Junior Golf: In The Shadow Of The Statue Of Liberty

 

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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

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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.

 

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Junior Golf: What The Tour Youth Movement Means For Your Junior Golfer

 

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In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at what all the young winners on the PGA Tour mean for your youngster.

The wins yesterday by Zander and Justin put a giant exclamation point on the fact that there are a considerable number of 20-something pros who can win big events! Just look at these numbers: average age of the top 5 money winners on the PGA Tour: 2007-37.8, 2012-31.6, 2017-26.8. Numbers courtesy of Michael Rowmatowski.

How does this youth movement impact your kiddo? The impact is hugely positive, very exciting really! Today’s junior golf environment is one that offers a massive amount of tournaments, training aides, physical fitness/conditioning coaches, sports psychologists and more great golf courses than anyone could possibly ever play. Your son and daughter too, have more great tools at his/her disposal than can begin to be utilized at any age.

The high caliber of junior golf competition and the focus on proper strength, conditioning and mental training give each dedicated youngster a chance to enjoy success at very high levels. By taking advantage of these resources, your young golfer is accelerating his/her learning curve in basically all areas of the game. This means that as he/she advances to the next level of goals, there is the opportunity to be better prepared than their predecessors.

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In a nutshell this is what’s happening on the tour. The young players can play and they can play well enough to win The Tour Championship and The FedEx Cup. Why? They took advantage of many of the excellent resources available to them during their junior golf and college golf careers, resources which are becoming more numerous by the day. Parents, now is the time to check out which of these tools are available in your area and figure out how to work them into your golf budget.

See you on #1tee taking your game to a new level… Sam

 

Junior Golf: Do You Have This Kind Of Trust

 

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In today’s Monday Mulligan we will take a look at trust and how important it is for your junior golfer.

The dictionary defines trust as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. There’s a lot in this definition and all of it pretty much applies to life as well as competition. I’ll leave the option of dissecting every word here to Mom and Dad and this post will focus on the general impact that trust can have on any athletic performance.

For those of you not Dallas Cowboys fans, please bear with me. It will be worth it. I was watching A Football Life on the NFL Channel and it was about former Cowboy’s quarterback Troy Aikman. Troy won 3 Super Bowls and his tight end was another Cowboys legend, Jay Novacek. Jay was being interviewed about his experiences with Troy and related this classic example: (to paraphrase) Jay,”It was in the Super Bowl against the Bills and I had just caught a pass from Troy and I said-Could you see me? I couldn’t see you.” Troy replied, “I couldn’t see you, but I knew you’d be there.” Wow, that’s what great players do! They trust their own abilities and the skills of their teammates. That’s how you win championships.

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What does trust mean for your junior golfer? Please go back to the excellent golf movie, 7 Days In Utopia. Here’s where you can get a beautiful explanation of See It, Feel It, Trust It. This is the golf swing we’re talking about now, of course. And today we’re on the Trust It part.

Go back to the definition. Your child must get to the point where he/she trusts their ability to hit the required/desired shot. Every golf shot from a driver to the putter must be struck with confidence. Your kiddo must believe that he/she can hit the next shot and hit it to the necessary level of execution, period.

How does one achieve this level of trust? Lessons from an instructor whose junior golfers have achieved some success and range time will get this process off to a solid start. That said, the only real way to know if you can hit any golf shot is to get out on the golf course and just play golf. Create, visualize the shot. Let your body feel what motion is needed to hit the shot. And trust, believe that you can actually perform, hit the shot.

Parents, if your junior golfer has belief/trust that they can do 1 thing well, this gives them the confidence to carry that same trust into additional areas. For example, the ability to hit good golf shots means he/she also has the ability to make good grades and vice versa.

See you on #1 tee believing you can hit those shots… Sam

Junior Golf: A Different Kind Of Golf Story

 

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In this Monday Mulligan we will look at a different kind of golf story. I’ve not written about this before but it seems now is an appropriate time.

On September 11, 2001, I was in the men’s lounge at The Dominion Country Club, near San Antonio, Texas, eating breakfast prior to a 9:00am tee time. It was to be a glorious day enjoying a fine golf course with 2 dear friends, Ron and Jim. As we watched the events taking place on the tv, Jim, a retired Special Agent for the FBI, needed about 1 second to say: “That’s no accident, that’s on purpose. It’s probably a terrorist attack.”

Jim and I first met in the 1970’s and we spent a lot of quality time together. His exceptional talents and skills needed no additional support, so terrorism it was. And of course, he was correct.

We decided to keep our tee time and try to play. After 9 holes we decided that our hearts and minds were somewhere other than the golf course and we walked off the 9th green and headed our separate ways. For the 3 of us at least, it wasn’t a day for golf.

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Parents, the take home point today is that while there are few things better than playing golf, there are times when it is best to do something else. Life is full of highs and lows and some of the lows are so tough, so different, so once-in-a-lifetime, that it is just not possible to focus on anything, particularly our beloved sport.

 

Learning to differentiate between not feeling 100%, not being in the mood or having a runny nose and something truly devastating can be tougher than you’d expect. Playing hurt is part of sports and some athletes are better at it than others and certainly you never want to risk aggravating the injury or risking permanent damage to your child, but there are decisions to be made. To play or not to play, that is the question!

