Archive for the ‘Friday Flop Shot’ Category

Junior Golf: Check Out Great Local Opportunities For Your Girl

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our focus on girls’ golf which is certainly getting a tremendous amount of positive attention during the Women’s U.S. Open week.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

 

Girl’s golf is booming! If you are not the parent of a junior golfer, you may not be aware that the fastest growing segment in golf in the United States is girls under the age of 18. A quick look at leaderboards or at the attendees during golf camps should provide a quick glimpse into what’s going on.

A lot of the credit goes to the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf program. With more than 400 chapters nationwide, there is likely a group convenient to you and your girl. It’s easy to search for Local Girls Golf and see what comes up. This is a multi-faceted regimen that keeps girls interested, having fun and making new friends. Fun is a big factor and the youngsters are staying on board while enjoying improving their golf skills.

Some good examples are all the younger players on the LPGA and Symetra Tours. Many of these ladies are former participants in this excellent girl’s golf program.

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Photocredit:Chris Keane/USGA

This boom in girl’s golf is exciting and is having an extremely positive effect on women’s athletics all over the country. Please take a minute and read the linked article. I think it may certainly be helpful for your girl’s junior golf career and rev up her level of interest! For some details and very interesting reading go here.

More golf today includes the Scottish Open coverage on The Golf Channel. The weather is brutal. Chilly, windy and rainy, the weather fans love and players hate. Oh, unless you grew up in it like the guys from the British Isles! But Rickie Fowler is leading right now. This makes for great tv! Look closely and see if you can discern any players exhibiting Tom Watson’s bad weather behavior. It has been said that the 5-time British Open-now The Open Championship winner always looked liked it was 75-degrees and sunny, no matter what the actual conditions were. He was enjoying playing golf! That’s surely one mark of a great champion!

See you on #1 tee with 75-degrees and sunny weather, I hope… Sam

Junior Golf: Tribute To A Persevering Parent

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take a look at a great example of what a persevering parent should be.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

It was about 10 or 12 years ago that S3, Linda and I had the pleasure of meeting Chris and his dad, Randy. Throughout junior golf and college golf as well, S3 and Chris competed against each other and they were pretty evenly matched so their shots provided lots of great excitement.

As we got to know each other’s families better, Randy mentioned that he, Randy, had some serious health issues. He was battling cancer, had his colon removed, was on dialysis and was on a transplant list. Wow, put on that hat and try wearing it for a while!

During all the tournaments where we saw Chris, Randy was also there. He was the most consistent parent attending his child’s golf events we have ever seen. My guess is that from age 5 to 21 years old, Linda and I missed maybe 5 of S3’s events. Randy was just like us. He wanted to see his son play golf and he made extraordinary efforts to attend.

So Randy and his wife and some additional family members were a great support team for Chris. Randy and usually Chris’ Mom and some additional relatives were present to watch Chris play. They definitely were the family we saw more than any others, out there on the golf course cheering on their junior golfer!

Randy passed away earlier this week and we are sad that our good friend is gone. The legacy he leaves as an exceptional persevering parent who relentlessly supported his child is even more impressive when you consider that Randy always walked. I never saw him ride in a golf cart to follow his son. 100 degrees didn’t matter. Windy and wet didn’t matter. Randy was walking following his son, colostomy bag and all. That’s wanting to be there, hanging in there, being tough, whatever you want to call it. How many of us are setting an example like this?

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One of the best days we all had together was a couple of years ago during the San Antonio Men’s City Championship. Chris was in the group right behind S3 so Randy and I had plenty of chances to interact during the round. So everything’s backed up at a driveable par 4 and Randy comes up to me and asks: “How’s Sammie doing?” I replied “2-under, how about Chris?” “He’s 5-under,” Randy replied and we both smiled so big!

Chris finished at 5-under par. Randy walked up to S3 and asked,”How’d you end up Sammie?” S3 looking a bit disappointed because he did not finish as well as he would have liked, said, ”Even par.” Randy stuck out his hand and with a huge enthusiastic smile said, “That’s a damn fine round round, Sammie, congratulations!” That’s the kind of guy Randy was. His son had just smoked the course with a 5-under par round and he, Randy wanted to make sure that my son understood that even par on this course was also an excellent performance. It was one of those special moments!

Parents, we all can be more like Randy. It’s requires persistence, perseverance and yes, unconditional love.

See you on #1 tee ready to leave a wonderful legacy… Sam

Junior Golf: Midsummer Check List-5 Things To Do Now

In this Friday Flop Shot we will offer some things that should be done right now to prepare for upcoming fall events.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

Your kids are growing, his/her golf skills are improving and the career of a junior golfer is a marathon, not a sprint. Parents must be the ones to not just keep,up, but stay ahead of what’s going on.

Here are 5 things to get after right now:
Have your child fitted for the driver or longest club in their golf bag. Drivers that are too short, too long, wrong loft or too heavy put your kiddo at a disadvantage. Any PGA pro can do this.
Check the fit of his/her golf shoes. Kids notoriously wear shoes that are too small. Have them put on a pair of golf socks and the shoes and you feel where the longest toe is. If there is any doubt about fit, buy a larger size. Your youngster will grow into them at some point.
Do the golf shirts, shorts or skorts fit properly? Clothes that don’t fit can hinder the golf swing, be uncomfortable and even lead to chafing and irritation during a round. There’s enough stress during competition without having to deal with ill-fitting clothes.

