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

Junior Golf: Take A Few Minutes Today

In this Monday Mulligan I ask Dad and Mom to explain the significance of Memorial Day to your young ones.

All of us in the U.S. are able to pursue our dreams, including playing golf, because of the men and women who have sacrificed their lives on our behalf.

Here are some statistics you might find interesting and sobering:

American Revolution (1775-1783)

Total servicemembers

217,000

Battle deaths

4,435

Nonmortal woundings

6,188

War of 1812 (1812-1815)

Total servicemembers

286,730

Battle deaths

2,260

Nonmortal woundings

4,505

Indian Wars (approx. 1817-1898)

Total servicemembers

106,0001

Battle deaths

1,0001

Mexican War (1846-1848)

Total servicemembers

78,718

Battle deaths

1,733

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

11,550

Nonmortal woundings

4,152

Civil War (1861-1865)

Total servicemembers (Union)

2,213,363

Battle deaths (Union)

140,414

Other deaths in service (nontheater) (Union)

224,097

Nonmortal woundings (Union)

281,881

Total servicemembers (Conf.)

1,050,000

Battle deaths (Conf.)

74,524

Other deaths in service (nontheater) (Conf.)

59,2972

Nonmortal woundings (Conf.)

unknown

Spanish-American War (1898-1902)

Total servicemembers

306,760

Battle deaths

385

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

2,061

Nonmortal woundings

1,662

World War I (1917-1918)3

Total servicemembers

4,734,991

Battle deaths

53,402

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

63,114

Nonmortal woundings

204,002

Living veterans

0

World War II (1940-1945)3

Total servicemembers

16,112,566

Battle deaths

291,557

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

113,842

Nonmortal woundings

671,846

Living veterans

1,711,0001

Korean War (1950-1953)

Total servicemembers

5,720,000

Serving in-theater

1,789,000

Battle deaths

33,739

Other deaths in service (theater)

2,835

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

17,672

Nonmortal woundings

103,284

Living veterans

2,275,000

Vietnam War (1964-1975)

Total servicemembers

8,744,000

Serving in-theater

3,403,000

Battle deaths

47,434

Other deaths in service (theater)

10,786

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

32,000

Nonmortal woundings

153,303

Living veterans

7,391,0001,6

Gulf War (1990-1991)

Total servicemembers

2,322,000

Serving in-theater

694,550

Battle deaths

148

Other deaths in service (theater)

235

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

1,565

Nonmortal woundings

467

Living veterans

2,244,5831,6

America’s Wars Total (1775–1991)

Military service during war

41,892,128

Battle deaths

651,031

Other deaths in service (theater)

308,800

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

230,254

Nonmortal woundings

1,430,290

Living war veterans

16,962,0004

Living veterans

23,234,000

Global War on Terror 5

Total Servicemembers (Worldwide) (as of Sept. 2011)

1,315,609

Deployed to Iraq (Operation New Dawn) (as of Dec. 31, 2011)

0

Deployed to Iraq and Syria (Operation Inherent Resolve) (as of 2017)

4,000-6,0007

Deployed to Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) (as of Dec. 2014)

0

Deployed to Afghanistan (Operation Freedom’s Sentinel) (as of Aug. 2017)

~11,0007

Battle Deaths

6,930

Other Deaths (In Theater)

1,378

Non-mortal Woundings

52,566

https://www.infoplease.com/us/american-wars/americas-wars-us-casualties-and-veterans

Please enjoy your day and give thanks and remembrance to those who help protect our freedom.

See you on #1tee looking respectful… Sam

Junior Golf: Use Demo Days To Lower Your Scores

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at the benefits of Demo Days and how you and your junior golfer can use them to shoot lower scores.

Demo Days are regularly scheduled at nearly every golf course and at some golf academies and learning centers. All the major manufacturers have representatives who put on Demo Days. Please check with the golf facilities in your area for dates of upcoming Demo Days and plan to attend.

Don’t be concerned if you’re not familiar with a certain club manufacturer. Go anyway. It’s great fun! There’s always something to be learned. It will pay off. It’s a free education!

Before you go, you and your kiddo briefly discuss any specific clubs you may want to evaluate. Whether it’s the driver, irons or wedges, have some thoughts ready ahead of time.

Put his/her full set of clubs in the car with you and then take the club you are most interested in with you when you walk up to the rep. If it’s irons, take the 7-iron.

Most reps today have numerous different weight/length/flex shafts that they can immediately screw on to any head. They do it right there and it only takes a few seconds. Let the Demo Day rep look at the current 7-iron and ask for suggestions of what shaft/head combo he has that might improve distance and accuracy.

