Junior Golf: Today Is A Very Special Day

In this Monday Mulligan we will just take a minute to look at why this day, today, is a very special and hallowed day in the U.S.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

It’s Memorial Day, a day where we remember those who have given their lives so that we might have and enjoy all the wonderful things in America.

When you see someone in uniform, thank him/her for their service. Take a moment to give appreciate, respect and give thanks for the blessings you and your family have.

If you play golf or go to the driving range, take a look around and try to grasp the sacrifices of all those who have made possible for so many of us, including our junior golfers, to pursue our dreams.

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Photocredit:History.com

Enjoy your day. Please help your kids understand what this day, a very difficult and sad day for the families of those who have given their all, is genuinely about.

See you on #1 tee showing an attitude of respect and gratitude… Sam

Junior Golf: How To Choose A Summer Golf Camp

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will explore 3 things that are critical in making your choice for which summer golf camp is the most appropriate for your son/daughter.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

Golf camp during the summer break is a tradition in most golf families and everybody should be excited about it. If your child is new to golf, this is a great way to introduce them to the game. If your kiddo is at the intermediate to advanced skill level, this is a perfect chance to review basics and increase fundamental skills. Summer golf camp is fun and worth the effort and funds involved!

Even if you have only 1 summer golf camp option in your area, these points may help you decide whether to sign your junior golfer or not. If you have multiple options, this input can be helpful for you to determine which camp to select.

Can you afford it? Weeklong camps will run from $150.00-$300.00. As simple as this question is, it is not worth causing stress in the family if it is just going to blow up the household budget by investing in summer golf camp. If you just can’t afford it this year, start sticking $20 bills in a sock to save up for next year.
Is the travel time and distance comfortable? If you have to fight horrific traffic or long distances, this effort quickly becomes a chore, because you’ll be doing it 5 days in a row. If this location is your only choice, you may want to consider staying on site and watching, if it’s a half-day camp.
How good is the lead instructor? This should be a PGA professional man or woman. Please remember that being a PGA pro is a great thing and requires considerable effort. Some teachers are better than others. That’s a fact. If your kiddo is at the beginner level, then the most important thing is that the instructor shows patience, speaks in pleasant tones (not yelling all the time) and talks less rather than more. All the PGA teaching pros know the basics, but some are better communicators than others.
Have the lead instructor’s previous students accomplished significant golf goals? Are they competitive in local events? Did they make the high school golf team? Did any of them get a college golf scholarship? If the answer is yes, good. If it’s no, be sure to find a new instructor as your kiddo gets to the intermediate skill level and beyond.

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Photocredit:Mark Minion

So, here you go. A few quick points to help you select the best summer golf camp for your youngster. Get after it! Book a camp early in the summer so if time, budget and tournament schedule allows, you can consider booking a second session before school starts back up.

See you on #1 tee playing well after a week of golf camp… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Benefits Of Summer Golf Camp

In this Wednesday Waggle we will examine why it’s a good thing for your daughter to attend a summer golf camp and how her golf game will improve as a result.

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Photocredit:Golf Digest

Summer vacation is great, at least I always looked forward to it. But then there is the dilemma of how in the world are we parents going to keep our kids busy during all this free time? Summer athletic camps are the answer and golf camps are readily available all over the U.S.

Contact the golf venues in your area, the public courses, the private courses, the driving ranges and the golf training academies. Most, if not all, will be offering week-long summer camps. Hours will be from 8:00 or 8:30am until 12:00noon or until 5:00 or 5:30pm. Costs may be from $150.00 to $275.00 for the week, usually depending on which time option is offered, half-day or full-day.

We always booked S3 in the first week available, so if our budget allowed we could enter him in a 2nd or even 3rd camp. Also if your daughter did not click with the coaches at her 1st camp, you will have time to enter her in a 2nd camp at a different location. All this calendar work depends of course, on the tournaments that are booked over the summer break and the good ole budget.

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Photocredit: Camarillo Springs Golf Club

Dad and Mom, here are 3 big reasons why summer golf camp is important:

  • Your girl is immersed in golf, everything golf, for 20-40 hours during a 1-week time period.
  • It is healthy outdoor exercise.
  • She will learn to become comfortable around people she had not previously known. This is important to help with some of the tournament jitters.

