Archive for the ‘President’s Cup’ Category

Junior Golf: A Transformational Quote From The Presidents Cup


In this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at a new attitude showing up on the PGA Tour. And we’ll refer to a revealing and transformational quote from The Presidents Cup.


The point I’m going to here is that there’s a different mentality surfacing among this talented group of young American pros. It’s a dramatic change from the attitude of days of old and really the days of fairly recent.

An influential older generation pro and perhaps it was a golf announcer said after watching all the comraderie and genuine friendships in the mostly under-30 American group (paraphrased), “I don’t know if they’re tough enough to win majors and be dominant champions.” I feel he was uncertain or maybe uncomfortable with all the time the young guns were spending together and and felt they were not focused enough on wanting to win.

Linda’s and my attitude at S3’s tournaments was that we wanted everyone to bring his best game and let’s see what the scores are at the end of the day. If our son is going to beat you, he must play better than you no matter how good you’re playing. As relentless encouragers, we applauded every good shot in the group we were following, not just S3’s shots.

As a result of our behavior we had an amazing encounter after a round at The Tribute at The Colony, just north of Dallas, a very fun golf course, by the way. One of S3’s 3-some came up to us after the round and said, “We love being here! Everyone is so nice and the hospitality is fabulous. And I wanted to tell you how much it meant to me that you acknowledged good shots from all of us, in addition to Sam. Where I’m from, (West coast), the parents and gallery boo our (the competition’s) good shots. So this environment is new to us and we love it!”

This brings me to what I believe is the most important and insightful quote of the whole 2017 Presidents Cup. It also shows the humility and strength of Phil as he was able and comfortable to be transparent and revealing about himself. In a post-Cup interview the announcer asked him what it is that makes the chemistry of this US team so special? Phil’s words (paraphrased by me), “Everybody gets along. The team room is a blast. We’re all kidding each other and having fun. And there’s a unique dynamic with these guys, something that’s taken me decades to learn and that’s how to be really happy for someone else when they have success.”



Wow, ladies and gentlemen, let that sink in. In the cutthroat world of professional sports here’s one of golf’s most successful and popular players, ever, saying that he is now at a place where he can congratulate someone on a good round or a win and be actually be excited for them.

Mom and Dad, this is transparency that transforms and it’s right out of our parenting manual. It has transformed Phil. It will transform some of his fans, including junior golfers.

Please understand that a strong desire to win doesn’t mean that your child should not be disappointed when they lose. It means that it’s ok and healthy to be glad for someone else’s success! It gives your son/daughter something to strive for!

See you on #1 tee ready for you to congratulate me, and mean it, when I beat you… Sam

Junior Golf: Inside The Minds Of Champions


In this Friday Flop Shot we will see how winners think by taking a quick look at how they really approach this game. Let’s look inside the minds of some champions.


Dubai Golf

I sincerely hope you are recording The President’s Cup. While the US has a big lead, there is some great golf being played and some wonderfully insightful quotes from the players.

World Golf Hall Of Fame member and captain of the Internationals team, Nick Price, was asked about his team’s mental state prior to Thursday’s start. “It’s good. We love to play golf, we love to compete and we want to win!”

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were asked why they had been such a successful pairing
in international competition. Patrick, “I’m kind of firey and Jordan’s always calm, so our personalities help each other to calm down or get revved up!” Then Jordan, “There’s also this competition within the competition where each of us wants to be the one who hits the great shot, makes the winning putt. We push each other like that.” Folks, this is a paraphrase and you could attribute these words to either one of these guys because they are asked about this all the time and this is always their answer.

Let’s stay with these two. After making a great comeback to get 1/2 point from Friday’s four-ball match, they were asked how pleased they were with a tie rather than a win. It was obvious that while a 1/2 point was better than no points, they really wanted to win. So here’s the great quote: Interviewer asks if it’s more satisfying to make an amazing comeback, 2 down with 4 holes to play or to win in a runaway. Patrick’s classic response (paraphrased): “Making a comeback means you’re playing a lot more holes to get something out of your round. Winning in a runaway means you’re playing great golf!”