Recently I was with Wilson Staff master fitter, Jeff Pittillo, at River Falls Plantation in South Carolina. I showed him my current 7-iron and mentioned I wasn’t happy with it because the ball didn’t go anywhere. I’ve lost a bunch of distance. His analysis: the shaft is too heavy. It’s stiff flex and I need regular. And the heads are almost blades and I need a more forgiving cavity-back style club. Wow!

Here’s what we did. We tried a couple of different weight shafts, all regular flex and ultimately Jeff recommended the KBS 90 gram regular flex shaft for more speed. We put it on the new Wilson Staff C300 Forged heads and the C300 Cast heads. The C300 Cast went further, felt better and had a beautiful ball flight. And the Cast is cheaper than the Forged. They’re great!

You can duplicate this scenario with your youngster at every Demo Day. Attend as many DD’s as possible so your son/daughter can get opinions from several club fitters and get a feel for different makes of clubs. At some point, you will hear, “Dad, those xxxxxx’s really felt good and they increased my distance!”

Now it’s up to the golf budget guru to see what can be done. Remember, the PGA publishes golf club trade-in values so you may get some bucks from the current clubs. A few times each year most facilities offer extra value on your trade-ins. Ask and they should be able to tell you when the next extra value trade-in period is and plan accordingly.

In order for your junior to be competitive, it is critical that Dad and Mom plan and commit to provide golf clubs that are correct for your child’s size, strength, athletic ability and skill level. This is a great way to get quality input from multiple sources!

See you on #1 tee with the right clubs… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 PreSummer Checks For Irons That Fit

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’ll look at 3 aspects of your junior golfer’s irons so you can be sure he/she has the correct equipment for maximum summer golf benefits.

Your youngster is growing, needing bigger shoes, new pants, shirts, tops and bottoms. Remember Mom and Dad, that getting taller, faster and stronger likely means different golf clubs.

Irons and all golf clubs that are mismatched to any golfer are a handicap. Your kiddo’s chance of success is poor if he/she is using improper equipment.

Start by asking for the name of the best club-fitter in your area. It’s best to ask the really good adult golfers, the ones who seriously compete and win in amateur events in your area. They know! Not being judgemental, but if you ask your swing coach, he/she will say they can do it. Now, this may be true or not. Perhaps they are the best swing coach around and are capable of doing a club fitting, but are they the best club-fitter, I don’t know. If you ask a junior or their parents, they may say they use their swing coach.

The swing coach will recommend that your child needs this, that and the other in the next set of irons, which should be soon. The club-fitter makes that happen with their own unique set of skills. And the best club fitter is a very talented and well-respected person!

Here’s what should be evaluated and acted upon now, with the current set of irons, to make the best use of your summer golf investment:

1. Iron shafts: are they the correct length, weight and flex? For example: “x” inches long, 100 grams and regular flex.

2. Iron heads: are they matched to the skill level. For example: lighter or heavier weight, cast or forged construction and best for beginner, intermediate or advanced skill level junior golfers.

3. Iron grips: are they correct for your young golfer’s hand size and “feel” preference? For example: too small/skinny, too big/fat, just right/perfect and do they “feel” hard/slick, rough/coarse or pleasant, meaning slightly tacky/grabby.

There will be more than one club fitter in your town. The reality is that most are ok, but one or two are genuinely talented. Those are the folks you want to find.

A simple equation is that as your child’s skill level advances, they require more highly-skilled professionals, including swing coaches and club-fitters. Find out who the best are so you can go to them when you need them. You will need them!

See you on #1 tee with a proper set of irons… Sam

Junior Golf: 4 Thoughts On Skin Protection

In this Wednesday Waggle we’ll look at some new ways to help protect your family’s skin.

Sunscreen is not on today’s agenda. It will get plenty of discussion in another post. It’s complicated.

Proper sun exposure is essential for good health but for golfers, the issue is perhaps too much sun rather than too little. More very interesting information on sun exposure will be presented in its own future post.

So your skin is your largest organ, let’s look at some ways to protect it.

1. Healthy skin starts with a healthy intestinal tract. A simple way to help your skin from the inside out is to make sure your whole family is getting enough quality omega 3’s. Lean, grass-fed beef, fatty fish such as mackerel or sardines, krill oil, flax seed, coconut oil and cod liver oil are good sources. For convenience, krill oil, coconut oil and cod liver oil are perfect. All are available in capsules most children should be able to swallow and no taste or smell. Fish oil caps are not usually your best choice.

