Archive for the ‘Monday Mulligan’ Category

Junior Golf: U.S. Open Takeaways

In this Monday Mulligan let’s see what we can learn from this most recent U.S. Open.

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Here are some takeaways:
Even a tough course can give up a lot of birdies when it is softened by rain and there is little to no wind. This was the case Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
As the course dries out and the wind picks up, everything changes. Now the course can begin to play like the designers and selection committee intended. This was the case yesterday. Erin Hills was tougher than it had been.
There will always be a winner. Sometimes there’s a playoff, but usually 1 player rises to the occasion and handles the tough conditions and serious pressure better than everyone else. Brooks Koepka did this yesterday.
Winners handle pressure better. They perform better under it. When Brooks was asked about the pressure of being in contention for a U.S. Open title, he said he couldn’t imagine being under more pressure than he was at the previous Ryder Cup. They’ll all tell you that the pressure of playing for one’s country and teammates is much greater than playing for yourself! So Brooks had already experienced, in his mind, which is what counts, more pressure than he would feel currently.
Patience on the golf course counts, particularly in tough conditions. One of the announcers mentioned that Rickie Fowler started swinging all out with his irons during yesterday’s round and this was the point where he lost his game just enough to get out of contention. Anyone remember the “swing easy when it’s breezy”?
When it’s going good, don’t change it. Brooks was in the zone, hitting fairways and greens and making putts. This is a winning combination. When all the others near the top of the leaderboard stumbled for a hole or 2, Brooks stayed confident with his game and kept on making good shots.

What does this mean for your son/daughter and their junior golf career? To begin with, the more they play tough courses in tough conditions, the more confident they will become. They will begin to understand that everybody is playing the same course in the same conditions and whoever stays calm and patient will have a chance to win.

They will realize that a winner will always be crowned, no matter the score, as long as it’s the lowest and no matter how good, bad or ugly the golf course is. Hey, a win is a win!

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Photocredit:pgatour.com

He/she will start to realize that there is always pressure. It can come from any and all directions and how your youngster handles that pressure will have a huge impact on their score. Depending on your kiddo’s personality, his/her ability to deal with pressure will manifest itself differently.

There are times that your child will play better than others. Encourage them to relax, stay confident and keep on doing what they’re doing. Enjoy it!

Hope you enjoyed watching Brooks win his 1st major. It was great viewing!

See you on #1 tee with confidence… Sam

Junior Golf: Today Is A Very Special Day

In this Monday Mulligan we will just take a minute to look at why this day, today, is a very special and hallowed day in the U.S.

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It’s Memorial Day, a day where we remember those who have given their lives so that we might have and enjoy all the wonderful things in America.

When you see someone in uniform, thank him/her for their service. Take a moment to give appreciate, respect and give thanks for the blessings you and your family have.

If you play golf or go to the driving range, take a look around and try to grasp the sacrifices of all those who have made possible for so many of us, including our junior golfers, to pursue our dreams.

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Photocredit:History.com

Enjoy your day. Please help your kids understand what this day, a very difficult and sad day for the families of those who have given their all, is genuinely about.

See you on #1 tee showing an attitude of respect and gratitude… Sam

Junior Golf: Here’s A Look At What Is Possible

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look into the future, a peek at what is a distinct possibility for your junior golfer’s future.

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Photocredit:Jennleforge.com

It’s that very busy time of year. The end of school and all the functions that go along with it. It’s also a time for golf playoffs. High schools are wrapping up, but colleges are still playing.

Today starting at 3:00pm, Central Time, The Golf Channel is airing the Women’s NCAA Division-I National Championship. These are the best female college golfers in the world. There are a considerable number of hours devoted to this event culminating with the National Championship Match Play Finals on Wednesday afternoon.

Please record this. Although the format may sound a bit confusing, it’s really not. There are 54 holes of team stroke play. An individual champion is crowned after the completion of the stroke play, then the low 8 teams advance to the match play championship round concluding with the finals on Wednesday afternoon.

This year’s weather has created very tough scoring conditions. Watch some of the video and you’ll see what it means to “gut it out.” These girls are tough. Golf is always fun when it’s 75-degrees and sunny. Sometimes we forget about those cold, rainy, windy days when we still have to perform. You’re cold. You’re soaking wet and somehow you have to still play better than everybody else in the field. Yikes!

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Photocredit:Golf Channel

This year’s champion will be composed of a bunch of very determined girls. They had to tough it out in some of the worst weather they’ve likely ever played in, but again, that’s what champions are made of, right?

Please set your DVR. This is good stuff, no, it’s great stuff and you and your daughter and son, as well, should watch. It will be inspirational. If you don’t have The Golf Channel on your TV package, now is the time to add it.

See you on #1 tee looking forward to playing college golf… Sam

Junior Golf: The Sheer Joy Of Winning

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at what winning should truly feel like. Let’s have some fun!

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photocredit:jennleforge.com

It’s tough to win a golf tournament at any level. There are always a number of players in every field that are surely capable of winning. There were playoffs in both the LPGA event in Texas and at the PGA team event in New Orleans.