These quotes are right in line with Bubba Watson’s statement of a few years back’ “Nobody out here’s playing for 2nd place!”


Photocredit:Golf Channel 

Parents, start with Nick Price’s 3 things. Hopefully your youngster loves golf. And is getting used to competing and is starting to enjoy it. And has a desire to win welling within. With some kiddos this is more of a process than with others. Love the game, love to compete and want to win. Perfectly stated!

See you on #1 tee loving to play golf… Sam

Junior Golf: In The Shadow Of The Statue Of Liberty



In this Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at the upcoming President’s Cup which will be played at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, just a bit more than 1 mile from the easily seen Statue Of Liberty.

With all the harsh discourse going around at and about sports and athletes, it seems like a perfect fit for an international golf competition to be held within eyesight of 1 of the greatest symbols of freedom and liberty in the world.

What is The President’s Cup? It is a 4-day team event between the US and the non-Ryder Cup nations, meaning basically everywhere in the world, except the British Isles and Europe. The format is similar to The Ryder Cup, which it alternates with every other year, with matches composed of four-somes (2 man alternate shot), four-ball (2 man team best ball) and 12 singles matches on Sunday.

The US is a solid favorite here, but it’s best not to read one’s press and start thinking how good you are and get a big head. A lot of things look good on paper but play out differently in the real world. Playing for one’s country has a level of pressure never seen anywhere else. Who will thrive and who will crumble?

Set the TiVo! You will see things over the next 4 days that you will never see again. Please record this. The venue, the setting, the intense enthusiasm of the home crowd cannot be duplicated and there will be a ton of inspirational situations that will really get your junior golfer fired up! Record this and schedule some time to watch the recording together.

The Barclays - Round Two

Here’s the tv schedule (all times are central and all channels are Directv numbers): Thursday-Golf Channel, DTV #218, 12:00noon-5:00pm. Friday-Golf Channel, DTV #218, 10:30am-5:00pm. Saturday-NBC, DTV #4(San Antonio), 7:00am-3:00pm. Sunday-NBC, DTV #4(San Antonio), 11:00am-5:00pm.

Parents, this is a great time to show your kiddo a unique and mesmerizing golf experience. Please take advantage of it.

See you on #1 tee, ready to play for your country… Sam.


Junior Golf: Parent’s Emotions

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at the other emotions that show up on the golf course and that is the emotions of the parents. Your daughter’s emotions are those we think of 1st, but Dad and Mom’s emotions are equally, if not more, important.

Unless you are a caddy or a coach, your contact with your daughter during tournament play is very limited. So how are you able to encourage her during the round? There are several allowable methods: applause, saying good shot or good putt, giving a thumbs up and just showing a nice big smile. Coaching of course, is not allowed by parents and idle chatter is frowned upon and in some cases it is just not allowed. (photo by

The best rule of thumb for parents is to be very respectful of the rules and when in doubt keep your mouth closed. One of the struggles for many young golfers is maintaining focus, which is not helped by excessive parental chatter. Now this is coming from the Goldfarb Family which is made up of 100% talkers, so please don’t tell me how tough this is to do. We know.

We all pretty much understand how your daughter is impacted when, after making a good shot, you, the parents, give her positive response. But what happens when she hits a poor shot, chunks a chip or misses a 3-foot putt? Bad shots are when the parents can have the most impact on the junior golfer. Parents, you must smile, say that’s OK, we love you, give a thumbs up. You cannot drop your head, slump your shoulders, look depressed and walk away, period. This destroys your child. The last thing she wants to do is disappoint you. And you must convey that she never disappoints you, that your love for her is not measured by the numbers on her scorecard. Yes, we parents feel our kid’s pain when they hit a bad shot, but we can’t show it!

