Archive for the ‘Friday Flop Shot’ Category

Junior Golf: 4 Steps For Tournament Prep

In this Friday Flop Shot, we’ll take a look at 4 things to do to be prepared for an upcoming tournament. This is about inventory prep, not physical prep.

There’s no worse feeling than driving to an event and someone blurts out, “Oh no, we forgot the xxxxx!” In all of S3’s tournaments, I think the only times we had to really scramble was to buy an extra glove 🧤 or two at the course. No biggie other than you’re paying a bit more.

Here’s the routine that we followed to insure that when we left the house we had all the essentials to have a successful day on the golf course.

1. Golf Bag-inspect it and everything in it a week or at least several days beforehand. This allows time for minor repairs and purchases. Count the clubs. Make sure there are at least 3 gloves that fit and are without holes. Have at least 2 dozen tees and 6 to 8 golf balls, more if you deem it necessary. Put 2 ball markers, quarters are good, and a divot repair tool in a ziplock bag. If it’s a stand bag, do the legs work? Are the carry strap and handle in tact? Is the bag hood/top in it? Are 2 towels on the bag, one for clubs and one for the player?

2. Clothing-check the weather and select what he/she wants to wear. Make sure it meets all dress codes, course and event. Is rain gear or a jacket required? Yes, they add weight and bulk, but if you need them and don’t have them, the chances for having a competitive round are poor. What about headgear? There’s a reason the pros wear caps, visors or hats. S3 always had a cap. When you need one because of the angle of the sun or some moisture getting in you eyes, there’s no substitute.

3. Snacks and drinks-your kiddo needs to have 3 or 4 snack items and a full bottle of water or Gatorade to start the round. Depending on the heat, 3 or 4 bottles may be needed during the 18 holes. Check with the tournament director to see if they’re allowing parents to give their kids water during the round. Here in our Texas heat it’s a common practice but does vary among the sponsoring entities. You want your child hydrated, but you don’t want a DQ either.

4. Optional items-this includes sunscreen, insect repellent, umbrella and extra towels. The first 2, in small packaging add little weight or bulk. The umbrella is a pain if it’s not really needed, but extra towels are always a good thing.

Parents, it’s your persistence and responsibility that gets this done. It’s unrealistic to expect your young one to keep up with all this until they reach a certain age of understanding. Be sure to include your son/daughter in the process. Their input is valuable. Pay attention and offer constructive words. You have every reason to arrive at the golf course and know your inventory matches the needs of the day.

See you on #1 tee with everything you need… Sam

Junior Golf: Go Shopping: Many State Sales Tax Holidays Start Today

This Friday Flop Shot will be quick so you can get out the door. Seventeen states have some form of sales tax holiday and many start now.

We’re always looking for ways to save money and this weekend is special. Texas started its sales tax holiday many years ago and our family has always marked the date. Because of the aspect of statewide competition many stores will have special pricing during the sales tax holidays.

So you can save money 2 ways: no or reduced state sales tax and lower prices from the retailer. Each state has different rules so be sure to be aware of the details before you head out the door.

Sorry Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, your tax relief has passed. It was in July. Here are the remaining states:

Arkansas: August 4-5

Connecticut: August 19-25

Florida: August 3-5

Iowa: August 3-4

Louisiana: August 3-4

Louisiana: September 7-9, mostly hunting items

Maryland: August 12-18

Mississippi: August 31-September 2, mostly hunting items

Missouri: August 3-5

New Mexico: August 3-5

Ohio: August 3-5

Oklahoma: August 3-5

South Carolina: August 3-5

Texas: August 10-12

Virginia: August 3-5

Wisconsin: August 1-5

I don’t believe it’s necessary to be a state’s resident to enjoy the savings. If you’re close to one of the states, look up the benefits and take a day trip and go shopping.

Generally clothing items less than $100 each are included. This is a great opportunity to get some new golf clothes for the fall. Some states, with qualifiers, include computers, shoes and even appliances. Be aware of the details.

And Amazon is supposedly honoring these dates. Shop from home!

See you on #1 tee looking sharp… Sam

Junior Golf: 5 Options for the Sunscreen Dilemma

This Friday Flop Shot will be short as I search for the perfect solution for sun protection.

Even for us, it’s hot. Temperatures are well above 100 degrees with no letup in sight. Yes, we’re used to the heat but I’m always looking for a better solution to the extended sun exposure that our junior golfers must deal with.

