Archive for October, 2017

Junior Golf: PGA Tour Winner On The Value Of Par 3 Courses And The Value Of Technology



In today’s Wednesday Waggle we’re talking with 1996 Valero Texas Open champion, David Ogrin, about the incredible value that par 3 courses and state of the art technology bring to golf, separately, please.

Recently Linda and I sat down with David to learn more about his exciting new position as Director of Instruction for the Alamo City Golf Trail and the wonderful renovations just completed at The San Pedro Golf Academy, here in San Antonio. For you folks outside of Texas, including our international followers, please keep in mind that everything we talk about here, except for David, of course, may be available in your part of the world. If not, you may want to consider starting your own movement toward these ends.

Linda: “David please tell us about all the new things going on with you.”
David: “I’m The Director of Instruction for The Alamo City Golf Trail based at the San Pedro Golf Academy. I develop and build programs for ACGT. We have just completed a $4.5 million complete renovation and upgrade of the SPGA including state-of-the-art technology with a golf simulator, TrackMan, FlightScope, GCQuad and SAM PuttLab. We’ll be able to instruct golfers in the old ways and the new ways. And we have redesigned and rebuilt our 9-hole par 3 course into an excellent new layout.”

David continues: “During my interview I was asked, How are you going to develop new golfers? I answered, build strong junior programs and build strong ladies’ programs and you’ll get the Dads. At some point you may have the whole family picking up a club and taking a swing at the ball. Here we always have a variety of learning opportunities, group lessons, individual lessons, seminars, demo days and more. And SPGA has one great advantage over most other facilities, we also have a golf course. The difference is golf. Having a course means we can actually teach golf. There are shots of 100 or even 200 yards and some shots from 60 and 70 yards too.”

Photo below is from left to right: Ryan Bell, David Ogrin, Me and S3 prior to our recent 2-man best ball match at the well-lit, as in open until Midnight everyday, excellent Par-3 course at SPGA. Great fun!


Linda: “David, who benefits the most from this amazing technology?” David: “The 12-year olds are in a good place to start with some tech. The younger kids, some, but not so much. FlightScope and TrackMan are Doeppler radar to track golf balls. Every player on the PGA, LPGA and most other professional tours consistently uses this technology. It’s essential in today’s game. For our parents, it’s a lot of fun to reserve some time on the simulator and play some legendary golf courses like Pebble Beach.”

So Mom and Dad, how does this help your junior golfer if you are not anywhere near San Antonio or even the U.S.? Several things come to mind. First, realize that golf tech is changing constantly and you should look into it to discover how it may help your kiddo. Second, Par 3 courses are extremely useful and fun and are severely underutilized and can be played in 2 hours or less. Find one in your area and play it! Third, come to San Antonio and spend a few days with David and his crew at SPGA. Junior lessons start at $50, adult lessons start at $75 and group lessons start at $20. For more information email David Ogrin at Families have always loved to visit San Antonio and great golf is one of the biggest reasons!

See you on #1 tee after you’ve spent some time with David. I’m still gonna beat you… Sam

Junior Golf: Is There An Afterlife?


Now before any of you start thinking I’m getting all ethereal and deep-thinking on you, I’m just having some fun with ya!


Yeah, probably I should have said is there a life after, as in after junior golf and college golf?

Advance planning, as in plan ahead is the key. It is never too early to ask your golfer where he/she wants to be after 4 years of college eligibility have expired. The options are endless: play professional golf, work in the golf industry, take a break from golf, get an interim job to make some money, pursue another career path or move to Timbuktu and just veg out for a while? There are options and the earlier you bring them up, the better.

Our eyes were opened wide over the years as we heard so many talented college golfers talk about their post-graduation plans. Our brother and sister golfers from Spain, are pursuing their engineering careers and the brother is showing an incredible talent in robotics!. Another teammate is in the golf industry near Houston working on golf videos, coaching and training, although he’s always loved politics and something in me thinks he might dip his toe in that water at some point. AJ is back in the down-under getting a law degree and making custom golf clubs. And we have a couple of friends trying to get on the Tour.

