Archive for January, 2017

Junior Golf: Useful Stuff From The PGA Show

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a final look at some of the very useful new items that we showcased at last week’s PGA Show in Orlando. (image jennleforge.com)image

Part of our obligation Dad and Mom as parents of a junior golfer is to keep up with new things, innovations, in golf equipment and techniques and there is surely a ton of things to glance at. Having a nimble mind helps so you can quickly get a synopsis of the new product and its potential application to your daughter and decide to pursue it or not.

3 things to take a look at:
Golf Pride MCC Align and MCC Plus4 Align Grips. These grips have a vertical strip on the back which helps your girl, and yes, golfers of all skill levels, remember the proper placement of her hands on the club. This is a new wrinkle on a concept which has been around for a long time. Hey, it is so easy to get the hands out of position on the golf club. When it’s time for new grips, put these on. Golfpride.com
Golf bling from Navika. As a guy, this site is overwhelming. It is a girl/lady company which has so much variety in everything golf bling, I can’t put it into words. Since Navika is a leader in the golf industry, be sure you are looking at retail customer items, not wholesale. Dads, this is a great place to get unique golf gift items for the women in your life. So much bling, so little time. Have fun! Navika.com

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Nikon CoolShot 80VR laser rangefinder. Nikon has made top quality cameras, binoculars and scopes for years and their newest entry to the golf rangefinder market brings some great innovations. It works out to 1,000 yards. The vibration-reduction feature gets your girl a quick and steady on-target read while the featured Locke-On algorithm helps quickly finds the actual target by basically distinguishing it from the background clutter. Very useful! nikonsportoptics.com

So there’s a wrap on the show. From about $11.00 for 1 grip, to whatever you want to spend on bling, to $400.00 for a very handy rangefinder, determine your budget and start shopping.

See you on #1 tee with something innovative… Sam

Junior Golf:What Is The PGA Show?

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at the PGA Show and what it is and what it means for your daughter’s junior golf and college golf careers.img_0102

Actually the proper name is the PGA Merchandise Show, the 64th one to be exact and more than 1,000 new products are on hand. Everything golf is being shown from the latest swing analysis and technology to golf clubs, balls, equipment, bags, carts, shoes, clothing and apparel, if you can think of it, it’s in Orlando this week. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

On the Golf Channel Morning Drive program today they just couldn’t stop talking about the ten miles of aisles, of exhibits, of course. That’s a lot. Dad and Mom, I encourage you to record the Morning Drive show tomorrow and Friday so you can see some of the great interviews as well as get a sneak peek at the new goodies that will be available for your daughter.

This morning Bubba Watson and Russell Knox were guests on Morning Drive. Bubba always attends the PGA Show and just loves it. He says he’s like a kid in a candy store, that he’s a techy kind of guy and this is about the most fun he can have without being on a golf course. It is Knox’s 1st time at the event and he was amazed at the sheer size and scope of everything that was available.

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Couple of interesting items from today: Aquila Golf Virtual Reality Trainer, $349.00 for the app and headset. Yes, it’s pricey but if your daughter is into tech and perhaps video games, this might be right down her alley. Load the app and connect it to her phone and she can practice visualization, course management and practical decision-making. Use the Frogger Latch-it system to easily and securely attach a rangefinder, phone, towel, brush or just about any similar item to her bag or cart. Cost is from $18.00-$23.00. Parents this is an extremely practical item. We and S3 were always wanting better ways of quickly and securely attaching these items. I’m buying a couple of these as soon as they are available in mid-March.

OK, set your DVR to record Morning Drive at least for tomorrow and Friday. Then sit down with your daughter and enjoy the broadcasts from this great show.

See you on #1 tee with a new piece of golf tech… Sam

Junior Golf: Encourage Being Grateful

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at how important it is for parents to encourage their junior golfer to be grateful. There are considerable benefits for your son if he accepts this attitude. (image jennleforge.com)image

Grateful and thankful as well as gratefulness and thankfulness are almost identical in their definitions. Grateful: warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful. Thankful: pleased and relieved; expressing gratitude and relief.

This past Friday a rare event, at least on the worldwide stage, happened here in Washington, DC, the peaceful transition of power. Every 4 years since George Washington left office for John Adams, this uniquely and consistently American event has taken place. It doesn’t matter who you voted for Mom and Dad, what’s important is that we should all be grateful/thankful to live in a country where 2 people with vastly differing views can hand off the power of the President from 1 to the other peacefully and civilly.

Today there are a couple of countries where a new leader has been elected but the previous ruler is refusing to leave office. Now there are threats of troops needing to oust the old to be able to being in the new. A civil war could follow as masses loyal to each person clash.

Then there are countries like Zimbabwe where the population desperately wants a change but the man in power refuses to leave. Corruption is rampant and the masses are restless. This is a tough place to be right now. One of S3’s college teammates is from this country so we are able to get accurate accounts of what’s going on. And there are a number of additional countries with a similar situation.

