Posts Tagged ‘Family’

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.

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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?

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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: Happy Birthday America!

In this Monday Mulligan, let’s keep it simple. Tomorrow is July 4th. Take some time to relax with family and friends.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

In our family we make an effort to spend some time, perhaps just a few minutes to explain the purpose of the individual holidays and the accompanying celebrations. Giving some depth and meaning to these important events gives your junior golfer some substance to grasp the significance of what’s going on.

If you are inclined to do this, it’s helpful to take a couple of minutes to think about what you are going to say and right before you serve the hot dogs and hamburgers is a great time, because you really have everybody’s full attention!

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Photocredit:Health Magazine

While our words change a little bit from year to year, we always encourage our kids to have sincere gratitude and appreciation for being able to live in a country where they can pursue their dreams, including the dream of playing junior golf, perhaps college golf and maybe even professional golf. We live in a special place and it deserves our respect and thankfulness.

Happy Birthday America! ‘Enjoy your 4th!

 

See you on #1 tee thankful to be there… Sam

Junior Golf: 2 Truths About Choices

In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at another concept that is critical for success on behalf of your junior golfer.

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Photocredit:golfdigest.com

 

There are a number concepts that we, as parents, need to make certain that we encourage our children to embrace. Today Linda and I want to discuss the concept/thought process that in every situation there are choices and they come with 2 important revelations.

There are always choices! Every day we are all bombarded by choices, hundreds of them and it’s the same for your children as it is for Dad and Mom. Perhaps the choice is as simple as Shakespeare’s, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”, as spoken by Prince Hamlet. Although a bit heavy in content, Hamlet was still contemplating a choice. Sometimes the choice is as simple as do it or don’t do it, yes or no. Other times there are 2 or more options. Do I choose A, B or C? This 1st point is that your son/ daughter must grasp the fact that they always have a choice.


There is always a better choice!
Choices are not equal. Some have more risk. Some are more expensive or time-consuming. Some are healthier. And some are better than others, many times, much, much better.

So what does this look like in a golf tournament? Your boy hits his tee shot in the right rough. There is a tree between him and the green. His choices are several. He can select from trying to go over the tree, or going under the lower limbs of the tree or hitting 90-degrees straight back into a good lie in the middle of the fairway, but not really advancing the ball. We’re not going deep into strategy here, just pointing out that there are choices.

Also your girl might be looking at a tee shot where her best angle for the next shot would be to carry over some water down the right side of the fairway. There is room along the left side, but the approach angle is not as good. This is classic risk/reward, but she does have a choice.

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Photocredit:readytomanage

As simple as this concept about choices is, we feel it needs to be discussed and encouraged more than it is. Another very important choice for your child is: “Do I study for my upcoming test? If so, do I study a little or a lot?” This is a decision where the results may determine scholastic eligibility and in our house, grades were always 1st before golf and everything else. It’s still a choice, in this case, 3 options.

Parents, if you will please slow down for just a day or 2 and consciously pay attention to how many choices you are constantly facing, I believe the sheer mass of the numbers will be stunning. Please remember that your junior golfer is facing in his/her own way a similar number of decisions to make.

When S3 started driving the very last thing I said to him as he was leaving the house was to remind him, “Son, please make good choices/decisions because you know what they are.” And I still say that today.

See you on #1 tee ready to make some good golf decisions… Sam

 

 

Junior Golf: The First Step To College Golf

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at how to make that 1st move, that first step down the path to college golf. Every plan must have a beginning, so here we go.

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photocredit:Dubai Golf

Your son/daughter has a family team with them as they pursue their junior golf career. Sisters and brothers are also part of the team even though their responsibilities may be more subtle than Dad and Mom’s. The whole family is the team.

What is a team’s number one function: to provide support for the player! The support starts right here. The road to college golf begins right here. The team must all be on the same page!

How do you begin?
First Mom and Dad must agree that you would like/expect your junior golfer to attend college.
Then you should look at the time and money involved in supporting your junior golfer’s career in a strong enough manner to promote him/her as golf scholarship material. Expect college to cost more than you ever imagined. S3’s golf scholarship money was extremely helpful in paying for his college expenses!