So we had a parent/child scenario in The President’s Cup when US Captain Jay Haas used 1 of his Captain’s picks to select his son Bill. Now Bill was like 11th in line and only the Top 10 spots are guaranteed, so Bill was very close to making it on his own. I’m proud of Jay for picking his son. The choice wasn’t looking that great as Bill teed off in the LAST, 12th match in the Sunday singles. Here was Bill Haas, having a 0-1-1 record, not very good, playing in the final match of a 4-day event, that was going to be extremely close, and the whole world was watching. What do you want to call this on Jay’s part? Bad strategy, foolish or good faith and confidence in his son. I choose the latter.image

Bill Haas had Sangmoon Bae 1-up with 1-hole to play so the best the Internationals could do is tie the cup if Bae won the hole. Well, Bae chunked a chip shot and Bill won the hole and the US won the cup. Great stuff as Bae had played amazing golf for most of the event. Dad’s confidence and trust in his son paid off. Ain’t it great! (photo

See you on #1 tee… Sam

Junior Golf: The President’s Cup Lesson 3

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle, we’ll look at our 3rd and final lesson from this past week’s President’s Cup. There is so much that our sons and daughters can learn from watching a mesmerizingly close team competition. Let’s get into it. (photo

We’re talking about emotion here. It comes in all forms, good, bad and ugly and all of these versions need to be seen by our junior golfers to put emotion into proper perspective. Nothing makes a stronger point than seeing someone else exhibiting emotion on the golf course. Then your junior golfer gets a mental picture of what someone else sees when they exhibit emotion.

S3 went through a period of showing some anger on the golf course and really most boys and plenty of girls, as well, readily erupt with some angry outbursts every now and then. In 1 high school tournament, in particular, S3 watched a boy from another high school miss, I don’t recall, a chip or a putt on a hole and oh man, out came a stream of screaming, disgusting expletives and he wrapped his club around a tree. The worst single violent outburst we have ever seen on a golf course. And the coaches standing around were wimps and gutlessly did not DQ him as, by rule, he should have been. S3 looked at me and while our contact is limited during tournaments, he said, “Wow, Dad, that is horrible to see. I have never been like that, have I?” I chuckled and said, “No, Son, not even close, but I guess we needed to see that to get the point.” Be assured that when your junior golfer sees that kind of display of anger, it will have an immediate impact on them and whatever anger they have been exhibiting will diminish.

So the anger shown in The President’s Cup was when Charl Schwartzel pulled an approach shot way left during the final round when he and everyone knew the tournament would be very close and every 1/2 or 1 point was critical. Well, Charl hit that poor shot and you could clearly see the rage in his face as he raised the club as if to hurl it off of the golf course. Charl did not let go of the club and somehow regained his composure to finish the round. I will, however, always remember that very ugly look of outrage that was on his face for a couple of seconds.

Sad looks were around the 18th green as the singles matches finished. The 1st sad look was from the US team when Bubba missed a short putt that would have won the match. Then the next 2 sad looks were from the International team as the US’s Chris Kirk made a 15-foot birdie putt and Anirban Lahiri missed a short birdie putt, giving the US a full point. The last sad look was also from the Internationals as in the final match, Sangmoon Bae chunked a chip shot and Bill Haas won the match 2-up. The good/happy look came from Chris Kirk and the US team when he made his birdie putt on 18. The normally unemotional Kirk gave a beautiful fist pump! (photo

Remember, the top pros keep their emotions on a pretty even keel during competition. They have emotions, but they keep them under control. This is a big deal for your junior golfer to work on. It will take time, but it can be done.

See you on #1 tee, with an even temperment… Sam.

Junior Golf: The President’s Cup Lesson 2

imageIn this Columbus Day Monday Mulligan we will look at Lesson #2 from the President’s Cup. Watching professional golfers is always an educational experience and the amazing sights from Inchon, Korea, hosting 24 of the top male professionals provided exceptional footage!

The 1st thing I want to point out is that while, if you spend enough time with your junior golfer, playing golf yourself and watching professional events, you will always see something that you have never seen before. Some good and some bad. So let’s start with moments where the professionals did not look so great. This is to show your son that no one plays perfect golf, golfers are human with human emotions and really there is not that much difference between dedicated junior golfers and professionals. (photo

Again parents, I’m making a point here, not focusing on the negative. 1st: short putts, putts 5-feet or less. Any pro will tell you that you must be virtually 100% on making these if you want to win a golf tournament. Well, in day 2 FourBall, which is really BetterBall, meaning 2 guys from each team play in a Foursome and the low score from each of the 2 players from each team is the recorded score for that hole, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson were playing against Jason Day and Charl Schwartzel and everybody, each of them, yes, that’s 4 of the top pros in the world, missed a 5-foot or shorter putt to win the hole, in other words these putts were on the same hole, unbelievable. The hole was halved with 4 bogies. So all this group and their caddies were shaking their heads walking to the next tee.image

Same day, 1 of the par 4’s has water all along the right side of the fairway and the wind was also blowing from left to right. 16 pros played that hole in Round 2 and 8 balls went in the water. And we saw chunked pitch shots, bad sands shots and considerable shots not going where the player wanted them to go. It got so bizarre that the announcers said it looked more like the Wednesday Pro-Am, than a professional golf tournament. (photo from

The main difference between these pros and any amateur golfer, including your junior golfer is the mental game. Pros have a short memory and after hitting a terrible shot, they will most likely hit an amazing shot, leaving you speechless. The mental game is the difference and the toughest part of the game to master. So Dad and Mom teach your son to let go of, forget the bad shot and focus on hitting the next shot well. The sooner he starts doing that, the better he will play. Every golfer hits ugly shots. It’s what your son does on the next shot that matters.

See you on #1 tee, with a short memory… Sam.

Junior Golf: President’s Cup Lesson 1

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take a look at lessons to be learned from the matches being played in The President’s Cup. This very prestigious event is held every 2 years and puts 12 American professional golfers against 12 World-wide professional golfers, excluding Europe. This year’s event is being held in Inchon, South Korea on a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. (photo

The Day 1 matches started the competition Thursday-Wednesday evening in the US due to a 14-hour time difference, and the 1st matches were Foursome. Now Foursome is a confusing title because there is also Fourball Matches. Foursome is also called alternate shot, meaning 2-man teams alternate shots until the ball is holed out. It is very interesting to watch since you only see it once or twice a year in this type of international competition. The pros will tell you the pressure is extreme since the last thing they want to do is hit a bad shot and put their partner in a terrible position.

S3 and I have played in a few alternate shot tournaments and I will tell you the pressure on Dad or Mom is the most I have ever felt in a golf tournament. As much as kids don’t want to disappoint their parents, we parents also really don’t want to disappoint our kids. In our 1st event I was shaking over 3-foot putts, talk about the yips! I have played in a lot of athletic competition in my life and had never been this nervous. I can’t explain it, maybe just didn’t practice enough 3-footers before the event. In our 2nd alternate shot tournament we actually made some birdies and played pretty well. And birdies in alternate shot are a great thing!

Right now let’s talk about paying attention to what your competition is doing around the green. A pet peeve you’ll hear the announcers talking about is when a pro misses a putt on the same side of the hole that his competitor just missed on. All golfers get some education from the roll of the other guy’s ball on and around the green. Many times when 2 pros have the same line on a putt, the 2nd guy will make his whether the 1st guy made his putt or not. This is called getting an education and using it. (photo

So on hole #11 in alternate shot, Bubba Watson had a10-footer for birdie. He struck a beautiful putt that looked in all the way and lost speed and curled out of the hole to the left at the last second. Hideki Matsuyama had the same putt from the exact opposite side of the hole. So eyeing what happened to Bubba’s putt, what would you do if you were Hideki? You might hit the same line, but firmer to keep the speed up or hit it about an inch more to the left to allow for the last bit of break around the hole. Well, for whatever reason, Hideki did neither and his putt was the identical mirror image of Bubba’s, appearing to be in all the way and curling away from the hole to his right at the last second as it lost speed.

So what is the lesson here? Does the other guy’s putt teach you anything about your putt? Surely it tells you something. Use it. Pay attention. Adjust. Your son is going to misread some putts, everybody does. He is going to miss hit some putts, everyday does. But he will make more putts by learning everything he can around the green and that means paying attention to what’s happening to everybody else’s chips and putts.

See you on #1 tee and keep alert around the greens… Sam

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