Archive for the ‘The Open Championship’ Category

Junior Golf: 5 Reasons To Watch The Open Championship

This Wednesday Waggle is a quick one that is hopefully going to rev up your level of excitement about The Open Championship which begins tomorrow, 12:30am, central time, Thursday morning.


Photocredit:Golf Digest

Here are 5 compelling reasons to watch:
It has become the World Championship of Golf (men’s golf). One of the Golf Channel announcers mentioned that basically every top golfer in the world puts The Open Championship on his calendar. There you go!
The scenery and courses are so different than most of those here in the U.S. Genuine links courses have the same grass from tee to green, just cut to differing lengths. The rolling fairways and greens, deep pot bunkers, tough rough, gorse and other trees and shrubs we rarely see add to the intrigue and excitement. Beautiful!
The weather! Oh, man! Summer in the British Isles means everything from sunny and 70-degrees to windy, rainy and 50-degrees. And play goes on as long as the course is playable and the wind isn’t blowing a stationary ball all over the place. Davis Love III was once asked, “What is the most layers of clothing you have ever worn during a tournament?” His reply, “That’s easy, 5 layers. It was the 198x, (I don’t recall the exact year) British Open!” Yes, fans love it, players really don’t care for it, but they have no choice but to accept it.
The shotmaking! Links golf is different from the style of golf we play in the U.S. Here we mostly shoot, fly the ball in the air, to a target and try to get the ball to stop as close to it as possible, with not much rollout. I believe it was 5-time Open Championship winner Tom Watson who said, “Links golf begins when the ball hits the ground.” What does this mean? Weather and course design are friendly to a lower ball flight and the players with the best imagination, creativity and visualization and execution, of course, can understand how to find the spot to land the ball so that it rolls, sometimes a very long way, to get in a proper position for the next shot. You roll your ball to the desired position, rather than fly it. Target golf in Scotland needs soft greens and light winds. You will see shots this week that will truly amaze you at the talent level of these players. Absolutely fascinating!
The fans. The British fans have a reference and respect for golf that is deep and profound. Yes, they would like one of their guys to win, but they appreciate proper shotmaking on their golf courses and they give props to those who make them. 2 of the most beloved, by the British fans, Open Champions, are Americans Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson. There is no adequate measure of the love and respect these great men receive from this audience. We can learn from this wonderful attitude of respect for the game and those who play it.


OK, that’s enough for now. Hopefully this has you fired up for that start of play at 12:30am, central time, tonight, on The Golf Channel. Double-check the TiVo.

See you on #1 tee ready to play some creative shots… Sam


Junior Golf: Amazing Golf

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at yesterday’s final round in The Open Championship where 1 of the most exciting 2-man duels of all time captivated viewers and lovers of golf worldwide. (photo

After Saturday’s 3rd round Henrik Stenson was 12-under par and Phil Mickelson was 1 shot back. Everyone else was well behind these 2 so barring a collapse by both Henrik and Phil combined with a phenomenal round by someone else, it was basically a 2-man race for The Champion Golfer Of The Year.

The weather was cold and windy to start the day but it didn’t matter to these guys in the final group. Phil birdied #1 and Henrik 3-putted so they switched scores and places on the leaderboard. Stenson righted his ship and started making birdies and Phil was making birdies and an eagle. They both finished the front 9 with 4-under par 32’s, meaning Henrik maintained the 1-stroke lead he had to start the day.

Phil caught Henrik on #11 and they stayed tied for the next 2 holes. Then Stenson continued his amazing round of golf by hitting more fabulous shots and making long putts. He birdied 3 of the last 5 holes to shoot a 63, with 2 3-putts. I believe that if you asked Phil before this final round if he, Phil, thought a 65 on the last round would win The Open Championship, he would have certainly said, “Yes, I’ll take that score in every final round!”image

Well folks, guess what? Phil shot a 6-under par final round, bogey-free 65 and took 2nd place all by himself, 11 shots ahead of 3rd place but 3 shots behind Henrik. Wow, it’s unbelievable, but true. Phil played great golf and did nothing wrong. Henrik, however, was on another planet, hitting great shot after great shot and making putts, long putts. Henrik just plain ole beat Phil. (photo

Dad and Mom, this is why I encourage you to record these events! It may be 10 years before you see another amazing display of championship golf like this. I mean, this was an all-time classic!

See you on #1 tee ready to hit some amazing shots… Sam

Junior Golf: Copy Phil’s Attitude

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at how your son’s attitude impacts his score. There are numerous examples, both good and bad every weekend on the PGA and LPGA Tours. (photo

He’s not called today’s Arnold Palmer, for no reason. Phil Mickelson is likely the most beloved professional golfer playing currently. Why, you ask? Arnold Palmer, the King, brought athleticism, strength, energy, big smiles, an obvious love of the moment and a genuine love of the fans with him to every event. Oh and he brought great skill, too, attempting shots that others wouldn’t and often getting great results! And he was legendary for staying long after his rounds to sign every autograph. Arnold was once jokingly accused of carrying binoculars with him so he could see if anyone else wanted an autograph before he left. Great stuff, things that fans everywhere dearly love!

