Posts Tagged ‘beginner golf’

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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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: Changing Spikes

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at the most common maintenance required with spiked golf shoes and that is replacing the spikes or cleats, as they are sometimes called, on the shoes. (image jennleforge.com)image
Changing the spikes sounds so simple, but I can assure you that there have been several times I thought I was going to pull a muscle trying to break a worn spike loose. Some of them seem to be almost glued in place!
2 keys which will make changing cleats/spikes much much easier is 1st have a proper tool for the job. These sell for about $5-$10, fit your hand nicely and are as they say, the right tool for the job. The 2nd aide is to get a pan or bowl big enough to hold at least 1 golf shoe, obviously holding both shoes is better. Put about 1-inch of water in the bowl and let the sole of the golf shoe soak in the water for a few minutes to help loosen and mud and dirt around the threads of the cleats. Now the tool should relatively easily break the spikes free and you can remove them. If, after soaking, they still don’t come loose, spray some lubricant on them and allow them to soak a few minutes. Hopefully now they will come loose. If they still won’t cooperate, repeat the above steps or get someone bigger and stronger than you to turn the tool.
Once all the old spikes are out, clean the orifices so all dirt and grime is removed. Allow them to dry. Spray a bit of lubricant in the holes before installing the new spikes. This step seats the new spikes nicely and may aide in easier removal the next time you swap them out. (image soft spike images, link is not active)image
Be certain to buy the correct spikes for your daughter’s shoes. There are several different thread patterns and what you buy must match the grooves on her golf shoes. Once you have identified the thread type, there may be 2 or 3 different kinds of spikes to choose from. This changes a lot so just because you have spikes left over from her previous pair of golf shoes, don’t assume they will fit her current pair. Double check!
Examine her cleats at least monthly. Always replace any missing cleats. We replaced S3’s cleats every 6 months or more often. He was constantly playing golf and these soft spikes wear out and then they begin to lose their grip. Got to have good spikes!
See you on #1 tee looking for good traction… 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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