Archive for the ‘Rain gear’ Category

Junior Golf: 2nd Must Have Piece Of Inexpensive Rain Gear

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our recommendations of inexpensive rain gear that is absolutely critical to your son’s/daughter’s ability to play, hopefully reasonably well, in wet weather. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

The most important item was previously covered and that item is the wetter is better style of golf gloves made by several quality brands and pretty much available everywhere. As we mentioned, these gloves allow your youngster to have a good grip on the club in the rain. If a player is unable to hold onto the club, there is no way to play golf. The other rain gear you have, no matter the quality, is irrelevant if your son can’t hold onto the club.

The 2nd must have item is likely already in inventory and that would be an effective way to keep the rain out of your child’s eyes. We’re not talking about glasses here. In addition to the obvious need for clear vision/sight, your junior golfer, no golfer for that matter needs the challenge of trying to hit a shot, chip or putt while rain is hitting them squarely in the eyes.

So, the item is: a cap or hat that covers the head and has enough bill or rim to protect the eyes. Our family loves visors but in rain that is heavier than fog or mist, they allow too much moisture onto the hair and head and end up being more of a pain than an advantage. If your budget allows, you can get a waterproof and breatheable cap or hat. These can be comfortably worn in any weather, but really are helpful on a rainy day. The water sheds off them and since they’re not absorbing water, they don’t get soggy and heavy. They are genuinely a wonderful piece of equipment!
Expect to pay in the $25-$50 range for a waterproof cap or hat, sometimes called bucket hat.

While the breatheable/waterproof hats and caps are not as widely found as regular caps, many stores carry them, but you might have to ask for help finding them. Online sellers are numerous, so there’s not much effort involved in getting your hands on one. Please be certain to confirm your kiddo’s hat/cap size. Keep in mind that most caps have adjustable bands, but most hats are of a fixed size. Does your child wear a youth cap size? This is important to know if you are searching online.

Hats and caps are important items and should be worn pretty much all the time at the range and on the golf course. Just take a look at the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Web.Com Tour or European Tour. Count how many players are bare-headed. Did you need more than 1 hand? There are many very good reasons they are wearing hats, caps and visors.

See you on #1 tee with a good-looking cap on… Sam

Junior Golf: Parents This Inexpensive Rain Gear Is Your 1st Choice

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take the parent’s perspective on rain gear. Your son’s/daughter’s take on the most important piece of rain gear may be different from Mom and Dad’s. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

Until you’ve been there, you haven’t. Yes, unless you, Dad and Mom and your junior golfer have had the very tough experience of trying to keep dry and continue to play golf in the rain but still ending up soaking wet and barely being able to play the game, you may not understand where I’m going.

Depending on whether you have a son or daughter playing golf, their desire for the 1st piece of rain gear may be fashion-oriented. S3, again this was before he got soaked in a tournament, would lean towards the latest really cool-looking rain jackets, understandable. Your daughter might go the same route or perhaps she would prefer a beautiful umbrella. Depends on your kiddo and their personality.

Parents, I assure you that the 1st time your child gets totally soaked, reality sets in. And that is that being wet and miserable is bad enough, but he/she can still function physically, even with the discomfort and inconvenience. So play continues and yes, your child will want to gut it up and keep playing until the round is completed or play is stopped by the officials.

Ready for reality? The 1 thing that will totally shut down your junior golfer’s game is not being able to hold on to the club. It is impossible to play golf if you can’t hold on to the golf club! Things we have personally seen is the club slipping so badly at impact that the ball goes nowhere or ends up in a totally horrific spot and then, the most dangerous and scary occurrence of all, the club flying out of the player’s hands and people ducking for cover. Even with snakes and alligators on some golf courses, the scariest thing Linda, S3 and I have even seen during a tournament is a golf club sailing uncontrollably toward some fans. When a golf club strikes a human, the golf club wins, every time!

Guess what the 1st thing was that we bought the next day? Yes, the wet weather golf gloves. Back then I think only Footjoy made them but now several brands are available including but not limited to, I think, TaylorMade and Callaway. Retail pricing is around $22.00 for a pair of gloves, so they are very inexpensive. And they work!

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Phil Mickelson doesn’t hesitate to put them on in high humidity or when it’s raining. Obviously he practices with them, so he’s comfortable wearing them and plays great with them. Our whole family has a pair in our golf bags and we practice with them on the range. It’s fun, a nice change to the regular range routine.