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Photocredit:Green Valley Country Club

What is the weakest part of their golf game? If you don’t know, go to the range or play a round with your kiddo. Then you’ll know. Look online or at The Golf Channel Academy for some drills that will improve this.
Does your state have a tax-free weekend or sale period? Currently about 16 states have sales tax holidays which include clothing. Check out this link. Here in Texas that saves basically 8%. Look up states with sales tax holidays to see if your state is included. Most dates are in July and August and shoes, perhaps even golf shoes are included. This is a great way to save some money!

Ok, that’s it for today. Watch the LPGA KPMG PGA Championship this weekend and get ready to celebrate the 4th!

See you on #1 tee looking prepared… Sam

Junior Golf: Choose These Foods For Better Attitudes

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at some food choices, snack choices, that can contribute to better health and attitudes for everyone in your house.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

When we think of snacks, it’s easy to immediately gravitate to candies, sweets, chips and sodas. And there are times during a competitive round of golf that the brain needs glucose. There is a regimen of snack items that may not be the first group that comes to mind, but that provide considerably more benefits to your junior golfer than just simple sugars and carbs. Eating too much sugar and carbs is harmful to everyone’s health and does not benefit your young athlete’s performance!

Here’s a sample list of healthier snack items for both the home and the golf course. Granted, the 1st time your son/daughter finds these in the place of some previous items, you may get a look or comment like, “Really, Dad?”

Delicious and healthy:
Hard-boiled eggs. These are packed with nutrition, are quick and easy to eat and will hold up in a baggie during a tournament.
Cut up fruit like watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple. Keep this in the refrigerator. Not the best choice for competition because it can be messy.
Whole fruit. An apple, banana, pear, strawberries, blueberries, orange, figs or dates hold up quite well during events. Keep some at home, sitting out, easy to see and grab.
Cut up veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes.
Beef jerky without msg-monosodium glutamate. Read the label, this can be tough to find. Costco usually has some in stock.
Nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts and even peanuts offer decent fat and protein. Raw is best but your kiddo may prefer roasted and salted, that’s OK. It’s still more beneficial than a lot of things he/she could be eating.

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Photocredit:Today’s Golf

While your child’s initial reaction may be that you are ruining his/her life by offering some new and different snacks, the fact is that your goal is to help them navigate towards a healthier diet. Everyone loves an occasional candy bar or bowl of ice cream, but athlete’s bodies have increased nutritional requirements. Athletes who compete at the highest levels pay strict attention to what and how much they eat. The competition requires it!

Parents, the goal here is to introduce your youngster to paying attention to what goes in their mouth and how does it affect their golf game. A healthier mind and body for your junior golfer means an enhanced ability to perform at a high level, a lower risk of injury and quicker healing from injuries. Set a good example. Pick up one of the new snack items, state that it actually tastes pretty good and offer one to your child. You know what? He/she will actually enjoy a couple of the new items.

Dad and Mom, you could always make a statement to your junior golfer like, “Come on, let’s get healthier together!”

See you on #1 tee looking healthy… Sam

Junior Golf: Yes You Can, No You Can’t

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our examination of choices and how they impact the people involved in them. This post will be from your junior golfer’s perspective.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

There are 2 great lines about choices and I encourage parents to ingrain these lines into your children ASAP. It is not too late or too early, whatever his/her age. Again, for this post these lines are said by Mom and Dad to your youngsters.


Son/daughter, you can choose your actions.
This refers back to the previous post about always having choices and there is always a better choice. Basically, everything any of us do, adults or kiddo’s is a choice we make. We have the freedom to do so.
Son/daughter, you cannot choose the consequences of your actions. Wow, that’s actually quite scary! So, your kiddo can make a choice, but the reality is that he/she will have very little ability control the impact/consequences.

What does this really mean to your junior golfer? Let’s use scholastics. He/she can choose to not study, study a little or study a lot for a test. Yes, the more studying done likely will give better results, but there are no guarantees of an excellent outcome. A good grade can continue scholastic eligibility, while a poor grade could lead to problems and perhaps becoming ineligible to compete.

On the golf course, let’s say your kiddo chooses to hit a “hero” shot out of an undesirable lie, rather than merely chipping the ball back in play in the fairway. Even the pros have trouble hitting a great “hero” shot every time. There are so many unpredictables. So what could happen? A million things! Your son attempts his hero shot and the ball gets stuck in a tree. Or it hits a tree and goes out-of-bounds. Or it hits a tree and goes backwards 70 yards into an even worse lie. Again, the possibilities are endless and there is no way to control the consequences of that swing. Too many unknowns and variables.