Our personal frame of reference is of course, unique to us, but not really unusual. Graduating from college in 4 years with a degree is a big deal in our family and we wanted to celebrate. Sammie asked Linda and me to join him on his graduation trip so we went to Florida and played a bunch of golf and had a great time. Upon returning to San Antonio, S3 was ready to take a break from 16 years of non-stop golf. In our talks about his future I mentioned that it took me a couple of years after college to find my niche in the business world and that while he needed to get a job to support himself, I suggested he take a breath and keep his eyes and ears open. And he has ended up with a great opportunity in management training with Chick fil A.


So we recently entered an 8-week 2-man best ball tournament at the newly renovated San Pedro Golf Academy playing the excellent and challenging par-3 course. After our 1st match, S3 said to me, “Dad, playing competitive golf again really gets me going. It makes me realize how much I miss it!” What does this mean? I have no clue, but it’s sure fun to hear!

Dad and Mom, there is certainly a life after all those years on the golf course. There’s nothing wrong with your son/daughter not wanting to be the next Jordan Spieth or Lexi Thompson. They can surely enjoy playing golf with the Peeps and maybe enter a tournament now and then.

See you on #1 tee knowing what you want to do… Sam

Junior Golf: A Transformational Quote From The Presidents Cup


In this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at a new attitude showing up on the PGA Tour. And we’ll refer to a revealing and transformational quote from The Presidents Cup.


The point I’m going to here is that there’s a different mentality surfacing among this talented group of young American pros. It’s a dramatic change from the attitude of days of old and really the days of fairly recent.

An influential older generation pro and perhaps it was a golf announcer said after watching all the comraderie and genuine friendships in the mostly under-30 American group (paraphrased), “I don’t know if they’re tough enough to win majors and be dominant champions.” I feel he was uncertain or maybe uncomfortable with all the time the young guns were spending together and and felt they were not focused enough on wanting to win.

Linda’s and my attitude at S3’s tournaments was that we wanted everyone to bring his best game and let’s see what the scores are at the end of the day. If our son is going to beat you, he must play better than you no matter how good you’re playing. As relentless encouragers, we applauded every good shot in the group we were following, not just S3’s shots.

As a result of our behavior we had an amazing encounter after a round at The Tribute at The Colony, just north of Dallas, a very fun golf course, by the way. One of S3’s 3-some came up to us after the round and said, “We love being here! Everyone is so nice and the hospitality is fabulous. And I wanted to tell you how much it meant to me that you acknowledged good shots from all of us, in addition to Sam. Where I’m from, (West coast), the parents and gallery boo our (the competition’s) good shots. So this environment is new to us and we love it!”

This brings me to what I believe is the most important and insightful quote of the whole 2017 Presidents Cup. It also shows the humility and strength of Phil as he was able and comfortable to be transparent and revealing about himself. In a post-Cup interview the announcer asked him what it is that makes the chemistry of this US team so special? Phil’s words (paraphrased by me), “Everybody gets along. The team room is a blast. We’re all kidding each other and having fun. And there’s a unique dynamic with these guys, something that’s taken me decades to learn and that’s how to be really happy for someone else when they have success.”



Wow, ladies and gentlemen, let that sink in. In the cutthroat world of professional sports here’s one of golf’s most successful and popular players, ever, saying that he is now at a place where he can congratulate someone on a good round or a win and be actually be excited for them.

Mom and Dad, this is transparency that transforms and it’s right out of our parenting manual. It has transformed Phil. It will transform some of his fans, including junior golfers.

Please understand that a strong desire to win doesn’t mean that your child should not be disappointed when they lose. It means that it’s ok and healthy to be glad for someone else’s success! It gives your son/daughter something to strive for!

See you on #1 tee ready for you to congratulate me, and mean it, when I beat you… Sam

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