Dad and Mom, we can’t emphasize this enough. These gloves are an essential piece of equipment and should be in your youngster’s golf bag immediately and at all times in the future. Take your kiddo to a golf store this weekend and try on some different brands and buy a pair. You’ll both be glad you did.

See you on #1 tee ready for a good grip… Sam

Junior Golf: Warm Core

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will wrap up this series on keeping warm. The previous few posts have focused on keeping hands, feet, ears and head warm so that your daughter can execute good golf shots in chilly, cold or wet conditions. Nothing is more miserable than being cold or cold and wet as a golfer of any age, much less a junior golfer.image

Now let’s look at keeping your daughter’s core warm. Her core is basically her torso and we will include the back of the neck and her sternum. Keeping her core warm means warm blood will be flowing to her extremities. This is a major 1st step in keeping her warm from head to toe. A lot of blood flows near the back of her neck so having an insulated collar helps keep this blood warm. Many people have an internal thermostat basically on the upper part of their chest on the sternum. The ¼-zip jackets are designed to be unzipped to cool off or zipped up to warm up. This can be a great advantage for your daughter since being too warm and sweating can end up being as bad or even worse than being too cold.

Layering your daughter’s clothes is critical here. Start, we’re talking upper body here, with a base layer. Use heavier base layers for colder weather. Tip: a long-sleeve hot weather hi-tech shirt can work as a lightweight winter base layer and if the temperature warms up, you girl will likely be more comfortable than if she put on a heavy base top. Add a golf shirt over the base, then put on the fleece or windbreaker or whatever is necessary to get her round started.

Caution! The majority of jackets, sweaters, vests, etc have no wind or water protection. You must buy your daughter a quality rain/wind jacket that states waterproof and windproof, not just water/wind resistant. Our family has Nike and FootJoy, but there are a number of quality name brands. Buy these tops made specifically for golf. They will allow for the athletic range of motion required to hit good shots. This should be your 1st outerwear top purchase.

imageThere is another great clothing options. This includes wool and fleece vests and sweaters which have windproof liners. Since wool and fleece to a degree are water repellent, when they also have the windproof liner, your daughter can have some very nice options for both weather and fashion. For Christmas I got a lined lamb’s wool sweater in intarsia grey mix from proquipgolfusa and it fits great, looks great and is super comfortable out in the weather. Proquipgolfusa has some beautiful women’s vests in lined fleece. Check them out. At a college tournament in Arkansas, the guys in the host country club pro shop told us that their members said the warmest and best piece of golf wear on the rack was the FootJoy lined golf sweater. So parents, there’s something to this lined sweater/vest movement.

Remember, layering is the key. Always buy the very best name brand golf wear that you can afford. Our phrase around the house is stick some 20’s ($20 bills) in a sock until you have enough.

See you on #1 tee, looking warm… Sam

Junior Golf: Buy A Fun Gift

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will consider buying something different for your daughter, something fun and unexpected. The nuts and bolts routine of buying white golf balls, white golf gloves and tees is just taken for granted. Well, Mom and Dad, this is the time of year to get a bit more creative with your golf purchases for your girl.image

Christmas shopping is in full speed ahead mode and stores already have plenty of discounts and sales going on. This is 1 of those times to buy an off-the-wall gift or 2 for your daughter. So what are things you could buy that would be at least half-way useful and not totally embarrass your daughter out in public? Those of you with teenage daughters know that they very well may believe that a parent’s sole goal in life is to publicly embarrass her. That being a given, let’s proceed.

Think about what she wears and uses on the range and on the golf course. Here are some easy suggestions: buy a new crazy or animal head cover for her driver. I mean if you look you can find at least a half-dozen different animal heads, plus a couple of bird heads, including roosters. There are college mascot head covers as well. And there are some head cover designs you would never have imagined in your wildest dreams. So this is just fun.

Also there are now a couple of golf glove makers who offer colors in addition to white. You know what her favorite colors are, so buy her a couple of gloves in bright colors and surprise her. Also be certain, and we have mentioned this before, to buy some of the wet or wetter is better gloves and tell her to keep them in her bag and remember that they are in there. Most major glove makers have these and most are sold in pairs, as in a right and a left hand glove, and are black. Just buy these and put them under the tree. If she already has a paired wet gloves, buy her another pair from a different maker so she can decide which brand she prefers. These gloves are absolutely essential in damp or wet weather.

