Archive for the ‘Arnold Palmer’ Category

Junior Golf: Tell Your Junior Golfer Why We MissThe King

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at why Arnold Palmer had such an amazing impact on everybody and everything he was involved with. Let’s remember The King!image

With the completion of Arnold’s own event, The Bay Hill Classic, we end a week of wonderful and interesting tributes to Arnie, who passed away last September. Many of us, myself included, just can’t get enough views of Arnold and stories about his exploits. It’s that magnetic personality, confident swagger, look of pure enjoyment and desperate desire to win that captivate us. And that doesn’t even include, in his own words, his most beloved activities of helping people. (image jennleforge.com)

When Arnie’s longtime personal assistant, Doc Giffin was asked, “Why is Arnold Palmer so popular?”, he replied, “The answer is simple. He likes people, and they know it. His public face and his private face are exactly the same. He’s not one of those guys who turns it on in public and turns it off in private. He’ll tolerate fools that most people, myself included, won’t. He just likes people.”

And Arnold loved helping people. He loved giving back and his 2 hospitals in Orlando are 1st-rate and cherished by the community. Many PGA and LPGA pros have had their children at the Winnie Palmer Hospital For Women And Babies and then their kids have been treated at the Arnold Palmer Hospital For Children. When Arnie 1st became involved with the hospital industry in Orlando, after touring some area hospitals, he said, “We can do better.” Under his tutelage these 2 are now world class facilities. This is the legacy of The King! (Photo Doc Giffin and Arnold Palmer)

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Why is this important to your junior golfer? The short answer is: It’s not about them. Life is about loving and helping others. Being about self, self-oriented or self-absorbed is a poor path. Being selfless is the proper direction.

Your child’s personality type plays a significant role in how he/she interacts with others. Every personality certainly can love people, it’s how they manifest their love that is different. Dad and Mom, ask yourself, how do I show my love for my spouse and my kids? Do they understand how much I love them? Is there something I need to do differently?

Countless studies show that people get a greater sense of satisfaction from helping others than from doing nearly any other activity. Now I’m not saying that your kiddo needs to give up golf and become a missionary. The point here is golf is a tough sport. Life is a hard track. Liking and loving others puts your young golfer in a position to succeed in life and in golf too. There’s an inner peace, happiness and overall satisfaction that comes with a sincere likeable personality. This means that your son or daughter will be in a position to make better grades, shoot lower scores and be an all-around more pleasant person to be around. It’s all good!

Talk this over with your spouse. Is your youngster someone who cares, genuinely for others? If you have a very young golfer it may be more difficult to understand how he/she is able to interact. By the time they hit 8, 9 or 10 years old you should begin to get a grasp of their ability to communicate with others. Do the other kids enjoy playing with him/her? Is he/she pleasant on the golf course?

Yes, every 1 of us is different, our children as well. The ability to love is in all of us. Sometimes it’s getting our love to the point where we can display it, again slightly differently, based on our own personality. Show a little love and see if you don’t get some in return!

Oh, we miss Arnold Palmer because he loved us and we knew it!

See you on #1 tee with love in your heart… Sam

Junior Golf: Take A Breath

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will slow down and take a breath. With all the overwhelming golf activities of the last 2 weeks coupled with the passing of Arnold Palmer, there has been so much emotional content we all need a moment to slow down. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

The USA win of The Ryder Cup was 3 days of the greatest golf most of us will ever see. The team events of Friday and Saturday were great with so many highlights. Sunday’s 12 singles matches started out with the score US 9.5 and Europe 6.5. 14 points were needed by Europe to keep the Cup and the US would need 14.5 to take the Cup.

Behind by 3 points EUR front-loaded their matches putting their heavyweight players out 1st. The initial pairing Sunday morning was the 2 absolute hottest players at the event, Rory McIlroy vs Patrick Reed and they performed even better than expected. Both were making almost every putt followed by enthusiastic yelling, arm-waving and fist pumping, it was great. The highlight of the match was on hole #8 where Rory made what must have been a 50-footer for a birdie. Patrick stepped right up to his 20-footer and rolled it in the middle of the cup. Rory and his caddie laughed and then he and Patrick gave each other a fist bump and walked off the green chatting. It was just the way this match would be for all 18 holes. Reed made a birdie on #18 to win 1-up.

How could anything be better than Reed/McIlroy, how about Mickelson/Garcia? Phil had 10 birdies and Garcia had 9 and they ended up halving the match, each getting ½ point for their team. Garcia evened up the match with a 2-putt birdie at 16. Then the final 2 holes were halved with, yes, birdies. Absolutely stunning golf!

