Archive for August, 2016

Junior Golf: Olympic Adrenalin

In this Monday Mulligan we will visit some of the highlights of the Olympic results from this past weekend. So much to write about, so little space. (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135-1

There are many reasons or shall we say examples just from these 2 days of competition that are why we encourage you to record as much of The Olympics as possible. From the sheer competition in the events themselves, to the reactions of the athletes to being an Olympian, much less a medal winner and hearing the stories of how all of them have dreamed of participating in The Olympics their whole lives! It’s great!

So The Olympics had barely started Saturday and Ginny Thrasher won the US’ 1st gold medal in women’s 10-meter air rifle shooting with an Olympic record of 208.0. In the pure joy of medalling category is Cody Miller, Bronze Medalist in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke. You could hear him yelling in excitement when he saw he had taken 3rd place. In his post-swim interview he said his goal to win a medal in The Olympics had come true. His sheer joy was infectious, his lifelong dream was fulfilled!

Now for the pure adrenalin rush you can only get from head-to-head competition. The men’s 4×100 freestyle relay, 1 of The Olympics most exciting events had 4 legitimate contenders: the US, France who won in 2012, the favored Australians and the Russians who had the fastest time in 2016.

Now guess who’s swimming the 2nd leg for the US, yep, THE MAN, Michael Phelps. Apparently there was some discussion among the coaches as whether or not to include Phelps in this lineup, but he swam a 48.5 in a qualifier to get a spot because in Michael’s own words, “I really wanted to be on that relay!” You see, Michael loves relays!

You could feel the electricity in the air, even through the TV. All 4 top teams were in lanes 3-6 with the US in lane 5. Caleb Dresser, the fastest swimmer IN HISTORY, in the 50 and 100-meter freestyle, led off. His time of 48.10 put him just barely behind the French when he handed off to Michael Phelps who took the lead with his entry. Then came the turn and Oh Man, did Michael make a turn! He rode under the wake for the full 15-meters which got him almost a full-length lead which he passed on to Ryan Held. And Ryan did a great job of keeping the lead for the US with his time of 47.73 and then he passed to Nathan Adrian to bring home the bacon! Now in fairness, Nathan was swimming against the fastest French swimmer, a great closer, and it was now a 2-team race for the gold. Nathan kept his lead and the French just couldn’t catch him and the US had1st place. Tons of excitement!image

When you ask, what is the heart of a champion, well, here’s 1 way to look at it. Remember that Michael swam a 48.5 to make the team for this relay. And, in this event he swam a 47.12, wow! Oh, did I mention that for Nathan Adrian to hold off the Frenchman, he swam a blistering 46.97, are you kidding me!!! The truly great athletes give great performances under pressure! So the 48.5 that Michael swam to make the team was nearly a ½-second slower than the slowest split time for our winning team. By the way, Mr Phelps time of 47.12 was his fastest split time ever and at the ripe old age of 31, in his 5th Olympics! And 1 of the US coaches said that Michael’s turn was the best underwater turn ever done in competition. Ah, the heart of a champion!

What does this mean to your junior golfer? Dream big, work hard, enjoy competition and expect to win! Please enjoy these Olympics!

See you on #1 tee looking like an Olympic Champion… Sam

JuniorGolf: The Olympics

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at an amazing 17-day stretch where you and your son can watch the world’s greatest athletes compete on the biggest stage of all! (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

Yes, it’s Olympics time. The opening ceremony is tonight and knowing Brazil’s flair for extravagant celebrations, I think we should expect a very colorful and entertaining evening. Some of the events have already started due to necessary timing between contests. Women’s soccer started Wednesday and the well-deserved #1 seed US Women’s Soccer Team took care of New Zealand 2-0 and have their next game against France at 3:00pm, central time, tomorrow, on DirecTv, channel 220. The men’s soccer started yesterday however the lackluster US Men’s Soccer Team didn’t even qualify for the top 16 teams to make the Olympic competition.

There are so many reasons for you and your son and your whole family to watch this competition that I can’t begin to list them in today’s post. For now let me try to get you revved up a bit. (photo krcrtv.com)image

You absolutely must watch Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete of ALL-TIME! This is his 4th Olympics and even though is is like 1,000 years-old in swimmer’s years, he will certainly be the man to beat in every race he is in. I’m encouraging you that this man has one of the fiercest wills to win of anyone you will ever see. This is a must watch, yes, even more so than golf. These are Michael Phelps’ last competitive races ever against the best swimmers in the world and so expect an amazing result!

In a different vein, women’s gymnastics is regarded as the most highly-rated, in TV viewership, of all the sports and the US brings a strong contingent. This is always beautiful and amazing to watch. Here’s a 5-minute video of 1 of the great Olympic moments of all-time. If you don’t know who Kerri Strug is, you will after watching this. Get fired up!

Olympic golf starts with the men on August 11, followed by the women on August 17th, all on The Golf Channel. More on that as we get closer. In the meantime, get that TiVo going. NBC has coverage on NBC, The Golf Channel, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, NBCSN, USA Network and specialty channels for basketball and soccer and is streaming EVERY event live on the web on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app. NBC has exclusive rights so find out where these channels are on your provider and get prepared!

