Posts Tagged ‘British Open’

Junior Golf: 6 Reasons to Watch The Open

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at 5 reasons your junior golfer will benefit by watching this week’s Open Championship, previously called The British Open.

Carnoustie Championship Course is the venue for the 3rd of this year’s men’s majors and it’s got its own set of unique qualities.

Reasons to watch:

1. The history. Britain is the home of golf. It’s where golf began and golf has been played at this course since the early 16th century. This is a chance to learn things about our great sport that you won’t hear at any other event.

2. The courses. Most golf courses in Britain are serious links designs, the likes of which are few and far between in the U.S. It takes a different mindset and genuine creativity to have a good round on these courses. You will be fascinated by the unique designs.

3. This course, Carnoustie, a long and narrow golf course at more than 7400 yards, is a brute. As Sir Michael Bonallack put it, “When the wind is blowing, it is the toughest golf course in Britain. And when it’s not blowing, it’s still probably the toughest.”

4. The players and their strategy for links golf. All the world’s top players will be here, including your favorites. You will see types of shots attempted here that are not seen on the typical PGA Tour venues. If the course is dry and fast, you will see some fabulous low rolling shots. The pros hit these because links greens are notorious for not holding when they are hot and dry. The only way to get close is to roll the ball.

5. The weather. PGA Tour player Davis Love III, was asked what was the most layers of clothes he had worn in a golf tournament. He said, “That’s easy. It was 5 layers in the 198x British Open.” Summer weather in Britain is unpredictable. Calm and 70-degrees one day and windy, wet and 50-degrees the next. It’s usually a decent opportunity to see who makes the best rain gear.

6. The dreams. Dreams and creativity go hand in hand in this wonderful game. No venue offers more of either of these than The Open Championship. As my dear friend and excellent golfer, Nelson said, “If you don’t have any dreams, why do you even get out of bed in the morning?” Give your son/daughter a chance to dream.

Now it’s dvr time. The Golf Channel has Live From The Open on from 5:00a-11:00a through Wednesday, then scattered throughout the day from Thursday-Sunday. Tournament schedule is Thursday and Friday, 8:30a-3:00p on the Golf Channel and on NBC, Saturday, 6:00a-2:00p, and Sunday, 6:00a-1:30p. We always record 2 hours after the event in case of a playoff.

Junior Golf: It’s Open Championship Week-Get Excited!

In this week’s Monday Mulligan there is so much history, so little time! It’s my favorite golf week of the year, the week of The Open Championship-formerly called The British Open, the 3rd men’s major championship of 2017.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

 

This Thursday will mark the start of the 146th Open Championship. There is not enough time to get into the history of golf’s oldest championship. Here’s a taste of what will get you fired up!

Arnold Palmer’s Dad told him that if he was going to be a great golfer, he had to be great all over the world. In those days it mostly meant playing in The British Open. He did for the 1st time in 1960, coming in 2nd and won the next 2 years. Jack Nicklaus joined him and more Americans followed, elevating the quality of play because at that time, with a few notable exceptions, the Americans were the best golfers in the world. Now all the world’s greatest golfers want to be in this field.

Let’s get to it. One of the most important things this week involves freeing up space on your TiVo because there is a ton of hours to record. Next make sure you have The Golf Channel on your TV package because ALL The Open Championship coverage is on it, Directv Channel 218. Now be sure to record Live At The Open because you will learn more interesting golf stories and history and tips this week than in any other week of the year. There must be at least 50 hours of LATO.

Now record the tournament coverage. 1st round coverage begins at 12:30am, central time, this Thursday, July 20. Same start time for Friday. Saturday and Sunday play airs on The Golf Channel starting at 3:00am, central time. And, as always, record at least 1 extra hour past Sunday’s scheduled ending time, in case of a playoff.

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Photocredit:The Golf Club Secretary

Be advised, minimize your access to social media. There is always someone posting the latest scores, leaders and great moments as soon as they occur. If you would prefer to find out theses things on your own you’ll need to take precautionary measures to protect your exposure to updates. When you wake up Sunday morning, in the U.S., at least, there will be a new Champion Golfer Of The Year. If you want to learn who it is on your own, stay away from social media. Get ready for an amazing week!

