Archive for the ‘Wednesday Waggle’ Category

Putting Tips From GCA Coach David Ogrin

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re going to get some putting advice from our good friend, PGA Tour winner and Golf Channel Academy coach, David Ogrin.

Perhaps you’ve seen one of his segments on The Golf Channel. We’re fortunate to have him full time here in San Antonio at The Golf Channel Academy at San Pedro. One of his recent posts caught my eye and I’d like to share it with you.

Today, I have Ogie’s permission to use one of his recent Facebook posts talking about putting. This is addressed to instructors, however, parents and their junior golfers have some excellent takeaways here. Without further ado, in David Ogrin’s words:

“On this putting thing, here would be my preferred way to teach it.

1. Give them your game theory. HIGH SIDE CORRECT SPEED IS NEVER A THREE PUTT. MAXIMUM BREAK, MINIMUM SPEED.

2. Teach them the mechanics. THUMBS ON FLAT OF PUTTER. STRAIGHT BACK, STRAIGHT THROUGH. YOU ARE PERFECTLY DESIGNED BY INSTINCT TO DO THIS.

3. Teach them how to read greens. UPHILL OR DOWNHILL? DOES HILL TIP LEFT OR RIGHT? WHAT SIDE OF HOLE DO YOU AIM?

4. Play for $1 per hole, 9 hole matches until they beat you. PUTT, PUTT, PUTT, PUTT, PUTT, PUTT, PUTT

5. If a student can beat me putting, and I know exactly where I stand on the golf ladder, that student has a chance. THREE FEET 100%, EIGHT FEET 50%, 33 FEET TWO PUTTS

Thanks again Coach Ogrin for the excellent advice!

Dad and Mom, print this out. Hit it with a highlighter. This is valuable information on the basics of putting. To win any golf tournament, the player must make putts and they must make more putts than everyone else.

This is a huge key for winning golf tournaments. Please grasp the inherent value here.

See you on #1 tee ready to make some putts… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Reasons For Swing Speed Training

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re looking at swing speed training and the solid benefits it offers your junior golfer.

Michael (Mike) Romatowski is an innovator and I’m so glad he moved to San Antonio a couple of years ago. As soon as I learned of his golf speed classes I started going. It just looked so new, fresh and exciting, I had to see what was going on!

Here’s a sample of what the one hour class is like: stretching and warmup, hit some balls with your driver to get a baseline of your swing speed, do some speed drills, then hit some more balls at the end of class to see if your speed has increased.

3 reasons why your youngster needs swing speed training:

1. It works immediately. Attending class at least 2x weekly increases speed. More classes per week yield greater gains.

In Mike’s own words:

“How often should I come to golf speed class?”

Our data shows this, in terms of average club head speed improvement after 8 weeks:

3x/week 14mph                                             2x/week 9mph                                               1x/week 6mph                                               3x/month 4mph                                             2x/month 2mph.                                           Contact Mike: Mromatowski13@aol.com

2. Classes are fun. New concepts, new drills, new training aides, class is a blast! And the results or potential for results is immediately visible, so the excitement factor is high.

3. It’s a new and similar but different way to improve one’s golf game. We’re always looking for ways to “freshen up” our practices and routines and golf speed class/training is a super one.

Mike’s training is really taking off. He has a steady stream of PGA teachers and players inquiring about his approach. From Tour players to mini-Tour players, college coaches, top amateurs and eager juniors, Mike has quite a mixture of the golfing world seriously looking at what he’s doing and wanting to be a part of it.

Parents, why is this so important? For girls, it’s very simple: the girls who win the most are the ones who drive the ball the farthest. A 1-mph increase in swing speed equals 2.5 yards more distance. 10 yards more with the driver means 1 club less/shorter hitting to the green. Very desirable results.

For the boys, 280-290 off the tee keeps them competitive. More distance is a great thing, but the ball needs to be in the short grass.

Getting involved is easy. Simply pass this article and Mike’s information along to your swing coach. Tell him you’re interested in pursuing this for your junior and you’d appreciate his looking into it. Mike has trained a number of PGA coaches who are incorporating his speed training in their classes. Please understand that the coaches and attendees, Kids and adults, love swing speed training. If your swing coach isn’t interested, please consider finding another swing coach.

See you on #1 tee swinging faster… Sam

Junior Golf: 5 Important Quotes For Junior Golfers

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re going to look at 5 quotes from top PGA professionals and get some insight into how winners think.

In one of S3’s mental management courses, the instructor interviewed only world-class 1st place winners in many different sports, both team and individual. He asked them what percentage of their sport was mental. Their answer was all the same, 90%.