Parents you must then be in agreement that college golf will be the long-term goal of your kiddo’s junior golf career.

Next it’s time to bring your junior golfer on board that he is expected to go to college and the most fun way to attend would be as a scholarship golfer and that the family will support him in every way to help him get there. He must also do his part however, because this is a 2-way street.


Now bring the siblings on board
. Please make sure they know that you will support them in their endeavors every bit as much as you will support your young golfer. Their main role is to do their own thing without disrupting other family events and functions. They don’t need to be cheerleaders, they just need to go with the flow.

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This will get you started. There will be a ton of questions. Single parents please seek wise counsel. Talk to parents who have had scholarship athletes and get their input. Parents of other junior golfers may have some decent advice. Talk to people whose advice you respect and trust. Get as much information as you can. College scholarships are a big deal and are well worth the time you spend pursuing them.

Not every kiddo needs to attend college, but those who are talented high school athletes are different. They have a chance to go to college and have some of those costs paid for by the university they will attend. This is unique and special. Please accept this as so. Having a scholarship can, for some kids, be the difference in going, or not going, to college.

And Parents, getting a college degree is a life goal and going to school on a golf scholarship is an even higher life goal! So please get your whole crew on board and let’s get started on the path to college golf.

See you on #1 tee playing for a scholarship… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Encouraging Tips After A Stinky Round

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take a look at 3 ways you can encourage your daughter after she has a stinky round of golf.

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photocredit:Dubai Golf

Golf is an amazing game. We hit a good shot and we love it. We hit an ugly shot and we are not happy. But that is also life. Golf is full of life lessons.

There are always a few shots during a round that your daughter will not be pleased with, but this is to be expected. It is extremely rare that any golfer, yes, even the pros, hit every shot during a round the way they visualized it. So, as your girl matures in her attitude and understanding of the game she will know that these less than perfect shots will show up and she will deal with it.

The really tough situation is when more ugly shots than good shots show up in her round and she can’t get things turned around. Now, instead of shooting her normal 75, it’s going to be all she can do to stay under 85. This makes for a tough day. The good news is, it’s a serious opportunity for learning!

So after this stinky round, your daughter is not happy, feels like she has let everyone down, doesn’t understand why she didn’t play up to her capabilities, feels embarrassed and is basically just not a happy camper.

One of the things we offer to everybody, especially parents is, “Be an encourager!” Everyone needs encouraging from time to time and 1 of the main roles of every parent is to be an encourager to your kids, your spouse and yourself.

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photocredit:The Republic

3 tips for encouraging your junior golfer after a stinky round of golf:
Please remind her that this isn’t the end of her golf career. She has many more rounds of golf ahead of her. Plenty of golf to look forward to.
Find something, anything positive about the round and compliment her on that. “You hit some great drives on the back nine. We want to take advantage of those in the future.” This can help get her out of her funk.
Offer a change or addition to her pre-tournament routine. For instance, we always reminded S3 to hit 50-70 putts per day for a full 7 days before every event. And this was using his Dave Pelz putting aide, which is the best one we’ve ever seen. When he followed this routine, his putting was great. I mean he would make almost everything from 6-feet and in. S3 has always been a better than average putter, but this drill put him into the top gun category in putting! This stuff works!

Poor rounds of golf are a fact of life in our beloved sport. Please use these tips to encourage your daughter/son and put her/him back on an optimistic path. Kids are resilient. They just need our help!

See you on #1 tee looking encouraging… Sam

Junior Golf: Control This And Empower Your Golfer

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at 1 of the things that we, parents actually can control or at least have some control over. This can be very beneficial to our youngsters on tournament days.

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photocredit:jennleforge.com

Really, all the prep should be done before the actual day of an event. Depending on your son’s/daughter’s personality he/she may not have gotten much quality sleep the night before the competition starts. Parents, we must be aware that there are a million things going through our young golfer’s mind as soon as he gets out of bed. What he doesn’t need is Mom or Dad adding clutter to the pre-tournament environment.

