio Golf Association, like President, Tournament Director or Hospitality Director for the 1968 PGA Championship held here at the excellent Pecan Valley Country Club. He always had some position of serious responsibility.

image

photocredit:Green Jacket Auctions

I helped Dad set up the brackets for the State Junior Championship in the late 1960’s when Ben Crenshaw won it twice. I recall seeing Ben’s handwritten entries that were mailed in. As special as all this was, I didn’t understand it at the time. Makes for great memories though! Dad co-founded the State Junior (Championship), as it was then called, along with Brackenridge PGA professional Murray Brooks. Those 2 along with my Mom and a few friends ran this prestigious event for more than 25 years!

So how did we get to the VTO? It’s a long and interesting road that, like so many things, started with a vision many years ago. It was in 1938 that my Dad, Sam M Goldfarb Sr, and about a half-dozen other San Antonio businessmen formed the San Antonio Golf Association to provide support for the San Antonio golf community and to bring back the then defunct Texas Open, which they succeeded in doing.

So this week’s VTO with all the amazing on-course temporary construction, vendor’s booths, super-duper digital scoreboards and all the eye-popping visual treats of a major sporting event owes a debt of gratitude to those founders, those men of vision of 1938. Thanks Dad for everything! I love you!

See you on #1 tee with a heart of history and gratitude… Sam

Junior Golf: Control This And Empower Your Golfer

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at 1 of the things that we, parents actually can control or at least have some control over. This can be very beneficial to our youngsters on tournament days.

img_0135

photocredit:jennleforge.com

Really, all the prep should be done before the actual day of an event. Depending on your son’s/daughter’s personality he/she may not have gotten much quality sleep the night before the competition starts. Parents, we must be aware that there are a million things going through our young golfer’s mind as soon as he gets out of bed. What he doesn’t need is Mom or Dad adding clutter to the pre-tournament environment.

What does this look like? Control your emotions, your words and your body language. Stick to the regular morning routine. “Good morning, son, how are you? What would you like for breakfast?” Keep it simple and non-golf until you get ready to load up and go to the course. Then, before you get in the car, you just need to go over the pre-tournament checklist, again standard routine.

In the car, let him listen to his headphones or favorite music. This is relaxing to him although it may not seem like it to you. Less talk is better. Idle comments such as, “Oh, this is such a big tournament,” or “Wow, there are so many great players in this field!”, are not helpful. This is pressure and your youngster already has a ton of pressure so please don’t address the event at this point. Parents, control yourselves. Be aware of what is happening in your son’s mind right now! Be the adult! And yes, it can be very difficult!

Linda and I developed a relatively standard final few sentences for S3 as he was going up to tee off. “Remember Son, it’s just fairways and greens. You know what to do. Take a breath and have fun. Enjoy your round! We love you!” That’s pretty much it.

image

Once the round starts, your contact with your child is extremely limited. Understand however, that he can hear your voices better than you ever imagined, no matter what else is going on. His hearing is tuned to Dad and Mom’s voice frequencies. Please control what you say, no matter the subject. And your boy sees and perfectly interprets your body language. A parent’s slumped shoulders or head down convey a horrible message, whether it was intended or not. Again, we must be the encouraging parents!

The bottom line is that the more we control our body language by minimizing/eliminating the throwing the hands up, shaking the head, uttering words of frustration and disappointment, the more we can lift up our child. Heads up, thumbs up, shoulders back, big smiles and “Love you Son,” all add up to positive encouragement. That’s where we as parents must strive to get to and it’s tough, but you know what, you can do it, if you will do it!

See you on #1 tee with an encouraging gallery… Sam

Junior Golf: How To Win And Still Be Friends

In today’s Good Friday Flop Shot we will offer some input on how your son/daughter can win a match or tournament and still be friends with their fellow competitors.

image

Dubai Golf

Our wonderful sport is about friendships, friends and family, family and friends. Time spent on the course is precious and even among the most relaxed fun-filled groups, a little bit of competitive spirit usually shows up, even if only for a hole or 2. Maybe your son and his buddy both missed the green and and your boy says,”Hey, how about a chipping contest? Closest to the pin wins!” Great fun, very little pressure and no financial risk, not playing for money, just 1 shot. No drama, no big buildup, just do it. Good old-fashioned competition, fun competition.

