Archive for March, 2016

Junior Golf: Plan Your Summer Now

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we are saying this is the time to look ahead a few months in the life of your daughter’s golf. Plan your family’s summer calendar now.img_0102-1

Summer is one of those times that junior golfers can really spend a lot of time improving their game. Pretty much every golf facility from driving ranges, golf courses, country clubs and resorts have as least some junior golf activities going on.

So where does a parent start? 1st, what is the family doing together this summer? Is there a vacation planned? Make sure it’s around at least a couple of golf courses so your daughter can enjoy playing new venues. Part of the love and sheer enjoyment of playing golf comes from teeing off on new golf courses. It is exciting and fun! Once you have the family schedule you can book your daughter’s golf camps and tournaments around the family events.

Parents please get after this as some tournaments will fill up quickly and your girl may end up on a waiting list for a big tournament she was really looking forward to competing in. 1st up is the Starburst Junior Golf Classic in Waco, Texas, June 13-15. This is a MUST PLAY at least once for your daughter. It is the largest junior golf tournament in the world with over 1,000 entries and it’s very prestigious and a ton of fun, open to ages 7-18. You need to enter soon because even if your girl’s event is still open, you may have trouble getting a motel room. The whole Waco area is completely booked solid for this event. She plays 3 different courses in 3 days. Great fun and parents are allowed to caddy here, yea! Linda and I alternated caddying for S3, a special time. ( Jason Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Next on the list should be your local city, county and state junior championships. While these can be slower to fill up, we always believed that entering sooner rather than later was always best. These tournaments are special because it shows your daughter where she stands relative to girls in her locale that she will be competing with even through college. She’ll make some lifelong friends in the process and frankly seeing some of her friends improve will likely inspire her to work even harder on her own game.

Now we come to junior golf tour events. Here in Texas the North Texas PGA and the South Texas PGA sponsor their own series of junior tournaments. There are a bunch of them, pretty much all over the state and they are inexpensive. Depending on your daughter’s skill level you may look at entering her in the Texas Junior Golf Tour or the Legends Junior Tour. These are events for kiddos at the medium to high skill level. Your girl should be consistently shooting in the mid-80’s to play in these tournaments. They are pricey but the atmosphere and talent level is exhilarating for participants and parents alike. If your girl likes to compete, this should fire her up!

Here’s a photo of S3 and his caddy, me, prior to teeing off in a US Amatuer Qualifier at Comanche Trace Country Club, Kerrville, Texas, summer of 2015. I’m telling all you golf parents, these are some of the best moments of your lives, take advantage of them and enjoy this quality time with your junior golfer!

imageAnd for the highest skill levels, you have the AJGA and then the national junior championships put on by the USGA. If your daughter is keeping a GHIN, then you can see if her GHIN is low enough to enter the USGA events. They are super special and pressure-packed! It is not unusual for golfers to be nervous or a bit intimidated by more prestigious events. The jitters should calm once she gets off of #1 tee.

See you on #1 tee with a full summer golf schedule… Sam

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Junior Golf: Austin Nuggets

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at some thoughts, some takeaways, some nuggets of insight and wisdom from the WGC Dell Matchplay Championship that ended yesterday. (photo by jennleforge.com)img_0135

Matchplay is different. The players for the most part really enjoy it because it is 1-on-1 competition. Let’s begin with the Austin Country Club course. At just about 7,100 yards, it is relatively short compared to other PGA tournament courses. Pete Dye however always gives the players challenging holes. So in the words of announcers Sir Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller, both winners of multiple major golf tournaments and members of the world Golf Hall of Fame, “the course is really suited to match play.” What does this mean?

Matchplay has a different mentality than stroke play and each player is trying to win or at least tie each hole. So there is a “go for everything” mentality, sometimes called risk/reward. If you watched some of the event, you would have immediately noticed the stunning beauty of many of the holes. And much of this beauty was because of plentiful water, hazards with sheer drop-offs and unplayable lies and greens with multiple slopes. As fans we want to see great golf shots, thrilling golf shots and the inherent risk/reward of matchplay golf combined with a risk/reward golf course makes for a fun combination.