There was plenty of great Sunday golf by both sides, but 1 of the amazing comebacks and feel-good moments of the whole event came with Ryan Moore. 2-down to Lee Westwood standing on #16 tee, Moore said he was able to finally relax and try to hit some great shots to help his team. Well, how about putting his 2nd shot on the par 5 16th hole to about 8 feet and making an eagle to win the hole? And a birdie on #17 to win that hole and be all square standing on the 18th tee, guaranteed ½ point? And then winning #18 with a par to give the USA the full 1 point to clinch the victory. Wow, good for Ryan Moore! (photo sbnation.com)

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Moments like these are inspirational for everyone, particularly your junior golfer as he/she can dream about playing in matches like this 1 day. Yes, The Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup for women is for only the most elite players, but your youngster will play in a number of very important team matches in high school and college. I can assure you the emotions by Moms and Dads of junior golfers are just as strong as those of Ryder Cup players. Look forward to the great experiences coming. They are very special and are to be treasured!

See you on #1 tee ready to make a bunch of birdies… Sam.

Junior Golf: Memories Of Arnold


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In today’s Wednesday Waggle I’ll share a few family memories of times we were around Arnold Palmer.

He is everything and more than was said about him. Tom Watson mentioned that professional golfers should send Arnold Palmer a commission on every dollar that they earned. There are thousands of tribute articles available where you can get a comprehensive discussion of how Arnold changed almost everything about professional golf…the excitement, bringing the game to the masses with Arnie’s Army, increasing the endorsement money, revitalizing the British Open, bringing attention to the importance of golf as a world-wide sport, loving his fans, increasing purses and of course his amazing charity work. The list is endless and professional golf will be eternally grateful! (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

My Dad was very involved in running The Texas Open for many years including 1960-62 when Arnold won it all 3 years. Dad got to know Arnold at Fort Sam Houston in 1960. The 1st time I actually met him was in 1961 when, after finishing a round at Oak Hills, Arnold was talking to my parents as I walked up. Dad introduced me and Arnold said, “Hi Sammie, nice to meet you,” and we visited a few minutes and he moved on. Different times back then, no giant structures, pretty much the only grandstands that were around #9 and #18, both of them par 3’s. You had open access to all the pros and while some weren’t very talkative, many were.

Sitting at #17 green was my friends and my favorite spot because once the guys putted out you could watch them hit to #18. The tee box was right next to the 17th green. So 17 is a hard dogleg left with a forest in the middle of the way. Arnold was long enough to cut the corner but when we heard a ball crash into the middle of the trees. This was my hero’s group coming up and my heart sank as I watched Arnold go to the ball on the bare dirt with about 30 trees between it and the green. Well, don’t ya know, he hit a low roller out of there up to about 3 feet from the pin and made a birdie. Major excitement!

Arnold won The Texas Open again in 1962 and I know he came back to play in the 1968 PGA Championship at Pecan Valley. He and Dad got to say “Hi” again and I so wanted Arnold to win this event. You may recall he rope-hooked his drive into the woods on the 72nd hole but managed to hit a miraculous 3-wood close enough for a decent birdie look which would have tied him with Julius Boros. The putt didn’t drop and Arnold finished 2nd.

imageThe last time I saw Arnold in-person was at a Senior Tour event at Oak Hills in 2004. One of my life goals was to get a photo of S3 with The King and I had no idea how I was going to do it. When I read that Arnold said he always liked Oak Hills, where he won 2 Texas Opens, and wanted to play it 1 more time, I couldn’t believe it! We went on Pro-Am day because there are light crowds and access to players is good. There was a slight backup on #11 tee and The King was gracious enough to let S3, then 10 years old, sit in his lap. It’s a lifetime event photo, a true treasure! Thank you, Arnold! The King is gone but he has given our family a lifetime of memories.

See you on #1 tee honoring The King… Sam

 

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Junior Golf: Amazing Finish But I ‘m Also Sad

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at the amazing finish to The Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. And as great as that was I’m also sad that my #1 sports hero of all-time, Arnold Palmer, passed away. I’ll share some of our family’s personal memories with The King on Wednesday. Today let’s look at what happened in Atlanta!image

Sunday began with most of the golf pundits just about ready to concede both events to DJ, Dustin Johnson. Why not, he was playing well, had a great year and just needed a good final round and he would be very hard to beat. Well, guess what, golf happened! (photo jennleforge.com)

He played poorly, in fact, the worst round of the day for the 30-man field, a 73 and with 6 holes to play there was no way for him to win the TC. There were 3 guys who were fighting it out and it was great golf and exciting TV.

Kevin Chappell, was leading but a poor drive on #17 left him with a bogey. Being in the last pairing right behind Rory McIlroy and Ryan Moore, Kevin had some idea of what was happening ahead.

Let’s back up. Ryan was slowly catching Kevin all day long. DJ played poorly and was out of contention. Rory was a few shots back and was not a threat, yet. Well, Rory holed out for an eagle on #16 to seriously get back in it. He parred #17 and birdied #18 to finish -12. His playing partner Ryan finished 4, 3, 5 to also be -12. So Kevin went 3, 5, 5 to make it a 3-way tie at 12-under. Let the playoff begin.