Please get those calendars out, take a look at the family budget and book your daughter today in a summer golf camp. It has the opportunity to greatly advance her golf skills and she’ll love it!

See you on #1 tee ready to show me what you learned in golf camp… Sam

Junior Golf: Here’s A Look At What Is Possible

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look into the future, a peek at what is a distinct possibility for your junior golfer’s future.

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Photocredit:Jennleforge.com

It’s that very busy time of year. The end of school and all the functions that go along with it. It’s also a time for golf playoffs. High schools are wrapping up, but colleges are still playing.

Today starting at 3:00pm, Central Time, The Golf Channel is airing the Women’s NCAA Division-I National Championship. These are the best female college golfers in the world. There are a considerable number of hours devoted to this event culminating with the National Championship Match Play Finals on Wednesday afternoon.

Please record this. Although the format may sound a bit confusing, it’s really not. There are 54 holes of team stroke play. An individual champion is crowned after the completion of the stroke play, then the low 8 teams advance to the match play championship round concluding with the finals on Wednesday afternoon.

This year’s weather has created very tough scoring conditions. Watch some of the video and you’ll see what it means to “gut it out.” These girls are tough. Golf is always fun when it’s 75-degrees and sunny. Sometimes we forget about those cold, rainy, windy days when we still have to perform. You’re cold. You’re soaking wet and somehow you have to still play better than everybody else in the field. Yikes!

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Photocredit:Golf Channel

This year’s champion will be composed of a bunch of very determined girls. They had to tough it out in some of the worst weather they’ve likely ever played in, but again, that’s what champions are made of, right?

Please set your DVR. This is good stuff, no, it’s great stuff and you and your daughter and son, as well, should watch. It will be inspirational. If you don’t have The Golf Channel on your TV package, now is the time to add it.

See you on #1 tee looking forward to playing college golf… Sam

Junior Golf: The First Step To Success

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at one of the most important things that you must stress to your young golfer in order to help them achieve junior golf success.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

This idea was always first in our house. Yes, even ahead of playing golf. Without this factor your child is limited in all areas of positive achievement. What on earth are we talking about here?

Let’s call it high standards. What does this look like? Well, many things come into play. A desire to compete, a desire to excel and wanting to get good grades on schoolwork are good examples. With discipline, structure and solid parental guidance these things are all possible.

Parents of kiddos 7 years old and younger may be wondering exactly why this is important. Why can’t your child just go to school and be a kid? Well, he/she certainly can, but things will be much better if you decide to pursue the suggestions we’re offering today.

Everything we’re talking about here translates directly into the world of golf, both practice and play. Without a good mental approach your youngster is at a distinct disadvantage.

Here’s where it gets very serious. No pass/no play is a reality in high school and college golf. Your son/daughter must be scholastically eligible to play in competition, period. There are no exceptions. There are minimum number of classes/hours and a minimum GPA that must be maintained. Start preparing your child for this situation now.

Once a golfer is scholastically ineligible there is a waiting period before they can regain their eligibility. This time varies depending on the structure of grading and grading periods at individual high schools and universities. It might be as short as a week or 2 or it could be 4 or 5 weeks. In every instance, no one is happy about it.

The coach is not pleased. The teammates while supportive, usually, of their ineligible team member, feel let down. Your child should be unhappy with him/herself. The lack of discipline, desire for excellence, respect for the game and respect for their teammates should hopefully be an encouragement to square those shoulders and start producing better grades.

It’s bad enough in high school where the consequences are basically embarrassment, letting down the coach and teammates and missing some tournaments, but it’s really bad in college where your son/daughter is being paid to play golf.

Too much scholastic irresponsibility and your golfer might be kicked off the college team. It happens! So now you and your student have this nightmare and your college out-of-pocket dollars have dramatically increased. Time for a big time pow-wow!

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S3 was eligible for every event in high school and college. He missed a couple of events due to injury and one due to a poor qualifying round. But his grades were always good! There was actually more scholastic failure among his high school team members, than with his college ones. I feel this is generally due to an increased maturity level among college golfers.

