Posts Tagged ‘dehydration’

Junior Golf: Embrace the Change in Your Child’s Path

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at how to embrace the change in your child’s path. Yes, her path will change and you should expect change, embrace it and adapt to it. (photo by

Paths in life are not straight lines, so why would we expect a junior golf path to be any different? Curves in the path are inevitable and change is good although at times it is uncomfortable at best. Some curves will be pleasant, some will be difficult to understand and some will test you and your junior golfer’s patience to the extreme.

Having a solid relationship with your child is key to recognizing change, figuring out what is going on and implementing a positive solution in order to move forward. Some change is obvious. She grew 2 inches and the golf shoes don’t fit, her clothes are too small and her clubs are too short.

Emotional change can be tricky to see and complicated to refocus. The causes are many, ranging from hormone/puberty issues, school issues, relationship issues, poor diet and more. Getting back on track in dealing with emotional issues can be really difficult and this is not the time to go deeper into it.image

Physical issues can be more than just growing a few inches taller. Shin splints, ingrown toenails, tendonitis and headaches are common as kids grow up. And athletes tend to downplay these as they want to continue practicing and playing their game and they may not want to seem like a wimp. Side effects from prescription medications can be unhelpful for athletic activity. Proper hydration and nutrition will help maximize results during practice and play.

Have your daughter’s eyes checked regularly. We personally know of several excellent junior golfers who kept making uncharacteristic mistakes, particularly around the green. They all needed some vision correction, amazing! (photo from

Anticipate curves in the path. Have some idea of action to take depending on what causes the curve. Above all be encouraging and positive. This is all part of junior golf life.

See you on #1 tee…and I expect everyone to have a great attitude… Sam.

Junior Golf: St. Andrew’s Ultimate Lesson

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at the Ultimate Lesson from St. Andrews and this year’s Open Championship and put it in a junior golf perspective. So what on earth is the Ultimate Lesson we take from last week’s major championship? (photo from

It is learning how to win and how to lose with grace. Often we tell our kids that although losing can be painful and very tough, it is important to be decent and polite, even though you did not take 1st place. While being a good loser is frowned upon by some and they think everyone who ends up in 2nd place or lower should be mad or disrespect the winner. We disagree.

There is losing, where your child makes unforced errors and ends up being out of the running. And there is plain old just getting beat, where someone makes better shots and has a lower score. The response although difficult should be the same. Congratulate the winner and move on. This is not the last round of golf to be played. And whether your youngster lost or got beat, depending on her age, it may be hard for her to differentiate between the two. Doesn’t really matter as a serious golfer should always be seeking to improve her game.

Zach Johnson won The Open Championship with humility and grace. He played better than everyone else. His emotional press conference was a classic in how to gracefully and respectfully respond to winning a huge event. He gave God praise and thanks for his talent, he said the win would not define him, but his family and kids would. A class act, congratulations Zach!

And Jordan Spieth, who was certainly shocked when he saw his approach shot on the last hole land near the pin and then spin back some 20 feet, off the green. His birdie putt, to make the playoff, was hole high and an inch or 2 left of the cup. A good effort, just not good enough this time. Most players, once they see they are not in the playoff, head straight for the airport and get out of Dodge. Not Jordan. He followed the guys in the playoff, stayed to congratulate Zach on his win and even drank out of the Claret Jug. Nothing but class! (photo from

imageS3 is 4 and 1 in playoffs and the 1 defeat is from his opponent making a birdie on the 1st playoff hole. S3 was disappointed, but played well enough to make the playoff and he just got beat, period. So he sincerely congratulated the winner, accepted the 2nd place trophy and then we went home. A decent day really.

Golf tournaments at any level are hard to win so when your junior golfer is seriously contending with a few holes left, they really want to win. Different kinds of pressure show up in these instances and can make those last few holes very challenging. And winning is more fun than losing, but she needs to respond properly in either case.

Remind her that she will have many more golf tournaments and encourage her to keep improving her skills.

See you on #1 tee…with a smile on her face… Sam

Summer Junior Golf: The Best Sunscreen and More

imageThis Wednesday Waggle will wrap up our summer junior golf sunscreen coverage by naming the best sunscreen and providing more helpful hints. Protecting an outdoor athlete’s skin is very important and we hope you will take action on some of the information that has been offered. (Jason Duffner photo from golf

In order to maximize your youngster’s skin protection, there are some items which are very beneficial:

1. drink plenty of water on a regular daily basis. We have already discussed hydration during practice and tournaments.

2. use antioxidants to help build an internal network of protection against sunburn. By eating foods high in these your kiddo is not only benefitting his skin, but the rest of his body as well. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries have high some of the higher antioxidant concentrations. Most whole fresh vegetables and fruits, not fruit juices, are good sources.

