Archive for April, 2017

Junior Golf: Why The Masters Is Important For Your Junior Golfer

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at this week’s PGA tournament and offer some input as to why The Masters is very important for your son/daughter.

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photocredit:golfdigest.com

There are more reasons than this space allows as to the importance of The Masters to your son and the rest of your family, in fact to all sports fans everywhere. Let’s hit some highlights.

1st, it’s the first men’s major championship of each year and the field will include many of the best players in the world. That alone should make it very important.
2nd, Augusta National Golf Club, the permanent Masters venue in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most beautiful places anywhere. Amazingly gorgeous flowers are blooming all over the course and the fairways, greens, traps, hazards, paths, every square inch seems to be perfectly manicured. We look forward to every minute of TV coverage so we can enjoy this visual feast.
3rd, The Masters is loaded with great traditions. From the ceremonial opening tee shots, done for years by the legendary Big Three of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. With Arnold’s passing last September, Jack and Gary will do this year’s shots. And then there’s the awarding of the renowned green jacket to the winner on Sunday afternoon and any number of traditions occurring in between.
4th, the golf is great! The players will tell you that this is one of the toughest courses they play. The greens are lightning fast. The undulating and rolling fairways, much more so than the TV cameras show, almost never leave a flat lie and stance for the next shot. Water and traps are just begging for golf balls to enter them. And even with all this there are players shooting under par. Wow!
5th, tickets to this event are widely known as possibly the toughest ticket in all of sports. Just having an opportunity to be a patron, as the fans at ANGC are referred to, is a rare situation. Go for it!

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photocredit:pinterest

So what does this mean to your youngster? Hopefully he’ll dream more and bigger dreams. I mean every pro playing in this event dreamed about it as a kid and probably as a pro too until getting his 1st invitation to play in The Masters! Heck, I’ve dreamed about being a patron and that’s tough enough!The sheer beauty, pageantry, traditions and excellent golf should end up being more than enough to get your kiddo revved up.

So Parents, your action is to make sure you TiVo the tournament. Thursday and Friday are on ESPN and Saturday and Sunday are on CBS. We always record 2.5 hours beyond the scheduled Sunday end time to allow for possible playoffs.

See you on #1 tee excited about The Masters… Sam

Junior Golf: Pay Attention Or Pay The Price

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a look at something that happened last weekend at the LPGA tournament. It is a hard lesson about paying attention when your daughter/son is in competition or there might be a steep price to pay.img_0509

Paying attention to her game and being aware of what’s going on in her group is an essential and required part of competition. It begins with a reasonable knowledge of the rules and etiquette and, of course, as her skill level improves, it would also include her strategy/game plan for her round.

Competition is different than playing with family or friends. Things happen, sometimes strange things happen, things you have never seen before and might never see again. Pressure is everywhere. Everybody reacts differently to pressure and pressure can increase or decrease during a round. Pressure has its own life!

So in last week’s LPGA ANA Championship, Lexi Thompson was assessed 4 penalty strokes in the middle of Sunday’s final round for actions that took place in the previous day’s round. A viewer sent in a video of Lexi marking her ball and putting it back in a different spot from where she picked it up. She moved the ball perhaps a quarter to half an inch and it was pretty obvious on the video. So she was penalized 2 strokes for violation of Rule 20-7C (playing from the wrong place). She signed her scorecard for 67 but it should have been 69, so she was next assessed a 2-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard and the 67 that became a 69 now became a 71. Wow!

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photocredit Jeff Gross

Her 2-stroke lead went away and she was suddenly 2 strokes behind the leader. To her credit, Lexi played very well after being informed of the penalty strokes and ended up in a playoff where she lost on the 1st hole. Lexi’s own words regarding the situation, “I didn’t realize I did that,” she said through tears. “I did not intentionally do that. But you know what, I fought hard coming in and I didn’t give up. But so many players played great, so congrats.”

What is the takeaway for junior golfers and their parents? While your kiddo should always be in the moment during a tournament, there are times to really focus and pay attention. Properly marking and replacing a golf ball is a simple task and yes, it’s relatively easy, but it should never be taken for granted. Watch how the pros do it. Their actions are deliberate and their hands move a little slower rather than faster. This is a situation that must be executed perfectly.

I asked S3 that in all his rounds of junior golf and college golf, did he ever see any violations such as this one. His response, “Maybe 3 or 4.” Then I said, “Did you call any penalties?” S3, “Sure did.”

So your girl may see this once in a blue moon, but she will see it. Please encourage her that when she is preparing to mark and then replace her golf ball that she should take a deep breath and focus on the proper technique. No problemo!

See you on #1 tee ready to properly mark and replace your ball… Sam

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