Posts Tagged ‘dreams’

Junior Golf: It’s U.S. Open Week

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at this very special week we have in front of us.

It’s time for the second men’s major of 2018, The U.S.Open, hosted by Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York. There is plenty of history with this club since it is one of five original founding members of the USGA and has held four previous U.S. Opens including the 2004 U.S. Open won by Retief Goosen.

Mom and Dad it’s what the U.S.Open really is that is important. It’s other name, not really a nickname, is the U.S. National Championship. At some point, every young athlete dreams of being a champion, perhaps even a national champion. Use this week as a time of inspiration, get some dreaming going on.

What does “Open” mean? There are basically 3 types of event categories for entrants: open events, amateur events and invitational events. “Open” means open to anyone who qualifies, both professionals and amateurs. “Amateur” means amateurs only, no professionals. “Invitational” means you must be invited to play in the event and may include either or both professionals and amateurs.

This week there is a star-studded field of all the world’s best golfers ready to prove their skills. And they’ll need them as traditionally this tournament is known for its length and brutal rough. Shinnecock Hills already is regarded as a challenging course and with a U.S.Open type setup we should see some amazing shots.

Photocredit: golfdigest.com

Let’s set up the TiVo. Coverage is on Fox, all times are Central: Thursday 3:30pm-6:30pm. Friday 3:30pm-6:30pm. Saturday 10:00am-6:30pm. Sunday 9:00am-6:00pm. Be sure to record at least 1 hour after Sunday’s end time in case of a new format 2-hole playoff. And all week long the Golf Channel has the very informative Live From the U.S. Open broadcasts starting today.

See you on #1 tee with championship dreams… 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: Use Demo Days To Lower Your Scores

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at the benefits of Demo Days and how you and your junior golfer can use them to shoot lower scores.

Demo Days are regularly scheduled at nearly every golf course and at some golf academies and learning centers. All the major manufacturers have representatives who put on Demo Days. Please check with the golf facilities in your area for dates of upcoming Demo Days and plan to attend.

Don’t be concerned if you’re not familiar with a certain club manufacturer. Go anyway. It’s great fun! There’s always something to be learned. It will pay off. It’s a free education!

Before you go, you and your kiddo briefly discuss any specific clubs you may want to evaluate. Whether it’s the driver, irons or wedges, have some thoughts ready ahead of time.

Put his/her full set of clubs in the car with you and then take the club you are most interested in with you when you walk up to the rep. If it’s irons, take the 7-iron.

Most reps today have numerous different weight/length/flex shafts that they can immediately screw on to any head. They do it right there and it only takes a few seconds. Let the Demo Day rep look at the current 7-iron and ask for suggestions of what shaft/head combo he has that might improve distance and accuracy.

Recently I was with Wilson Staff master fitter, Jeff Pittillo, at River Falls Plantation in South Carolina. I showed him my current 7-iron and mentioned I wasn’t happy with it because the ball didn’t go anywhere. I’ve lost a bunch of distance. His analysis: the shaft is too heavy. It’s stiff flex and I need regular. And the heads are almost blades and I need a more forgiving cavity-back style club. Wow!

Here’s what we did. We tried a couple of different weight shafts, all regular flex and ultimately Jeff recommended the KBS 90 gram regular flex shaft for more speed. We put it on the new Wilson Staff C300 Forged heads and the C300 Cast heads. The C300 Cast went further, felt better and had a beautiful ball flight. And the Cast is cheaper than the Forged. They’re great!

You can duplicate this scenario with your youngster at every Demo Day. Attend as many DD’s as possible so your son/daughter can get opinions from several club fitters and get a feel for different makes of clubs. At some point, you will hear, “Dad, those xxxxxx’s really felt good and they increased my distance!”

Now it’s up to the golf budget guru to see what can be done. Remember, the PGA publishes golf club trade-in values so you may get some bucks from the current clubs. A few times each year most facilities offer extra value on your trade-ins. Ask and they should be able to tell you when the next extra value trade-in period is and plan accordingly.

In order for your junior to be competitive, it is critical that Dad and Mom plan and commit to provide golf clubs that are correct for your child’s size, strength, athletic ability and skill level. This is a great way to get quality input from multiple sources!

See you on #1 tee with the right clubs… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 PreSummer Checks For Irons That Fit

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’ll look at 3 aspects of your junior golfer’s irons so you can be sure he/she has the correct equipment for maximum summer golf benefits.