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Photocredit:Dissolve

Here’s a real-life example. A young female friend of ours had a guy in her face loudly saying unsavory things and he wouldn’t stop or leave her alone. She got tired of it, slapped him and he called the police. She was arrested and is having to spend thousands of dollars and a lot of time working her way through the legal ramifications of 1 slap that left no mark, no scratch, no bruise. Gosh, that’s a lot of grief for 1 slap to a rude dude. She made the choice to slap, but she had no control over the consequences of such an, at the time at least, seemingly necessary action.

Mom and Dad actions/choices have consequences and more often than not, we have little to no control over them. Better choices do however, tend to result in more desirable consequences.

See you on #1 tee ready to make good choices… Sam

Junior Golf: Why Your Junior Must Play The Big Tournaments

In this Friday Flop Shot will we offer some reasons why it is imperative that your junior golfer play in the big, elite and yes, quite expensive events.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

If you child is regularly scoring 85 or below for 18 holes, it’s time to start booking high profile tournaments. If your youngster is shooting higher scores, please save this information as future reference.

Linda and I certainly understand family budgets and the effort required for many parents to find the money to cough up nearly $300.00 for each top-tier event. Family teamwork, advance planning/budgeting and sticking $20-dollar bills in a sock helped us a lot. S3 played in a minimum of 6 or 8 elite tournaments, in addition to his high school/college tournaments every year, starting in junior high school.

Here’s why our whole family decided to make this effort:
Elite tournaments draw college coaches. If you and your kiddo are serious about a college scholarship, this is a no-brainier.
Elite tournaments are almost always on legendary or very tough courses. Your child needs to learn that he/she can compete on these types of golf courses. These courses are another reason college coaches come out.
Elite tournaments get the most skilled players, some from other states or countries. Your child needs to be paired with 2 players that are better than her/him. After the 1st few holes of semi-intimidation by longer/straighter hitters who seem like they could shoot 20-under par on 18 holes, your child will likely settle down and start playing her/his game. This is a good thing.
Making a few pars or perhaps a birdie or 2 on 1 of these courses is a confidence-building experience. There’s nothing quite like having a few, or more than a few, good holes on a tough golf course to help your child’s confidence. They need to learn that they can compete in these situations.

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Photocredit:Pinterest

How about a real-life story. In S3’s freshman year in high school, his team was scheduled to play in a tournament that included the final round at Ram Rock Golf Course at Horseshoe Bay, Texas. I arrived early Saturday morning and was struck by the sheer beauty of the place. Since it was my 1st time at the Horseshoe Bay complex, they have 4 courses, I entered the pro shop and asked the attendant: “You have some beautiful golf courses here, are they always fairly crowded or is it easy to get a tee time?” He replied,”We’re not that crowded usually and pace of play is pretty good, but that course your son is playing is so tough, the members won’t play it. You can get on it any time!” That’s when I learned that Ram Rock has a super high rating, like 76 or 77 and some of the bent grass greens are only 11 yards wide. And for years it was ranked in the Top 5 toughest courses in Texas. After playing in this event all 4 years in high school S3 always finished 7th or better, individually. He loved playing Ram Rock and was not intimidated by it at all.

Set up a family meeting and make a plan.

See you on #1 tee ready to play in a big event… Sam

Junior Golf: How To Choose A Summer Golf Camp

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will explore 3 things that are critical in making your choice for which summer golf camp is the most appropriate for your son/daughter.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

Golf camp during the summer break is a tradition in most golf families and everybody should be excited about it. If your child is new to golf, this is a great way to introduce them to the game. If your kiddo is at the intermediate to advanced skill level, this is a perfect chance to review basics and increase fundamental skills. Summer golf camp is fun and worth the effort and funds involved!

Even if you have only 1 summer golf camp option in your area, these points may help you decide whether to sign your junior golfer or not. If you have multiple options, this input can be helpful for you to determine which camp to select.

Can you afford it? Weeklong camps will run from $150.00-$300.00. As simple as this question is, it is not worth causing stress in the family if it is just going to blow up the household budget by investing in summer golf camp. If you just can’t afford it this year, start sticking $20 bills in a sock to save up for next year.
Is the travel time and distance comfortable? If you have to fight horrific traffic or long distances, this effort quickly becomes a chore, because you’ll be doing it 5 days in a row. If this location is your only choice, you may want to consider staying on site and watching, if it’s a half-day camp.
How good is the lead instructor? This should be a PGA professional man or woman. Please remember that being a PGA pro is a great thing and requires considerable effort. Some teachers are better than others. That’s a fact. If your kiddo is at the beginner level, then the most important thing is that the instructor shows patience, speaks in pleasant tones (not yelling all the time) and talks less rather than more. All the PGA teaching pros know the basics, but some are better communicators than others.
Have the lead instructor’s previous students accomplished significant golf goals? Are they competitive in local events? Did they make the high school golf team? Did any of them get a college golf scholarship? If the answer is yes, good. If it’s no, be sure to find a new instructor as your kiddo gets to the intermediate skill level and beyond.

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Photocredit:Mark Minion

So, here you go. A few quick points to help you select the best summer golf camp for your youngster. Get after it! Book a camp early in the summer so if time, budget and tournament schedule allows, you can consider booking a second session before school starts back up.

See you on #1 tee playing well after a week of golf camp… Sam

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