Posts Tagged ‘chipping’

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: Short Game Practice Pays Off Big Time

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at how focus in one particular area of your daughter’s/son’s golf game can really pay off.

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Photocredit:GolfDigest

Time and time again as you listen to the PGA and LPGA tournament broadcasts you will hear the announcers repeat things that must happen if a player is to have a chance to win any golf tournament.

Some of those golden nuggets are:
You must putt well to win
You must make a couple of 20 to 30-foot putts to win
You have to make up-and-downs to win
You need a good greenside sand/bunker game to win

What do these items have in common? They are all part of golf’s short game. Every golf instructor worth her/his salt will tell you that the fastest way to lower your junior golfer’s score is to improve their short game. This includes chipping, putting and greenside sand/bunker shots.

Here’s a perfect example from last weekend Player’s Championship. Si Woo Kim became the youngest player in history to win the prestigious Player’s Championship at just 21 years of age. His final round stats provide a different picture than you might expect. Kim missed 10 greens and made par every time. That’s a 100% rate folks, short game perfection. The shot repertory included an amazing hybrid from just off the green, pitch shots, chip shots and beautiful greenside bunker shots. And he made every 1 of the 10 putts that followed resulting in a 3-shot winning margin!

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Photocredit:DailyMail

Periodically you’ll hear of a pro that’s in contention on Sunday that’s made everything all week from 3 feet and in or from 5 feet and in or even from 10 feet and in. Next you might hear that he/she is leading the field in par saves, up-and-downs or sand saves. Mom and Dad, these are not accidents. The great players have the great short games that are necessary for a victory.

Chipping, putting, sand shots around the green are fun and easy to do and the chipping and putting can be practiced at home. Golf Channel Academy has a ton of input and instruction in this area as does almost every show on GC. Take advantage of them. Download the app. Go online to the big golf sites and see what’s on sale. Take some action. You can practice your short game too! Make it a family affair!

See you on #1 tee ready to see your good short game… Sam

Junior Golf: Have More Fun, Change Something

As we get the new year off and running, let’s use this Wednesday Waggle to have more fun and change something. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Rock singer Cindy Lauper’s song, Girls Just Want To Have Fun, really applies to all of us. Most of the time our junior golfers are eager to get out on the course and play a few holes, have some fun. But there’s the drills that need to be done to develop new and proper habits and techniques so your son’s time on the golf course actually has an opportunity to be fun.

Some drills/practice regimens are more fun than others and all of them can get monotonous at some point. Chipping and putting are easy places to start. There are a ton of very short videos on the Golf Channel Academy App (free), the golf magazine sites, many manufacturer’s sites and on Utube.

Where to start? Simple, ask your son if he would prefer to improve his chipping or his putting. If he says putting, but you feel like his chipping is not as good as his putting and you, in your wisdom, would prefer he work on chipping, get his attention by saying this, “Good chipping really improves your putting!” He says, “How’s that, Dad?” Your response, “Good chipping leaves the ball closer to the hole, so you have shorter putts. And you’re good at making those!” (image DWQuailGolf.com)image

There’s so much information. Look for something that is practical and addresses an area that can be improved in your sons golf game. If you’re in a cold climate, perhaps an indoor putting drill would work. Or chipping whiffle balls off a matt in the garage into a bucket. Get creative, do something, something new and different.

See you on #1 tee using those new skills… Sam

Junior Golf: Change Is Good

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at change and why, in the great majority of cases, change is good. (image jennleforge.com)image

Charlie Strong, head football coach at my alma mater, The University of Texas, was fired Saturday and replaced by Tom Herman. This is a rather obvious example of good change because Coach Strong had 3 consecutive losing seasons, which is totally unacceptable at UT, and he had to go. We’ll see how Coach Herman does, but in any case, a change had to be made and made now. The losing could not be tolerated any longer. Optimism is once again in the air at The University of Texas football program.