Mom and Dad these are life lessons which are timeless and are helpful in every part of your kiddo’s future. Please consider finding some ways to incorporate some of these suggestions into your son’s/daughter’s everyday routine.

See you on #1 tee looking disciplined… Sam

Junior Golf: Short Game Practice Pays Off Big Time

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at how focus in one particular area of your daughter’s/son’s golf game can really pay off.

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Photocredit:GolfDigest

Time and time again as you listen to the PGA and LPGA tournament broadcasts you will hear the announcers repeat things that must happen if a player is to have a chance to win any golf tournament.

Some of those golden nuggets are:
You must putt well to win
You must make a couple of 20 to 30-foot putts to win
You have to make up-and-downs to win
You need a good greenside sand/bunker game to win

What do these items have in common? They are all part of golf’s short game. Every golf instructor worth her/his salt will tell you that the fastest way to lower your junior golfer’s score is to improve their short game. This includes chipping, putting and greenside sand/bunker shots.

Here’s a perfect example from last weekend Player’s Championship. Si Woo Kim became the youngest player in history to win the prestigious Player’s Championship at just 21 years of age. His final round stats provide a different picture than you might expect. Kim missed 10 greens and made par every time. That’s a 100% rate folks, short game perfection. The shot repertory included an amazing hybrid from just off the green, pitch shots, chip shots and beautiful greenside bunker shots. And he made every 1 of the 10 putts that followed resulting in a 3-shot winning margin!

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Photocredit:DailyMail

Periodically you’ll hear of a pro that’s in contention on Sunday that’s made everything all week from 3 feet and in or from 5 feet and in or even from 10 feet and in. Next you might hear that he/she is leading the field in par saves, up-and-downs or sand saves. Mom and Dad, these are not accidents. The great players have the great short games that are necessary for a victory.

Chipping, putting, sand shots around the green are fun and easy to do and the chipping and putting can be practiced at home. Golf Channel Academy has a ton of input and instruction in this area as does almost every show on GC. Take advantage of them. Download the app. Go online to the big golf sites and see what’s on sale. Take some action. You can practice your short game too! Make it a family affair!

See you on #1 tee ready to see your good short game… Sam

Junior Golf: The First Step To College Golf

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at how to make that 1st move, that first step down the path to college golf. Every plan must have a beginning, so here we go.

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photocredit:Dubai Golf

Your son/daughter has a family team with them as they pursue their junior golf career. Sisters and brothers are also part of the team even though their responsibilities may be more subtle than Dad and Mom’s. The whole family is the team.

What is a team’s number one function: to provide support for the player! The support starts right here. The road to college golf begins right here. The team must all be on the same page!

How do you begin?
First Mom and Dad must agree that you would like/expect your junior golfer to attend college.
Then you should look at the time and money involved in supporting your junior golfer’s career in a strong enough manner to promote him/her as golf scholarship material. Expect college to cost more than you ever imagined. S3’s golf scholarship money was extremely helpful in paying for his college expenses!


Parents you must then be in agreement that college golf will be the long-term goal of your kiddo’s junior golf career.

Next it’s time to bring your junior golfer on board that he is expected to go to college and the most fun way to attend would be as a scholarship golfer and that the family will support him in every way to help him get there. He must also do his part however, because this is a 2-way street.


Now bring the siblings on board
. Please make sure they know that you will support them in their endeavors every bit as much as you will support your young golfer. Their main role is to do their own thing without disrupting other family events and functions. They don’t need to be cheerleaders, they just need to go with the flow.

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This will get you started. There will be a ton of questions. Single parents please seek wise counsel. Talk to parents who have had scholarship athletes and get their input. Parents of other junior golfers may have some decent advice. Talk to people whose advice you respect and trust. Get as much information as you can. College scholarships are a big deal and are well worth the time you spend pursuing them.

Not every kiddo needs to attend college, but those who are talented high school athletes are different. They have a chance to go to college and have some of those costs paid for by the university they will attend. This is unique and special. Please accept this as so. Having a scholarship can, for some kids, be the difference in going, or not going, to college.

And Parents, getting a college degree is a life goal and going to school on a golf scholarship is an even higher life goal! So please get your whole crew on board and let’s get started on the path to college golf.

See you on #1 tee playing for a scholarship… Sam

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