Here are 5 tips, some previously mentioned and a couple of new ones:

1. Shea Butter has it’s own SPF of 6, not bad. You want organic and unrefined. Try it prior to slapping some on for tournament day. Minimal protection, but clean.

2. Organic Sunscreen. Nearly all have zinc or magnesium dioxide. Try it first. Some folks are allergic to zinc so I’d really like to find an organic sunscreen without these 2 metals. Beauty by Earth SPF 25 mineral sunscreen looks pretty clean. Buy on Amazon.

3. Cooling/wicking long sleeve summer shirts. Anything is better than nothing. Even cotton has a single-digit SPF. Please practice with this shirt to make certain your kiddo’s swing is not impeded.

4. Make your own sunscreen. Search the web. There are plenty of recipes.

5. Regular sunscreen. This is a last resort. Using it infrequently and in small amounts, will minimize the negative effects. I’ve seen some kids so slathered up it was horrific. Please don’t be one of those parents.

Be wise when it comes to sun exposure. Do some research and don’t default to the everyday chemical-laden stuff. You can do better.

See you on #1 tee ready for a sunny day… Sam

Junior Golf: 5 Essentials for Hot Weather

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at some things that are critical for success when it’s hot. These are always important but hot weather is different and that makes them even more essential.

What is your definition of hot? Maybe it’s 85 degrees for some of you but really most of our bodies notice the heat as the outside temperature approaches our body temp of 98.6. And certainly more humidity makes the heat more oppressive.

Hot weather can take a toll on any athlete and our kids are more susceptible to its affects than we are.

To give your junior golfer the best chance of success, make sure he/she has these items:

1. Refillable water bottle. Drinking 3 or 4 bottles during 18 holes is probably about right. Sipping is better than gulping. Before teeing off and at the turn, ask the tournament staff to please make sure all on-course water supplies are constantly refilled. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had an afternoon round and there was no water on the course. It’s absolutely inexcusable and don’t put up with it. Down here most tournaments tolerate or even announce that it’s OK for parents to give their kids water or Gatorade, yes, during a tournament round. Kids’ safety first! Please double check with the Tournament Director to avoid a possible DQ.

2. 2 towels, a larger towel for the bag and a smaller one for face and hands.

3. Extra gloves, maybe 2 or 3. Your child is going to sweat. A wet glove is useless.

4. A hat, cap, visor or head band to keep salty sweat from running down into their eyes.

5. Sunscreen. Please don’t bathe in it. We use very little and it’s mostly on nose, ears, cheeks, etc.

Of course, there are many more items on your pre-tournament checklist like snacks, balls, tees, counting clubs and so on, but the 5 items above are particularly critical when high temperatures prevail.

See you on #1 tee ready for the heat…Sam

Junior Golf: Make Three Changes For More Fun

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at three simple changes you can make to freshen up your junior golfer’s routine.

It’s the middle of summer and the same ol same ol may be more tedious than exciting. The good news about summer is that there is all this extra time available for your daughter/son to play in tournaments and work on their golf skills.

The bad news is that doing the same routines for days and weeks on end can become drudgery for even the most dedicated students of the game, so let’s make things fun again. Let’s change things up.

Here are 3 simple ways to put a new twist on the summer golf experience:

1. Book a tee time at a course your youngster has never played. The thought of playing a new course always fires everybody up.

2. Learn a new putting drill. PGA Tour winner and The Golf Channel Academy at San Pedro Director of Instruction, David Ogrin offered this one: practice distance control by putting to the edge of the practice green from 20 to 30 feet away. Because you’re not trying to make the putt, you’re able for focus on how the greens are rolling and get a feel for distance. A great first/lag putt makes for an easier second putt. We want to avoid 3-putts at all costs. Feel free to vary the distance to the edge of the green.

Check out Coach Ogrin’s video.

3. Check how far his/her clubs are going. All this good summer work has many positive results including increased strength and better form which can certainly result in increased distance. It is imperative for your child to know how far they hit each club. To see that the 7-iron is flying 5 yards farther is exhilarating for any golfer!

See you on #1 tee excited about your golf game… Sam

Junior Golf: When A Foot Reminds You of Phil’s Wedge

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at how a foot, or certain feet, may remind you of Phil Mickelson and his wedge.

In the golf world’s list of short-game masters, Phil is certainly at or near the top of the list. He loves the artistry involved in hitting those special shots that seem so easy for him.