Your youngster is growing, needing bigger shoes, new pants, shirts, tops and bottoms. Remember Mom and Dad, that getting taller, faster and stronger likely means different golf clubs.

Irons and all golf clubs that are mismatched to any golfer are a handicap. Your kiddo’s chance of success is poor if he/she is using improper equipment.

Start by asking for the name of the best club-fitter in your area. It’s best to ask the really good adult golfers, the ones who seriously compete and win in amateur events in your area. They know! Not being judgemental, but if you ask your swing coach, he/she will say they can do it. Now, this may be true or not. Perhaps they are the best swing coach around and are capable of doing a club fitting, but are they the best club-fitter, I don’t know. If you ask a junior or their parents, they may say they use their swing coach.

The swing coach will recommend that your child needs this, that and the other in the next set of irons, which should be soon. The club-fitter makes that happen with their own unique set of skills. And the best club fitter is a very talented and well-respected person!

Here’s what should be evaluated and acted upon now, with the current set of irons, to make the best use of your summer golf investment:

1. Iron shafts: are they the correct length, weight and flex? For example: “x” inches long, 100 grams and regular flex.

2. Iron heads: are they matched to the skill level. For example: lighter or heavier weight, cast or forged construction and best for beginner, intermediate or advanced skill level junior golfers.

3. Iron grips: are they correct for your young golfer’s hand size and “feel” preference? For example: too small/skinny, too big/fat, just right/perfect and do they “feel” hard/slick, rough/coarse or pleasant, meaning slightly tacky/grabby.

There will be more than one club fitter in your town. The reality is that most are ok, but one or two are genuinely talented. Those are the folks you want to find.

A simple equation is that as your child’s skill level advances, they require more highly-skilled professionals, including swing coaches and club-fitters. Find out who the best are so you can go to them when you need them. You will need them!

See you on #1 tee with a proper set of irons… Sam

6 Reasons To Make College Golf The Goal

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at college golf and why parents of junior golfers should seriously consider it as the long-term goal.

S3 started playing golf at age 5 and once we understood that he enjoyed golf and was developing a passion for it, we had a family meeting to make some short-term and long-term goals with the ultimate goal being a college golf scholarship. Everything we did was in harmony with all of S3’s goals.

If you have not considered college golf, here’s why you should:

1. Make college golf a goal, a dream. Life is about goals and dreams. Without them why are you doing anything?

2. This gives your youngster and the whole family a sense of purpose. It’s the major reason the smaller goals exist.

3. Not every kiddo needs to go to college to be successful. We have $70,000 tech jobs here in San Antonio that can’t be filled, but if your son/daughter is competitive in high school golf, they have a chance to attend college on a golf scholarship. It’s a blessing, accept it and pursue it.

4. A golf scholarship helps pay part of the cost of going to college. Men’s scholarships are partial, commonly paying perhaps 20-30% of the costs. Women have more scholarships available than the guys so they can usually get a higher percentage of their costs covered.

5. S3’s college golf experience was amazing, something no amount of money could buy! He saw parts of the country he’d never seen, played on fabulous golf courses and made lifelong friends from Australia, Zimbabwe, Spain and Mexico. Our family believes the absolute best way to attend college is as a college golfer. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience!

6. Now to the real world. Most college golfers will not play golf professionally. Here’s the big bonus of college golf: when your graduate’s resume hits the HR desk at a prospective employer, the first thing they’ll notice is that your child was a scholarship athlete who got a degree on time. The resume should go way up the list because a sharp HR person will understand that doing both of those things well requires excellent time-management skills. A great bonus!

Mom and Dad, please consider putting college golf on your kiddo’s radar. It is an achievable goal for both young men and young women.

See you on #1 tee wearing those college colors… Sam

This Could Happen To You

In today’s Friday Flop Shot I’m going to share a once-in-a-lifetime experience that S3 and I had 2 days ago. It was unexpected and the kind of thing that money, at least for most of us, can’t buy.

Here’s our story:

S3 and I volunteered to caddy in the Valero Texas Open Pro-Am held Wednesday, April 18, 2018. The mindset is “hope we have some decent amateurs and a pro whose name we have at least heard of.” You never know what you’re getting. That was for sure the case today but on the other side of the coin.