Think about that for a minute. The concept is that if someone had the basic body type necessary for a particular sport, then most people were, if driven to succeed, coordinated enough to achieve some level of success. The degree of success depends on how well the athlete masters the mental game.

What does this look like in golf? Here are 5 quotes from great golfers, in no particular order:

1. The King, Arnold Palmer: “I’ve always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.”

2. The greatest golfer of all-time, Jack Nicklaus: “As soon as I heard a player talking negative about the course or conditions, I wrote him off as a competitor. He’d already taken himself out of the tournament.”

3. The third member of The Big Three, Gary Player: “We create success or failure on the course primarily by our thoughts.”

4. The man with the most PGA Tour wins, San Snead: “Forget your opponents, always play against par.”

5. Two-time Masters Champion and super creative, Bubba Watson: “Nobody our here’s playing for second place.”

Photocredit:nicklaus.com

What common thread do you see? Dad and Mom, each of these men has a mental structure, a discipline that is constant. They do not veer from it.

We’ve seen confidence from Arnold, positivity from Jack, controlling thoughts during a round from Gary, play against the course not the player from Sam and 1st place is why we play from Bubba.

See you on #1 tee mentally ready… Sam

Junior Golf: Snacks That Beat the Heat

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we’re taking a look at how, in the middle of summer, your kiddo can have snacks that beat the heat.

All athletes must replenish calories during competition and your junior golfer is no different. So when it’s time for a healthy munchie, which for golfers is about every 3 or 4 holes, and your son/daughter reaches into the bag to pull one out and they get a handful of inedible mush, it’s not good.

First off, the calories are lost and now one hand is yucky and must be cleaned so the next shot can be hit. Hope he/she has a water bottle and towel!

Here in South Texas there’s plenty of warm/hot weather golf so we have some snacks that will definitely beat the heat. It did take a few tries so we could eliminate some things that sounded good but didn’t work out.

Snacks that hold up in the heat:

1. Jerky is a perfect source of protein, a little fat, some salt and it’s immune to the weather. 2 reasons we buy ours at Costco: most, if not all, the jerky they carry has no msg. Also Costco usually has large bags with individual serving packs inside, very convenient!

2. Trail mix which includes fruit and perhaps M&Ms, although they can get soft in high heat. This provides protein, fat, some salt and carbs through the fruit/M&Ms. Do not get trail mix with loose chocolate or chocolate chips. It will melt and make a terrible mess.

3. Granola/protein/health bars. These are convenient but be aware: we stay with organic to avoid gmo’s which are prevalent in most grains. Also we avoid chocolate because of how messy it is in the heat. Some of these bars taste much better than the others. Take your young golfer to the store and together choose several different bars to try before a tournament. The bar does no good if your child won’t eat it.

4. Cut up fruit. When in doubt, a banana or orange slices always works. Put ’em in a ziplock bag and the sticky cleanup is easy with some water or saliva. No protein or fat here, but there are some good carbs which is better than nothing.

5. PBJ, yes, a good ole peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into 1/4’s for convenience. Fat, protein, carbs and salt all in one easy format.

Something that TV golf coverage doesn’t really show is how much the pros eat and hydrate during around. S3 and I caddied with Adam Scott’s group during the 2018 Valero Texas Open. Adam and his caddy always had water or a banana or part of a sandwich in their hands. It was the best possible example of how to take care of one’s hydration and nutrition during competition!

See you on #1 tee with a water bottle and snacks…Sam

Junior Golf: 5 Facts About Sun Exposure

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re looking at 4 facts about sun exposure and how they impact your junior golfer.

Sunshine is a fact of life if you spend time outdoors and our golfers spend as much or more time in the sun than nearly any other athletes. We need to understand what’s going on and the best ways to deal with it.

1. UVB rays enable the body to generate vitamin D which is essential for good health. They are available basically between 10am and 3pm so this is the time to put on less clothes and go get some sun. 30 to 40 minutes is about right for most people. Stop as soon as your turn a little bit pink.

2. Harmful UVA rays are coming in all the time the sun is up so here’s a plan. Keep more covered up early and late. Roll up your sleeves and wear shorts in the middle of the day. UVA’s damage the skin as compared to UVB’s which in proper amounts are very beneficial for the whole body.

3. Calm down on the sunscreen. Most brands are loaded with nasty ingredients. Our family uses minimal amounts mostly on the nose, ears and back of the neck. You might ask yourself: “Would I ingest these ingredients?” If your answer is “No.”, then why would you put them your largest organ, your skin.

