Archive for the ‘PGA’ Category

Junior Golf: What Is This?

In this Monday Mulligan please take a look at the photo below and see if you can figure out what it is. This is a beautiful visual example of a very valuable educational opportunity for your son/daughter.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

Perhaps you recall the great line by the Guardian of The Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, “He chose poorly.” More contemporary golf lines might be, “He went for the hero shot and didn’t make it,” or “He should have taken his bogey medicine.” Whatever line you prefer, the poor result is the same.

This is, of course, a screenshot of the path of Jason Day’s golf ball on the 18th hole during the 3rd round of the recent PGA Championship. Jason’s unfathomable choice for his 2nd shot destroyed any chance to get off the hole with a bogey, 5 and then put him in a situation where he ended up with a quadruple bogey-8, which included a crushing 3-putt.

On the 18th tee box, a par or bogey would have kept him in a decent position to make a run for the win on Sunday. Golf truths you may hear: “Sometimes you have to take your bogey medicine.” “There are times when a bogey is a good score.” “Not even the pros execute every hero shot.” Jason chose to hit right when the hole and accessible fairway were to the left. It appeared that hitting a shot back in play to the fairway on his left was not a tough shot and that choice might have given him a decent bogey chance.

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Golf is not about hitting a great shot every time. It is about believing that you can hit a great shot every time. The nitty-gritty is all about how your youngster responds to a poor shot. It’s tough. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening. It’s golf. There is always a better choice, but one must choose to take it!

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

Junior Golf: Go To The VTO Or At Least Record It

In this Friday Flop Shot we will do a little promoting of our hometown PGA Tour event, The Valero Texas Open. 

photocredit: Dubai Golf


Perfect weather here through the weekend with 80’s today and low to mid 70’s on Saturday and Sunday. Minimal chance of rain. Come on out to TPC San Antonio and enjoy the great golf, amazing facilities and the world-class environment that is a PGA Tour tournament.

The logistics are simple and really it is not necessary to spend a ton of money to attend. The shuttle buses run from several locations and they, in our opinion are the way to go. On-site parking is crazy expensive and seems to not offer much, if any advantage over using the shuttle buses. A very convenient departure location for the shuttles is Retama Race Track on I-35 in Selma. Just park your car, pay a few bucks and get on a bus. Simple and inexpensive.

Day passes are $20 in advance, $30 at the gate. Military and first responders receive special benefits and children 12 years old and under are free. The day passes are all you need to have a great time. There is plenty of open/free/public seating all over the course. And the AT&T Oaks Course is very walkable. More gently rolling than hilly. 

Food and drinks are plentiful and there is tremendous variety, so don’t be concerned about being hungry or thirsty. When you arrive, you will be scanned and then be admitted through the vendor area. It’s easy to spend a lot of time in this part of the grounds because there is so much interesting stuff. Free items, drawings, just fun times. You exit this area through an air-conditioned PGA/TPC/VTO tent with event logo shirts, caps, etc. Plenty of great souvenirs!

Here’s one of my best tips ever! Once you leave the souvenir tent you are basically at #17 green. This is a driveable par 4 as long as there is not much of a south wind. But Sunday will have a strong north wind and most of the guys will be trying to drive this green. Frankly it’s tough to get a tee shot on this green and to get it to stay on this green. What does that mean for fans sitting at the 17th green? Simply, you will get to see 1 of the great short game exhibitions of your life! 

The risk part of risk/reward will have guys hitting from fairway bunkers, greenside bunkers, short rough, deep rough and bare dirt. They will also be hitting flop shots to a pin they can barely see and from over the back of the green. All of these shots except for the ones from fairway bunkers will be about 30 yards or less! When we watched this exact scenario a couple of years ago, we must have seen 50-60 players doing this and guess what, they’re all really good! There were maybe 3 shots that were not in the very good to excellent to amazing categories! 

How can I say this? On Sunday, sitting at 17 green with a north wind is the absolute best seat on the whole golf course. Go early, stay late. Take a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Have fun!

See you on #1 tee with some great VTO stories… Sam

Junior Golf: Who’s New At Parenting Junior Golfers?

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will introduce the latest addition to our Parenting Junior Golfers team.

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photo credit:offcoursegolf.com

The First Tee of Greater San Antonio is a wonderful organization filled with talented staff and volunteers. We have gotten to know many of these nice folks over the last couple of years. Our parenting seminars are packed and there are always some FTGSA staff who make every effort to spend a few minutes with us to pick up a couple of tips on parenting or perhaps some new stretches from our Titleist Performance Institute Certified AIRROSTI doc, Nick Askey, DC, ACP.