What does this look like? Control your emotions, your words and your body language. Stick to the regular morning routine. “Good morning, son, how are you? What would you like for breakfast?” Keep it simple and non-golf until you get ready to load up and go to the course. Then, before you get in the car, you just need to go over the pre-tournament checklist, again standard routine.

In the car, let him listen to his headphones or favorite music. This is relaxing to him although it may not seem like it to you. Less talk is better. Idle comments such as, “Oh, this is such a big tournament,” or “Wow, there are so many great players in this field!”, are not helpful. This is pressure and your youngster already has a ton of pressure so please don’t address the event at this point. Parents, control yourselves. Be aware of what is happening in your son’s mind right now! Be the adult! And yes, it can be very difficult!

Linda and I developed a relatively standard final few sentences for S3 as he was going up to tee off. “Remember Son, it’s just fairways and greens. You know what to do. Take a breath and have fun. Enjoy your round! We love you!” That’s pretty much it.

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Once the round starts, your contact with your child is extremely limited. Understand however, that he can hear your voices better than you ever imagined, no matter what else is going on. His hearing is tuned to Dad and Mom’s voice frequencies. Please control what you say, no matter the subject. And your boy sees and perfectly interprets your body language. A parent’s slumped shoulders or head down convey a horrible message, whether it was intended or not. Again, we must be the encouraging parents!

The bottom line is that the more we control our body language by minimizing/eliminating the throwing the hands up, shaking the head, uttering words of frustration and disappointment, the more we can lift up our child. Heads up, thumbs up, shoulders back, big smiles and “Love you Son,” all add up to positive encouragement. That’s where we as parents must strive to get to and it’s tough, but you know what, you can do it, if you will do it!

See you on #1 tee with an encouraging gallery… Sam

Junior Golf: Your Junior Golfer Is Not Immune

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will address the fact that your junior golfer is not immune to her environment, friends, family and life in general. There was a big shakeup at The Masters this week because no one is immune, no one is bulletproof.

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Dubai Golf

Things happen in life. They happen to all of us and your daughter is no exception. Good things, bad things, beneficial things, inconvenient things, there are a ton of things that can occur in one’s life.

Surely as Dustin Johnson was going down the wooden stairs in his stocking feet, it never crossed his mind that he might slip and fall and have to WD, withdraw, from the 1st men’s major of the year, The Masters. As you likely have heard, he did fall on his elbow and on the left side of his back. Yesterday just before his tee time, he decided he could not compete and withdrew. The physical pain is nothing compared to his mental anguish of the whole situation.

DJ, currently ranked men’s World #1, is generally regarded as being the most athletic guy on the PGA Tour and is in amazing shape, physically. So how does this happen to a DJ? Simply this walking down the stairs was such a nothing kind of everyday event that it seems DJ was on auto-pilot just going down a set of stairs. Boom, a slip and he’s out of the tournament. Wow!

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photocredit:theguardian

So what impact does this have on the field? Well, their 1st reaction was probably something like, “He’s in such great shape, how did that happen to him?” Next thought, “Now I have a better chance to win because I don’t have to beat the World#1.” And final dose of reality, “Man, I need to be careful. That can happen to anyone at any time.”

What is the lesson for your daughter and your household? Please make her aware that she is not immune to injury. Things happen around the house. She could slip on a wet sidewalk. Awareness helps. With S3 we also asked him to limit, as in not play at all, in pickup team sports games like basketball and soccer. All it takes is 1 injury to a finger, hand, wrist, knee, ankle or foot and the junior golf schedule is put on hold. Depending on the severity of the injury, your girl might never recover well enough to play competitive golf again.

True story. S3 was playing in a college golf tournament and 1 of his group members dads was at the event. As we dads visited during the round he told me how his son had won just about every event in their home state the previous year. His boy was on fire! However his son also dearly loved wakeboarding and refused to give it up. Yes, that’s right, the son had a horrific fall, injured his back and his golf game never recovered. So instead of winning golf tournaments, it was all he could do to break 80. A tough life lesson!

Your girl does need time away from golf. As much as she may love the game, both practicing and playing, she needs a break. Balance in life is important. As you are helping her just be a kid, encourage her in directions that give her an opportunity to have fun, fun with reduced risks.

See you on #1 tee injury-free… Sam

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