Part of the reason why Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson are so popular is their “go for broke” mentality. They love to play aggressive golf! When asked why he attempted so many difficult shots, Arnold replied, ”How would I know if could hit that shot if I didn’t attempt it in competition?” Frankly these 2 guys hit a lot of great shots from lies most of us would never consider attempting. Austin Country Club offers plenty of risk/reward opportunities.

Sir Nick on match play mentality, “you’re trying to win every hole, hit every shot exactly where you want it and make all your putts. But you cannot give any holes to your opponent. Make him earn the holes he wins.” This refers to unforced errors. At least twice in this tournament I saw the 1st hitter put his ball into the water. Now many of us, if we were the 2nd hitter might think that all we needed to do was keep our ball away from the water at all costs and advance the ball to a safe zone that left us in a good position for our next shot. Well folks, twice I saw the 2nd hitter also put his ball into the water. How can this be? Oh, these guys are human! In effect, the 2nd player just surrendered his tactical advantage and both players now, once again have a chance to win the hole. You just don’t expect to see this from the pros, but, wow!

imagePGA Professional, World Golf Hall of Fame member and Austin Country Club member Tom Kite was interviewed by Nick Faldo during the Finals Match yesterday and Tom offered, “these greens are tough. Pete Dye gives you lots of undulations and a player might have a putt that goes left, then comes back right and ends up going left at the hole. These are tough greens, but the guys will be more familiar with them next year.” When asked about the length of the course, Tom referred to a drivable par 4 on the back nine and said, “this little hole is giving these guys fits. You can’t keep your drive on the green and the chips you end up with are tough and the green has a lot of slopes.” So this little par 4 had the guys scrambling to make a par. (photo geoffshackelford.com)

I hope you watched some of the tournament. There were a bunch of great golf shots and some not so great. Jason Day defeated Louis Oosthuisen in the finals and guess what? At the end of all the risk/reward shots, the great shots and poor shots, the guy that won, Jason Day, just flat putted better than everyone he played. If you’re going to win, you have to make putts! And yes, he also hit some excellent shots.

See you on #1 tee ready for match play… Sam

Junior Golf: Match Play

In today’s Friday Flop Shop we will introduce your son to match play. There are basically 2 formats for competition in a golf tournament, medal or stroke play and match play. Stroke or medal play means that whoever has the fewest strokes at the end of the tournament is the winner. In match play your son is playing a “match” against another player.image

As the Dell World Golf Championship Match Play continues this weekend at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas, here are some points to keep in mind as you watch. In match play, competitors are playing 1 on 1, man-to-man or mano-a-mano as we say down here. The goal is to win or draw/tie each hole. A hole is won by the player having the lower score on an individual hole. If both player’s scores are the same, the hole is a draw, tie or halved. The match is won when a player has won more holes than there are holes left to play. In other words in an 18-hole match, the fastest your son could win would be 10 and 8. This means he won every hole and once he got to a total of 10 holes won, he would be the victor. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

It is also possible to win by a score of “x”-up. For example let’s say your son is 1-up after 17 holes and he wins #18, then victory is described as 2-up. You will also hear the term “door-me”. A player is door-me when he is behind by the same number of holes that are left to play, say 3-down with 3 holes left to play. The best a door-me player can hope for is to salvage a tie by winning every remaining hole, a tough feat in any tournament.