Who could have won outright? The rough was notoriously tough and Chappell’s poor drive on #17 cost him a bogey. A par would have meant a win. An expensive shot. Ryan had maybe an 8-footer for a birdie on his 72nd hole that would have put him at 13-under par and an outright winner. He missed it and I think that was the only putt under 10-feet he missed all day! Wow!

Playoff holes were 18, 18, 15, 16, 17 and 18, sudden death! Rory hit a 360-yard drive on the 1st playoff hole leaving only 213 yards to the pin. He promptly hit his 2nd shot to 6 & 1/2 feet and it seemed like it was over. Kevin hit a poor approach and missed his birdie putt and he knew he was done. Ryan had almost the exact same putt he had missed just moments earlier and he stroked it right into the middle of the cup for a birdie, forcing Rory to make his eagle putt to win.

The announcers mentioned that Rory really wasn’t taking any time with the putt and he was just stepping up and hitting it. Perhaps he should have taken more time because he missed it. So he and Ryan played 18 again, then 15 and then the par 4 16th. After an awkward chip, Ryan made a 20-footer for a par. Rory had 14 & ½ feet for his birdie and he made it! Had Kevin or Ryan won the tournament, DJ would have won the FedEx Cup. Rory, by winning the last event of the year also won the FEC, congratulations, Rory! (photo pga.com)

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It was amazing to watch. I mean Kevin Chappell went 66, 68, 68, 66 and finished 3rd. That’s great golf on a tough course! Ryan Moore kept making shots and would not make a bogey. And he made a ton of putts. Fabulous grit and determination! And Rory, who at some point must have known that he would have to win it because Ryan was not going to hand the victory to him, hit 1 more great shot than Ryan to claim his win on the 4th playoff hole!

What does this mean to your junior golfer? Every shot counts. Never give up. Give your best effort on every shot every time. Take a breath. Enjoy the thrill of the moment because these moments are rare.

See you on #1 tee ready to give your best effort on every shot… Sam

Junior Golf: Who Is Arnold Palmer?

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will introduce you to the namesake of the PGA Tournament which finished yesterday, The Arnold Palmer Invitational. There are good athletes and there are great athletes. And then there are those rare individuals who are beloved beyond the boundaries of their athletic achievements, they are loved for img_0135-1being truly great men and Arnold Palmer is certainly all that and more. (jennleforge.com)

For those of you new to golf the name Arnold Palmer may just be someone you have heard won quite a few tournaments including some big ones. Well, there’s a bit more to it than that. His 62 PGA Tour wins ranks 5th on the all-time list. The Associated Press awarded Arnold the Athlete of the Decade for the 1960’s because of his impact on sports. Think about that folks, that’s not Golfer of the Year, it’s Athlete of the Year. Out of all the men and women who played sports during the 1960’s, Arnold Palmer had the most impact on not just his own sport, but on the whole sporting world.

How can this be? Who is this guy? I mean, golf was in the infancy stages of being televised so how did people even know about Arnold Palmer? It helped that he won a bunch of golf tournaments, including 7 majors. But it was how he won many of them that got people’s attention, it was his famous “charge”. If he was anywhere near the lead Arnold had the ability to make lots of birdies in the final round of a tournament, by making his charge. The fans came to expect it and frankly Arnold did it a lot. His own words, “I was never really thinking I was charging. I wanted to win…desperately. That’s what dominated my thinking.” Fans were mesmerized by his ability to perform under pressure.image

Winning tournaments got people’s attention, but it is who Arnold really is that kept their attention and earned their love and admiration. He truly loves and cares about people, everybody no matter their station in life. Just 5 seconds with Arnold makes you feel like he really enjoyed meeting you and is interested in you, it’s just who he is. One story is when another pro was asked, “where’s Arnold?”, he replied, “He’s out there with a pair of binoculars seeing if anyone else wants an autograph.” Yes, Arnold is 1 of those guys who, after a round, signed every autograph. He had to give back to the fans. Here’s a photo of S3 with Arnold on #11 tee at Oak Hills Country Club, here in San Antonio, Texas in 2004. It was a once in a lifetime moment and Arnold was so nice and gracious. Wow!

Giving back brings us to his extensive list of charities, including The Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and The Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, both in Orlando, Florida.

Arnold Palmer’s go for broke style of golf bolstered a legion of fans, coined by the press as Arnie’s Army, who lovingly bestowed the title of “The King” upon him not only because of his prowess on the course, but more importantly because of his unfailing sense of kindness and thoughtfulness. – See more at: http://arnoldpalmer.com/#slide-2

“When people ask what’s driven me all these years, I always give the same answer. It’s you.” See more at: http://arnoldpalmer.com/arniesarmy#sthash.9y5udcn2.dpuf

See you on #1 tee, looking for “The King”… Sam

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