Posts Tagged ‘athletic scholarships’

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.

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Junior Golf: Think You Can Play-Seriously Consider D-II

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will enter the world of NCAA terminology and offer some solid points for your son/daughter to take a serious look at playing for an NCAA Division II school.

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photocredit: golf digest

Here’s a brief summary of the 3 NCAA divisions and how they are different in relation to scholarship offers for college golf. D-I: biggest schools. They offer partial men’s scholarships. If your junior golfer is not in the phenom category, forget it. D-II are smaller schools. They offer partial men’s scholarships which can be combined with academic scholarships. Can’t do this in D-I. S3’s college TAMIU was about 9,000 students. D-III are mostly private schools which do not offer athletic scholarships. They basically reduce the private tuition, making it close to what equivalent public tuition would be.

At some point in every junior golfer’s career they are infatuated with playing D-I college golf. Everyone wants to play against the best, right? Not so fast. In case you hadn’t noticed, there is always plenty of competition every time your boy/girl tees it up in a tournament and there is only room for very few of them in D-I. There’s a ton of D-II schools with excellent golf opportunities.

While there were a couple of D-I schools on S3’s short list, he, and it was ultimately his decision, decided that D-II was the route to go and he felt like TAMIU was where he was supposed to be. It also worked out well financially since his partial athletic scholarship could be combined with some academic money to relieve some of the financial burden.

TAMIU’s men’s golf program has improved every year starting in the 2012-2013 season. More competitive players were joining the team and higher finishes in tournaments were becoming more common. The program was moving forward, exciting!

Today is the final round of the NCAA D-II Super Regionals in Stockton, California. TAMIU is there, 1st time ever, and making a solid showing. Being 3-under par as a team after 36 holes puts TAMIU in 13-th place out of 20 teams and they are the highest ranked school from their conference, The Heartland Conference. Check out the link above to see details of the scoring.

What score is in 1-st place? Put on your seat belts Mom and Dad, it’s 29 under par by California Baptist University of Riverside, California. Say what? 29-under, that’s crazy! Yes, it is, but these young men can play!

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Any time a team or an individual shoots under par in an event, it is a solid performance. To win however, it takes a great performance. To get to great or winning efforts, one needs to grow from the solid ones. Hopefully solid will grow into great.

So parents, please give D-II a hard look. There should be a number of excellent choices for your kiddo and there’s always plenty of competition. S3’s four years at NCAA D-II, TAMIU, were great, absolutely wonderful!

See you on #1 tee, choosing D-II, ready to compete… Sam

Junior Golf:What Is The PGA Show?

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at the PGA Show and what it is and what it means for your daughter’s junior golf and college golf careers.img_0102

Actually the proper name is the PGA Merchandise Show, the 64th one to be exact and more than 1,000 new products are on hand. Everything golf is being shown from the latest swing analysis and technology to golf clubs, balls, equipment, bags, carts, shoes, clothing and apparel, if you can think of it, it’s in Orlando this week. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

On the Golf Channel Morning Drive program today they just couldn’t stop talking about the ten miles of aisles, of exhibits, of course. That’s a lot. Dad and Mom, I encourage you to record the Morning Drive show tomorrow and Friday so you can see some of the great interviews as well as get a sneak peek at the new goodies that will be available for your daughter.

This morning Bubba Watson and Russell Knox were guests on Morning Drive. Bubba always attends the PGA Show and just loves it. He says he’s like a kid in a candy store, that he’s a techy kind of guy and this is about the most fun he can have without being on a golf course. It is Knox’s 1st time at the event and he was amazed at the sheer size and scope of everything that was available.

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Couple of interesting items from today: Aquila Golf Virtual Reality Trainer, $349.00 for the app and headset. Yes, it’s pricey but if your daughter is into tech and perhaps video games, this might be right down her alley. Load the app and connect it to her phone and she can practice visualization, course management and practical decision-making. Use the Frogger Latch-it system to easily and securely attach a rangefinder, phone, towel, brush or just about any similar item to her bag or cart. Cost is from $18.00-$23.00. Parents this is an extremely practical item. We and S3 were always wanting better ways of quickly and securely attaching these items. I’m buying a couple of these as soon as they are available in mid-March.

OK, set your DVR to record Morning Drive at least for tomorrow and Friday. Then sit down with your daughter and enjoy the broadcasts from this great show.