Haru Nomura was certainly excited to finally defeat Christie Kerr after a lengthy playoff. But the uninhibited joy of winning his first PGA tournament was on display with young Australian Cameron Smith, who along with teammate Jonas Blixt won the Zurich Classic defeating Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown on the 5th hole of a sudden death playoff this morning.

After Cameron made a short birdie putt for the victory, the announcers came up for a quick post-game interview. Cameron was so choked up he just was unable to communicate. His life had been totally changed by the win and all the emotions of a 23 year-old poured out, leaving him with a million thoughts spinning in his mind and uncontrollable tears of joy! He was unable to speak.

Thankfully the interviewers understood that they should let Jonas Blixt do the talking for the team. And he did a great job. Jonas explained that the 2 of them both lived in Jacksonville, practiced together at TPC Sawgrass and had become good friends and he, Jonas had genuinely enjoyed watching his friend play excellent golf and was thrilled for both Cameron and himself, of course, for their team victory.

Please understand that there are many victories to be had, some large and some small. Hitting a good shot after hitting a poor shot is a victory. Getting out of a sand trap is a victory and hitting the ball fairly close to where your son/daughter wanted it to land is a victory. While these small victories may not always lead to uncontrollable tears of joy, they certainly are opportunities for encouragement, a smile, a thumbs up, I love you! Recognize these moments and participate, within the rules, in them. There will be more moments in the future, but they will not be the same as this moment right now!img_0196

In society today we are encouraged to control our emotions, be stoic, stand tall. And there are times for that. In the midst of golf competition, the best players make every effort to stay in their emotional zone, not too high and not too low. Then at the end of the event, players can let their emotions loose and manifest them freely and openly. That’s what Cameron Smith did and it was a beautiful thing to see.

Show your son/daughter.

Tell them that it’s OK to have some uninhibited joy! These are rare and special times!

See you on #1 tee ready to have some fun… Sam

Junior Golf: This Win Can Motivate Your Junior Golfer

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a look at the winner of The 2017 Valero Texas Open. His path to a victory has been long and filled with a number of curves. Let’s see how this particular win can become an excellent motivator for your child.

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Golf is very competitive at all levels. Whether your son/daughter is 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years old, there are plenty of golfers who can play as well or better than he can. One of the things S3 learned at a young age was that there were maybe a dozen guys in our area that he would be competing with for his whole junior golf, and to a degree, in his college golf career. And you know what, that’s a good thing.

1st off he became great friends with several of these guys and 2nd off he learned that on any given day anyone in this group, including himself, could beat any and all the rest of the group. It was great competition for a number of years. Yes, it was wonderful! And learning that he/she as in your son/daughter, can come back and beat somebody, perhaps more than 1, that beat him/her in the previous tournament is a fantastic life lesson!

So let’s take a look at Kevin Chappell. He had a great amateur career. I’m not sure if you would call him a phenom, but he functioned at high levels in some very rarified amateur air! He turned professional in 2008 and had 1 win on the then, Nationwide Tour, now the Web.com Tour. 

photocredit:stevedykes

He earned his PGA Tour card for 2011 and started his career on the big boy pro circuit. Kevin had some success with enough earnings and placements to keep his PGA Tour card and maintain some status in certain events. A win, as in his 1st win on the PGA Tour, was hard to come by. A couple of 2nd’s, a playoff loss, so close, yet so far away! How on earth does a person keep coming back after being in reach of the gold ring and falling short, time after time? Man, it’s tough!

Psychologically, there’s a lot going on. A couple of major points are that Kevin had won golf tournaments before, he just had not won at this very highest level. So he knew he could win, he just hadn’t done it yet. And next, he believed in himself enough to keep getting back up after being knocked down, knowing that at some point a victory would be his.

Persistence overcomes resistance! Please Dad and Mom, learn this phrase and help every one of your family members ingrain it into their minds. This is one of the great truths of life! There is some debate over whether the 2017 VTO was Kevin’s 180th, 181st or 182nd PGATour start and it really doesn’t matter here. The point is that this 30 year-old teed his golf ball up in at least 180 events on the PGA Tour before he logged his 1st win. 

This is a classic example of persistence overcomes resistance. How many times did Kevin Chappell have to get back up after being knocked down? That’s what competition is about. That’s what life’s about! Come on Folks, this is great stuff! The tears in his and his wife’s eyes as they stood on the 18th green were a great testimony to sheer persistence.

A great takeaway for your junior golfer is Kevin’s response to an announcer’s question of, “How was today’s round different from your other final rounds where you didn’t pull out the win?” To paraphrase Kevin, “I was calm all day.” And when asked about the 8’2” birdie putt he made to beat Brooks Koepka by 1-shot, Kevin said, “I definitely had more nerves.” Meaning he had more control over his nerves than in a couple of previously events where he left potentially winning putts well short. This putt, however, went right into the center of the cup and Kevin won! No playoff! Congratulations Kevin on your 1st PGA Tour victory! 

