Archive for September, 2015

Junior Golf: Get the App

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan we’re going to look at the reasons to “Get the App”. While I am not as digitally proficient as the youngsters, my digital skills have improved over the years. Apps are wonderful things and some are helpful beyond all expectations. Let’s look at one. (photo

The App we are talking about today is The Golf Academy App. In our house we call it The Golf Channel Academy App even though that is not technically the correct name. Go to The App Store and search for it specifically or just search Golf Apps and it will come up. It’s free, but for you and your daughter it can be worth $1,000.00’s of dollars. Load it onto your smart device and open it. One of the first items to come up is “Find An Instructor Near You”. How helpful is that, really great, right? Always be on the lookout for good instructors near you. You may change instructors several times before you find one your daughter likes and actually helps her improve her game. As her skill level becomes more advanced you may need a different instructor who is competent with low handicap golfers.

There are so many golf tips and instruction on this site it will blow your mind. And the teachers include Golf Channel’s Martin Hall and Michael Breed, undoubtably 2 of the best, most creative and most fun instructors anywhere. Decide the areas your daughter needs to focus on for improvement and search the site for them: tee shots, putting, sand shots, chipping and more topics than you can think of, it’s wonderful!image

The best approach is to cruise the site to get familiar with what’s on it, then pick an area to start with. The temptation to do too much too fast is real and you want to slow down and take 1 step/topic at a time. Let your junior golfer show solid progress in 1 area before moving on to the next. (Martin Hall photo

Now, we’re not talking about The Golf Channel App here, that’s for another time. Go, get this App and look it over enough to be comfortable with it, then get your daughter and look at the App together. Have fun with it! Now get after it!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

Junior Golf: More Mental

imageIn this Friday Flop Shot we will look at more mental aspects of the game. It is hard to overemphasize just how important the mental aspect of being able to play winning golf really is. So let’s dive into some more mental aspects for your son to work on, and Mom and Dad too, because it’s a team effort.

In Wednesday’s post we removed negative words from our vocabulary and replaced them with positive words. Then we put our positive words with action words to help paint a mental picture of how to attain the desired results in your son’s golf shots. Let’s extrapolate this. As Mom and Dad consciously work to make this new way of communicating a habit it can be spread throughout the whole family. (photo from

Parents, and you need to come together as a team, please, you can speak these positive messages into all your kids and the initial manifestations will be in better schoolwork, better chores and certainly in improved golf and other extracurricular activities. Linda and I can assure you that these short-term benefits will translate into long-term habits that will make for a most pleasant and better achieving household. You are setting your kids and yourselves up for success and you will see a difference. Imagine the pleasant atmosphere as everyone in your family starts using more positive language and less negative and complaining talk. Enjoy!image

In the real golf world, to get a glimpse into just how extremely positive the greatest athletes are, let’s look at a conversation during the recent U.S. Open. The Chambers Bay course was a different setup than usual for a U.S. Open and some of the players were complaining. A member of the Fox Sports announcing team who had competed with Jack Nicklaus said that, in Jack’s words,”As soon as I heard an entrant complain about the golf course, I struck him off the list of possible winners.” What this means is that words have power and those negative thoughts creep in and can override any positive thoughts. So the key is to keep the negative thoughts out of your son’s mind, period. Yes, it’s difficult at first, but it can be done. Look at any interview with golf legends Arnold Palmer or Phil Mickelson. The interviewer tries his best to get them to say just 1 negative word and neither of them will do it. That’s what we’re talking about here, yes really! (Jack Nicklaus photo from

Please introduce this wonderful habit to your family ASAP. It will change the dynamics in your family in a very positive way. Yes, there is always a family member who resists change, but persistence overcomes resistance and in time even the most stubborn family member will come on board, at least a little bit. Be pumped, be positive!

See you on #1 tee…positively… Sam

Junior Golf: It’s Mental

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at the mental part of junior golf. It’s mental, yes, a big part of the game is mental and the sooner you address the mental part of the game with your son, the better.

Please keep in mind that I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, nor is Linda. We are parents who have 16 years of junior golf and now, college golf experiences with our son, Sam III or S3 as we call him. During these years we have studied numerous books on the mental aspects of the game, been in courses to help S3 develop his mental golf game and studied top golfers and top athletes in various sports. (Jason Duffner photo

Guess what? Athletes who have won championships at the world-class level think differently than the rest of their competitors. And when you ask them, in any sport from golf to soccer to shooting, they will almost all tell you, when you ask, “What percentage of your sport is mental?” Take a stab at the answer: yes, it’s 90%. Absolutely astounding, amazing and revealing!

What does this mean for you and your son? Well, those same athletes when asked if they would have done anything differently during their years of competition said they wish they had started on the mental part much earlier in their career. Why, well because it’s the toughest part of any sport and the sooner you develop good mental habits, the faster your game improves. Most athletes can master the physical skills required of their sport. The mental game is where events are won.

How can you apply this today to your son? Not too tough, actually. It’s simple, very simple, but not too easy. It will take a conscious effort or both your parts for at least 3 weeks to make it a habit: remove negative words from your vocabulary with your son. This means everywhere, not just with golf talk. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t break your wrists on the takeaway,” say “You’ll get better results when you keep your wrists straight on your takeaway.” Or instead of “Don’t dip your right knee,” say “You’ll hit better shots when you keep your knees quiet during your swing.” You get the drift, remove no, don’t, never and other negative words and replace them with positive input that will result in better shots. (photo

Folks, there are hundreds of books and millions of words written on this subject and all we’re doing here is giving you 1 pointer that is proven. It’s a start and a doggone good one. You will find that once you start doing this, it will become a habit that will manifest itself in all aspects of your life. The rest of your family will want to start doing this and your family dynamics have a great potential to change in a very positive way.

More mental input next time. See you on #1 tee…with a positive attitude… Sam

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