See you on #1 tee looking ready for The Olympics… Sam

Junior Golf: 3-Foot Putts

In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at something that occurs in every round of golf and sometimes they show up in numbers. To have any chance of winning a golf tournament your daughter must conquer these. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

What am I talking about, 3-foot putts of course! There’s a reason these are called knee-knockers or testers. This is a perfect in-between length where any player could casually walk up and take a swipe at the ball and likely miss. It is not a 6-inch tap-in and it’s not a 10-footer either. Watch how seriously every pro approaches these short putts. They go through their deliberate routine just as if it was a 30-footer.

Having a repeatable putting routine is critical and is an absolute necessity. The pros know the numbers and guess what, the winners of most pro events, both men and women, will be pretty much 100% makes on putts of 3-feet and less. Yep, that’s 1 of the stats that’s key to winning at any level of golf. (Doug Sanders photo utube.com)

Here’s how important it is to make these little putts. In 1970 Doug Sanders missed a 30-inch putt on the 72nd hole at St Andrews to win the British Open. He then lost an 18-hole playoff to Jack Nicklaus the next day. What happened in Sander’s own words, “I didn’t get set. I was thinking about which side (of the stands containing the British Royalty) to bow to. I saw my good friend Ben Hogan swat a bug away from his face, but later he told me he was trying to get me to walk away and reset.” Doug lost his focus, casually took the short putt for granted and missed. He said it likely cost him $200 million dollars plus the winning of a major and that was in 1970!image

Let’s look at the other side of 3-foot putts from last Sunday. Jimmy Walker had the same situation as Doug Sanders did in 1970, a 3-foot putt to win a major. And Jimmy went through his putting routine and stroked his ball into the middle of the cup. He stayed in the moment and got his 1st major.

Your daughter can get close to 100% makes on 3-footers, too. When S3 has been practicing on our favorite Dave Pelz putting aide, he makes just about everything. It’s quite clear, when he makes putts, he has practiced properly and when he misses those same putts, he has not, simple. Find a practice routine for short putts that keeps your daughter’s attention and get after it. It will pay off!

See you on #1 tee ready to make some putts… Sam

Junior Golf: Congratulations Jimmy!

In this Monday Mulligan we will revisit the great action at the men’s PGA Championship. This tournament provided as much excitement and interest as anyone could want, filled with everything you could imagine except for lead changes, hard fairways and fast greens. (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135

In the leadup to this event most pundits had Jason, Rory, DJ, Jordan, Henrik, Bubba and Ricky in their top 5 favorites to win. There were a few other names in the mix with some writers offering 10-15 of their most likely-to-win names. The thing is that Jimmy Walker’s name was not on many, probably not any, lists.

Some of you may not be familiar with Jimmy. He’s a local guy for us, playing high school golf at Canyon High School in New Braunfels on the northeast fringe of San Antonio, college golf at Baylor, just up I-35 in Waco and now lives in Boerne on the north edge of our city.

Until his win yesterday Jimmy’s most recent victory was at our own 2015 Valero Texas Open on the Oaks Course here at TPC San Antonio. And he is a strong supporter of The First Tee of Greater San Antonio, where Linda, Dr. Nick Askey and I put on regular parenting seminars. So I think it’s fair to say that San Antonio golf fans were thrilled with Jimmy’s 1st major win!

Parents, this tournament is 1 of those BIG reasons I recommend you TiVo pretty much every pro tournament. Day 1 provided plenty of surprises with Jimmy unexpectedly leading and Rory and DJ not playing well at all and a lot of other top players looking pretty good.

Friday saw Rory and DJ go home, as in not making the cut, what’s up with that? Some other big names moved up the leaderboard and couple of new guys, like Robert Streb were playing well. Jason and Henrik, among other were staying in contention and looked like they were going to fight all the way to the 72nd hole.

Saturday morning saw a few people get 18 holes in but play was stopped before the leaders teed off. So 36 holes was on tap for the leaders on Sunday, a test of endurance and patience.

Lift, clean and place was in effect Sunday as about half the tee shots plugged or got virtually no roll. So the course played longer, even though the soft greens meant the guys could shoot right at the pin. As the day went on, it seems that someone tied Jimmy for a hole or 2, but Jimmy didn’t falter, but everyone else did, except for Jason Day. The guys trying to catch up, were for the most part too far behind and Jimmy was playing very solid golf.

Henrik was in it with Jimmy and Jason until he blew a ¾ 9-iron over the green for a double-bogey on #15 and never really regained his game afterwards. So we had a 2-man race with Jason trying to catch Jimmy and Jimmy not making any mistakes. On #18 tee Jason was thinking he is 2 shots behind and needs to eagle the par 5 18th to have a chance to get in a playoff. As he walks up the fairway he sees the leaderboard showing that Jimmy had just birdied #17 and now he, Jason was 3 shots back. It had to be an eagle and Jason hit his 2nd shot to 10 feet or so and made the putt for the eagle. Now Jimmy knew he needed a par 5 to win. (photo pga.com)

PGA Championship - Final RoundGoing for the green in 2, he blew his 2nd shot over the green into some fluff. A lot of folks questioned why Jimmy chose to go for it rather than laying up, but Jimmy,and his caddy knew his stats and would hit the same shot again. So Jimmy hit a flop shot to about 30 feet and put his lag putt to about 3 feet. Folks if you want pressure, try standing over a 3-footer on the 72nd hole to win your 1st major! No problemo for Jimmy! He stroked that little putt into the center of the cup like he had been doing all day long, what performance under pressure! Congratulations Jimmy Walker!

See you on #1 tee looking like a major champion… Sam

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