See you on #1 tee looking persistent, believing in yourself and having a calm control of your nerves… Sam

Junior Golf: Control This And Empower Your Golfer

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at 1 of the things that we, parents actually can control or at least have some control over. This can be very beneficial to our youngsters on tournament days.

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photocredit:jennleforge.com

Really, all the prep should be done before the actual day of an event. Depending on your son’s/daughter’s personality he/she may not have gotten much quality sleep the night before the competition starts. Parents, we must be aware that there are a million things going through our young golfer’s mind as soon as he gets out of bed. What he doesn’t need is Mom or Dad adding clutter to the pre-tournament environment.

What does this look like? Control your emotions, your words and your body language. Stick to the regular morning routine. “Good morning, son, how are you? What would you like for breakfast?” Keep it simple and non-golf until you get ready to load up and go to the course. Then, before you get in the car, you just need to go over the pre-tournament checklist, again standard routine.

In the car, let him listen to his headphones or favorite music. This is relaxing to him although it may not seem like it to you. Less talk is better. Idle comments such as, “Oh, this is such a big tournament,” or “Wow, there are so many great players in this field!”, are not helpful. This is pressure and your youngster already has a ton of pressure so please don’t address the event at this point. Parents, control yourselves. Be aware of what is happening in your son’s mind right now! Be the adult! And yes, it can be very difficult!

Linda and I developed a relatively standard final few sentences for S3 as he was going up to tee off. “Remember Son, it’s just fairways and greens. You know what to do. Take a breath and have fun. Enjoy your round! We love you!” That’s pretty much it.

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Once the round starts, your contact with your child is extremely limited. Understand however, that he can hear your voices better than you ever imagined, no matter what else is going on. His hearing is tuned to Dad and Mom’s voice frequencies. Please control what you say, no matter the subject. And your boy sees and perfectly interprets your body language. A parent’s slumped shoulders or head down convey a horrible message, whether it was intended or not. Again, we must be the encouraging parents!

The bottom line is that the more we control our body language by minimizing/eliminating the throwing the hands up, shaking the head, uttering words of frustration and disappointment, the more we can lift up our child. Heads up, thumbs up, shoulders back, big smiles and “Love you Son,” all add up to positive encouragement. That’s where we as parents must strive to get to and it’s tough, but you know what, you can do it, if you will do it!

See you on #1 tee with an encouraging gallery… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Lessons From The Thrilling Final Round Of The Masters

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will take a look at 1 of the most exciting days ever in a professional golf tournament. There were so many incredible happenings that the announcers were peddling as fast as they could just to try to keep up!m

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photocredit:jennleforge.com

Here are some things Linda and I hope you will review with the junior golfer in your family:
Predictions are only worth so much. With a star-studded leaderboard, the announcers were discussing possible outcomes from Sunday’s play. While Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose, in the final group were serious contenders, most of the talk was about Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler in the next to last pairing. The analysts expected great things from these 2 young guns as each was on a roll and playing well. Sergio on the other hand, was playing in his 61st major and had never won. Justin Rose, with a seriously strong pedigree was given due respect as a possible green jacket winner as were several others in the field. Again, most of the talk was about how Jordan and Rickie were primed to make runs at the title. Perhaps you know the results. Sergio beat Justin on the 1st playoff hole. Jordan shot 75. Rickie shot 76. So much for predictions!
Sir Nick hasn’t seen everything. When Russell Henley jarred-holed out his 185-yard approach shot on #5 for an eagle it was a flag-rattling sight. The ball entered the cup on the fly, no bounces. Yes, this has been seen many times previously by all of us. The ball, however, upon entering the hole, actually damaged some turf around the edge of the hole and broke off a piece of the cup, rendering it in need of repair, and of the course, the turf needed to be fixed as well. By rule, a player cannot do these tasks. They must be done by course staff under the auspices of rules officials. So, staff were quickly brought in, the broken tin cup was removed, the turf repaired and a new cup was cut, by rule within the proper distance from the original cup and play was resumed. Sir Nick commented that in all his time around golf and golf tournaments, he had never seen this situation. Very fascinating and interesting stuff!
A very young fan can take home a once-in-a-lifetime memory from The Masters. Matt Kuchar got on a roll on the back 9. On the par 3 16th, he stepped up and hit a 7-iron. The shot looked good in the air, but Matt could only see the flag, not the cup, from the tee box. The thundering roar of the crowd told him his shot had gone in for an ace. What a thrill for all the fans and, of course, Matt. But the biggest thrill, at least for 1 little fan, was yet to come. Kuchar walked up, acknowledged the crowd, pulled his ball from the cup, wiped it off and signed it. As he exited the green he handed the ball to 1 of the youngest golf fans in sight. How old was he? Don’t know but he obviously knew something about golf because he was absolutely elated when Kuchar handed him the autographed ball. What a beautiful gesture by a true gentleman and he gave that boy a treasured memory! That’s what our sport is about! Be sure to check out the link above, it’s worth it!

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photocredit:cnn

There were so many special moments yesterday, there is no way to do them justice here, so let’s wrap up and congratulate Sergio on a great victory!

See you on #1 tee ready to make some memories… Sam

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