Archive for the ‘Vacations’ Category

Junior Golf: Plan Your Summer Now

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we are saying this is the time to look ahead a few months in the life of your daughter’s golf. Plan your family’s summer calendar now.img_0102-1

Summer is one of those times that junior golfers can really spend a lot of time improving their game. Pretty much every golf facility from driving ranges, golf courses, country clubs and resorts have as least some junior golf activities going on.

So where does a parent start? 1st, what is the family doing together this summer? Is there a vacation planned? Make sure it’s around at least a couple of golf courses so your daughter can enjoy playing new venues. Part of the love and sheer enjoyment of playing golf comes from teeing off on new golf courses. It is exciting and fun! Once you have the family schedule you can book your daughter’s golf camps and tournaments around the family events.

Parents please get after this as some tournaments will fill up quickly and your girl may end up on a waiting list for a big tournament she was really looking forward to competing in. 1st up is the Starburst Junior Golf Classic in Waco, Texas, June 13-15. This is a MUST PLAY at least once for your daughter. It is the largest junior golf tournament in the world with over 1,000 entries and it’s very prestigious and a ton of fun, open to ages 7-18. You need to enter soon because even if your girl’s event is still open, you may have trouble getting a motel room. The whole Waco area is completely booked solid for this event. She plays 3 different courses in 3 days. Great fun and parents are allowed to caddy here, yea! Linda and I alternated caddying for S3, a special time. ( Jason Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Next on the list should be your local city, county and state junior championships. While these can be slower to fill up, we always believed that entering sooner rather than later was always best. These tournaments are special because it shows your daughter where she stands relative to girls in her locale that she will be competing with even through college. She’ll make some lifelong friends in the process and frankly seeing some of her friends improve will likely inspire her to work even harder on her own game.

Now we come to junior golf tour events. Here in Texas the North Texas PGA and the South Texas PGA sponsor their own series of junior tournaments. There are a bunch of them, pretty much all over the state and they are inexpensive. Depending on your daughter’s skill level you may look at entering her in the Texas Junior Golf Tour or the Legends Junior Tour. These are events for kiddos at the medium to high skill level. Your girl should be consistently shooting in the mid-80’s to play in these tournaments. They are pricey but the atmosphere and talent level is exhilarating for participants and parents alike. If your girl likes to compete, this should fire her up!

Here’s a photo of S3 and his caddy, me, prior to teeing off in a US Amatuer Qualifier at Comanche Trace Country Club, Kerrville, Texas, summer of 2015. I’m telling all you golf parents, these are some of the best moments of your lives, take advantage of them and enjoy this quality time with your junior golfer!

imageAnd for the highest skill levels, you have the AJGA and then the national junior championships put on by the USGA. If your daughter is keeping a GHIN, then you can see if her GHIN is low enough to enter the USGA events. They are super special and pressure-packed! It is not unusual for golfers to be nervous or a bit intimidated by more prestigious events. The jitters should calm once she gets off of #1 tee.

See you on #1 tee with a full summer golf schedule… Sam

Junior Golf At St George, Utah

img_0102In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at junior golf opportunities in a place you likely have never heard of, St George, Utah. Some golfing buddies told us about it we were impressed enough to investigate. (golfdigest.com)

Our July 2007 adventure included a number of points of interest in addition to our time related to our niece’s wedding in San Diego. We left Southern California and headed northeast aiming for Las Vegas and then continuing to St George, Utah which is in the southwest corner of the state just a few miles from the Nevada border. This part of Utah has several national parks and a ton of golf, so our days were fully booked.

We spent most of the next day at Zion National Park, a place of so much beauty. We got back to St George around 4:00pm and wanted to play golf since it was daylight until nearly 9:00pm. Linda called some of the dozen or more courses in the area and the 1st one was too far, the 2nd one wanted a fortune and the 3rd one said where are you? After giving him our intersection, he said, “Turn right at the next light and go to the end of the street and you’ll be at the clubhouse. $45.00 total, including cart for the 2 golfers and yes, your wife can ride along.”

This was perfect! S3 and I went in to pay and were told, “Play as much golf as you want, but the sprinklers come on at 8:30pm.” We took the cart to the car, got Linda and our clubs and teed off on #1. The locals kept apologizing for the heat because it was 105-degrees with no humidity. Frankly this was nothing for us since San Antonio has plenty of heat and humidity, so this was a piece of cake. Dry skin and cracked lips however needed to be addressed.

imageThe course was stunning in a number of ways and I feel most golf courses in this area have similar features. St George is in a high desert setting. This means you have lush emerald fairways and greens set in and around red rock canyons. Beautiful! And you are at 2,000 feet or so of altitude and the ball flies farther. (articles.latimes.com)

There really isn’t any rough, it’s more of a native area with spindly plants a couple of feet high and red dirt and gravel. For the most part you could play out of it. Not really any trees or vegetation taller than 2 feet. You could see for miles and this added to the overall great experience. As we drove up to our tee shots, we noticed a jackrabbit. Ok, we’ve seen plenty of those before, nothing special here. Then we saw another 1 and another 1, I mean we must have seen 1,000 jackrabbits on this course. They were every 10 feet! And we saw some quail, not sure of the variety, but they obviously were native to the area. What we didn’t see was the pack of coyotes needed to calm down this rabbit explosion.

The golf. This was 1 of the most relaxing times we have ever spent on a golf course anywhere. We were the only ones on the course. Because of the summer heat and it was the hottest time of the day, we had this wonderful course to ourselves. S3 was 13 years old and had a couple of golfing 1sts: driving his 1st par 4 and then making an eagle on a par 5 sinking a 30-foot putt. This was pure vacation golf, just having fun! Can’t remember the scores, but he played good and I hit some decent shots as well. The higher altitude got us on a couple of holes as we hit our normal clubs and blew our shots totally over the green, but those tee shots went a long way!

See you on #1 tee looking to hit that green fairway… Sam

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