Easy because he spends hours practicing different kinds of shots he might face on a particular golf course. The sand, the rough, the cuts around the green, the green itself, all are unique to each course. So, the shots may differ slightly from week to week.

It requires the ability to visualize the shot/shots that have the best chance for success in a specific situation. Is a putt, a chip, a pitch or a flop shot called for? An experienced golfer understands that perhaps all of these shots may be used during a round of golf. Hours of practice and hard work are the keys to being able to attempt a desirable shot.

So where does a foot/feet come in? I’m not talking distance, like feet or yards. I’m talking feet, like at the bottom of your leg, what you walk on, what you put your shoes on, a piece of your anatomy.

Yes, I’m talking soccer. What do soccer/futbol and golf have in common? Some sports fans find both difficult or boring to watch: soccer because of low scores and golf because it’s slow. Ignore that.

Let’s go to why both are exciting to watch. You and your junior golfer know about golf so I’ll offer a compelling reason to spend some time watching soccer, as in World Cup soccer.

Think of all the magical things Phil can do with his wedge, ok? Now think of the soccer teams currently playing on their biggest stage, the World Cup. Every soccer player on every team has 2 wedges, his 2 feet that can do things as magical as Phil does with his wedge.

These guys have a zillion ways to pass or shoot the ball. They use their toe, the inside of the foot, the outside of the foot, the top of the foot, the heel and the cleats. Through many hours of practice over a lot of years, these men have worked to elevate their foot skills to a world-class level. Below are 2 minutes of Brazil highlights. Neymar will blow your mind at the 1:40 mark as he passes to himself by grabbing the ball with his feet and by using more pressure with his right foot he brings the ball from behind, throwing it over his left shoulder so it lands in front of him and he can resume his attack. This is creativity and execution to the max!

All World Cup players have ridiculous abilities, but some are superstars. Messi of Argentina, Ronaldo of Portugal, Neymar of Brazil and Suarez and Cavani of Uruguay are names to pay particular attention to. If you can’t watch a whole game, skip to the goal-scoring. Some are things of beauty, some are bizarre and some are accidents. All are worth watching! The different ways these men use their feet to contact the ball are crazy and they’re doing it while running at full speed!

The point is Mom and Dad, great skills don’t come about without hours of proper effort. Phil and these World Cup players have all worked hard to get their skills to the highest level. And they keep working on improving their game!

Fox and FS1 broadcast all the World Cup games. Set the TiVo. The WC continues for a couple more weeks. Use this as an inspiration, an encouragement to practice and learn to be more creative about it!

See you on #1 tee ready to create… Sam

Junior Golf: Starburst-More Than Candy

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at a great junior golf tournament that you may have never heard of.

The point is Dad and Mom, that today there are so many junior golf tournaments that you can’t possibly know about all of them. But there are some that you really need to be familiar with and among those is Starburst.

The Starburst Junior Golf Tournament is held in mid-June annually in Waco, Texas, 200 miles north of San Antonio and 100 miles south of Dallas on I-35. There are divisions ranging from age 7 up to Championship for boys and girls. There were around 400 entries in 2018 and in some years the number of players approaches 1,000.

College coaches like Starburst because it’s a major junior golf event. The sheer number of quality entries, that fact that there are kiddo’s from many countries and the fact that every division plays 3 different courses over 3 days make it a great test of golf!

This is something you want to check out. Make a note for mid-February 2019 to go to starburstgolf.com or the Starburst Golf FB page for next year’s details. You should go at least once, it’s fun!

Now a shout out to 2 of our favorite guys: Director of Instruction for the Alamo City Golf Trail and the Golf Channel Academy at San Pedro, PGA Tour winner, David Ogrin, who had some of his proteges play in Starburst and to our good friend and Director of Instruction at Laredo Country Club and at RG Golf Academy, coach Rudy Gonzalez.

Photocredit: kwtx.com

Rudy’s feeling pretty chipper these days since one of his students, Marcelo Garza of Nuevo Laredo, won the Boy’s Championship Division. Congratulations to Marcelo and coach Rudy on a job well done!

Parents, South Texas has a ton of great golf courses and we have some of the best instructors in the nation. Do something different. Plan a trip around getting some new input for your junior golfer, playing some wonderful golf courses and enjoying all the friendly sights that exemplify our area! Come see us!

See you on #1 tee Starburst ready… Sam

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