Trying to win a match or tournament ramps everything up a few notches. The pressure, intensity and ability to perform in these circumstances is tough. Let’s look at 3 things for your junior golfer to be aware of so that he and his competition can continue to be friends after the event.

Golf is about making friends. The 1st time your youngster joins any organized golf function, tournament, clinic or camp, he will start making friends. This will continue through college and many of these relationships will last his whole life and several of his buddies will form a genuine core group of his inner circle of friends. Very cool stuff!
Golf is a sport of honor, integrity and accountability. There is no place for bragging, mocking or finger-pointing. Respect for the game, the opponents and for himself/herself must be introduced and encouraged from your child’s initial contact with the sport. Win with grace, lose with grace. Life lessons right here, Mom and Dad!
It is possible to be pleasant and even friendly with the competition and still win. Look at Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose in the final round of last week’s Masters. These guys are Ryder Cup teammates, fellow European Tour members and good friends. How many times did they say good shot or give a thumbs up to each other? Certainly each one wanted to win with a passion. They wanted to beat their good friend but they would pursue this desire to win with respect, honor, dignity and friendship. It was special to watch!

image

photocredit:GOLF.com

Your child’s mental and physical abilities will be challenged constantly during competition. Not winning occurs more often than winning. You will see the highest of highs and lowest of lows from your kiddo during some of these very trying situations. A thought that Linda and I found to be relatively effective with S3 in tough moments, was to remind him that this was not his last round of golf he would ever play. Focus on improving the process and the desired results will come. There will be more golf to play. The future is bright!

See you on #1 tee ready for a friendly round of golf, but I still want to beat you… Sam

Junior Golf: 1 Attitude For A Sunday Win

In this Wednesday Waggle we’ll take a look at 1 particular mindset that has proven successful for some professional golfers over the years. Your daughter is an individual and will develop her own type and style of mindset based on her skill level, maturity and competitiveness.

img_0102-1

photocredit:golfdigest.com

Being within 5 or 6 shots of the lead at the start of a final round of any tournament means a player, your daughter/son in this case, has a chance to win. I mean a couple of bad shots by the leader and a couple of great shots from your kiddo and she’s right there.

Have you ever asked her what her final thoughts are just before she initiates her pre-shot routine for her 1st shot? Well, that could lead to a very interesting answer. Just don’t ask her at the event. This should be discussed well prior to any competition. And her answers will likely change as her game and confidence improve.

6-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Sir Nick Faldo referred to his own pre-game mentality as he was getting ready to tee off in the last group in the final round of a tournament and right now we’re talking about The Masters, which Sir Nick won 3 times. He knows of what he speaks, at least for himself.

To paraphrase Sir Nick: “You’re standing there waiting to be announced and tee off. You shake hands and say something proper like play well but in my mind I’m saying, I’ll bury you!” Now these words may sound a bit harsh to some Moms and Dads out there. These are the words of Sir Nick Faldo and how his mind had to get in a place to win a huge event and certainly he meant them no physical harm. He was going to bury them under his barrage of great golf shots that were better than his opponent’s shots!

image

photocredit: sky sports

These words aren’t for everybody but I assure you that there are women and men who have this or a very similar thought process when they prepare for competition. To be competitive means a number of things. It means your daughter enjoys the challenge of constantly improving her game in order to have some opportunity to win. And then it will become a desire to win. How badly does she want to win? Is she willing to make the necessary sacrifices required to attain the victories she is dreaming of?

The bottom line parents is that your girl will need to decide if she really wants to win or just play kind of for the fun of it. If she truly wants to win that means she has to beat everyone else. She has to want to play better than them and do it! If she wants to win, she’ll find the mental self-talk that works for her. Ask her about this. Let her do most of the talking and you do most of the listening. You may find you have a real competitor holding onto that golf club!

See you on #1 tee ready with a winning mindset… Sam

%d bloggers like this: