Archive for December, 2015

Junior Golf: Clubs are Everywhere!

Golf brands clubs (1)

Golf clubs are everywhere! This is the perfect time to take your Junior golfer out for a fitting with any of these reputable brands: Mizuno, Titleist, Taylor Made, Cleveland, Callaway, Nike Golf, or Adam’s Golf.

The correct club makes all the difference in the hands of your junior golfer.

See you on #1 Tee… Sam

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After Christmas Junior Golf Bargains!

PJG after Christmas

Take advantage of all the bargains these locations have to offer!

Our family is taking some time off to relax and enjoy each other. We hope you get to do the same.

See you on #1 tee… Sam

Merry Christmas Junior Golf Parents!

christmas card

Linda and I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

See you on the 1st Tee… Sam

Junior Golf: Shop The Last Minute Sales

In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at a way to buy some of those more expensive golf items. You know, the ones that can bust the regular budget. This time of year offers an excellent opportunity to buy these things at a very affordable price.image

Golf is a sport that offers Dad and Mom a lot of ways to spend money, in some cases a lot of money. So learning how to keep your son up-to-date, or close to it with golf clothing and equipment can be a financial challenge. Well, Holiday help is here! (photo golfdigest.com)

If your schedule allows and your mind can tolerate the insanity of shopping on Christmas Eve afternoon and early evening, there are some great bargains to be had. And you have time to wrap the gifts and have them under the tree for Christmas morning.

Another creative way we stretch our Christmas budget is to ask family members agree to the buying of gifts after Christmas during what used to be called the 13th Month sales, the time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Yes, many desirable items will be gone or picked over, but I assure you there a ton of things to spend your money on. It is certainly possible to get 2 or 3 items for the original retail price of just 1 item. Maybe get that rangefinder half-off and also get a brand new pair of golf slacks marked-down 80%.

imageIf you don’t have the time to research it now, just put a handwritten note in an envelope telling your son what’s going on and put it under the tree. He may be a bit shocked or disappointed at first, but when you tell him that he may end up with more items than if you paid a higher price, he’ll come on board.

Many of you folks are careful and conscientious shoppers and likely spend your money more prudently than we do, but we do make a solid ongoing effort to be better stewards of our money and that certainly includes our family golf budget. So, take a minute and think about those pricier golf items your son has been wanting. The new driver for $479.00, that pair of great-looking slacks for $85.00 or the latest GPS or rangefinder for $299.00. We just very rarely pay retail for anything other than a bag of tees or golf gloves. There is somebody with some golf item on sale pretty much every day or the year and you might as well take advantage of it. (photo reliableindex.com)

Another factor is do you want to go to a brick and mortar store or would you rather just buy online and be done with it. Linda found the exact same item, same brand and everything that she buys at a local store, for the exact same price on Amazon. You know what she did, Linda bought from Amazon for the sheer convenience! On the other hand, tomorrow S3 and I are joining a friend to drive 50 miles to a huge retailer because the main item we are interested in must be seen and felt in-person and it’s already on sale for 40% off retail. A killer deal! Take a chill pill and get after it!

See you on #1 tee looking like you got a good deal… Sam

Junior Golf: How Far Is That?

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a look at the #1 question asked during a round of golf. Yes, of all the talk that may or may not take place on the golf course, this question or 1 very similar is by far, the most asked: How far is it to the pin? How many yards to clear the hazard? What’s the distance to the fairway bunker? Distance, distance, yards and more distance makes up the context of the most asked question when your daughter is playing.image

Golf courses are measured in yards or meters. Did you ever wonder why distance is important? How far it is from point A to point B is crucial to the sport. Golf course designers used yardage in virtually every aspect of their work. Where to put or not put a design element such as a bunker, water hazard, turn in the fairway, a slope to the green or whether to leave or remove a tree.

Your daughter must know distances so she can properly plan her approach to the whole course, then her strategy for each hole and of course, plan her next shot. So how do you figure out distance on a golf course? Well, there are several ways. There’s the old fashioned way of reading sprinkler head yardage or using trees or rocks placed at specific yardages on holes or there may be yardage on the paved cart path.

In reality, this only works to a point and then your daughter is basically estimating distance. So how do you improve accuracy? You buy 1 of the many digital yardage devices. They come in many shapes and sizes from a number of reputable makers. Now Dad and Mom beware: nearly 100% of the tournaments your daughter will play in allow devices which give ONLY distance. The device you buy cannot give wind or slope readings. Every now and then you may hear that it’s ok to use a device which is capable of giving slope and wind readings, but these functions must be turned off during play. I would never risk it.

imageWhat do you buy? I had a GolfLogix GPS that that I used for years and it worked well. Our good friend Gordon has a Garmin GPS watch that he loves. Over the years however, there is 1 distance-measuring device which is far and away the one we have seen the most in junior golf and college golf tournaments. It’s your everyday golf rangefinder. Why are they so popular? They are relatively inexpensive. They have no annual fee. And like every golf shot is different, every reading on a rangefinder is different. In other words, they are infinitely able to give custom yardages on each shot, which makes them the most similar the sport where no 2 shots are the same. There are no limits to which landmark you can get a yardage to.

S3 has a Bushnell Golf Range Finder and it has been great. It’s at least 5 or 6 years old and it has always worked perfectly. Even with all the golf S3 plays, he only changes the battery about 1x per year. I mean folks, this is great. There are several brands to choose from but I think if you look around or ask your daughter’s swing coach, Bushnell is likely be the most prevalent brand. Whatever brand you buy, make sure it only reads distance. Competitive golf is hard enough without risking a penalty or disqualification for illegal equipment.

See you on #1 tee knowing how far to hit your 1st shot… Sam

Junior Golf: Bigger Gifts

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take a look at the bigger and more costly gifts that are available for your daughter. We have spent our previous posts looking more at stocking stuffers, items that are relatively inexpensive and fun and even useful. Now let’s examine some of the higher-end options out there. (photo offcoursegolf.com)image

Buyer beware Mom and Dad! There are thousands of items priced from $29.95 up to $2,000.00 and many of them are fantastic and worth every penny. There are some however that are not worth 5 cents. Before you spend any money, ask your daughter’s swing coach or any PGA Professional for their opinion or check out online reviews. You can see golf legends and top golf coaches promoting a number of products. They all sound great and probably are helpful to many players. Your daughter does not need every one of these aides. Any 1 item would be the most useful.

Discuss with her what part of her game she thinks needs the most improvement. If she is not sure, I’d go for a putting aid. Putting along with chipping are the 2 places to save the most strokes. Buying 1 putting aid maintains her focus on a single aspect of improving her game. You can buy putting aids at most sporting goods stores or from the golf specialty stores, but if you want to kick it up a notch, go to Dave Pelz’s website. Dave is one of the legendary short game coaches and has a fantastic reputation. We have a 20-year old Pelz putting aid that is money! When S3 hits 30-50 putts per day with this aid, for a week or 2 before a tournament, he’ll make virtually every putt 7-feet or less. In fact, when he doesn’t putt well, he likely did not use it prior to the event. (photo dwquailgolf.com)

There are a plethora of swing trainers, swing analyzers, swing weights, nets to hit into in the back yard, etc. Keep it simple. Only buy something your daughter will use, hopefully with or without your oversight. I like the chipping net for the backyard. Again Dad and Mom chipping and putting are the quickest parts of your daughter’s game where she can save strokes.image

Now if you want to spend big money like $1,000.00-2,000.00 you have a couple of places to do it. Buying new clubs can easily get you over $1,000.00. Rarely do we buy new clubs, but that’s why there is chocolate and vanilla. If you just must buy some new clubs you can start small, maybe get a new wedge or 2. You can buy top-quality name brand wedges for $129.00 or less nearly all year long. Or a new driver. You can easily spend up to $500.00-600.00 on the latest long bomber. Or new irons. Ah yes, 4-A wedge can run from $499.00-1299.00 depending on make and model. Go for it. There is something special about brand new!

imageNow the other big money option is book a few days at a golf resort. There are plenty in the US from The California desert to Florida, not to mention Hawaii or the Bahamas. Most of these places are great, not inexpensive but truly memory-making locales. And there is the amazing World Golf Hall of Fame in St Augustine, Florida. Linda and I have been there and played the 2 signature courses, The King and Bear and The Slammer and Squire, both different and fun. Contact PGA Experiences and ask what specials they have available.

So here are a few thoughts on helping you spend your money this Holiday Season. I’m afraid that our family is doing quite a fine job of spending money already. Thanks for your offer to help but our cash is flowing outward at a strong pace!

See you on #1 tee with something new in your bag… Sam

Junior Golf: The Gift of Giving

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we will talk about the other side of the Christmas gift equation, giving rather than receiving. While I think most parents would expect their children to enjoy giving to those less fortunate, sometimes it is not until we see our youngster’s faces after they see the faces of the recipients of their gifts, that we genuinely understand the feelings involved.

1 of S3’s first experiences with giving was when he was 5 or 6 years old. There was a lady who each Thursday night needed volunteers to put together sack lunches to be given to the homeless in downtown San Antonio. So I, Linda and S3 headed over to help. S3, while not overjoyed at this, was at least curious and eager to see what was involved. Reality hit when the lady in charge explained the importance of what we were about to do, which was make 500 sack lunches which would probably be the only food the recipients would get for a whole day or longer. Now when a kid of any age sees 2 pieces of white bread with 1 slice of bologna, a tiny bag of chips and a can of soda go into a paper bag and that’s all someone may get to eat for 24 hours or more, they are certainly taken aback. The positive feelings of doing something truly worthwhile were evident with all who helped and it hit S3 pretty hard.image

Some members of our Parenting Awesome Kids Sunday School Class have strong ties to the Salvation Army. There were openings to be red kettle bell ringers at a local retail store and we asked if any families wanted to work 3-hour shifts. Folks volunteered and made some lifetime family memories and saved the Salvation Army from having to pay folks for those shifts.

Yes, it’s easier to just write a check and that’s a good thing. But if you really want to impact your kids and yourself and spouse as well, get face-to-face with a real-life giving experience. Ask around, call the Salvation Army or some local churches. You will be amazed at how many viable options there are. And don’t be shocked when your junior golfer gives you a strange look when you tell them what your family has signed up for. It’s the look after you are finished that will melt your heart. And this may very well be the start of a new dimension of thinking for you child.

Linda and I have watched S3 and a number of his friends grow into their own spirit of giving. Many come home from college to participate in the Feed My Starving Children Campaign which is held here every September. Once you expose your kids to these wonderful opportunities to give you will see them have an eagerness to participate in future events. They get it.

A word on charities. Not all are what they appear to be. 2 that we are very comfortable with are the Salvation Army and Feed My Starving Children. Both have extremely low administrative expenses, meaning that a huge percentage of revenue goes directly toward helping those in need. A story: we met a young lady that mentioned she had spent time in Haiti working with a Christian charity. When I said that we had worked with Feed My Starving Children, she said they had received and given out 1,000’s of FMSC packets in Haiti. Folks it is reassuring to have someone verify that they have actually given out the fruits of your and your child’s charitable efforts in a far away land.

See you on #1 tee looking charitable… Sam

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