Among our many new friends at the First Tee is PGA Professional Taylor Carruth. Linda and I and Taylor just kind of hit it off with instant rapport. As our conversations progressed we discussed ways we could work together and now Taylor is one of our Parenting Junior Golfers Partners.

Select the meet our partners tab at parentingjuniorgolfers.com and you will find Taylor’s complete resume. As is evident, Taylor is a busy guy and we are excited that he has come on board with us! He is also a popular guy. The kids and parents love the enthusiastic, patient teaching style of Taylor, the Coach. Oh, and they like Taylor the person too!

Please take a moment to peruse his resume. If you have a daughter who plays or is considering playing golf, pay particular attention to the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf. If you are not near San Antonio, check to see if there is a similar program in your area.

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Mom and Dad, please remember that many girl’s college golf scholarships are unused every year because there aren’t enough female junior golfers to fill them. Just sayin’. And parents of boys, fear not because with the proper help and advice your son can have a decent shot at a college scholarship. College costs are insane. Every dollar helps. Parents, please be optimistic about your junior golfer’s ability to get a college scholarship. Yes, it’s a process, but it’s doable. Get excited!

After you finish reading about Taylor and our other partners, check out our resource tab to read about the special offer from Junior Golf Magazine, available only to our Parenting Junior Golfer friends.

See you on #1 tee ready to use what Taylor taught you… Sam

Junior Golf At Torrey Pines

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will relive our adventure at 1 of the legendary golf courses in the US and in the World, Torrey Pines, just north of San Diego, California. This is fun, get excited!image

In late June of 2007, we packed up the car and Linda, S3 and I started heading west on I-10 ultimately to spend a few days in San Diego. Our 1st overnight stay was at a Holiday Inn in Deming, New Mexico. This is a fun side note, so please bear with me. At check-in I asked how business had been, were they pretty busy? The unexpected response was, “We’re a bit slow today and glad of it. The whole cast and crew of the new Indiana Jones movie has been here filming for the last 6 months and they just left yesterday.” Yep, Harrison Ford and everyone else. So it was fun learning where the filming locations were and we heard a bunch of interesting stories. (Offcoursegolf.com)

Next morning we blasted west again reaching our destination in the late afternoon. S3 and I had some golf planned and we had tried to make a tee time at Torrey Pines on the Internet, but it was a pain and the agent wanted another $25 each to make the reservation. No thanks.

On the morning of July 4th, 2007, we got up with nothing to do until 6:00pm so I said why don’t we drive to Torrey Pines buy some logo shirts and practice on the putting green, expecting there to be no way to get a tee time. So we are talking to the guy at checkout and it happens he is from our part of San Antonio. As we visit, he says,”When’s your tee time?” I told him about our unproductive internet experience to which he replied, “How many are playing?” I said, “2”. He said, “Sam this is a muni (municipal golf course owned by San Diego County). We work in 1’s and 2’s all day long. Go see the starter and tell him you have 2 for the South Course.”

imageS3 and I got in line, we were maybe 3rd. All the guys ahead of us professed to be locals, meaning they got a MUCH lower rate and the starter made them show about 3 photo ID’s and everything except for a blood test. They paid like $45 walking. It’s our turn and I say, “2 for the South Course.” Starter says, “2 for the South Course, #1 tee in 10 minutes. That’s $185 each, no junior discount and $50 for the cart.” We expected it to be expensive so the money didn’t matter. I asked if we could ride 3 in the cart so Linda could join us and the starter said yes. (fitnessfatale.com)

We teed off and frankly I played quite poorly and S3 played pretty well. We were grouped with 2 brothers from the local area who were nice guys. And Linda had the time of her life videoing the course and all the absolutely stunning views. Some of the holes are on top of the cliffs that run right along the edge of the Pacific and others have views of the surrounding countryside. Torrey Pines is a beautiful amazing golf course. There is a reason why a number of US Opens in addition to the annual Farmers Insurance Open are played there on the South Course, the tougher and more famous of the 2 courses.

If you are ever near San Diego, make it a priority to play the South Course at Torrey Pines. Just walk up to the starter, don’t mess with a reservation if there are 2 or less of you. Don’t worry about how you play. You will get an education in Kikuyu grass (tee boxes and fairways) and Poiana grass (on the greens). You’ll understand after a couple of holes.