Now Phil is not Arnold Palmer, but he carries a bunch of Arnie’s qualities. Phil signs, smilingly, tons of autographs, he brings an exciting game, trying shots that others might not, and he certainly enjoys the fans. Also he has a consistently positive attitude. When you listen to the greats like Arnold, Jack Nicklaus and yes, Phil, you will notice that they always say positive things. Interviewers try to get them to say something negative and they just won’t do it! Part of this is their can do personality and part of it is their understanding how the brain works and they want only positive thoughts filling their minds.image

Parents please get this, eliminate the negative and fill your conversations and your kiddos mind with positive thoughts and words. Competitive sports is tough and staying positive is a major attribute and it takes practice. (photo

So yesterday Phil shot an 8-under par 63, to take the 1st round lead in The Open Championship. How did he do it, well his positive attitude about his game and his shot-making helped a ton, as did hitting 16 of 18 greens. Once negative thoughts show up, the game is lost. Let’s see how Phil does today.

See you on #1 tee with a positive attitude… Sam

Junior Golf: Wisdom From Monty

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will enjoy some words of wisdom from 1 of the all-time great British golfers. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, just a few houses down the street from Royal Troon Golf Club, he is returning home for this week’s Open Championship and has some amazing insights to share.img_0102-1

We’re talking, of course, about Colin Montgomery, affectionately known around the world, as Monty. He is intelligent and articulate and has tremendous golf credentials including 46 wins worldwide with several major championships and an amazing streak of being unbeaten in 8 Ryder Cup singles matches! So when Monty talks, 1 is well-advised to listen. (Dufner photo

Monday on Live From The Open, on the Golf Channel, Monty was being interviewed and the questions turned to Royal Troon’s famous hole #8, The Postage Stamp. If you miss the green here, you are in trouble so most players are quite pleased to hit the green and hopefully get a par or perhaps a birdie and move on.

Let me paraphrase Monty in 2 segments. 1st when initially asked about #8, Monty replied, “When you are expected to win or to perform something, it makes it more difficult. There is more pressure.” Mom and Dad expectations are part of life and come with the territory in junior golf. As you grasp that higher expectations equal more pressure, it would be good to re-evaluate the balance between the 2. There are only a few kiddos that thrive in high-pressure situations and your child may not be 1 of them. (Monty photo

imageNow back to Monty. Paraphrasing him again talking about hole #8, “It’s only 123 yards long. It’s a very short hole. At this distance every 1 of the players expects to hit the green, the caddies expect them to hit the green and everyone in the grandstands expects them to hit the green. So this short little hole provides great expectations and great pressure. If you hit the green, that’s good. If you miss the green, game on! It’s a gem!”

I do hope you are recording these many hours of Live From The Open on The Golf Channel and also The Open Championship, when it begins very early Thursday morning on The Golf Channel and NBC. There is so much invaluable insight and wisdom!

See you on #1 tee expecting you to perform well under pressure… Sam.

Junior Golf: The Open Championship

In this Monday Mulligan we will take our 1st look at the 3rd of the 2016 men’s Major Championships, The Open Championship, previously called The British Open. (photo

This is a favorite week every year for our family as we get to see such different golf courses, player strategies and bizarre weather, not to mention the stunning scenery and uniqueness of golf in the British Isles, the birthplace of golf.

2016 is the 145th playing of The Open Championship, yes, really! Royal Troon Golf Club is on the west coast of Scotland, just south of Glasgow and this will be the 9th time it has hosted The OC. Ladies golf has flourished at Royal Troon as they held their 1st Championship, The Ladies Championship, in 1904. How cool is that! 38 Championships in total have been held at RTGC over the years.

Parents, this week is a perfect opportunity to ramp up and reinvigorate your junior’s and the whole family’s love of golf. Our great game is a sport that has a lot of art in it. The creativity required in links golf, which is what you’ll see this week, is beyond what is typically demanded on US-type courses. The art comes from the player being able to see how to roll his shot through the myriad of undulations to get it to stop in a good position for the next shot. Hitting high shots that stop quick is the exception rather than the rule in Open Championships.

Links golf features very hard fairways and greens, bunkers than are truly penalizing and rough that is semi-impossible to play out of. It is different, it is exciting and it is unpredictable! NBC and The Golf Channel have the coverage, which begins at 1:30am Eastern time,12:30am Central time, this Thursday morning on The Golf Channel. Remember coverages switches to NBC for Saturday and Sunday. However, Live From The Open is on The Golf Channel is on right now and has a ton of hours of superior coverage and commentary throughout the whole week.

Set your DVRs. If you don’t have The Golf Channel, now is the time to add it to your TV package! When you are wondering how you can have all these TV channels and there is nothing worth watching, well The Open Championship fixes that problem, at least for a week. (photo

Couple of quotes to leave you with: TV commentator Mark Rolfing,
“With this new technology, the players have learned how to control the flight of the ball in the air. Links golf is about controlling the roll of the ball when it is on the ground!” PGA professional Davis Love III, when asked what was the most layers of clothes he had ever worn in a golf tournament, “That’s easy, I wore 5 layers in the 198x, British Open.”

Oh, did I neglect the weather? Open Championships usually have at least a day or 2 of chilly temperatures combined with wind and rain. Remember, you can be uncomfortable on a 60-degree sunny day in high winds with inadequate clothing, so imagine the sheer fortitude necessary to play well on a 55-degree cloudy day with high winds and rain, miserable. But though weather is part of what The Open Championship is known for.

See you on #1 tee on a links course… Sam

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