3. moisturize your child’s skin before going outside. Organic coconut oil is an excellent choice.

4. OK, the best sunscreen, what is it? I know you’ve been on pins and needles! The EWG (Environmental Working Group) says: “The best sunscreen is a hat and a shirt. No chemicals to absorb through the skin, no questions about whether they work.”

imageBack in my childhood we would spend all day long at the beach, in and out of the water and when we were concerned about sunburn, what did we do? We put on a shirt and if we got burned, guess what, it was the skin not covered by the shirt! Yes, some wisdom is timeless. (photo by blitz

There is a most interesting app called D-Minder. It has solid information about details of sun exposure at latitude and longitude and can answer a number of questions about the sun exposure in your geographic area. Quite informative.

You can spend your whole life studying sunburn, sunscreen and skin disease, so our information here is not even the tip of the iceberg. I encourage you to take control of your family’s health and make informed decisions.

See you on #1 tee and I don’t want to see your young golfer covered in white lotion… Sam.

Summer Junior Golf: 4 Things You Don’t Know About Sunscreen

imageThis Monday Mulligan is introducing you to 4 things you don’t know about sunscreen and they are not good. Summer junior golf needs healthy skin protection and today we will offer some help for you to go down a better and healthier path to protect your family’s skin from overexposure to the sun. (photo by

1. while UVA and UVB rays can cause sunburn, the UVA rays penetrate deeper and have the potential to cause more damage to skin and other tissue. UVB rays are very beneficial in the proper time of exposure as they help the body produce Vitamin D. So UVB rays and Vitamin D are good and you want to take advantage of your kiddo’s time in the sun to maximize his body’s ability to make Vitamin D. Really you want to block UVA rays, seriously, stay with me.

2. most sunscreens in the U.S. block UVB rays but have very little UVA blocking ability so, in effect, by applying commercial sunscreen you are actually inhibiting your child’s opportunity to increase his Vitamin D level. And correct Vitamin D levels are absolutely critical for good health.

3. most widely available sunscreens have chemicals that you may not want you child rubbing on his skin and then having that chemical penetrate deeper, possibly into internal organs. Check out this Dr. Mercola article for more details.

image4. there are some good organic sunscreens available for purchase at Swanson Health Products and at Dr. Mercola’s website. And there are some decent sunscreen formutlations you can make at home. If you are not a do-it-yourselfer then buy a small bottle of a couple of different organic products and try them. See how they work. (photo from

Take control of your family’s health. What better habits to teach your children than healthy habits? Make a commitment right now to better health and better habits!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

Summer Junior Golf: 5 Basics for Skin Protection

imageIn this Friday Flop Shot we will look at 5 basics for skin protection. Whether it’s being at the driving range for 1 hour or on the golf course for 4 hours or longer, it is important to take care of your child’s skin. Correct sun exposure is critical for good health both for you and your kids so let’s see some brief tips for maximizing benefits and minimizing skin damage from sunlight. (photo from

1. drink plenty of water. Well-hydrated skin is positioned for minimal harm. Grab the skin on the back of your hand, pull it up and release it. If your skin snaps back into a flat shape, you are properly hydrated, if it stands up and slowly goes down, you need more water.

2. sunscreen. We are not fans of commercial sunscreen as it blocks the sun’s beneficial rays as well as potentially harmful rays and the sunscreen. In most cases contains some harmful ingredients that I don’t want passing through my biggest organ, yes, the skin, into my internal organs. Use the minimum by putting some on the nose, tops of the ears, back of the neck, arms and on the sternum where the shirt falls open. Please do not bathe your kiddo in sunscreen.

3. organic sunscreen. There is some available online at Dr. Mercolas website and at Swanson Vitamins. Buy a small bottle and see how you like it. Does it prevent sunburn and is it ok on your child’s skin?

4. essential oils. These are very popular and gaining well-deserved positive comments. Our family is just starting to use them and the results are wonderful. We have not tried these as sunscreen yet but we will keep you informed. (photo from

5. SPF clothing. Frankly most fabrics offer some sun protection. Please don’t run out and spend a bunch of money on a high-dollar SPF golf shirt when you can likely find a breatheable, wicking golf shirt with the desired amount of skin coverage that does a decent job of protecting your young golfer’s skin for a cheaper price. Finding these just takes cruising the big name websites: Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Columbia and almost every golf clothing brand you can name.

So let’s get some research going and I don’t want to see any sunburned juniors on #18 green.

