Posts Tagged ‘competition’

Junior Golf: A Transformational Quote From The Presidents Cup

 

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at a new attitude showing up on the PGA Tour. And we’ll refer to a revealing and transformational quote from The Presidents Cup.

img_0337-1

Photocredit:jennleforge.com

The point I’m going to here is that there’s a different mentality surfacing among this talented group of young American pros. It’s a dramatic change from the attitude of days of old and really the days of fairly recent.

An influential older generation pro and perhaps it was a golf announcer said after watching all the comraderie and genuine friendships in the mostly under-30 American group (paraphrased), “I don’t know if they’re tough enough to win majors and be dominant champions.” I feel he was uncertain or maybe uncomfortable with all the time the young guns were spending together and and felt they were not focused enough on wanting to win.

Linda’s and my attitude at S3’s tournaments was that we wanted everyone to bring his best game and let’s see what the scores are at the end of the day. If our son is going to beat you, he must play better than you no matter how good you’re playing. As relentless encouragers, we applauded every good shot in the group we were following, not just S3’s shots.

As a result of our behavior we had an amazing encounter after a round at The Tribute at The Colony, just north of Dallas, a very fun golf course, by the way. One of S3’s 3-some came up to us after the round and said, “We love being here! Everyone is so nice and the hospitality is fabulous. And I wanted to tell you how much it meant to me that you acknowledged good shots from all of us, in addition to Sam. Where I’m from, (West coast), the parents and gallery boo our (the competition’s) good shots. So this environment is new to us and we love it!”

This brings me to what I believe is the most important and insightful quote of the whole 2017 Presidents Cup. It also shows the humility and strength of Phil as he was able and comfortable to be transparent and revealing about himself. In a post-Cup interview the announcer asked him what it is that makes the chemistry of this US team so special? Phil’s words (paraphrased by me), “Everybody gets along. The team room is a blast. We’re all kidding each other and having fun. And there’s a unique dynamic with these guys, something that’s taken me decades to learn and that’s how to be really happy for someone else when they have success.”

0D50F75C-A36F-43C6-A20F-BC7506342794

Photocredit:NBC

Wow, ladies and gentlemen, let that sink in. In the cutthroat world of professional sports here’s one of golf’s most successful and popular players, ever, saying that he is now at a place where he can congratulate someone on a good round or a win and be actually be excited for them.

Mom and Dad, this is transparency that transforms and it’s right out of our parenting manual. It has transformed Phil. It will transform some of his fans, including junior golfers.

Please understand that a strong desire to win doesn’t mean that your child should not be disappointed when they lose. It means that it’s ok and healthy to be glad for someone else’s success! It gives your son/daughter something to strive for!

See you on #1 tee ready for you to congratulate me, and mean it, when I beat you… Sam

Advertisements

Junior Golf: Inside The Minds Of Champions

 

In this Friday Flop Shot we will see how winners think by taking a quick look at how they really approach this game. Let’s look inside the minds of some champions.

image

Dubai Golf

I sincerely hope you are recording The President’s Cup. While the US has a big lead, there is some great golf being played and some wonderfully insightful quotes from the players.

World Golf Hall Of Fame member and captain of the Internationals team, Nick Price, was asked about his team’s mental state prior to Thursday’s start. “It’s good. We love to play golf, we love to compete and we want to win!”

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were asked why they had been such a successful pairing
in international competition. Patrick, “I’m kind of firey and Jordan’s always calm, so our personalities help each other to calm down or get revved up!” Then Jordan, “There’s also this competition within the competition where each of us wants to be the one who hits the great shot, makes the winning putt. We push each other like that.” Folks, this is a paraphrase and you could attribute these words to either one of these guys because they are asked about this all the time and this is always their answer.

Let’s stay with these two. After making a great comeback to get 1/2 point from Friday’s four-ball match, they were asked how pleased they were with a tie rather than a win. It was obvious that while a 1/2 point was better than no points, they really wanted to win. So here’s the great quote: Interviewer asks if it’s more satisfying to make an amazing comeback, 2 down with 4 holes to play or to win in a runaway. Patrick’s classic response (paraphrased): “Making a comeback means you’re playing a lot more holes to get something out of your round. Winning in a runaway means you’re playing great golf!”

These quotes are right in line with Bubba Watson’s statement of a few years back’ “Nobody out here’s playing for 2nd place!”

2773F0DB-4664-4F9E-B737-A158F09B2C44

Photocredit:Golf Channel 

Parents, start with Nick Price’s 3 things. Hopefully your youngster loves golf. And is getting used to competing and is starting to enjoy it. And has a desire to win welling within. With some kiddos this is more of a process than with others. Love the game, love to compete and want to win. Perfectly stated!

See you on #1 tee loving to play golf… Sam

Junior Golf: In The Shadow Of The Statue Of Liberty

 

img_0102-1

Photocredit:golfdigest.com

In this Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at the upcoming President’s Cup which will be played at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, just a bit more than 1 mile from the easily seen Statue Of Liberty.

With all the harsh discourse going around at and about sports and athletes, it seems like a perfect fit for an international golf competition to be held within eyesight of 1 of the greatest symbols of freedom and liberty in the world.