4. Easy alternatives to sunscreen are: longer hair covers tops of ears and back of the neck. Floppy/bucket hat does the same along with covering the forehead. Please wear some type of hat, cap or visor. Long sleeve high tech shirts protect the arms. Girls also have the “sleeves-only” option that can be put on or taken off at will.

5. For a quick and interesting primer on sunshine and sun exposure, take a look at the dminder app. It’s free, fun and very much worth taking a look at. Above is a screenshot of my location today.

The sun is our friend. It is here for our benefit. Our challenge is how to deal with too much of a good thing.

See you on #1 tee ready for a sunny day… Sam

Junior Golf: Please Get Your 7-iron

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re going to use your child’s 7-iron to put us on an informative and educational path.

Today’s point is that our clubs, for this post, our irons, may not always be what they seem. If you’re asking yourself, “Where on earth is he going?”, fear not, clarity is on the way.

You may recall my post of May 25, “Use Demo Days to Lower Your Scores”, where I described the excellent club fitting I received from a Wilson Staff rep. I filed his suggestions for future use as I decided to continue to explore more options rather than buying a new set of irons, although it was very tempting.

Upon returning to San Antonio I went to see Ben, a highly recommended club fitter. I told him my 7-iron didn’t go anywhere. It was at least 15 yards shorter than it’s predecessor and I really didn’t have confidence in any of my irons, even though this set was made for me by a good friend.

As he put it on the loft/lie machine, Ben found my 7-iron to have a loft of 37-degrees, basically an 8-iron’s loft. That’s why it didn’t go anywhere. Once corrected to the typical 34-degree loft and along with a lie adjustment of 1-degree upright, I went to the adjacent range to hit. My “new” 7-iron was wonderful, the ball flew beautifully and carried much farther than before.

Photocredit: bettershotgolf.com

For the record, all my irons were off and Ben put them back to typical specs and a 1-degree upright lie. Then I thought about my driving iron I’d never been comfortable with. It was too flat/strong and he fixed that. On my first swing I hit that driving iron better than ever!

So this is a bit embarrassing that I hadn’t done this before but at least it’s done now. Out of the 10 irons in my bag, only my 2 Cleveland wedges were the correct loft, requiring just the lie adjustment. My driving iron and 4-p all needed a loft correction plus the 1-degree upright adjustment. No wonder I couldn’t get any confidence with those clubs!

My investigation into what to do with my irons has taken a fun turn. Instead of spending big money on new irons, I’m hitting these for a few weeks to see how I like distance, ball flight and feel. Then Ben and I will discuss whether a change of shafts or heads might be beneficial.

Parents, please ask around about recommendations for club fitters in your area. Then take your kiddo’s irons in for a loft and lie checkup. You may be surprised at what you learn. You and your son/daughter will at the least leave with confidence that those irons are now the correct loft and lie. Go hit ’em!

See you on #1 tee with proper lofts… Sam

Junior Golf: Ignore The Naysayers

In this Wednesday Waggle, we’re taking a slightly different look at junior golf. Come along with me and enjoy the ride.

So your son/daughter has been playing well, having a Top 10 finish, a Top 5 finish or maybe a win. The next tournament is the finale, the biggest, the end of the season, the state championship, it’s a very big deal. And the naysayers show up saying things like, “Your boy/girl is not going to do well on that course. The fairways are too narrow, the greens are too fast, he/she doesn’t hit the ball far enough and they’ll never beat so-and-so.”

This was slightly the case as Big Red prepared for his biggest event. Even with convincing wins in his first 2 races, the negative folks were still saying this course was too long, he’d never hold up, his first 2 wins were flukes, he’d never beat his main competitor in this race and so on.

His coach/trainer, Lucien Laurin, and his caddy/jockey, Ron Turcotte, knew their athlete very well. They understood that he loved to run and he loved to run fast, very fast. And they also knew that he wanted to beat all of his competitors. He had to win, no second place for him!

Watch how this athlete handles his last competitive event. Watch the greatest racehorse of all-time, Secretariat, and see how he finishes his career. Watch the greatest athletic performance in history!

FYI Mom and Dad, in each of his Triple Crown races, Secretariat ran each quarter-mile faster than the previous one. He was constantly accelerating! Talk about finishing strong!

The takeaway here parents is to know your athlete, ignore the naysayers, be positive and move forward. The team must be on the same page so that the athlete has the best opportunity for an excellent performance. Finishing strong is a big deal!

See you on #1 tee ready to perform… Sam

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