Sir Nick Faldo has given great insights into the proper player mentality for match play. Sir Nick,
“In match play you go for everything. It is the most in-the-moment type of golf as you are not thinking about the double-bogey you made 2 holes ago or what you’re going to hit on #17, you just want to win this shot. And then you want to win the next shot.” In match play you want to win right now, win this hole. Then you can attack the next hole. Remember, in match play your son can make up for 1 poor hole by winning the next hole. It is quick recovery and he’s right back in the game. The total number of strokes in match play doesn’t matter. All that does matter is that on each hole, your son has fewer strokes than his opponent. So really your son could shoot a relatively high score and still win his match. (photo austin.com)image

So get ready because TV coverage the Dell WGC Match play starts at 9:00am central time and and then switches over to NBC at 1:00pm central. These times are pretty much the same tomorrow, so get the TiVo going and be sure to record for 2 hours past the scheduled end of coverage on NBC to include any playoffs. This is the 1st time in a number of years that the Top 3 in World Golf rankings have advanced to the Final 16, yes that means Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy are still competing.

1 of the things about match play is that the more you win, the more you walk. So a player winning in the Round of 16 this morning, will get a brief break and tee off in the ¼-Finals this afternoon, walking 36 holes today. The winner will tee off in the Semi-Finals tomorrow morning and the 2 Semi-Final winners will tee off in the Finals after lunch Sunday. The 2 Finalists will have walked 126 holes of golf in 5 days and obviously had the mental and physical strength and endurance to play great golf the whole time. Love it!

Seriously record this tournament. Your son will play in these match play events and he will enjoy it. The insights into how to properly perform in match play from all the commentators and announcers is most interesting and invaluable. This is input you can’t get anywhere else!

See you on #1 tee, looking to win the 1st hole… Sam

Junior Golf: Intro To Personalities

In this Wednesday Waggle Linda will give us a glimpse into the world of the 4 types of personalities. It is critical for Dad and Mom to identify their own type as well as those of the kids. (photo golfdigest.com)img_0102-1

 

 

OK, here’s Linda:

Personality Profiling empowers parents to understand the nature of their child’s behavior-style, and their own, giving them bite-sized tools to grow a healthy, productive, and unified family.

I’ve been coaching parents for years and especially love teaching them about behavioral styles. With an advanced certification as a Personalities Trainer through CLASSeminars Inc. I study people’s temperments to aid them in understanding themselves and their families better.

Do you know your child’s personality type?image

Enjoy this free download “Do You Know Me?”

You may have a Popular Talker who LOVES fun!
Is your child the Powerful Leader who LOVES control?
Did you know, Peaceful Followers LOVE quiet? Shhh.
Your everything-in-it’s-place Perfect Thinker LOVES order.

Profiling the personalities that make up your family is a great step to discovering how you can raise your children in the way God designed them to be.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he gets old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

imageFor the past four years I’ve been honored to speak into the lives of hundreds of families during our Sunday morning PAK classes. We are in essence a family. Our “home” is a safe place to gather and share the challenges of parenting in order to find practical answers to secure a healthy living environment – mí casa es su casa!

Parenting Awesome Kids, is located in San Antonio, Texas but we’re also found on Facebook. If you desire to know a little more about personalities, Join our PAK Family online! Join our PAK Family online

Do you have a personality story? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

See you at the front door, where you’re always welcome… Linda

Folks, understanding the personalities in your family can lead to dramatically improved communication and harmony in your family. This stuff works! Linda and I encourage you to check this out.

See you on #1 tee looking harmonious… Sam

 

 

 

 

Junior Golf: Who Is Arnold Palmer?

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will introduce you to the namesake of the PGA Tournament which finished yesterday, The Arnold Palmer Invitational. There are good athletes and there are great athletes. And then there are those rare individuals who are beloved beyond the boundaries of their athletic achievements, they are loved for img_0135-1being truly great men and Arnold Palmer is certainly all that and more. (jennleforge.com)

For those of you new to golf the name Arnold Palmer may just be someone you have heard won quite a few tournaments including some big ones. Well, there’s a bit more to it than that. His 62 PGA Tour wins ranks 5th on the all-time list. The Associated Press awarded Arnold the Athlete of the Decade for the 1960’s because of his impact on sports. Think about that folks, that’s not Golfer of the Year, it’s Athlete of the Year. Out of all the men and women who played sports during the 1960’s, Arnold Palmer had the most impact on not just his own sport, but on the whole sporting world.

