Posts Tagged ‘Golf equipment’

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

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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

Junior Golf: 4 Thoughts On Skin Protection

In this Wednesday Waggle we’ll look at some new ways to help protect your family’s skin.

Sunscreen is not on today’s agenda. It will get plenty of discussion in another post. It’s complicated.

Proper sun exposure is essential for good health but for golfers, the issue is perhaps too much sun rather than too little. More very interesting information on sun exposure will be presented in its own future post.

So your skin is your largest organ, let’s look at some ways to protect it.

1. Healthy skin starts with a healthy intestinal tract. A simple way to help your skin from the inside out is to make sure your whole family is getting enough quality omega 3’s. Lean, grass-fed beef, fatty fish such as mackerel or sardines, krill oil, flax seed, coconut oil and cod liver oil are good sources. For convenience, krill oil, coconut oil and cod liver oil are perfect. All are available in capsules most children should be able to swallow and no taste or smell. Fish oil caps are not usually your best choice.

2. Hydrate. Drink extra water starting 3 days before a tournament.

3. Cover up. Adidas, among others makes long-sleeve polo shirts for women and men. The new wicking/cooling technology makes these shirts very comfortable in hot weather. There are also the “sleeve” add-ons you see some LPGA ladies wearing. Collared shirts protect the back of the neck. Long hair and floppy hats can cover the ears, neck and forehead. When in doubt, cover.

4. Make a habit of conditioning your skin regularly, not just the day before a tournament. Mom, you’re likely way more informed than Dad on skin care products, but I’ll help cut through the maze of confusing options and offer some inexpensive, very low risk choices. We use Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Costco carries 2-packs. It is extremely clean and we love it. Another very beneficial skin care item is organic unrefined coconut oil. This has so many benefits I can’t begin to list them here. Coconut oil is widely available. Make sure it’s organic and unrefined. For a slightly pricier, but amazing 3rd option try Dr Mercola’s Organic Moisturizing Body Butter. It’s top-quality at a reasonable price. Try any or all of these and choose one for your daily moisturizer. Most experts recommend applying it after a warm shower. You’ll figure it out.

See you on #1 tee protecting your skin… Sam

Ideas For Mom On Her Day

In this Friday Flop Shot we’re loving Mom. Sunday is Mother’s Day and I’d like to offer some thoughts and ideas of how to honor her.

Our family is comfortable moving dates around to accommodate schedules and practicality. We may not go out to eat Sunday so we can avoid the crowds. Meeting together at 4:00 pm Saturday would be a choice we could agree on.

And we might not do a meal event at all but opt for a celebration at ours or one of the kids homes and have some light snacks. But that’s us. Perhaps your family does a big Mother’s Day function.

Gift items run the gamut. A few ideas:

1. Make a hand-written card, not typed. We use colored paper and it’s become a tradition for most special occasions. It saves money over those high-priced store cards and your own words really personalize the message.

2. Go with the old standbys of a meal and/or flowers. Either is OK, but would you consider something more creative?

3. Book a winery tour, either a day trip or stay at a B&B overnight. Add a round of golf.

4. Take a golf trip to a resort you’ve not previously visited. Make sure it has a spa and additional attractions besides the golf. I think every Mom would enjoy some serious spa time, being pampered head to toe! I know Linda does!

5. Select a gift item from the unlimited selection and prices. This is a golf blog however, so I’m going there. Fun golf items that Linda likes are the beautiful colored golf gloves offered by Footjoy-FJ Spectrum Women in 12 colors and the Calloway Women’s Opticolor Gloves in 3 colors and she really likes the Calloway Chrome Soft Truvis Yellow Golf Balls. I kind of like the red since it almost looks hot pink. Those yellow and black are easy to see though.

Happy Mother’s Day! Mom we really appreciate all you do. Love you!

