Posts Tagged ‘1st Tee’

This Could Happen To You

In today’s Friday Flop Shot I’m going to share a once-in-a-lifetime experience that S3 and I had 2 days ago. It was unexpected and the kind of thing that money, at least for most of us, can’t buy.

Here’s our story:

S3 and I volunteered to caddy in the Valero Texas Open Pro-Am held Wednesday, April 18, 2018. The mindset is “hope we have some decent amateurs and a pro whose name we have at least heard of.” You never know what you’re getting. That was for sure the case today but on the other side of the coin.

So we found our group’s bags and were reading the tags to see who we each had. My guy was Martin Parrish, ok. Then S3 starts reading the rest of the tags and says, “Dad, come here.” He points to the spot that says Professional. And we do the classic Looney Tunes doubletake because it says Adam Scott, on all 4 bags, so it must be true!

It was five and a half hours of incredible memories. Oh, as I found out after the round, my player, Martin Parrish, is a top Valero officer and Chairman of this year’s VTO, the biggest dude at the tournament other than the players. He’s a great guy and brought 3 good amateurs with him. They were all fun to be around!

Now to Adam Scott and his caddy David Clark. I can’t imagine that there are any nicer, more helpful and genuinely patient and good guy professionals to be around than these two. Refreshing to say the least! It was just like talking to regular folks, no pretenses, amazing men, looked you in the eye and engaged when we talked to them. Wow, we are bigger Adam Scott fans than before, if that’s even possible!

As some of you may recall, our family has been active in golf in this city since 1925. The Executive staff at Golf San Antonio, a little birdie told me, wanted to put someone in the Chairman’s group they could trust to support and fit in with this marquee 4-some. They hand-picked us because they know us and were comfortable that we were the right guys for the job.

I told S3 this is a classic example of who you know and who knows you and what they think of you. I emphasized that this is a testament to our family’s golf heritage over all these years, but more recently to his, mine and Linda’s involvement over the last 20 years. Great life lesson!

Our group actually was third to pick a pro. Valero CEO played with Greg Norman who designed the course and manages the whole event. 2nd took Sergio and Martin chose Adam. Not bad.

I don’t have the words to convey how great this day was and getting to spend it with my son was so special. Incredible memories.

Next year we’ll reset to our original premise. Just hope we’ve heard our pro’s name beforehand.

Parents, let this be encouragement for you and your junior golfer to volunteer in big events. Something like this can surely happen to you, particularly when you least expect it.

Man, what a day! See you on #1 tee standing next to your favorite pro… Sam

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Dreaming of College Golf, Catch It Here

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will specifically address how to use me and Linda to give your child the chance to catch their dream of playing college golf.

High school golfers are the focus of this post, but all parents might want to note that the sooner you and your junior golfer decide if college golf is a goal, the sooner you can start planning. We started S3’s college golf plans when he was 5 years old. It was always the long-term goal. Time flies by quickly, it’s never too early to start.

Parents of high school golfers, please hear me: even if your child is finishing their junior year, there’s still a great opportunity to successfully pursue college golf. Time is short and we need to take advantage of what time is available. Be optimistic! Contact us immediately and we can get the process moving.

This is special college golf pricing and it’s different from other coaching packages listed on our site.

A. College Golf Bundle:

6 sessions over 90 days

$395

B. College Golf Hourly

1-hour sessions as needed

$75 per hour

What’s included:

The path to college golf is confusing and we’ll provide a structure and plan for you to properly proceed. This includes timing for when certain things need to be implemented. The who, what, when, where, how to contact/communicate with the people, places and entities involved.

You’ll end up with a clear path from right now continuing into the future when you and your kiddo are having serious talks with college golf coaches.

Parents of high school juniors, if you are going to do this, the time is now.

Scholarships for boys are widely available but you must know and implement the process to be successful.

The scholarships for girls are easier to get because there aren’t enough girls playing golf to fill them. However, parents, you must pursue the scholarship process properly.

For those parents of 5-year olds and up to high schoolers, we have considerable important input for the best way to help your junior golfer use the years remaining in his/her junior golf career.