How can this be? Who is this guy? I mean, golf was in the infancy stages of being televised so how did people even know about Arnold Palmer? It helped that he won a bunch of golf tournaments, including 7 majors. But it was how he won many of them that got people’s attention, it was his famous “charge”. If he was anywhere near the lead Arnold had the ability to make lots of birdies in the final round of a tournament, by making his charge. The fans came to expect it and frankly Arnold did it a lot. His own words, “I was never really thinking I was charging. I wanted to win…desperately. That’s what dominated my thinking.” Fans were mesmerized by his ability to perform under pressure.image

Winning tournaments got people’s attention, but it is who Arnold really is that kept their attention and earned their love and admiration. He truly loves and cares about people, everybody no matter their station in life. Just 5 seconds with Arnold makes you feel like he really enjoyed meeting you and is interested in you, it’s just who he is. One story is when another pro was asked, “where’s Arnold?”, he replied, “He’s out there with a pair of binoculars seeing if anyone else wants an autograph.” Yes, Arnold is 1 of those guys who, after a round, signed every autograph. He had to give back to the fans. Here’s a photo of S3 with Arnold on #11 tee at Oak Hills Country Club, here in San Antonio, Texas in 2004. It was a once in a lifetime moment and Arnold was so nice and gracious. Wow!

Giving back brings us to his extensive list of charities, including The Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and The Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, both in Orlando, Florida.

Arnold Palmer’s go for broke style of golf bolstered a legion of fans, coined by the press as Arnie’s Army, who lovingly bestowed the title of “The King” upon him not only because of his prowess on the course, but more importantly because of his unfailing sense of kindness and thoughtfulness. – See more at: http://arnoldpalmer.com/#slide-2

“When people ask what’s driven me all these years, I always give the same answer. It’s you.” See more at: http://arnoldpalmer.com/arniesarmy#sthash.9y5udcn2.dpuf

See you on #1 tee, looking for “The King”… Sam

Junior Golf: Interpreting Stats

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue looking at your daughter’s stats and what they mean. How can the 2 of you understand what’s going on with her golf game and how can you help her lower her scores?image

Statistics are everywhere. They are commonly misstated or manipulated to show a desired outcome rather than the genuine results. Keeping that in mind, know that the stats on your daughter’s scorecard are very matter-of-fact and Mom and Dad, even for you it would be hard to misrepresent what they show.

Yes, the most important number in stroke/metal play is the score and in match play, it’s the number of holes won. The other data on the card reflect her strengths and weaknesses during a round and when you look at several scorecards together, you may very well identify a trend. (offcoursegolf.com)

Let’s say your daughter has averaged hitting 7 out of 14 fairways for 3 consecutive rounds. This needs improvement and the number needs to be at least in double digits, maybe 10 minimum. The question is, why does she miss fairways? Does she miss on 1 side or does she miss both right and left? When you can answer that it’s time to get with her swing coach. (photo wickedgolfers.com)

GIR, Greens In Regulation, is a little different in that more clubs are used and distances are varied and sight pictures can be intimidating. On an approach shot if your daughter struck the ball well, why wasn’t the ball on the green? Wrong club, crazy bounce, misalignment, be aware. You would like for her to be hitting at least 50% of the greens.image

Ideally with chips and putts you want to see 1 chip and 0 putts, meaning a chip-in or 1 chip and 1 putt meaning an up-and-down. When either of these is out of a sand trap I put an S next to the 1 in the chip box. If your daughter has more of 1 chip and 2 or even 3 putts, then she needs to work on her chipping. Chips from around the green should be 3 feet or less. Thus improved chipping also improves putting. Golf tournaments are won around the greens and making up-and-downs is seriously important.