Linda and I were always wanting to give our kids the benefit of the doubt, in both directions. Frankly, in our house, if our kids could walk and breathe, they wanted to play, particularly in competition. And you know what, sometimes we let them and sometimes we didn’t. We had to make decisions and you’ll have to make some too. Please prepare!

See you on #1 tee with decisions made… Sam

 

 

Junior Golf: What Is This?

In this Monday Mulligan please take a look at the photo below and see if you can figure out what it is. This is a beautiful visual example of a very valuable educational opportunity for your son/daughter.

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Perhaps you recall the great line by the Guardian of The Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, “He chose poorly.” More contemporary golf lines might be, “He went for the hero shot and didn’t make it,” or “He should have taken his bogey medicine.” Whatever line you prefer, the poor result is the same.

This is, of course, a screenshot of the path of Jason Day’s golf ball on the 18th hole during the 3rd round of the recent PGA Championship. Jason’s unfathomable choice for his 2nd shot destroyed any chance to get off the hole with a bogey, 5 and then put him in a situation where he ended up with a quadruple bogey-8, which included a crushing 3-putt.

On the 18th tee box, a par or bogey would have kept him in a decent position to make a run for the win on Sunday. Golf truths you may hear: “Sometimes you have to take your bogey medicine.” “There are times when a bogey is a good score.” “Not even the pros execute every hero shot.” Jason chose to hit right when the hole and accessible fairway were to the left. It appeared that hitting a shot back in play to the fairway on his left was not a tough shot and that choice might have given him a decent bogey chance.

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Golf is not about hitting a great shot every time. It is about believing that you can hit a great shot every time. The nitty-gritty is all about how your youngster responds to a poor shot. It’s tough. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening. It’s golf. There is always a better choice, but one must choose to take it!

See you on #1 tee ready to make good choices… Sam

Junior Golf: Do This For Back-To-School Success

In this Monday Mulligan we will show you a very important thing to do that will set

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your junior golfer up for back-to-school and athletic success.

 

What are we talking about here? Well, it’s one thing that totally crosses over and directly impacts all aspects of your youngster’s life, including academically and athletically. What is it?

Ok, we’re talking about quantity and quantity of sleep. A huge percentage of the world’s population from infants to old folks are not getting enough quality sleep. This impacts every aspect of daily performance. Grades and golf are seriously affected.

Summer sleep patterns are often very different from school-year sleep routines and now is the perfect time to implement sleep schedules and environments designed for maximum benefit in school and on the golf course. See the chart below for recommended sleeping times by age group.

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In addition to getting enough sleep, there needs to be a high quality of sleep.

Here are some things we do in our house:
Best sleep is when the temperature is below 70-degrees F.
We turn down the thermostat at night.

Down time is a must to let your kiddo’s brain unwind. S3 began his downtime 1.5 hours prior to lights out. He still does this today.
Sleep in total darkness. Heavy drapes and shades will help. The room needs to be as close to completely dark as possible.
Keep all electronic devices like radios, cell phones, alarm clocks, etc at least 6 feet from your child’s head. Their emissions are disruptive to quality sleep.
Turn off the tv and/or radio before going to sleep. For those youngsters who like to fall asleep with these items turned on, their brain locks onto the content subconsciously and impedes good sleep, not beneficial at all.

If your golfer insists on noise, get an app with babbling brook or splashing surf/calming environmental sounds. Or turn on a small fan with a noticeable hum, making sure it is at least 6 feet from the head of the bed.

No sugar or caffeine within 3 hours of bedtime.

There are a number of additional steps that you can implement, but these will get you off to a great start! There is no substitute for enough high-quality sleep!

See you on #1 tee wide awake and well-rested… Sam

 

 

Junior Golf: 5 Ways The PGA Championship Encourages Your Junior Golfer

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will begin our look at The PGA Championship with play starting tomorrow from Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina.

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Photocredit:Golf Digest

This is the final men’s major of the year and you must be a member of the PGA to be eligible to enter. This means no amateurs are in the field. There are some valuable takeaways for all junior golfers this week. Here are some things your child can learn.

Let’s have a look:
It’s the last major of the year
. Every golfer craves to win a major and this is the last chance until the 2018 Masters next spring. There’s a sense of urgency!
It’s a major! What else needs to be said?
Almost all entrants are members of the PGA. This means that in addition to being excellent golfers, they had to work their tails off to earn the prestigious status of PGA member and it’s not easy. There’s a strong work ethic involved!
There are a number of special invitations to players and golf champions from all over the world so if you’re not an American you still have a chance to play in this event.
There is a special qualifier for PGA professionals who do not play on the PGA Tour. The 20 low scores from the PGA Professional Championship, in effect the pro at your local golf club, are eligible to play in The PGA Championship. This gives basically every PGA member an opportunity to play in a major. Great stuff!

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So here we go again. Set the TiVo. Play starts tomorrow on TNT, DirectTV Channel 245 from 12:00noon-6:00pm, central time. Same channel and time for Friday. Saturday and Sunday are a bit different with play running from 10:00am-1:00pm on TNT, then switching to CBS for coverage from 1:00pm-6:00pm. Be sure to record at least 1 extra hour from 6:00pm-7:00pm on Sunday in case of a playoff.

Many folks will be watching to see if Jordan can keep up his great play and complete his grand slam of majors. There will be plenty of big names to follow and there will also be some guys you’ve never heard of making a good challenge. It’s always encouraging!

See you on #1 tee looking encouraged… Sam

 

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