Some of your most amazing parenting memories will be on the golf course with your youngster. Make those times more meaningful with a long-term goal of playing college golf.

See you on #1 tee wearing your college logo… Sam

Junior Golf: Inspiration For The New Year

In this Friday Flop Shot we’re offering you some very special inspiration to help fire up your junior golfer, Dad and Mom and the whole family as we enter a new year.Photo credit dubaigolfThere are reasons some athletes are great. And at times we can’t completely figure out why greatness is in some people but not in others. There are times that greatness shines beyond the boundaries of apparent human ability. Oh, and for those of you who think you’re a decent snow skier, this post may put things in perspective.

Today we’re not talking about a golfer. We’re talking about Franz Klammer. Who? That would be the Franz Klammer who is the greatest men’s downhill ski champion of all time! What does skiing have to do with golf, you ask? As we look at genuine greatness, today it has everything to do with your junior golfer.

Examples of greatness can leave us with our eyes and mouth wide open, shaking our head at what we just saw! Hopefully that’s what you all will feel after watching the attached video.

Frank Gifford, former pro football player and avid skier and Bob Beattie, former U.S. national ski team coach are doing the play-by-play. The setting is thus: a Swiss skier has just set an incredibly fast time in men’s downhill skiing, in the 1976 Winter Olympics. The very fast time seems almost impossible to beat. Klammer is the last skier with any chance, no matter how slim, to take the lead which would mean winning the gold medal. Klammer is Austrian. The Olympics are at legendary Innsbrook, Austria. He’s going for gold in front of his home crowd. Franz Klammer is revered as the greatest athlete in Austrian history! Could any athlete have a more exciting opportunity than this, heck no!

Here’s the link to the video. The first 2 minutes set the scene and the last 2 minutes are the run. I highly suggest watching this on the biggest screen possible with the sound turned all the way up to capture the enthusiasm of the announcers. This is one of the top individual performances in the history of sports.

The Winter Olympics are coming this February. Men’s downhill is one of the first events, usually starting the first Saturday and only running a couple of days. You easily can miss the whole thing. We always record men’s and women’s downhill plus a lot of other events too. Franz Klammer’s 1976 performance is special but that doesn’t mean you won’t see someone else put on a spectacular gold medal performance. If you don’t watch, you’ll never know!Photocredit Sports Illustrated

The lesson here is belief. Believing that you can do it when you need to do it. Hit the fairway, hit the green, make the putt. Ya gotta believe!

See you on #1 tee believing you can put on a great show… Sam.

Junior Golf: A Great Last Minute Gift

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll share a great last minute gift idea for your junior golfer. Mom, Dad and all the family can enjoy this!

We’re talking about Junior Golf Magazine and Linda and I are excited to inform you that we have an article in the current/December issue. This is our 2nd article with JGM and we appreciate the opportunity to share some more timely and helpful information with young golfers and their parents.

Our article, Calendar SMART For Junior Golf Success, begins on page 4. To access the article, go to JuniorGolfMag.net and check out the 3 options to subscribe: Print Edition Only, Digital Edition Only or Print and Digital Editions. Be sure to check out any special offers. Each choice is a great value and we encourage you to subscribe.

Be safe and be polite as you finish your last minute shopping. Merry Christmas to All!

🎄🎁🏌️‍♂️🏌️‍♀️❄️👍😃😎

Junior Golf: Ryder Cup Excitement Begins

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at today’s start of The 41st Ryder Cup from Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. This is a team matchplay event where 12 of the best US men’s golfers compete against the best 12 from Europe.img_0106

If you’re not already recording it, I suggest you set the TiVo right now. Coverage starts on the Golf Channel at 730am central time today and goes until 600pm. Saturday’s coverage is 800am-600pm on NBC. Sunday’s broadcast time is 1100am-500pm again on NBC. We always record an additional hour in case the event runs long. Ties count and there is not a playoff but weather delays and other unknowns might cause matches to run longer than usual. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

