Posts Tagged ‘Ernie Els’

Junior Golf: It’s VTO Time

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’re looking ahead to this week’s Valero Texas Open, the VTO. The PGA Tour is in town and it’s time to plan to take your junior golfer out to see some of the action on the beautiful and difficult Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.img_0135-1

The Texas Open, today it is sponsored by Valero Petroleum, so it’s the Valero Texas Open is the 6th oldest event still played on the Tour and is the oldest to be played continuously in the same city. This is a special time for our family because my Dad, Sam M Goldfarb Sr, was one of about a half-dozen businessmen to form the San Antonio Golf Association, SAGA, now Golf San Antonio, in 1938 with the main purpose of bringing back the then defunct Texas Open. And they did in the early 1940’s and even had Bob Hope and Bing Crosby as special guests. FYI both were excellent golfers and Bing considered entering the event as an amateur, he thought he could win! ( photo jennleforge.com)

Dad was involved with pro golf, amateur golf and junior golf here for more than 50 years, leading to his induction into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 2012. Quite an honor, and frankly 1 that he certainly deserved. More about Dad in other posts, but everything about this event is special to our family.

And it will be special to your son too! It is an environment only experienced at PGA events. You will enter the grounds behind #17 green and walk through the vendor boardwalk where dozens of golf-related companies offer a number of giveaways and discounted specials. Take some time to enjoy this area, don’t just blast through it. There are some really fun things you and your son will enjoy and you may win some nice freebies as well! Plan an extra 30 minutes for this.

The grounds are visually stunning! Some of the 1st things you will notice after leaving the vendor area is how rich and beautiful the fairways and greens are, in perfect condition. Next is the massive, to the point of incredulity, construction of luxury suites, grandstands and tv announcing booths and towers. You and your son will be amazed. It’s more than you likely would have ever imagined.

And there’s something about being within a few feet of some of the best players in the world. Yes, we will miss Jordan, Rory and Jason, but we still have many fan favorites like Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Ernie Els, Padrig Harrington and last year’s winner, our own Jimmie Walker. Lots of great and talented golfers to follow.

Experiences for a lifetime: so on Saturday of last year’s VTO, S3 and some of his college teammates were following guys around a bunch of different holes and then they decided to go and stay at #16, the famous par 3 with the sand trap in the middle of the green. They were off the back right side of the green and Phil hit his tee shot and it struck a guy standing next to S3. As always, Phil the true gentleman, came and apologized to the fan, asked if he was OK and signed a glove for him and S3 and his buddies were right there! Great memories! (photo golftexas.com)image

Day passes are inexpensive and readily available. Grab your son or daughter and Mom too and go enjoy yourselves at a wonderful PGA Tour event. If you like to keep moving the Oaks is easy to follow groups and the shared green with #2 and #7 is a great chance so skip forward or backward a few players. If you prefer to sit, we love to spend time at either #16 or #17 because there is always a lot of action around those greens.

See you at the Valero Texas Open ready to watch some great golf… Sam.

Junior Golf : Are You Watching?

imageHappy Friday Flop Shot to you as Linda and I ask, are you watching, as in are you watching The Masters, the PGA men’s 1st major tournament which ends Sunday?

Please, as we previously mentioned, set your TiVo and record this event. The lessons and insights for your daughter, yes even though this is a men’s tournament, are invaluable and some are unique to this venue. (photo by offcoursegolf.com)

Tee shots on the 1st hole of any golf tournament can be nerve-wracking, but even 6-time Masters winner Jack Nicklaus admitted that his 1st shot at Augusta was always intimidating. Why is it so? The consensus seems to be that players just want so much to win The Masters as many regard it as the holy grail of all golf tournaments.

Yesterday had a couple of difficult moments, those where your daughter can see that crazy things happen to every golfer, even the best players in the world. Ernie Els, legendary nice guy, make that great guy, 7-putted #1. Folks, in all the junior and college golf that I have personally watched, a 5-putt is the most I can recall. S3 has had 1 4-putt and those dreaded 3-putts are something all golfers want to eliminate. Having a round with no 3-putts is always a goal. Ernie finished with an 80, 8 over par, playing his last 17 holes in 2-over, not bad.

2009 Masters winner Angel Cabrera had a 9 on the par 5 15th hole, 4 over on 1 hole. Now if you ever wondered about the mental toughness of athletes at this highest skill level, he immediately put that previous hole out of his mind and shot birdie, par, birdie on his final 3 holes, using 9 shots total for all 3 holes. Mom and Dad, that’s what champions do! So Angel finished at 73, 1 over par, better than the field average, with a 9! Learning moment here. (Angel Cabrera photo PGA.com)image

There is a cut after today’s round so everyone will be focusing on playing well enough to play on the weekend. There are a few previous winners flirting with that cut line so they’ll need to step it up today. Jordan Spieth played a beautiful round yesterday shooting a leading score of 66, 6 under par. It was a very breezy day Thursday, but as Sir Nick Faldo said, “Jordan played like there was no wind at all, putting his shots in the right places”. And as Sir Nick, 3-time Masters winner also stated, “Augusta National is all about putting your shots in the correct positions. Just being a few feet off in the wrong direction can leave you no real chance to hit a good next shot”. This is because this is cumulative in a way. In other words, if the tee shot is out of position, then it is difficult, if not impossible, to put your next shot in position, and it continues and players are struggling to 2-putt or make dicey up-and-downs. Shot placement, where you want your ball to end up, stop rolling, is always important.

See you on #1 tee looking for a great shot… Sam

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