See you on #1 tee… Sam

Summer Junior Golf: 4 Items That Beat the Heat

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we’ll look at 4 unique items that beat the heat during summer golf. Depending on exactly your child’s likes, some, all or none of these recommendations may be suitable for her use. (photo of Jason Duffner from golf

Let’s take a look:

1. sweatbands for head and wrist. These sound great, but you rarely see them being used. Caps and visors help keep sweat out of the eyes and wristbands often are felt to be uncomfortable or unnecessary. If your child sweats excessively you may want to try the wristbands to help keep the hands dry.

2. towels. These are absolute necessities and your junior golfer should carry at least 2 at all times. We are talking golf towels, not bath towels. Golf towels are about the size of face towels and most have a metal grommet which allows them to be attached to a hook for easy carrying on the golf bag. They can be made of regular terry cloth or a rubbery perforated cloth which is great for cleaning clubs and balls and also may have a slit in the middle for hanging over a club head. There are also some of the super-fabric cloth towels but most of them are a pain and every piece of dirt and grass clings to their fibers Iike glue. Don’t buy these. With 2 towels your daughter can wipe her face, hands and arms with 1 and use the other for cleaning clubs and balls. Dry hands are essential for a proper grip.

3. cooling towels. These are wonderful scientific advancements and they do work. Varieties include a rounded handkerchief-style that you soak and then tie around the neck and a flat style that you soak and carry however you wish. Linda and S3 love this flat style and just remove their cap and put it on their head when walking to the next shot. Try these but know they are pretty much love it or leave it items. My family loves them and I find them cooling but don’t care for the extra moisture.image

4. sunglasses. Another totally individual item. If your child wears prescription glasses, we will address those in a separate post. We believe that S3 plays better when he does not wear sunglasses. Don’t know why, but it seems to be the case over many rounds of golf. If your daughter wears non-prescription sunglasses, you have a world of options and basically cheap sunglasses are not good for your kiddo or their golf game. While I am certain there are several makers of excellent sports sunglasses, we are most familiar with Oakley. Their sunglasses, while a bit pricey, are worth every penny. Oakley is building a complete line of athletic sportswear based on their success in top-quality sunglasses. In the real world you see numbers of young golfers with no glasses, prescription glasses and some sunglasses. These are certainly not essential, but can be helpful.

That’s it for today. I’ll see you and your high-fashion junior golfer on #1 tee… Sam

Summer Junior Golf Tournaments: When to Use Sports Drinks

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan we are looking at when to use sports drinks in summer junior golf tournaments. As we near the end of this hydration series we can narrow the choices for the best liquids for our youngsters. (photo by

Let’s look at what’s available at most golf courses:

1. tea and coffee. Depending on your junior golfer’s age, he may not be drinking any black tea, as compared to green tea, or coffee. Black tea and coffee, while they can be delicious, are not helpful when it comes to hydration. Both have caffeine which can overstimulate the kidneys to make urine and can end up actually speeding dehydration. So no black tea or coffee on game day. Green tea can be very healthy but since there are hundreds of varieties we will not discuss them here. If you must buy green tea we recommend avoiding brands with artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, Splenda, etc.

2. sodas. Frankly there are times that an ice cold soda really tastes great! Tournament day on the golf course is not one of those times. Caffeine, phosphoric acid and high fructose corn syrup are not your child’s friends and for now, please, take our word that soda should be avoided during competition.

3. good clean water. This has been addressed in my immediate previous posts and water should be your #1 choice for hydration in most circumstances.

image4. sports drinks. These along with water are your 2 choices for hydration. While we wish more sports drinks would be made with sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup, there are still times that commercially available sports drinks are an extremely good choice for hydration. The general rule is that for normal workouts, conditioning and range time, water is your “go to” hydrater because in these situations sports drinks give you unnecessary calories and carbs and there is really no additional benefit compared to water. In tournaments, however, your kiddo may drink several sports drinks during 18-holes because of the length and severity of the tournament and conditions. While you are reading this, I will be caddying for S3 in a U. S. Amateur Sectional Qualifier, 36-holes walking in really pretty decent weather for this time of year in South Texas. I assure you we will be constantly sipping water and sports drinks and taking in proper  calories. (photo from

So the bottom line on sports drinks is use them during competition, particularly in warm/hot weather when your kiddo’s body is losing fluids like crazy. Use water for normal workouts to avoid extra and unhelpful calories, carbs and high fructose corn syrup.

That’s is for now… See you on #1 tee… Sam

Summer Golf Tournaments: 5 Tips About Healthy Drinking Water

imageThis Friday Flop Shop focuses on summer junior golf tournaments and 5 tips about healthy water. Not all drinking water is equal. Some water is barely tolerable, some are better and some are best. As parents one of the decisions we must address is whether or not we will choose to take control of our family’s health. I encourage you to take control. A healthy athlete has a better chance for success and less risk of injury. (photo from

Here,’s an article from Dr. Mercola about how much water to drink.