You will hear 3 types of matches discussed. These 1st 2 are a bit confusing. Foursomes refers to 4 players, 2 2-man teams, in each group and it is played where team members hit every other shot with 1 team member hitting 1st on odd-numbered holes and the other hitting 1st on even-numbered holes. Often both players in singles play, use very different golf balls. Different degrees of firmness/softness and high spin vs low spin means the teammates must find a compromise ball since they aren’t allowed to switch balls each shot. The pros are so finely tuned to the feel of their golf ball that switching to another ball takes a lot of practice. It is very different. Yardages, amount of draw or fade, spin rates and backspin all are impacted. There’s a ton of pressure on Foursomes since you really don’t want to hit a poor shot which leaves your partner facing a very difficult next shot. You don’t want to let your partner down. Each team’s score is recorded on every hole and low score out of the 2 team scores wins the hole.

Fourballs is also 2 2-man teams playing against each other. All 4 players play their own ball through the hole and the low score for each 2-man team is recorded. Lowest score of the 2 team scores wins the hole.

Singles are on Sunday and the 12 matches will include every player on each team, 1 US player vs 1 European player. It’s very straightforward. Low score wins the hole.

Each of the 28 total matches is worth 1 point. The winning team of each match gets 1 point, the losing team gets 0 points and if the match is tied/halved, each team gets ½ point. The 1st team to reach 14 and1/2 points wins the Ryder Cup. If the teams tie at 14-14 the previous Ryder Cup winning team retains the Cup. (image agtgolftours.com)

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The crowds are very loud for golf tournaments. There will be more European fans than you could possibly imagine and they are loud. The enthusiasm and energy of the players and fans is unique and contagious. Pretty much every player will tell you that this is the 1 event where their knees are literally shaking on #1 tee. I mean, you’re playing for your flag, your country, your national pride. It’s so different than playing for oneself. I think it was Zach Johnson that said there was tremendous pressure on every shot in a Ryder Cup because the stakes are so high and the pressure on the 1st tee was insane! It’s a lifetime achievement for these guys, certainly equal to or close to the equal of winning major championships.

Please have your junior golfer watch some of this event. It should certainly excite him and inspire him to dream more and dream bigger. The excitement is contagious!

See you on #1 tee looking proud of your country… Sam

Junior Golf: Memories Of Arnold


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In today’s Wednesday Waggle I’ll share a few family memories of times we were around Arnold Palmer.

He is everything and more than was said about him. Tom Watson mentioned that professional golfers should send Arnold Palmer a commission on every dollar that they earned. There are thousands of tribute articles available where you can get a comprehensive discussion of how Arnold changed almost everything about professional golf…the excitement, bringing the game to the masses with Arnie’s Army, increasing the endorsement money, revitalizing the British Open, bringing attention to the importance of golf as a world-wide sport, loving his fans, increasing purses and of course his amazing charity work. The list is endless and professional golf will be eternally grateful! (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

My Dad was very involved in running The Texas Open for many years including 1960-62 when Arnold won it all 3 years. Dad got to know Arnold at Fort Sam Houston in 1960. The 1st time I actually met him was in 1961 when, after finishing a round at Oak Hills, Arnold was talking to my parents as I walked up. Dad introduced me and Arnold said, “Hi Sammie, nice to meet you,” and we visited a few minutes and he moved on. Different times back then, no giant structures, pretty much the only grandstands that were around #9 and #18, both of them par 3’s. You had open access to all the pros and while some weren’t very talkative, many were.

Sitting at #17 green was my friends and my favorite spot because once the guys putted out you could watch them hit to #18. The tee box was right next to the 17th green. So 17 is a hard dogleg left with a forest in the middle of the way. Arnold was long enough to cut the corner but when we heard a ball crash into the middle of the trees. This was my hero’s group coming up and my heart sank as I watched Arnold go to the ball on the bare dirt with about 30 trees between it and the green. Well, don’t ya know, he hit a low roller out of there up to about 3 feet from the pin and made a birdie. Major excitement!