What is The President’s Cup? It is a 4-day team event between the US and the non-Ryder Cup nations, meaning basically everywhere in the world, except the British Isles and Europe. The format is similar to The Ryder Cup, which it alternates with every other year, with matches composed of four-somes (2 man alternate shot), four-ball (2 man team best ball) and 12 singles matches on Sunday.

The US is a solid favorite here, but it’s best not to read one’s press and start thinking how good you are and get a big head. A lot of things look good on paper but play out differently in the real world. Playing for one’s country has a level of pressure never seen anywhere else. Who will thrive and who will crumble?

Set the TiVo! You will see things over the next 4 days that you will never see again. Please record this. The venue, the setting, the intense enthusiasm of the home crowd cannot be duplicated and there will be a ton of inspirational situations that will really get your junior golfer fired up! Record this and schedule some time to watch the recording together.

The Barclays - Round Two

Photocredit:casino.org

Here’s the tv schedule (all times are central and all channels are Directv numbers): Thursday-Golf Channel, DTV #218, 12:00noon-5:00pm. Friday-Golf Channel, DTV #218, 10:30am-5:00pm. Saturday-NBC, DTV #4(San Antonio), 7:00am-3:00pm. Sunday-NBC, DTV #4(San Antonio), 11:00am-5:00pm.

Parents, this is a great time to show your kiddo a unique and mesmerizing golf experience. Please take advantage of it.

See you on #1 tee, ready to play for your country… Sam.

 

Junior Golf: A Different Kind Of Golf Story

 

img_0135-1

Photocredit:jennleforge.com

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at a different kind of golf story. I’ve not written about this before but it seems now is an appropriate time.

On September 11, 2001, I was in the men’s lounge at The Dominion Country Club, near San Antonio, Texas, eating breakfast prior to a 9:00am tee time. It was to be a glorious day enjoying a fine golf course with 2 dear friends, Ron and Jim. As we watched the events taking place on the tv, Jim, a retired Special Agent for the FBI, needed about 1 second to say: “That’s no accident, that’s on purpose. It’s probably a terrorist attack.”

Jim and I first met in the 1970’s and we spent a lot of quality time together. His exceptional talents and skills needed no additional support, so terrorism it was. And of course, he was correct.

We decided to keep our tee time and try to play. After 9 holes we decided that our hearts and minds were somewhere other than the golf course and we walked off the 9th green and headed our separate ways. For the 3 of us at least, it wasn’t a day for golf.

IMG_0561

Photocredit:i.pinimg.com

Parents, the take home point today is that while there are few things better than playing golf, there are times when it is best to do something else. Life is full of highs and lows and some of the lows are so tough, so different, so once-in-a-lifetime, that it is just not possible to focus on anything, particularly our beloved sport.

 

Learning to differentiate between not feeling 100%, not being in the mood or having a runny nose and something truly devastating can be tougher than you’d expect. Playing hurt is part of sports and some athletes are better at it than others and certainly you never want to risk aggravating the injury or risking permanent damage to your child, but there are decisions to be made. To play or not to play, that is the question!

Linda and I were always wanting to give our kids the benefit of the doubt, in both directions. Frankly, in our house, if our kids could walk and breathe, they wanted to play, particularly in competition. And you know what, sometimes we let them and sometimes we didn’t. We had to make decisions and you’ll have to make some too. Please prepare!

See you on #1 tee with decisions made… Sam

 

 

Junior Golf: Check Out Great Local Opportunities For Your Girl

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our focus on girls’ golf which is certainly getting a tremendous amount of positive attention during the Women’s U.S. Open week.

img_0558

Photocredit:Dubai Golf

 

Girl’s golf is booming! If you are not the parent of a junior golfer, you may not be aware that the fastest growing segment in golf in the United States is girls under the age of 18. A quick look at leaderboards or at the attendees during golf camps should provide a quick glimpse into what’s going on.

A lot of the credit goes to the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf program. With more than 400 chapters nationwide, there is likely a group convenient to you and your girl. It’s easy to search for Local Girls Golf and see what comes up. This is a multi-faceted regimen that keeps girls interested, having fun and making new friends. Fun is a big factor and the youngsters are staying on board while enjoying improving their golf skills.

Some good examples are all the younger players on the LPGA and Symetra Tours. Many of these ladies are former participants in this excellent girl’s golf program.

image

Photocredit:Chris Keane/USGA

This boom in girl’s golf is exciting and is having an extremely positive effect on women’s athletics all over the country. Please take a minute and read the linked article. I think it may certainly be helpful for your girl’s junior golf career and rev up her level of interest! For some details and very interesting reading go here.

More golf today includes the Scottish Open coverage on The Golf Channel. The weather is brutal. Chilly, windy and rainy, the weather fans love and players hate. Oh, unless you grew up in it like the guys from the British Isles! But Rickie Fowler is leading right now. This makes for great tv! Look closely and see if you can discern any players exhibiting Tom Watson’s bad weather behavior. It has been said that the 5-time British Open-now The Open Championship winner always looked liked it was 75-degrees and sunny, no matter what the actual conditions were. He was enjoying playing golf! That’s surely one mark of a great champion!