See you on #1 tee on an amazing golf course… Sam

Junior Golf: Mark This Gift

In today’s Monday Mulligan we are taking a look at more fun gifts. This item is 1 that all golfers, including the pros use at least 20 times or more during an 18-hole round. And there are a bunch of styles from plain to fancy to bling and all varieties in between. (Photo jennleforge.com)image

Your daughter will use her putter at least 20 times during each 18-hole round. Less than 20 putts is rare, even for the pros, and I think 26-27 putts is about average for the PGA Tour players. So what am I talking about here? It’s a ball marker. That thing you notice most when a player in your daughter’s group doesn’t have 1.

How many times have all of us seen a golfer ask somebody for a coin or mark their ball with a tee, which is awkward and ugly at best. College golfers have asked me more than once if I had a coin or ball marker, before they teed off, of course. On the tournament day checklist please put ball marker prominently on it and even twice if necessary. I mean come on.image

Your daughter’s ball should only be sitting on the green when it is her turn to putt. While I’m not a rules expert, I don’t think there is a requirement to mark the ball on the green, unless perhaps it impedes another player’s ability to execute their next shot, but it is certainly 1 of the most common forms of etiquette. And if your daughter asks a another player to mark her ball I believe she is pretty much required to do so. Check the rules if you wish. The point is your daughter should not have to look at somebody else’s ball on the green when it is your daughter’s turn to putt, and vice versa. The 1st thing your daughter should do when she gets to the green is mark her ball, then repair her own ball mark plus 1 more.

Frankly I can’t stand to see a player leave their ball unmarked when it is someone else’s turn to putt. But enough of this, let’s go to the fun. There are a plethora of ball markers out there. Today’s photos will enlighten you a bit. Please put several quarters in a baggie and put it in her golf bag and leave it. And remind your daughter that it is there.image

The most popular ball markers we have seen over the years are coins, the magnetic round markers that usually sit on a magnet clipped to the bill of your daughter’s cap and some really big commemorative medals or even poker chips. A tip: use something with 2 different sides and make 1 side the always use side. Turn it over to the other side only when she needs to move her mark. This serves as a reminder to move her mark back to its original position.

Please note that the sample we are showing here are only a tiny bit of the offerings for ball markers. School logos, names, golf course logos, butterflies, bling, animals, the variety is as big as human imagination. These essential items are very inexpensive so why not get a couple of different ones, because they are relatively easy to lose.

See you on #1 tee with a really cool ball marker… Sam

Junior Golf: Get Out Of The Rut

In this Friday Flop Shot we are going to explore the possibility of playing some different golf courses, places that you and your son have never played. There are 100’s of great golf courses all over the US and in nearby vacation destinations.image

This time of year we expect to be inundated by ads for every type of gift and present imaginable. You know what, I’m getting more than a few offers from amazing golf courses and resorts. Really Dad and Mom, other than upcoming tournaments, nothing is more exciting for your son than to dream about playing a new golf course or perhaps even playing a legendary golf course. So in addition to the emails from retailers, including golf retailers, I am getting special offers from our local Alamo City Golf Trail and the First Tee of Greater San Antonio as well as offers from the TPC Network and the PGA TOUR Experiences. And there are also the constant offers from the hotel groups offering their golf vacation packages.

So the thing to do is find your local and state golf groups and get on their email lists. Then do the same with the hotel groups that are resort oriented like SPG/Starwood, Hilton and Marriott. And TPC Network and PGA TOUR Experiences mentioned above. Friends of ours have gone to Alabama to play the 9 courses on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

imageSit down with your son and start looking at courses that work for your schedule and budget. Some might be a bit of a tough day trip, maybe a 3-hour drive, 1-way, but will create memories for both your lifetimes. And others offer exotic locales and all the other big resort benefits. The point here is that there are affordable courses not that far from you that will allow your son and you to play different turf. There’s really nothing quite like playing a course for the 1st time.

Get out of the rut. We all have our regular courses. Remember that while no 2 golf shots are ever the same, playing a new golf course can stimulate your son’s creativity. So whether you’re driving a couple of hours or flying for a week’s stay at an exotic golf resort, the 1st step is to get on email lists so you know about good deals when they are available.

Where is the nearest course that has a PGA, Champion’s Tour or LPGA event? Which TPC Network resort is near you? What is the current offering of the PGA TOUR Experience? You won’t know if you don’t get on some email lists. You can ask your local PGA professional, but he will likely have local and limited input.

See you on #1 tee, on a new course… Sam

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