See you on #1 tee wanting to be Champion Golfer Of The Year… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Tips For Lower Scores In Bad Weather

 

In this Wednesday Waggle we will offer 3 mental postures or tips for parents to share with your junior golfers. These will help your daughter/son have an opportunity to shoot lower scores in bad weather. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Few if any golfers enjoy playing in terrible conditions. It is not fun, it takes every golfer out of their normal playing/pre-shot routine and it’s more challenging to shoot a decent score. There are players who find success in nasty weather. Let’s look at how they do it.

Last weekend during the PGA Genesis event at Riviera Country Club, former World #1 David Duval was asked, “How do you mentally prepare to play in this? The weather is terrible.” The host was referring to the rain and 25 mph winds battering the course and players. To paraphrase David’s response: “There are several things you need to do mentally. 1st, understand that everybody is playing in it, so it impacts the whole field. 2nd, there are players who really dislike these conditions and they are not going to play very well. 3rd, there are players who embrace these conditions and play better during bad weather than nearly everyone else. They gain strokes on the field. This weather is an excellent opportunity to move up in the standings for players who can take a breath and embrace tough playing conditions. In fact, there are some good scores out there right now.” Yes, there were some players shooting 3,4,5-under par in ugly weather.

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Hall of Fame member and 8 time major champion Tom Watson won the British Open, now The Open Championship, 5 times. After Arnold Palmer, Tom is probably the American golfer that is most loved by the British golf fans. When asked why Tom was so successful playing in the notorious and unpredictable British summer weather, 2 main reasons were offered. His ball flight was lower and thus less affected by the elements. And he was able to totally embrace the weather. It has often been said that when it was cold, windy and rainy, you couldn’t tell it by Tom Watson’s attitude. He looked like he was enjoying a sunny 75-degree day! There ya go! Attitude, attitude, attitude…positive attitude! (Tom Watson photo sporting news)

Golf is certainly a mental game and there is always another opportunity to test your daughter’s mental strengths. Ugly weather is one of those moments. She will play tournaments in cold, wet and windy conditions and these 3 tips can help her shoot a better score.

See you on #1 tee mentally ready… 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: 3-Foot Putts

In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at something that occurs in every round of golf and sometimes they show up in numbers. To have any chance of winning a golf tournament your daughter must conquer these. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

What am I talking about, 3-foot putts of course! There’s a reason these are called knee-knockers or testers. This is a perfect in-between length where any player could casually walk up and take a swipe at the ball and likely miss. It is not a 6-inch tap-in and it’s not a 10-footer either. Watch how seriously every pro approaches these short putts. They go through their deliberate routine just as if it was a 30-footer.

Having a repeatable putting routine is critical and is an absolute necessity. The pros know the numbers and guess what, the winners of most pro events, both men and women, will be pretty much 100% makes on putts of 3-feet and less. Yep, that’s 1 of the stats that’s key to winning at any level of golf. (Doug Sanders photo utube.com)

Here’s how important it is to make these little putts. In 1970 Doug Sanders missed a 30-inch putt on the 72nd hole at St Andrews to win the British Open. He then lost an 18-hole playoff to Jack Nicklaus the next day. What happened in Sander’s own words, “I didn’t get set. I was thinking about which side (of the stands containing the British Royalty) to bow to. I saw my good friend Ben Hogan swat a bug away from his face, but later he told me he was trying to get me to walk away and reset.” Doug lost his focus, casually took the short putt for granted and missed. He said it likely cost him $200 million dollars plus the winning of a major and that was in 1970!image

Let’s look at the other side of 3-foot putts from last Sunday. Jimmy Walker had the same situation as Doug Sanders did in 1970, a 3-foot putt to win a major. And Jimmy went through his putting routine and stroked his ball into the middle of the cup. He stayed in the moment and got his 1st major.

Your daughter can get close to 100% makes on 3-footers, too. When S3 has been practicing on our favorite Dave Pelz putting aide, he makes just about everything. It’s quite clear, when he makes putts, he has practiced properly and when he misses those same putts, he has not, simple. Find a practice routine for short putts that keeps your daughter’s attention and get after it. It will pay off!

See you on #1 tee ready to make some putts… Sam

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