See you on #1 tee with 75-degrees and sunny weather, I hope… Sam

Junior Golf: Tribute To A Persevering Parent

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take a look at a great example of what a persevering parent should be.

img_0558

Photocredit:Dubai Golf

It was about 10 or 12 years ago that S3, Linda and I had the pleasure of meeting Chris and his dad, Randy. Throughout junior golf and college golf as well, S3 and Chris competed against each other and they were pretty evenly matched so their shots provided lots of great excitement.

As we got to know each other’s families better, Randy mentioned that he, Randy, had some serious health issues. He was battling cancer, had his colon removed, was on dialysis and was on a transplant list. Wow, put on that hat and try wearing it for a while!

During all the tournaments where we saw Chris, Randy was also there. He was the most consistent parent attending his child’s golf events we have ever seen. My guess is that from age 5 to 21 years old, Linda and I missed maybe 5 of S3’s events. Randy was just like us. He wanted to see his son play golf and he made extraordinary efforts to attend.

So Randy and his wife and some additional family members were a great support team for Chris. Randy and usually Chris’ Mom and some additional relatives were present to watch Chris play. They definitely were the family we saw more than any others, out there on the golf course cheering on their junior golfer!

Randy passed away earlier this week and we are sad that our good friend is gone. The legacy he leaves as an exceptional persevering parent who relentlessly supported his child is even more impressive when you consider that Randy always walked. I never saw him ride in a golf cart to follow his son. 100 degrees didn’t matter. Windy and wet didn’t matter. Randy was walking following his son, colostomy bag and all. That’s wanting to be there, hanging in there, being tough, whatever you want to call it. How many of us are setting an example like this?

image

One of the best days we all had together was a couple of years ago during the San Antonio Men’s City Championship. Chris was in the group right behind S3 so Randy and I had plenty of chances to interact during the round. So everything’s backed up at a driveable par 4 and Randy comes up to me and asks: “How’s Sammie doing?” I replied “2-under, how about Chris?” “He’s 5-under,” Randy replied and we both smiled so big!

Chris finished at 5-under par. Randy walked up to S3 and asked,”How’d you end up Sammie?” S3 looking a bit disappointed because he did not finish as well as he would have liked, said, ”Even par.” Randy stuck out his hand and with a huge enthusiastic smile said, “That’s a damn fine round round, Sammie, congratulations!” That’s the kind of guy Randy was. His son had just smoked the course with a 5-under par round and he, Randy wanted to make sure that my son understood that even par on this course was also an excellent performance. It was one of those special moments!

Parents, we all can be more like Randy. It’s requires persistence, perseverance and yes, unconditional love.

See you on #1 tee ready to leave a wonderful legacy… Sam

Junior Golf: U.S. Open Takeaways

In this Monday Mulligan let’s see what we can learn from this most recent U.S. Open.

img_0135-1

Photocredit:jennleforge.com

Here are some takeaways:
Even a tough course can give up a lot of birdies when it is softened by rain and there is little to no wind. This was the case Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
As the course dries out and the wind picks up, everything changes. Now the course can begin to play like the designers and selection committee intended. This was the case yesterday. Erin Hills was tougher than it had been.
There will always be a winner. Sometimes there’s a playoff, but usually 1 player rises to the occasion and handles the tough conditions and serious pressure better than everyone else. Brooks Koepka did this yesterday.
Winners handle pressure better. They perform better under it. When Brooks was asked about the pressure of being in contention for a U.S. Open title, he said he couldn’t imagine being under more pressure than he was at the previous Ryder Cup. They’ll all tell you that the pressure of playing for one’s country and teammates is much greater than playing for yourself! So Brooks had already experienced, in his mind, which is what counts, more pressure than he would feel currently.
Patience on the golf course counts, particularly in tough conditions. One of the announcers mentioned that Rickie Fowler started swinging all out with his irons during yesterday’s round and this was the point where he lost his game just enough to get out of contention. Anyone remember the “swing easy when it’s breezy”?
When it’s going good, don’t change it. Brooks was in the zone, hitting fairways and greens and making putts. This is a winning combination. When all the others near the top of the leaderboard stumbled for a hole or 2, Brooks stayed confident with his game and kept on making good shots.

What does this mean for your son/daughter and their junior golf career? To begin with, the more they play tough courses in tough conditions, the more confident they will become. They will begin to understand that everybody is playing the same course in the same conditions and whoever stays calm and patient will have a chance to win.

They will realize that a winner will always be crowned, no matter the score, as long as it’s the lowest and no matter how good, bad or ugly the golf course is. Hey, a win is a win!

image

Photocredit:pgatour.com

He/she will start to realize that there is always pressure. It can come from any and all directions and how your youngster handles that pressure will have a huge impact on their score. Depending on your kiddo’s personality, his/her ability to deal with pressure will manifest itself differently.

There are times that your child will play better than others. Encourage them to relax, stay confident and keep on doing what they’re doing. Enjoy it!

Hope you enjoyed watching Brooks win his 1st major. It was great viewing!

See you on #1 tee with confidence… Sam

%d bloggers like this: