Junior Golf: Perseverance Changes Everything

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will take a look at how it is possible to move past bad shots and get back to hitting good ones. Perseverance is a big key.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

Yesterday’s final round of The Open Championship was an absolutely amazing display of many aspects of this game we love. It was a classic, in it’s own way every bit as good as last year’s epic battle between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson. It was filled with highs and lows, patience and excitement, classy behavior and good manners. Wow! This final round was all about 2 battles: one between Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar and one between Jordan Spieth and himself. Oh, and Jordan won them both!

Mom and Dad, this is why we have TiVo! So much happened during these 18 holes, there is not nearly enough time or words to address everything. My best advice is if you have a recording of the final round, make sure you and your junior golfer watch it. This is a ton of life lesson stuff and it is filled with so many highs and lows let’s get started. Your whole family will find this video to be very inspirational, enjoy!

Jordan and Matt were in the final pairing and Jordan hit a really good-looking tee shot on #1 and Jordan was smiling and feeling good about the shot. Unknown to him, his ball ended up in some very long grass about 3 feet shy of the shorter grass. When he got to his ball, his demeanor changed. He was not happy. Jordan bogied 3 of the 1st 4 holes. He seemed to lose his confidence and missed short putts that he usually makes. Tee shots were errant and the neck-and-neck battle between these 2 guys took at turn in Matt’s favor when Jordan blew his tee shot on the 13th hole nearly 100 yards to the right of the fairway.

It took more than 20 minutes before Jordan played his 2nd shot and he managed to get off of #13 with just a bogey. Something changed during that time span. Jordan played holes 14 through 17 in 5-under par, making 70 feet of putts on 14, 15 and 16 alone. His attitude was completely different. A par on 18 gave him a 3-stroke victory over Kuchar.

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How did Jordan change his demeanor? Folks, he’s done this before. He kept his eye on the prize, persevering through those rough initial 13 holes. Somewhere on that huge sand dune on 13, he “shook”. With all due respect, that’s a term we use in our house when an attitude changes. It’s what dogs do when they change their mind, they “shake.” And whatever it was that Jordan found within himself to change from the erratic, not very confident player he was through his tee shot on 13, he became an absolute beast on those last 5 holes. It was a complete turnaround and Matt Kuchar played a decent round of golf but Jordan ran right past him starting on hole 14. Persevere, persevere and persevere some more!

Parents, encourage your kids that they can turn their game around. It is done every day, it’s life. It’s getting back up when those bad shots knock you down. How does your youngster do that? Well, there are lots of sports psychologists and golf books and self-help books that can address this in great detail. For now encourage your junior golfers that it is possible to leave those ugly shots behind and get back to hitting goods shots during a round of golf. It’s done all the time at every level, but not everybody can or will do it. Help your kiddo be a can do athlete! Find a way for him/her to “shake.”

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Congratulations to Champion Golfer Of The Year, Jordan Spieth. And congratulations also to Matt Kuchar for playing some excellent golf and showing genuine class while he waited 20 minutes for Jordan’s ruling, drop and 2nd shot on 13. A fine man!

See you on #1 tee knowing how to shake… Sam

 

 

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