Archive for July, 2016

Junior Golf: Things Change

In this Wednesday Waggle we’ll look at how quickly things can change during a round of golf. Playing competitive sports is tough at best, and everything can change without notice.img_0102

Jason Day, the #1-Ranked men’s golfer in the world was tied for the lead in last week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational with 3 holes to go. He had lead the tournament since the 1st day. These WGC events are limited to basically the Top 50 men’s pros based on WGC rankings, a tough and elite field. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

So Jason, Dustin Johnson and Scott Piercy all had a solid chance to win over these final few holes and Jason was in the final group. Day had been playing OK and had a great chance to win outright or at least get into a playoff.

#16 at Firestone is a 667-yard par 5, a hole which Sir Nick Faldo said was a 2-layup hole. This meant you laid up with less than a driver off the tee to be in position to hit a 2nd layup short of the lake that was in front of the green. Then you hit onto the green with good odds of getting a par or perhaps a birdie.

Jason hit his driver and hooked it left into the trees. He punched out hoping to advance his ball on the steep downhill fairway and his shot raced through the fairway into the trees on the right side. There was a clear shot path to lay up in front of the water, then be on the green in 4 and hope to get out of this hole with a bogey at worst. Well, for whatever reason Jason tried to run his shot around the left side of the lake into a very skinny part of the fairway. Now you can guess what’s coming. His ball hit along the left bank of the pond and kicked in the water. And he went in the water in 3, out in 4, shooting to the green in 5, hoping for a double-bogey, which ended up being his score. (#16 photo thesandtrap.com)

imageHis poor decisions combined with poor shots took the life right out of Jason Day. You could see it immediately when that ball went in the water. Driver on the tee, poor decision, poor execution. Punch out on 2nd shot, decent decision, poor execution. Trying to hit past a perfect layup area into a tight area on 3rd shot, poor decision and poor execution. Get my point here? He finished T3.

Help your junior golfer have a good plan/decision for each shot. Then he just needs to execute it!

See you on #1 tee with a plan… Sam

Junior Golf: The Good Ole USA

In this Monday Mulligan we just ask Mom and Dad that you and your junior golfer take a minute to understand and appreciate the great country that is The United States of America. (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135-1

There’s a reason people from all over the world want to come here. Even with all our problems we are still the land of opportunity, a place where dreams can come true. This applies to golf as well.

Golf is truly becoming a worldwide sport, but the best players, tours and junior golf programs are right here in the USA. So please explain to your young golfer that the wonderful opportunity that they have in this country is unique and hopefully they will get your point and have a different perspective on this great game.

imageSo marinate the meat and fire up the grill and get ready to watch some fireworks.

See you on #1 tee loving your opportunity… Sam

Junior Golf: Teamwork

In this Friday Flop Shot we will take look at an aspect of all golf, certainly including junior golf that is often downplayed, overlooked or just not given enough attention. We’re talking about teamwork. (photo offcoursegolf.com)timg_0106-1

There are teams everywhere in our lives. From family dynamics, the workplace, relationships and extra-curricular activities, teamwork is in action. Sometimes it’s more obvious as in the team sports like football, soccer and the rest. Individual sports have teams as well, it’s just that those teams are mostly behind the scenes. Golf is the 1 individual sport where an aspect of the team is displayed when the event allows caddies. Caddies, good caddies, are absolutely invaluable to the player. In a tournament, the caddy is the only 1 who can give advice to the player and the best caddies give good advice. The player doesn’t have to heed the recommendation, but at least it was offered.

Jordan Spieth uses the term we more than any other PGA or LPGA player. When asked about the use of the term, Jordan says it refers to him, his caddy and his family and friends who have supported him in so many ways during his whole career from junior golf to today. Jordan does certainly understand that he, the player, is the 1 who must actually swing the club and bear the responsibility that goes with it, good shots or poor shots. (photo pgatour.com)image

Mom and Dad, please recognize that you are a junior golf team with your daughter. There is no way any professional athlete can operate without a team, often much larger than you would expect, supporting them. Your junior golfer is every bit as dependent on you for everything except for taking the shot! It is your help with finding the tournaments, getting her entries in, paying for the events and getting her prepared to play in them and then getting her to and from them. And hopefully being on the course with her as encouraging spectators or her caddy, when allowed.

Please allow me to once again briefly visit my Longhorn Legends On The Couch as they discussed their thoughts during the 2006 Rose Bowl National Championship win over USC. This is just fun for me, pardon my indulgence. Teamwork, teamwork and more teamwork was constantly referred to during the analysis of the game. Michael Huff and Aaron Ross, the 2 defensive players on the Legends Couch mentioned the confidence that the defensive squad had in each other. A player could count on his teammates to be in the correct position on every down. And the mentality of the defense was to swarm to the ball. If you get a chance to see this game, please notice how many white longhorn jerseys are involved in every tackle, they were swarming!

Kasey Studdard, Longhorn Legend offensive lineman, said the USC was running the same couple of blitzes, different defenses, when the Longhorns lined up in a certain formation. Well, the offensive line, who had played together for years and may be the best offensive line in UT history, took about 10 seconds to discuss it and figured out how to defeat it and they did so the rest of the game. Superior example of great teamwork!

Yes, team sport teamwork is similar to, but different from, individual sport teamwork. It is however, everyone being on the same page and fulfilling their duties. Parents, please get on board today with your girl’s junior golf efforts. If she’s willing to put in the effort to practice and play then you need to support her, period. If you are unsure of the best ways to support her contact us at icare4parents@gmail.com

See you on #1 tee with support… Sam

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