See you on #1 tee with a new piece of golf tech… Sam

Junior Golf: No Artificial Sweeteners

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our look at the world of sweets. Congratulations on wanting to take control of your family’s health. This process is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires constant vigilance and a desire for more education. A critical step is controlling everyone’s sweet tooth and in our family part of that process is avoiding artificial sweeteners. No artificial sweeteners. (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106

The 3 most common are saccharin, aspartame and sucralose (Splenda). These are found in 1,000’s of food items, even in some canned vegetables and can be very difficult to find on the label because a number of different names are used to confuse us, the consumers. To help with the confusion factor, consider buying only products that have ingredients that you can pronounce or at least have some idea what they are and are fewer in number. When you see sugar or cane sugar on the label, it’s pretty clear where the “sweet” comes from. In the USA beet sugar is mostly made from genetically modified beets, GMO’s, so we never knowingly consume sugar from USA sugar beets.

Saccharin has been around forever, perhaps even 100 years. There was a time it received little negative press, but as research has become more sophisticated and our understanding of our body’s functions has increased, it has led our family to avoid it and other artificial items, especially artificial sweeteners.

Aspartame is everywhere, or at least it can seem like it! The 1st time I heard something negative about it was in the late 1980’s when an article in a Pilot’s magazine talked about an increasing number of pilots having headaches and other head issues. What they all had in common was they each drank 4 or more diet sodas per day. There are now 100’s of studies pointing out the potential harmful effects of consuming aspartame, including the possibility of pregnant women giving birth to an autistic child because of drinking diet sodas loaded with aspartame. (photo rawforbeauty.com)

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Splenda-sucralose is in 4,500 products so read labels carefully. While the clever advertising makes it sound relatively healthy, we do not consume it!

Mom and Dad please remember that we do not necessarily believe FDA guidelines. In fact, this agency may have changed classifications on these 3 items from safe to cancer causing, back to safe or even to another category. The best way we have found to deal with all this is to just avoid the products completely and read some informative articles as we are led.

It is all controversial! As you grow in your steps of taking control of your family’s health, you will begin to feel more confident and more at peace with your decisions and your family’s health will improve!

See you on #1 tee looking genuine… 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

Tour Championship Begins

And they’re off! The best 30 players on the PGA Tour have day 1 of The Tour Championship under their belt. And there were some surprises. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Hideki Matsuyama shot a 66 to tie for the lead with Kevin Chappell and pre-event favorite Dustin Johnson. The low 11 scores feature plenty of high-powered players including Jason Day 1 shot back, then Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy 2 shots back and finally Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar 3 shots back.

Notables who were in the back of the 30-man field were Bubba Watson at 2-over par, Patrick Reed at 3-over par and Phil Mickelson and Jimmy Walker, 4-over par. There are still 54 holes of golf to play, no 36-hole cut. The time to start shooting better scores would be now.

1 of the strategic truths of golf tournaments is that you can’t win an event during the 1st round but you can lose it. This means that if you shoot a terribly high score, putting too many strokes between you and the leaders, you have given yourself a slim to no chance to catch up and possibly take the lead.

This is an interesting field. Maybe ⅓ have won Majors/been on Ryder Cup teams/have won multiple events, about ⅓ have won maybe 1 event/no Majors or Ryder Cup but have been relatively successful and perhaps ⅓ who are young and very talented trying to elevate their success and status.

While statistically almost anyone in the field could win, the history is different. Look at the previous winners. Big names! Dominant players either historically or for the year they won. Billy Horschel is perhaps the only up-and-coming player to win and he put together a smoking hot final month of play culminating with winning The Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. He just wasn’t going to be stopped!

 

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If we can skip ahead to Sunday and look at the leaderboard before the final round begins, keep in mind what the great Jack Nicklaus said about competition during final rounds of big events. To paraphrase Jack, “I’d look at the leaderboard to see who had a chance to win. The guys who had never won a Major or big event I didn’t pay much attention to them because the pressure was too great. It was the guys who had won Majors or multiple Majors that I had to keep an eye on. They’d already done it. They’d been there.” (photo bmw-golfsport.com)

Encourage your junior golfer to stay calm and keep big numbers off the scorecard during Round 1. A bogey here and there is just fine, but the doubles, triples and quads are round killers, if not even tournament killers. There’s a time for high risk shots but remember that there are only a few pros who go for everything all the time. Safe shots are a good thing!

Set the TiVo. This should be good!

See you on #1 tee looking for the safe zone… Sam

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