Posts Tagged ‘Cameron Smith’

Junior Golf: 4 Unique Benefits To Team Golf

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at some unique benefits of playing golf with a partner, one partner as in last week’s PGA Tour event.

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photocredit:Dubai Golf

The 2-man team tournament at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans was fun to watch and seemed to be fun to play. Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won in a Monday morning playoff in a format consisting of days 1 and 3-alternate shot and days 2 and 4-better ball.

Being part of a golf team, as in a club team, high school team or college team is different from playing team golf. I’m not certain if S3 ever played with anyone his age as part of a golf team as we saw last week. He and I, however, played numerous times in parent/junior events.

Usually they were 18 holes and were either better ball, 2-man scramble, modified 2-man scramble or alternate shot. Let’s do some terminology. Better ball: you and your kiddo play your own ball through the green-until each of you putts out on each hole and the lower score of the 2 of you is recorded for each hole. 2-man scramble: you each hit and then you both play from the better shot. Modified 2-man scramble: same as scramble except for driving. There will be some provision that a minimum of perhaps 2 drives from each player must be used. This is to prevent, usually a dominating driver of the golf ball from completely carrying his/her team off of the tee box. Alternate shot: simple. You hit first on the odd-numbered holes and your junior golfer hits first on the even-numbered holes or vice/versa and the 2 of you then alternate shots until the ball is in the hole.

Here are 4 positive benefits of playing in a team golf tournament:
It’s we not me. Your son/daughter is part of a team. There is now a 2nd person who can materially contribute toward winning the event.
It expands creativity. Now your youngster can learn what another competitor visualizes/sees/thinks when they analyze the next shot. Golf is a sport with an enormous amount of creativity required to shoot a competitive score. Understanding how another golfer may look at a shot expands your kiddo’s data base.
It can help your junior golfer’s patience. Knowing that he/she won’t hit the next shot or won’t hit 1st from the tee box can help slow down an antsy player. The partner will get credit for some of the better shots. Patience on the golf course is a major virtue and this is an excellent way to increase it.
It can help with confidence. In a single’s event, without a caddy, your young golfer has to be his/her own encourager when they hit a stinky shot. In a team pairing, the partner becomes the encourager and over 18 holes your kiddo can begin to have a new understanding of their skill level and end up being a more confident and mature junior golfer.

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Dad and Mom, be on the lookout for team tournaments. It may be that parent/junior events are all that are available. Linda and I encourage you to enter every one you can because they are special for a number of reasons including those mentioned above. FYI playing alternate shot with your child is the toughest thing ever. I just so did not want to let my son down by hitting a bad shot. Be forewarned! You may end up needing encouragement from your junior golfer!

See you on #1 tee ready to shoot a low team score… Sam

Junior Golf: The Sheer Joy Of Winning

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at what winning should truly feel like. Let’s have some fun!

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photocredit:jennleforge.com

It’s tough to win a golf tournament at any level. There are always a number of players in every field that are surely capable of winning. There were playoffs in both the LPGA event in Texas and at the PGA team event in New Orleans.

Haru Nomura was certainly excited to finally defeat Christie Kerr after a lengthy playoff. But the uninhibited joy of winning his first PGA tournament was on display with young Australian Cameron Smith, who along with teammate Jonas Blixt won the Zurich Classic defeating Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown on the 5th hole of a sudden death playoff this morning.

After Cameron made a short birdie putt for the victory, the announcers came up for a quick post-game interview. Cameron was so choked up he just was unable to communicate. His life had been totally changed by the win and all the emotions of a 23 year-old poured out, leaving him with a million thoughts spinning in his mind and uncontrollable tears of joy! He was unable to speak.

Thankfully the interviewers understood that they should let Jonas Blixt do the talking for the team. And he did a great job. Jonas explained that the 2 of them both lived in Jacksonville, practiced together at TPC Sawgrass and had become good friends and he, Jonas had genuinely enjoyed watching his friend play excellent golf and was thrilled for both Cameron and himself, of course, for their team victory.

Please understand that there are many victories to be had, some large and some small. Hitting a good shot after hitting a poor shot is a victory. Getting out of a sand trap is a victory and hitting the ball fairly close to where your son/daughter wanted it to land is a victory. While these small victories may not always lead to uncontrollable tears of joy, they certainly are opportunities for encouragement, a smile, a thumbs up, I love you! Recognize these moments and participate, within the rules, in them. There will be more moments in the future, but they will not be the same as this moment right now!img_0196

In society today we are encouraged to control our emotions, be stoic, stand tall. And there are times for that. In the midst of golf competition, the best players make every effort to stay in their emotional zone, not too high and not too low. Then at the end of the event, players can let their emotions loose and manifest them freely and openly. That’s what Cameron Smith did and it was a beautiful thing to see.

Show your son/daughter.

Tell them that it’s OK to have some uninhibited joy! These are rare and special times!

See you on #1 tee ready to have some fun… Sam

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