2. Hydrate. Drink extra water starting 3 days before a tournament.

3. Cover up. Adidas, among others makes long-sleeve polo shirts for women and men. The new wicking/cooling technology makes these shirts very comfortable in hot weather. There are also the “sleeve” add-ons you see some LPGA ladies wearing. Collared shirts protect the back of the neck. Long hair and floppy hats can cover the ears, neck and forehead. When in doubt, cover.

4. Make a habit of conditioning your skin regularly, not just the day before a tournament. Mom, you’re likely way more informed than Dad on skin care products, but I’ll help cut through the maze of confusing options and offer some inexpensive, very low risk choices. We use Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Costco carries 2-packs. It is extremely clean and we love it. Another very beneficial skin care item is organic unrefined coconut oil. This has so many benefits I can’t begin to list them here. Coconut oil is widely available. Make sure it’s organic and unrefined. For a slightly pricier, but amazing 3rd option try Dr Mercola’s Organic Moisturizing Body Butter. It’s top-quality at a reasonable price. Try any or all of these and choose one for your daily moisturizer. Most experts recommend applying it after a warm shower. You’ll figure it out.

See you on #1 tee protecting your skin… Sam

6 Reasons To Make College Golf The Goal

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at college golf and why parents of junior golfers should seriously consider it as the long-term goal.

S3 started playing golf at age 5 and once we understood that he enjoyed golf and was developing a passion for it, we had a family meeting to make some short-term and long-term goals with the ultimate goal being a college golf scholarship. Everything we did was in harmony with all of S3’s goals.

If you have not considered college golf, here’s why you should:

1. Make college golf a goal, a dream. Life is about goals and dreams. Without them why are you doing anything?

2. This gives your youngster and the whole family a sense of purpose. It’s the major reason the smaller goals exist.

3. Not every kiddo needs to go to college to be successful. We have $70,000 tech jobs here in San Antonio that can’t be filled, but if your son/daughter is competitive in high school golf, they have a chance to attend college on a golf scholarship. It’s a blessing, accept it and pursue it.

4. A golf scholarship helps pay part of the cost of going to college. Men’s scholarships are partial, commonly paying perhaps 20-30% of the costs. Women have more scholarships available than the guys so they can usually get a higher percentage of their costs covered.

5. S3’s college golf experience was amazing, something no amount of money could buy! He saw parts of the country he’d never seen, played on fabulous golf courses and made lifelong friends from Australia, Zimbabwe, Spain and Mexico. Our family believes the absolute best way to attend college is as a college golfer. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience!

6. Now to the real world. Most college golfers will not play golf professionally. Here’s the big bonus of college golf: when your graduate’s resume hits the HR desk at a prospective employer, the first thing they’ll notice is that your child was a scholarship athlete who got a degree on time. The resume should go way up the list because a sharp HR person will understand that doing both of those things well requires excellent time-management skills. A great bonus!

Mom and Dad, please consider putting college golf on your kiddo’s radar. It is an achievable goal for both young men and young women.

See you on #1 tee wearing those college colors… Sam

Ideas For Mom On Her Day

In this Friday Flop Shot we’re loving Mom. Sunday is Mother’s Day and I’d like to offer some thoughts and ideas of how to honor her.

Our family is comfortable moving dates around to accommodate schedules and practicality. We may not go out to eat Sunday so we can avoid the crowds. Meeting together at 4:00 pm Saturday would be a choice we could agree on.

And we might not do a meal event at all but opt for a celebration at ours or one of the kids homes and have some light snacks. But that’s us. Perhaps your family does a big Mother’s Day function.

Gift items run the gamut. A few ideas:

1. Make a hand-written card, not typed. We use colored paper and it’s become a tradition for most special occasions. It saves money over those high-priced store cards and your own words really personalize the message.

2. Go with the old standbys of a meal and/or flowers. Either is OK, but would you consider something more creative?

3. Book a winery tour, either a day trip or stay at a B&B overnight. Add a round of golf.

4. Take a golf trip to a resort you’ve not previously visited. Make sure it has a spa and additional attractions besides the golf. I think every Mom would enjoy some serious spa time, being pampered head to toe! I know Linda does!

5. Select a gift item from the unlimited selection and prices. This is a golf blog however, so I’m going there. Fun golf items that Linda likes are the beautiful colored golf gloves offered by Footjoy-FJ Spectrum Women in 12 colors and the Calloway Women’s Opticolor Gloves in 3 colors and she really likes the Calloway Chrome Soft Truvis Yellow Golf Balls. I kind of like the red since it almost looks hot pink. Those yellow and black are easy to see though.

Happy Mother’s Day! Mom we really appreciate all you do. Love you!

See you on #1 tee, loving your Mom… Sam

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