In our previous post S3’s scorecard had a little bit of everything in what was frankly a fun round to watch. And he had 31 putts which is a lot particularly when you consider his 18-hole score was 1-over par 73. The pros average number of putts is usually in the mid-20’s. So if your girl averages 27 putts or 1.5 putts per hole for 18 holes, that is very acceptable. Getting up around 30 putts is not good and being less than 27 putts is very good!

What do you see on these scorecards? What part of her game is most in need of extra work? The stats will show you. Get with her swing coach and make a plan.

See you on #1 tee statistically speaking… Sam

Junior Golf: Keeping Stats

In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at keeping stats for your son. Statistics are a big part of golf and the pros keep stats on everything you can imagine and things you would never imagine! (golfdigest.com)img_0102-1

We’re keeping this simple. Why are these numbers important? After a round of golf it’s common for the details to blur. With some easy statistical help your son’s play and his strengths and weaknesses during the round become apparent. Again, with input from S3’s longtime swing coach, PGA Professional, Tim Harford, we came up with a structure to mark S3’s, and anyone else’s scorecards to give a good snapshot of what happened during the round.

Here is an actual scorecard from 1 of S3’s college tournament rounds at The Tribute at The Colony, a wonderful links course north of Dallas, Texas. Let me explain how to read it. Notice that hole 16 has 2 little teepee marks at the top. I put those there to mark the hole he starts on, so he began this round on #16. We use 7 lines: Name (score for each hole), Fairways (hit), Greens (in regulation), Chips, Putts, 1 line for +- on each hole and 1 line for +- cumulative for each 3-hole group.image

So what do we see here. Line 1 shows us a very good score of 73 with a double-bogey, 3 bogeys combined with 4-birdies and 10 pars. And there were 3 3-putts in this 73 so S3 had a very nice round. He hit 13 of 14 fairways. He hit 12 of 18 greens, the -1 on #13 means he was on the green in 1 stroke less than regulation, in other words, he drove the green. He had 6 chips which included 3-up and downs and 1 chip-in for a birdie. And 31 putts which is a lot.

The scorecard shows us that 93% fairways hit is a tremendous percentage (#1 on the PGA Tour is 74.56%, Thomas Aiken in 29 rounds). So A+ for fairways. 66.67% for greens in regulation (#1 on the PGA Tour is 75.12%, Bubba Watson in 23 rounds), S3’s 66.67% would be about tied for #80, so a C for GIR. Chipping and putting were inconsistent with some great shots, some decent shots and some poor shots. Frankly, perhaps the biggest revelation within this scorecard is that S3 had a couple of stretches where he could have let this round get away from him but he kept his cool and continued to grind out a 1-over par round. And look at that finish, his last 3 holes, #13, #14 and #15! Talk about finishing strong, he was 2-under par for those final 3 holes! That’s how to finish a round of golf!

The last 2 lines, the +- lines help complete the overall snapshot of the round. The 1st +- line makes it easy to see pars, birdies and bogeys. The – sign by itself is really a dash denoting a par, -1 is a birdie and +1 is a bogey. This line is a quick way to see and count up pars, birdies and bogeys. The 2nd line is the cumulative even, under par or over par for that 3-hole stretch. I circle the number on the 3rd hole of each 3-hole stretch so you can easily see where the whole round is heading. By adding up each of the 6 circled numbers and adding them to the course 18-hole par of 72, you come up with a quick way to total the score. So, in order of holes played, beginning on #16, the 3-hole circled totals are -1, +1, +1, –, +2, -2, totalling 73, 1-over par.

This is really more simple than it appears. The challenge is to record consistently, at least every couple of strokes. It’s easier to mark the scorecard as he hits his shots than to try to play catch up after the round is over.

See you on #1 tee ready to see you stats… Sam

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