There are a million rabbits to chase here, so let’s stay on task and learn about proper drinking water:

1. healthy drinking water should contain as many beneficial minerals as possible.

2. it should not contain any heavy metals, as in mercury, found in lead water pipes or chlorine, added by many cities for purification or fluoride, added for alleged dental health benefits. Our belief is that these, among other elements, are toxic and should be avoided at all costs.

3. it should not contain any sweeteners, natural or artificial. Sucralose, aspartame, Splenda are some of the many artificial sweeteners to be avoided.

image4. do not drink distilled water since it is totally void of nutrients and actually leaches them from your body.

5. read the label of the brands on the shelves. If you don’t know what something is, look it up.

Finding healthy water takes some effort, but it really isn’t that hard. There are many home water purification systems and most do a good job of minimizing heavy metals and chlorine. Getting rid of fluoride may require an add-on to any given system. Costco has a home system for about $150.00, but it may not remove fluoride. Another company that we can recommend is Berkey Filters. They have an easy-to-install home system that requires an add-on to remove fluoride.

That’s it for today. See you on #1 tee and you better have healthy water in that bottle… Sam

Summer Junior Golf Tournaments: Critical Information About Proper Hydration

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle, we continue looking at summer junior golf tournaments and discuss more critical information about proper hydration.

Junior golf tournaments are fun, a lot of fun and S3 played in a bunch of them every summer. However they are golf’s version of a 5k, 10k or marathon. Walking 6, 9, 18 or 36 holes in hot weather takes a toll on everyone. So whether your child is an itty-bitty or a seasoned high school golfer, proper hydration is critical.

Your junior golfer is an athlete and your are now the parent of an athlete. Start thinking like the parent of an athlete. You are in charge and it’s up to you to guide your kiddo in ways that put them in a position to succeed. You set the tone in your family so if you and Mom or you and Dad do not drink water, it is time to change and start drinking water to set a good example. Don’t expect your youngster to drink water if you are not a water drinker. (photo of Jason Duffner from

Here are some helpful tips:
1. adults must set the example, period, as discussed above

2. drink some extra water during the 48-72 hours before an event, perhaps 20% more than normal. This is called “loading water”.

3. during an event your young golfer needs to be constantly sipping on water. Waiting until she is thirsty is not good during competition as her body is already being negatively affected by fluid loss.

image4. buy a 12-16 ounce refillable bottle, a good one made from stainless steel or nalgene or other polymer than does not leach chemicals into the water it contains. Yes, there are times we all have used the plastic bottles that are never to be refilled, but once in a while there is no other choice. Our kids must have water.

Volumes have been written about the importance of good clean water and proper hydration and our family’s favorite book is Your Body’s Many Cries for Water by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., readily available on the web. Get it and share the information with your family. It is a great book with readily usable information.

What better legacy can you leave your kids than to ingrain them with healthy habits? Proper hydration is a great place to start.

See you on #1 tee…and everybody better have a water bottle… Sam

Summer Junior Golf Tournaments: 4 Steps to Deal with the Heat

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan we’re going to look at 4 steps to deal with the heat in summer junior golf tournaments. Your junior golfer is going to play in a lot of tournaments where it is just plain hot! Embrace the summer tournaments, even when it is very hot.

Here we go:
Step 1: hydrate properly. Your youngster hopefully has established the good habit of drinking plenty of pure, clean water every day. Three days before a hot weather event, S3 starts drinking extra water, mainly sipping/drinking water all day long, not to a point of discomfort, just steadily throughout his waking hours. All golfers need to be constantly drinking water during their hot weather rounds. The ill effects of dehydration can be life-threatening at worst and lead to poor mental decisions and poor shot-making during a round.

Step 2: eat properly before and during the round. Load some carbs and healthy fats 48-72 hours prior to teeing off. Eat a good meal before teeing off. For nutrition during play we use fruit snacks, peanut butter crackers, beef jerky (non msg) or a pbj cut into 4 pieces.

Step 3: dress appropriately. Light-colored breatheable wicking fabrics make all the difference n the world in comfort. Our family rarely wears cotton shirts/tops any more. The comfort level of the new high-tech fabrics is absolutely amazing! Long pants are pretty much worn during cooler weather.


Step 4: set a positive mental attitude. When Sammie was 5 years old he said to me, “Dad, it’s really going to be hot playing golf today.” To reset his attitude, I said, ” Son, we live in South Texas and you are going to play more tournaments when it is 90-degrees or hotter than you will in cooler weather. We will work as a team to prepare you to be comfortable in the heat and play well in it.” He said, “OK, Dad.” And that was the end of the discussion. We implanted these 4 steps plus some additional factors which we will get into later this week.

Enjoy your hot weather golf! Proper preparation makes for an enjoyable time!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

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