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So what does this mean for your son? It means he lives in one of those few countries where rule of law is still observed by most of the population. It means he doesn’t have to worry about a civil war breaking out while he’s in school or on the golf course. It means he can go about his daily business while being aware there are bad people, bad situations and poor choices in life but in the good ole USA there is so much to be thankful for!

New research is coming out that emphasizes that 1 of the keys to having a better quality life and a longer life is for individuals to have and exhibit a grateful/thankful attitude. Check out this article: How Gratitude Can Improve Your Health and Wellbeing.

Emphasize to your son how fortunate he is to be able to play the wonderful sport of golf and it is appropriate for him to be grateful for this opportunity because not everyone is in the same position he is in. Being grateful for the chance to play golf is, of course, only a small part of what should be an encompassing attitude of gratitude for everything in his life. Encourage gratitude and thankfulness in all things. He’ll catch on and be a better guy because of it.

See you on #1 tee looking grateful… Sam

Junior Golf: Be Alert In Your Group

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will discuss why your daughter needs to be alert to what’s happening in her group during her round of golf.img_0102

Previously we discussed the animate and inanimate physical hazards that may exist on the golf course and today we’re addressing why it’s important for her to be mentally alert to what’s happening with her own game and the games of the girls in her group. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Your youngster has 2 basic responsibilities. To honestly abide by the rules of golf, observe proper etiquette and accurately keep her own score and to keep the score of 1 other player. Doesn’t sound so hard does it?

Over her junior golf and college golf careers she will play golf with hundreds of her peers. She will make lifelong friendships with some while there are others she hopes she will never be paired with again.

What does being alert mean in this case? It is having an awareness of what’s going on, not just with her own game but with the games of the others in her group. If a group member hits a ball in or near a hazard or out-of-bounds, your girl needs to walk over and personally confirm the status of the ball and what rules may be involved. I have seen this situation mishandled numerous times, usually resulting in an improper/illegal benefit to the player who hit the ball.

Most of the girls your daughter will play golf with are honest. Some know the rules better than others. Some make honest mistakes and some try to manipulate the rules, take advantage of players who don’t really know the rules, for their own benefit.

Here’s a real life example. S3 was in a high school tournament and he was paired with a player who had a serious health issue but amazingly could still play excellent golf. The young man was allowed to use an electric golf cart so he didn’t have to walk. This was a 3-some. The handicapped young man unfortunately had a reputation as a horrible cheater. It took about 5 or 6 holes for S3 and the 3rd player to figure out what the guy in the cart was doing. I mean this young man had cheating down to a science.

He would speed to his ball, parking the cart where it blocked the view of the other players. He could then illegally improve his lie without being detected. Well, S3 and the other player finally caught him in the act and once he was confronted about his actions his game fell apart. It was very sad because basically he was a pleasant kid.

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Another true story about possible lost balls, balls in or near hazards and balls o/b. S3 was playing in a junior event here in San Antonio. While he was warming up, 1 of his junior golf buddies came up to him and said this about a player in S3’s group,”You need to watch so-and-so’s dad. He carries extra balls in his pocket and is known to drop them when they’re looking for his son’s ball.” Parents, our youngsters are sharp! The word gets around in junior golf, both good and bad. Isn’t this just so sad that the dad is tainting his own and his son’s reputation? (photo Nike Junior Golf Camps Lake Geneva)

Golf is a sport that demands high integrity. Impress upon your daughter the importance of honesty and high standards. You know, the only thing tougher than calling a penalty on yourself can be calling a penalty on another group member, particular if she is a good friend. Hey, this is a big part of our sport. And over time all of these tough decisions will be respected, maybe not really liked that much at the time, however.

See you on #1 tee looking alert… Sam

 

Junior Golf: Being Aware On The Golf Course

In this Monday Mulligan we will help parents understand how to help you junior golfer be more aware while he’s on the golf course. (image jennleforge.com)image

Depending on your son’s age, skill level and personality type he may be more or less situationally aware than other kids his age. While a golf course is not thought of as a dangerous place, there are things your boy needs to pay attention to while he is playing golf. Part of this is regular Mom and Dad teaching your child basic safety and awareness guidelines.

We ask our children to look where they are walking, don’t talk to strangers, avoid hazardous areas and have their eyes wide open. Golf courses offer some unique challenges. If your son’s ball is in the fairway or light rough the ground is more than likely relatively even and smooth and the sprinkler heads are easily visible. When the ball heads for the boonies there are other things that come into play.

Real-life example. S3 was 10 or 12 years old playing in a tournament on a city course here in San Antonio. He hit his ball about 10 feet into the left rough which had not been properly mowed and it was very deep in spots. While he was looking for his ball he stepped into a sprinkler head depression which was totally hidden by the high grass. Fortunately all he got was a stinger which impacted him for a couple of shots and then he was OK. Scary stuff though because this is exactly how many ankle and knee injuries happen with all golfers. There was no way to see that sprinkler head.