Another great outcome of change was Ryan Moore’s dramatic improvement in his finishes on the PGA Tour, after changing golf balls. He went from middle-of-the-pack to Top 5 or Top 10 finishes and played his way onto the Ryder Cup squad where he clinched the winning point. Talk about positive results from change!image

So Dad and Mom, change something for your junior golfer. I’m not talking swing changes here. I mean a new ridiculous head cover that causes her to smile every time she looks at her bag! Or buy some colored golf balls. Or buy a different brand of golf balls, proper compression of course. Shop for new golf shoes. Perhaps get 1 of the new floppy hats which provide great protection for the ears and back of the neck. And there’s always some new practice aide that can be used in the backyard or even in the house. We are big fans of putting aides. They are an excellent way to shave off some strokes. Let’s use change to have fun!image

Inject a little fun in the game. Smiles are relaxing and we all know our kids can use some more relaxation on the golf course. (images global golf and roxy)

See you on #1 tee smiling… Sam

Junior Golf: Love Your Golf Ball

In this Monday Mulligan we will continue our look at golf balls and why your daughter needs to really like/love the ball she plays with. It’s her most important piece of equipment so let’s treat it as such. (image jennleforge.com)image

Yes, if your girl is a beginner and struggling to make contact with the ball, please buy some inexpensive balls until she starts smacking the ball on the clubface, hopefully near the middle, and is getting it up into flight. Then it is the time to get some education for both of you in the world of golf balls.

Last post we talked some technical things and most of the balls for your beginner to intermediate skill level young lady would be the common 2-piece variety. At this stage of her golf development what would cause her to enjoy/like/love a particular ball? The easiest benefit to see is increased distance. 1 ball may stand out as going farther than the other balls she has hit. Buy some. Let her enjoy her new length. As she get used to this ball, ask her how it feels when she hits a good shot. If she says it feels good or I barely feel any contact, you have a ball to stick with for a while, at least until the more sophisticated area of spin levels comes into play.

Another thing that simply makes golf more fun is the color of the golf ball. I can assure you that my wife Linda, really enjoys playing with colored golf balls. It’s easy to see that it makes golf more fun for her. There are bright yellow, bright green, pink, deep-rose colored balls and more. Ask your daughter if she would like to play with a color other than a white golf ball. Buy her some. Please be aware everyone’s eyes are different. I personally still see white balls quicker than any other color. Then yellow and green and frankly the pink, deep-rose colors are very hard for my eyes to pick up.

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A hybrid type of ball is the Callaway Chrome Soft Truvis Ball offered in red/white and yellow/black. These are easy for my eyes to see and the color pattern looks kind of like a soccer ball. They are pricey at $39.99 per dozen and may not be appropriate for your girl’s swing speed. It is incredibly easy however to see the spin with this ball. Buy 1 sleeve for putting and chipping practice. (image golf balls.com)

The bottom line here is buy her a sleeve each of several of the top brand names like Titleist, Callaway, Bridgestone, Nike-while you can get them, Srixon and TaylorMade. At some point she will tell you which 1 stands out to her. And buy her some colored balls for fun. Who knows what her final choice will be, but at least she has had the chance to audition a variety of quality golf balls. You’re putting her in a position to succeed!

See you on #1 tee with a golf ball you love… Sam

Junior Golf: There’s Always One

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will take note that every time your daughter plays in a tournament there will always be 1 player in her group that presents a unique situation that has the potential to negatively impact your daughter’s game.img_0102

Let’s talk about golf skills and how players can manifest them. For instance on #1 tee 1 of your girl’s playing partners crushes her drive. I mean the ball sounded different off the clubface and it flew past all the other drives. This has now, depending on your daughter’s level of golf maturity, become a test for her. Yes a test to see how well she stays focused on her own game and not be thinking about how far the other girl hits the ball. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

There is always somebody who hits the ball a mile. In S3’s college tournaments a couple of guys will hit 20-30 yards past the rest of the field. A look at their fairways hit stats at the end of the round will tell you how meaningful those bombs are.