So we found our group’s bags and were reading the tags to see who we each had. My guy was Martin Parrish, ok. Then S3 starts reading the rest of the tags and says, “Dad, come here.” He points to the spot that says Professional. And we do the classic Looney Tunes doubletake because it says Adam Scott, on all 4 bags, so it must be true!

It was five and a half hours of incredible memories. Oh, as I found out after the round, my player, Martin Parrish, is a top Valero officer and Chairman of this year’s VTO, the biggest dude at the tournament other than the players. He’s a great guy and brought 3 good amateurs with him. They were all fun to be around!

Now to Adam Scott and his caddy David Clark. I can’t imagine that there are any nicer, more helpful and genuinely patient and good guy professionals to be around than these two. Refreshing to say the least! It was just like talking to regular folks, no pretenses, amazing men, looked you in the eye and engaged when we talked to them. Wow, we are bigger Adam Scott fans than before, if that’s even possible!

As some of you may recall, our family has been active in golf in this city since 1925. The Executive staff at Golf San Antonio, a little birdie told me, wanted to put someone in the Chairman’s group they could trust to support and fit in with this marquee 4-some. They hand-picked us because they know us and were comfortable that we were the right guys for the job.

I told S3 this is a classic example of who you know and who knows you and what they think of you. I emphasized that this is a testament to our family’s golf heritage over all these years, but more recently to his, mine and Linda’s involvement over the last 20 years. Great life lesson!

Our group actually was third to pick a pro. Valero CEO played with Greg Norman who designed the course and manages the whole event. 2nd took Sergio and Martin chose Adam. Not bad.

I don’t have the words to convey how great this day was and getting to spend it with my son was so special. Incredible memories.

Next year we’ll reset to our original premise. Just hope we’ve heard our pro’s name beforehand.

Parents, let this be encouragement for you and your junior golfer to volunteer in big events. Something like this can surely happen to you, particularly when you least expect it.

Man, what a day! See you on #1 tee standing next to your favorite pro… Sam

Junior Golf: Inspiration For The New Year

In this Friday Flop Shot we’re offering you some very special inspiration to help fire up your junior golfer, Dad and Mom and the whole family as we enter a new year.Photo credit dubaigolfThere are reasons some athletes are great. And at times we can’t completely figure out why greatness is in some people but not in others. There are times that greatness shines beyond the boundaries of apparent human ability. Oh, and for those of you who think you’re a decent snow skier, this post may put things in perspective.

Today we’re not talking about a golfer. We’re talking about Franz Klammer. Who? That would be the Franz Klammer who is the greatest men’s downhill ski champion of all time! What does skiing have to do with golf, you ask? As we look at genuine greatness, today it has everything to do with your junior golfer.

Examples of greatness can leave us with our eyes and mouth wide open, shaking our head at what we just saw! Hopefully that’s what you all will feel after watching the attached video.

Frank Gifford, former pro football player and avid skier and Bob Beattie, former U.S. national ski team coach are doing the play-by-play. The setting is thus: a Swiss skier has just set an incredibly fast time in men’s downhill skiing, in the 1976 Winter Olympics. The very fast time seems almost impossible to beat. Klammer is the last skier with any chance, no matter how slim, to take the lead which would mean winning the gold medal. Klammer is Austrian. The Olympics are at legendary Innsbrook, Austria. He’s going for gold in front of his home crowd. Franz Klammer is revered as the greatest athlete in Austrian history! Could any athlete have a more exciting opportunity than this, heck no!

Here’s the link to the video. The first 2 minutes set the scene and the last 2 minutes are the run. I highly suggest watching this on the biggest screen possible with the sound turned all the way up to capture the enthusiasm of the announcers. This is one of the top individual performances in the history of sports.

The Winter Olympics are coming this February. Men’s downhill is one of the first events, usually starting the first Saturday and only running a couple of days. You easily can miss the whole thing. We always record men’s and women’s downhill plus a lot of other events too. Franz Klammer’s 1976 performance is special but that doesn’t mean you won’t see someone else put on a spectacular gold medal performance. If you don’t watch, you’ll never know!Photocredit Sports Illustrated

The lesson here is belief. Believing that you can do it when you need to do it. Hit the fairway, hit the green, make the putt. Ya gotta believe!

See you on #1 tee believing you can put on a great show… Sam.

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