Arnold won The Texas Open again in 1962 and I know he came back to play in the 1968 PGA Championship at Pecan Valley. He and Dad got to say “Hi” again and I so wanted Arnold to win this event. You may recall he rope-hooked his drive into the woods on the 72nd hole but managed to hit a miraculous 3-wood close enough for a decent birdie look which would have tied him with Julius Boros. The putt didn’t drop and Arnold finished 2nd.

imageThe last time I saw Arnold in-person was at a Senior Tour event at Oak Hills in 2004. One of my life goals was to get a photo of S3 with The King and I had no idea how I was going to do it. When I read that Arnold said he always liked Oak Hills, where he won 2 Texas Opens, and wanted to play it 1 more time, I couldn’t believe it! We went on Pro-Am day because there are light crowds and access to players is good. There was a slight backup on #11 tee and The King was gracious enough to let S3, then 10 years old, sit in his lap. It’s a lifetime event photo, a true treasure! Thank you, Arnold! The King is gone but he has given our family a lifetime of memories.

See you on #1 tee honoring The King… Sam

 

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Junior Golf: Amazing Finish But I ‘m Also Sad

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at the amazing finish to The Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. And as great as that was I’m also sad that my #1 sports hero of all-time, Arnold Palmer, passed away. I’ll share some of our family’s personal memories with The King on Wednesday. Today let’s look at what happened in Atlanta!image

Sunday began with most of the golf pundits just about ready to concede both events to DJ, Dustin Johnson. Why not, he was playing well, had a great year and just needed a good final round and he would be very hard to beat. Well, guess what, golf happened! (photo jennleforge.com)

He played poorly, in fact, the worst round of the day for the 30-man field, a 73 and with 6 holes to play there was no way for him to win the TC. There were 3 guys who were fighting it out and it was great golf and exciting TV.

Kevin Chappell, was leading but a poor drive on #17 left him with a bogey. Being in the last pairing right behind Rory McIlroy and Ryan Moore, Kevin had some idea of what was happening ahead.

Let’s back up. Ryan was slowly catching Kevin all day long. DJ played poorly and was out of contention. Rory was a few shots back and was not a threat, yet. Well, Rory holed out for an eagle on #16 to seriously get back in it. He parred #17 and birdied #18 to finish -12. His playing partner Ryan finished 4, 3, 5 to also be -12. So Kevin went 3, 5, 5 to make it a 3-way tie at 12-under. Let the playoff begin.

Who could have won outright? The rough was notoriously tough and Chappell’s poor drive on #17 cost him a bogey. A par would have meant a win. An expensive shot. Ryan had maybe an 8-footer for a birdie on his 72nd hole that would have put him at 13-under par and an outright winner. He missed it and I think that was the only putt under 10-feet he missed all day! Wow!

Playoff holes were 18, 18, 15, 16, 17 and 18, sudden death! Rory hit a 360-yard drive on the 1st playoff hole leaving only 213 yards to the pin. He promptly hit his 2nd shot to 6 & 1/2 feet and it seemed like it was over. Kevin hit a poor approach and missed his birdie putt and he knew he was done. Ryan had almost the exact same putt he had missed just moments earlier and he stroked it right into the middle of the cup for a birdie, forcing Rory to make his eagle putt to win.

The announcers mentioned that Rory really wasn’t taking any time with the putt and he was just stepping up and hitting it. Perhaps he should have taken more time because he missed it. So he and Ryan played 18 again, then 15 and then the par 4 16th. After an awkward chip, Ryan made a 20-footer for a par. Rory had 14 & ½ feet for his birdie and he made it! Had Kevin or Ryan won the tournament, DJ would have won the FedEx Cup. Rory, by winning the last event of the year also won the FEC, congratulations, Rory! (photo pga.com)

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It was amazing to watch. I mean Kevin Chappell went 66, 68, 68, 66 and finished 3rd. That’s great golf on a tough course! Ryan Moore kept making shots and would not make a bogey. And he made a ton of putts. Fabulous grit and determination! And Rory, who at some point must have known that he would have to win it because Ryan was not going to hand the victory to him, hit 1 more great shot than Ryan to claim his win on the 4th playoff hole!

What does this mean to your junior golfer? Every shot counts. Never give up. Give your best effort on every shot every time. Take a breath. Enjoy the thrill of the moment because these moments are rare.

See you on #1 tee ready to give your best effort on every shot… Sam

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