Another example is when S3 was 5 or 6 years old there were times he was more interested in the butterflies and turtles than playing golf. That’s part of it with the very young ones. There were plenty of kids interested in the wildlife. And here in central Texas we have courses with herds of deer almost on every hole, and turkeys, and javelinas and feral hogs. Avoid the wildlife, leave it alone. Even a docile whitetail doe has a kick that can seriously injure an adult, much less a youngster. And the pig family can become aggressive quickly. Really, the deer are pretty much used to the humans and most of the other animals want to run from you, most of the time.

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A final thought. At the wonderful TPC San Antonio courses, the rough on both of them is penalizing. It is covered in about 85% what we call moon rocks, rocks that have sharp edges, range from small to huge and have very little dirt around them. It is difficult walking and really tough hitting a shot out of without hurting your wrist. Be aware, fairways are a great place to be. (image West Texas Golf Courses)

So Dad and Mom encourage your son to enjoy the nature he finds at the golf course, but to also keep his eyes open for possible dangers. Look where he’s putting his feet. Watch for wildlife. Here, it’s deer, snakes and wasp nests. In Florida, it’s alligators and snakes. In Colorado, it’s bears and mountain lions. What is it in your part of the country?

See you on #1 tee looking aware… Sam

Junior Golf: Special Moments At Pro Events

In this Friday Flop Shot we are going to suggest some ideas for exciting trips you can plan for your junior golfer and the rest of the family too. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

What type of trip would get everybody fired up? There are 2 major categories. 1st is to attend a pro tournament. With the choices available of the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour and the Web.com Tour, there are quite a few options. The event locations kind of follow the nicer weather, so right now the tournaments are in more of the Southern or warmer states and as the temperature heats up, events will move northward.

See if you can find an event within your geography and budget and book a hotel and buy some tickets. Just do it! Don’t overthink it! Professional golf tournaments are a lot of fun. It really is different being there in person as compared to watching on the TV.

Couple of FYI’s. Depending on your scheduling flexibility you might consider attending during the pro-am days or on Thursday or Friday, when the crowds are smaller. Fewer people means easier parking, easier movement around the course, shorter lines for vendors and restrooms and you and your junior golfer can get closer to the players and actually hear them talk.

Perfect example. A few years ago Rory was playing in the Valero Texas Open, which was uncommon for hm. S3 wanted to see him so we noted Rory’s tee time, this was on a Saturday, was 11:15am. So we went and got to #1 tee on The Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio and man were there a ton of people. So Rory and his group teed off and about 99% of the gallery went with them.

There were 2 more groups to tee off so S3 and I moved right up against the ropes about 10 feet from the tee markers. The next group was Billy Horschel, Charley Hoffman and Retief Goosen.

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Here’s a classic conversation: Charley and Billy showed each other the markings on their golf balls just like you are taught in day 1 of junior golf. Great to see this! Then Billy says to Charley, “Our balls are marked pretty similarly, don’t hit my ball.” And Charley replied, “If I do, I’ll hit it in the water!” They both laughed so hard and after they teed off, they were still chatting their way down #1 fairway. A classic moment and a teachable moment at a professional event. (Hoffman image GolfLink.com)

These special one-of-a-kind moments are happening at these big tournaments, but if you don’t go, you won’t experience them.

See you on #1 tee at a pro event… Sam

Junior Golf: Great Words From Bubba Watson

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we are going to listen to 5 minutes of wonderful insight and wisdom from PGA Tour player Bubba Watson. His words ring a chord with all golfers young and old and he makes a major point several times in this video. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Please go to Volvik.com and watch Bubba’s video. Feel free to look over the website as it may be possible that you are not terribly familiar with this very interesting company. You might even consider buying some of their balls for your junior golfer, based on skill level and swing speed.

This post is not an endorsement of Volvik. I have never bought any of their products but I am interested in their research, the fun colors of their golf balls and the fact that they are increasing their presence worldwide on the professional tours and they have now signed Bubba Watson to play their golf ball! They’re moving forward!

Bubba is interesting, he’s funny and he’s not afraid to try new things. He loves to curve the golf ball and is one of the biggest draws and most fun players to watch in any golf tournament. So when Bubba speaks, we certainly want to listen.

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I’ll offer a hint. The most used word in this video, I believe, is fun. Dad and Mom there are times that there is less fun in your youngster’s golf game. It is important to get the fun back into their game. Fun is what keeps all of us coming back particularly after a poor shot or round. It’s kind of like hitting your best shot of the day on the 18th hole. That’s the shot that brings all of us back for another round. (photo Volvik.com)

What effect did the video have on you and your kiddo? I was excited and ready to go have some fun and oh yes, decide what color golf ball I wanted to try.

See you on #1 tee ready to have fun… Sam.

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