Archive for the ‘Friday Flop Shot’ Category

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

Junior Golf: The First Step To Success

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at one of the most important things that you must stress to your young golfer in order to help them achieve junior golf success.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

This idea was always first in our house. Yes, even ahead of playing golf. Without this factor your child is limited in all areas of positive achievement. What on earth are we talking about here?

Let’s call it high standards. What does this look like? Well, many things come into play. A desire to compete, a desire to excel and wanting to get good grades on schoolwork are good examples. With discipline, structure and solid parental guidance these things are all possible.

Parents of kiddos 7 years old and younger may be wondering exactly why this is important. Why can’t your child just go to school and be a kid? Well, he/she certainly can, but things will be much better if you decide to pursue the suggestions we’re offering today.

Everything we’re talking about here translates directly into the world of golf, both practice and play. Without a good mental approach your youngster is at a distinct disadvantage.

Here’s where it gets very serious. No pass/no play is a reality in high school and college golf. Your son/daughter must be scholastically eligible to play in competition, period. There are no exceptions. There are minimum number of classes/hours and a minimum GPA that must be maintained. Start preparing your child for this situation now.

Once a golfer is scholastically ineligible there is a waiting period before they can regain their eligibility. This time varies depending on the structure of grading and grading periods at individual high schools and universities. It might be as short as a week or 2 or it could be 4 or 5 weeks. In every instance, no one is happy about it.

The coach is not pleased. The teammates while supportive, usually, of their ineligible team member, feel let down. Your child should be unhappy with him/herself. The lack of discipline, desire for excellence, respect for the game and respect for their teammates should hopefully be an encouragement to square those shoulders and start producing better grades.

It’s bad enough in high school where the consequences are basically embarrassment, letting down the coach and teammates and missing some tournaments, but it’s really bad in college where your son/daughter is being paid to play golf.

Too much scholastic irresponsibility and your golfer might be kicked off the college team. It happens! So now you and your student have this nightmare and your college out-of-pocket dollars have dramatically increased. Time for a big time pow-wow!

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S3 was eligible for every event in high school and college. He missed a couple of events due to injury and one due to a poor qualifying round. But his grades were always good! There was actually more scholastic failure among his high school team members, than with his college ones. I feel this is generally due to an increased maturity level among college golfers.

Mom and Dad these are life lessons which are timeless and are helpful in every part of your kiddo’s future. Please consider finding some ways to incorporate some of these suggestions into your son’s/daughter’s everyday routine.

See you on #1 tee looking disciplined… Sam

Junior Golf: The First Step To College Golf

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at how to make that 1st move, that first step down the path to college golf. Every plan must have a beginning, so here we go.

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photocredit:Dubai Golf

Your son/daughter has a family team with them as they pursue their junior golf career. Sisters and brothers are also part of the team even though their responsibilities may be more subtle than Dad and Mom’s. The whole family is the team.

What is a team’s number one function: to provide support for the player! The support starts right here. The road to college golf begins right here. The team must all be on the same page!

How do you begin?
First Mom and Dad must agree that you would like/expect your junior golfer to attend college.
Then you should look at the time and money involved in supporting your junior golfer’s career in a strong enough manner to promote him/her as golf scholarship material. Expect college to cost more than you ever imagined. S3’s golf scholarship money was extremely helpful in paying for his college expenses!


Parents you must then be in agreement that college golf will be the long-term goal of your kiddo’s junior golf career.

Next it’s time to bring your junior golfer on board that he is expected to go to college and the most fun way to attend would be as a scholarship golfer and that the family will support him in every way to help him get there. He must also do his part however, because this is a 2-way street.


Now bring the siblings on board
. Please make sure they know that you will support them in their endeavors every bit as much as you will support your young golfer. Their main role is to do their own thing without disrupting other family events and functions. They don’t need to be cheerleaders, they just need to go with the flow.

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This will get you started. There will be a ton of questions. Single parents please seek wise counsel. Talk to parents who have had scholarship athletes and get their input. Parents of other junior golfers may have some decent advice. Talk to people whose advice you respect and trust. Get as much information as you can. College scholarships are a big deal and are well worth the time you spend pursuing them.

Not every kiddo needs to attend college, but those who are talented high school athletes are different. They have a chance to go to college and have some of those costs paid for by the university they will attend. This is unique and special. Please accept this as so. Having a scholarship can, for some kids, be the difference in going, or not going, to college.

And Parents, getting a college degree is a life goal and going to school on a golf scholarship is an even higher life goal! So please get your whole crew on board and let’s get started on the path to college golf.

See you on #1 tee playing for a scholarship… Sam

Junior Golf: 4 Unique Benefits To Team Golf

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at some unique benefits of playing golf with a partner, one partner as in last week’s PGA Tour event.

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photocredit:Dubai Golf

The 2-man team tournament at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans was fun to watch and seemed to be fun to play. Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won in a Monday morning playoff in a format consisting of days 1 and 3-alternate shot and days 2 and 4-better ball.

Being part of a golf team, as in a club team, high school team or college team is different from playing team golf. I’m not certain if S3 ever played with anyone his age as part of a golf team as we saw last week. He and I, however, played numerous times in parent/junior events.

Usually they were 18 holes and were either better ball, 2-man scramble, modified 2-man scramble or alternate shot. Let’s do some terminology. Better ball: you and your kiddo play your own ball through the green-until each of you putts out on each hole and the lower score of the 2 of you is recorded for each hole. 2-man scramble: you each hit and then you both play from the better shot. Modified 2-man scramble: same as scramble except for driving. There will be some provision that a minimum of perhaps 2 drives from each player must be used. This is to prevent, usually a dominating driver of the golf ball from completely carrying his/her team off of the tee box. Alternate shot: simple. You hit first on the odd-numbered holes and your junior golfer hits first on the even-numbered holes or vice/versa and the 2 of you then alternate shots until the ball is in the hole.

Here are 4 positive benefits of playing in a team golf tournament:
It’s we not me. Your son/daughter is part of a team. There is now a 2nd person who can materially contribute toward winning the event.
It expands creativity. Now your youngster can learn what another competitor visualizes/sees/thinks when they analyze the next shot. Golf is a sport with an enormous amount of creativity required to shoot a competitive score. Understanding how another golfer may look at a shot expands your kiddo’s data base.
It can help your junior golfer’s patience. Knowing that he/she won’t hit the next shot or won’t hit 1st from the tee box can help slow down an antsy player. The partner will get credit for some of the better shots. Patience on the golf course is a major virtue and this is an excellent way to increase it.
It can help with confidence. In a single’s event, without a caddy, your young golfer has to be his/her own encourager when they hit a stinky shot. In a team pairing, the partner becomes the encourager and over 18 holes your kiddo can begin to have a new understanding of their skill level and end up being a more confident and mature junior golfer.

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Dad and Mom, be on the lookout for team tournaments. It may be that parent/junior events are all that are available. Linda and I encourage you to enter every one you can because they are special for a number of reasons including those mentioned above. FYI playing alternate shot with your child is the toughest thing ever. I just so did not want to let my son down by hitting a bad shot. Be forewarned! You may end up needing encouragement from your junior golfer!

See you on #1 tee ready to shoot a low team score… Sam

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