There is sometimes a girl who hits her approaches closer than everyone else. But can she putt?
Then there’s the girl who seems to make every putt. Practicing 5-foot putts, at least 50 at a time is 1 of the best ways ever to lower a golf score. I can only remember 2 times in the last 8 years that S3 wasn’t the guy making all the putts in his group and it was because he did not practice his putting enough the week prior to the event. There are a number of putting aides for sale from about $20.00-120.00. Find 1 that fits your budget and buy it. This is 1 of the best things you can ever do to help her improve her scores.

Then we have the amazing chipper, every 1 within a foot. And the girl with the most unusual swing ever who seems to get the ball in the hole. How does she even make contact? (photo articles.baltimoresun.com)

Marathon Classic - Round Two

What does all this mean? Your daughter must stay focused on being herself, not get caught up with the other player’s games and reset herself on hitting a great next shot. This is tough but parents you can be a big help. Even the pros will tell you they get tired of seeing the other guy hit every drive in the middle of the fairway. Keeping her mind in the proper mode is 1 of the greatest challenges in all sports, not just golf. Understand and respect how tough it is. Your daughter may begin to question her ability: How can I compete with her, I can’t hit it that far, I can’t putt like that, etc. Don’t let that mindset get a hold on her. Remember your contact during most tournaments is extremely limited so this must be worked on prior to her contest.

Opportunities to be distracted during a round of golf are everywhere. From butterflies, turtles and fish for the little-bitties to somebody bombing drives and making every putt for the bigger kids, it is easy to lose focus. And that is not helpful for playing good golf.

See you on #1 tee looking focused… Sam

Junior Golf: Interpreting Stats

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue looking at your daughter’s stats and what they mean. How can the 2 of you understand what’s going on with her golf game and how can you help her lower her scores?image

Statistics are everywhere. They are commonly misstated or manipulated to show a desired outcome rather than the genuine results. Keeping that in mind, know that the stats on your daughter’s scorecard are very matter-of-fact and Mom and Dad, even for you it would be hard to misrepresent what they show.

Yes, the most important number in stroke/metal play is the score and in match play, it’s the number of holes won. The other data on the card reflect her strengths and weaknesses during a round and when you look at several scorecards together, you may very well identify a trend. (offcoursegolf.com)

Let’s say your daughter has averaged hitting 7 out of 14 fairways for 3 consecutive rounds. This needs improvement and the number needs to be at least in double digits, maybe 10 minimum. The question is, why does she miss fairways? Does she miss on 1 side or does she miss both right and left? When you can answer that it’s time to get with her swing coach. (photo wickedgolfers.com)

GIR, Greens In Regulation, is a little different in that more clubs are used and distances are varied and sight pictures can be intimidating. On an approach shot if your daughter struck the ball well, why wasn’t the ball on the green? Wrong club, crazy bounce, misalignment, be aware. You would like for her to be hitting at least 50% of the greens.image

Ideally with chips and putts you want to see 1 chip and 0 putts, meaning a chip-in or 1 chip and 1 putt meaning an up-and-down. When either of these is out of a sand trap I put an S next to the 1 in the chip box. If your daughter has more of 1 chip and 2 or even 3 putts, then she needs to work on her chipping. Chips from around the green should be 3 feet or less. Thus improved chipping also improves putting. Golf tournaments are won around the greens and making up-and-downs is seriously important.

In our previous post S3’s scorecard had a little bit of everything in what was frankly a fun round to watch. And he had 31 putts which is a lot particularly when you consider his 18-hole score was 1-over par 73. The pros average number of putts is usually in the mid-20’s. So if your girl averages 27 putts or 1.5 putts per hole for 18 holes, that is very acceptable. Getting up around 30 putts is not good and being less than 27 putts is very good!

What do you see on these scorecards? What part of her game is most in need of extra work? The stats will show you. Get with her swing coach and make a plan.

See you on #1 tee statistically speaking… Sam

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