Posts Tagged ‘competition’

Junior Golf: Did Brooks’ Putting Win the U.S.Open?

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will take a look at Brooks Koepka’s historic repeat victory in the U.S. Open.

Winning one U.S. Open is a lifetime goal for any golfer, but winning a second, in a row, puts a golfer in rarified air. Brooks is only the 7th golfer to win in consecutive years since the first U.S. Open in 1895.

The U.S. Open is different. Please make this point to your junior golfer: that even though there was plenty of controversy surrounding this Open, involving some players actions, some players comments and the USGA, there was still going to be a winner on Sunday! Controversy is a distraction and avoiding distractions is a key to being competitive. Focus on your own game and be positive.

When I close my eyes and think about the U.S. Open I use this Jack Nicklaus quote: “”A difficult golf course eliminates a lot of players. The U.S. Open flag eliminates a lot of players. Some players just weren’t meant to win the U.S. Open. Quite often, a lot of them know it.” And to paraphrase another of his quotes: “When I think of the U.S.Open I see a very long golf course with high rough, fast greens and tough pins. It should be different from every other course we see during the year.” No whining please.

So what were the keys to BK’s won? There’s a long list but we’ll just cover a few things here. It starts with being in a position to win on Sunday. At one point there were about a half-dozen guys within a couple of strokes of the lead but most of them either played themselves out of contention or couldn’t make the couple of late birdies to get into a playoff.

When it was obvious Brooks had won, the Fox announcers talked about the keys to his success. Yes, he hit some stray shots. And he made a bogey or 2. But he made clutch putts! During his final 9 holes he made several 8 to 10 footers for pars! Those were serious pressure putts and he made them.

Time and time again, after every tournament you’ll hear the announcers compliment the winner on his putting. Dad and Mom, your child must be an excellent putter if he/she is to have any chance of winning a golf tournament.

Surely the winner must hit some fairways and hit some greens. But making putts is the key to victory. You have to make a putt to make an up and down. You must make a putt to have a sandy. You have to make putts, period. Sometimes you have to make a putt to have a “good” bogey. Yes, there is such a thing because it’s way better than a double bogey.

Photocredit: golfchannel.com

And your son/daughter must make some birdie putts and some par putts. And in theory, to win, they need to make just about everything from 10 feet and in. Make 100% of the 3-footers. Yep, ya gotta make putts to win.

Congratulations to Brooks Koepka!

See you on #1 tee dreaming of winning the U.S. Open… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Tips For Summer Golf Success

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at 3 simple ways for your junior golfer to have a successful summer of golf.

Ok, school is out for just about everybody so let’s get after some fun summer golf planning!

1. Start with getting the whole family together to go over summer calendars. Prep for this by having dates of tournaments and golf camps on hand. If you’re planning a major vacation for the family, be sure to include the golf clubs.

2. Mom and Dad, review the summer budget. Then decide how much discretionary money can go towards golf. Know costs of tournaments, golf camps, clubs and lessons. Remember that summer is a time when major advances in skill levels can occur.

3. Be aware that your non-golfing kids need attention too. Balance your time and money as best it’s possible, among the youngsters.

There you go, quick and easy. If college golf is a goal, I encourage you to spend as much time and money as you can, in a prudent way, to immerse your kiddo in summer golf. Amazing things happen with immersion!

S3 took this photo of my shot on this par 3 at the beautiful Nicklaus Ocean Course at the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida. This was during his college graduation trip in 2016.

The summer between his junior and senior years of high school, S3 had 23 days of tournaments. Yes, this is a lot of golf but we had budgeted for it and he played some of the best golf of his life. It was fun!

See you on #1 tee with a better game… Sam

Junior Golf: Plan to Win

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at the significance of having a strategy, a plan, a game plan for every event.

One of the things that many junior golfers and their parents aren’t aware of is that in addition to the other pre-tournament preparation, their son/daughter needs to have some idea of the best way to play that specific golf course.

Let’s begin with a very basic and simple plan that all youngsters can understand. Every golf shot should be hit at a target so pick a spot where the tee shot should land. On par 4’s and par-5’s this would be a zone safe from water, traps, trees and other hazards, allowing a good look and chance to hit the desired next shot. When hitting to the greens, including par-3’s, simply aiming for the middle of the green is an acceptable choice.

The plan is greatly enhanced by playing a practice round prior to the event. Most courses offer discounted pre-tournament pricing for entrants. Subtleties of the layout are revealed and a practice round will greatly add to your kiddo’s knowledge of the course and improve the game day strategy.

So let’s watch as a game day strategy is executed to perfection. Quoting the greatest Olympic broadcaster of all time, Jim McKay, “He came out of nowhere at the Olympic trials. He got married and some said that would ruin his chances for a medal. He has two bad knees and couldn’t train for weeks. A year ago he wasn’t in the World Rankings at all. He seemed to come from heaven knows where.”

Watch as “the golf cap” obviously knows his game and how to use it to design a winning game plan and then beautifully perform it.

The takeaway here Mom and Dad is that having a game day plan gives your girl/boy a chance to be competitive at the end of the day. And having the patience to stay with the plan after hitting a bad shot or two is essential. Make a plan and stick with it!

See you on #1 tee with a plan… Sam

Junior Golf: Ignore The Naysayers

In this Wednesday Waggle, we’re taking a slightly different look at junior golf. Come along with me and enjoy the ride.

So your son/daughter has been playing well, having a Top 10 finish, a Top 5 finish or maybe a win. The next tournament is the finale, the biggest, the end of the season, the state championship, it’s a very big deal. And the naysayers show up saying things like, “Your boy/girl is not going to do well on that course. The fairways are too narrow, the greens are too fast, he/she doesn’t hit the ball far enough and they’ll never beat so-and-so.”

This was slightly the case as Big Red prepared for his biggest event. Even with convincing wins in his first 2 races, the negative folks were still saying this course was too long, he’d never hold up, his first 2 wins were flukes, he’d never beat his main competitor in this race and so on.

His coach/trainer, Lucien Laurin, and his caddy/jockey, Ron Turcotte, knew their athlete very well. They understood that he loved to run and he loved to run fast, very fast. And they also knew that he wanted to beat all of his competitors. He had to win, no second place for him!

Watch how this athlete handles his last competitive event. Watch the greatest racehorse of all-time, Secretariat, and see how he finishes his career. Watch the greatest athletic performance in history!

FYI Mom and Dad, in each of his Triple Crown races, Secretariat ran each quarter-mile faster than the previous one. He was constantly accelerating! Talk about finishing strong!

The takeaway here parents is to know your athlete, ignore the naysayers, be positive and move forward. The team must be on the same page so that the athlete has the best opportunity for an excellent performance. Finishing strong is a big deal!

See you on #1 tee ready to perform… Sam

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.

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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.”

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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

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.

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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!”

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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

 

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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.

 

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