Now, it’s time to really get crazy. Linda, my dear wife, just loves to play with colored golf balls. I mean if there’s a yellow, orange, hot pink or purple golf ball handy, she’s teeing it up! Frankly those purple balls are hard for me to see and I think for us that color slows down play. And of course, I can’t say to her if she would just hit it in the fairway and on the green it would be much easier to see!!! Linda and I were playing recently and I found 1 of those Callaway Truvis Chrome Soft White red and white golf balls. They are quite striking to look at. Linda immediately put it in play. I’m not sure if for me, those 2 colors make it harder for me to focus at 1 spot on the ball. And then maybe with my golf game it doesn’t really matter.image

For those of you with sons instead of daughters you can still use this information. Just consider what your son likes, or what would embarrass him in your buying decisions, just kidding, well maybe. I mean, if Tom Watson can wear beautiful and colorful golf gloves, your son can too. The point here is to break out of your normal buying habits without breaking the bank. A sleeve of colored golf balls and a colorful golf glove might be $35.00 total at most. Head covers range from inexpensive to ridiculous.

Have fun. Show your fun self to your daughter or to your son. They’ll love it!

See you on #1 tee looking colorful and fun… Sam

Junior Golf: Planning Ahead-Weather

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle, we will look at how to properly plan ahead for weather and specifically for changes in weather. Since golf is an outdoor sport, the weather is always a major factor in pre-tournament preparation.

Every serious junior golfer will play in so many different weather conditions, it will make Mom and Dad’s head spin. Tournament play continues when the players safety is assured, the course is playable and there is adequate visibility. What this means is that you must have your daughter’s clothing and accessories available for several different weather scenarios at each event. And you’ll know what to bring when you check the weather in advance and have an idea of what the realities are on the course for the whole day.

Here’s a classic example. This will happen at least 1x every year, perhaps more. Your daughter tees off at 9:00 am and it is 60-degrees, partly cloudy with light winds out of the south. A pretty nice day really. On about hole #6 clouds start rolling in and the wind dies and then starts to come out of the north. Well, here in Texas we know what this means: find something warm and waterproof in a hurry! A front is hitting, a cold front or norther as we call them. Winds will likely increase to the 2-3 club level and some showers may be in store. So the temperature drops 25-degrees in 30 minutes and those that aren’t prepared are miserable, at least more miserable than those who were prepared because now everyone is dealing with strong winds, much cooler weather and perhaps some rain.

So how do you prepare for this? One way is to be totally unaware and unprepared and thus completely miserable once and then you will pack half of your house when you head to the next tournament. The best prep starts with checking the weather at least several days before the event and then keeping a close eye on the weather until you walk out the door. There are a million weather sites and apps and I am sort of a weather app junkie, but my go to iPad app is The Weather Channel. They have plenty of accurate, up-to-date weather. And today we’re talking about dramatic temperature changes which are fall, winter, and spring events, at least down here in Texas.

Your first consideration is for your daughter. To keep bag weight down put these “must have” items in her bag before she tees off: a beanie or insulated band to cover her ears, a cap/visor to keep rain out of her eyes, a waterproof windbreaker and 2 large hand-warmer packs. You may consider adding an umbrella but they are useless in high wind and frankly, most kids can’t stand them and don’t want the extra baggage and weight. Waterproof pants are also a great item if there is room in the bag. We have seen time and time again that many boys and girls will leave their rain pants on long after they have removed their rain jacket. Part of this is to free up their swing and part is that pants can be a pain to take off, but the legs seem to be very comfortable with rain pants left on. They don’t add any weight really. Remember: in most tournaments you cannot give your daughter anything once she tees off.image

Now for the spectators, Dad, and Mom, et al: if you are in a cart, simply put all the above items for each of you, plus a blanket or 2 in the cart and you are set. Leave them in the car and you’ll find yourself driving full speed to the car to grab your gear once the front hits. You may want some gloves or mittens since you are not moving your body and really not getting your blood flowing, so your extremities may get cold. And for you Moms who love to wear flip flops on the golf course: you better have some real shoes somewhere because your feet are going to get cold. And some good socks, not cotton. Walking spectators need basically the same items as the junior golfers.

See you on #1 tee, well prepared… Sam

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