See you on #1 tee, loving your Mom… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Ways To Determine If You Are Going Overboard With All This Golf

In this Monday Mulligan we are going to help you find the answer to the question, “Are we going overboard with all this golf? Are we golf nuts or are we going golf nuts? Is this just crazy?” (image jennleforge.com)image

It’s a perfectly normal question really, for any family which has 1 or more children actively involved in extra-curricular activities. If your daughter’s purpose is to improve her skills and pursue a college golf scholarship, then there is considerable effort necessary for her to achieve the desired result.

How do you know if Mom and Dad and your young golfer are spending an inordinate amount of time on golf? This is different for each family. Golf is our family sport so scheduling time for all things golf-related was easy, normal and not really thought about twice in our routine. If your family is new to golf or has more than 1 kiddo doing after school activities, it may take a bit more structure for you to maintain a level of sanity in your home.

Here is a 3-step checklist to help keep things on track:
Does your daughter’s life have a balance to it? Is she spending proper amounts of time on her schoolwork, relationships, social and spiritual life, life outside of golf? Balance in life is very important. Your girl must be allowed to have and enjoy the life of a kiddo. All golf all the time is not healthy. Heck, even the pros need a break now and then!
Is her golf such a consuming part of the whole family calendar that someone, another child or Dad or Mom or even your daughter complaining about the time, effort and money involved in it? Family dynamics are tough enough on a day-to-day basis. Certainly any complaining needs to be intelligently addressed and worked through to a satisfactory outcome for all. Now if it’s your daughter complaining about too much golf, that’s another issue that needs to be addressed immediately!


Is the family budget being decimated by her golf expenses? It’s easy to spend a ton of money quickly supporting a junior golfer. New equipment, a state-of-the-art training aid, new quality golf shoes or entering several tournaments at the same time can all take a chunk out of the household bank account. Parents, you must stay on top of these expenses or risk being shocked at some point by how much money you have been spending on your daughter’s game. Having a golf budget and sticking to it is very helpful!

In the serious pursuit of any goal, much less a life goal like a college athletic scholarship, considerable persistence, commitment and effort is involved from everyone in the family. Parents must be the parents and your role, while different than the role of your girl is equally as important as hers. You must be on-board even more so than she is! Earth to parents, you are the parents, remember?

See you on #1 tee with everybody happy in their own role… Sam

Junior Golf: Five Right Choices For Success

In this Friday Flop Shot we will learn 5 right choices that will put your son on the path to success. 1 of the basic tenets we encourage in our parenting classes is to set your child up for success. As the parent, this is up to you. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

Attempting any endeavor without proper preparation, equipment and mental attitude will likely lead to a frustrating experience.As the parents and being the parents, Mom and Dad, it is fairly easy to set your son up to be successful in junior golf.

1. Choose proper equipment. His golf clubs must fit him for his size, strength and skill level. Ill-fitting clubs give your kiddo zero chance to develop a proper swing and have a good shot. It would be like sending him out bear hunting with a BB gun!
2. Choose proper golf shoes. The most important thing is that the shoes fit properly and are comfortable for walking. Buy golf shoes. While playing golf in tennis shoes is commonly seen in beginning junior golfers, it is not a preferred option in our opinion. Shoes made for golf will provide a stable platform for the swing motion-read lateral movement, soft spikes for traction, proper height above the ground for better balance and less risk of injury and some degree of water resistance/waterproofing. Buy the absolute best golf shoes you can afford. Golf shoes are 2nd only to golf clubs in importance.
3. Choose proper clothing. Abide by proper dress codes for golf etiquette. This shows an inherent respect for this wonderful game. Buy modern fabrics. The array of moisture-wicking shirts, pants, shorts and socks is amazing. Your son can stay cooler, warmer, and more dry than either of you ever thought possible. More freedom of movement too! Proper clothes really help!
4. Choose a proper pre-game atmosphere. Start the night before a tournament by setting a positive environment. Adrenaline can kick in early once your junior golfer realizes that his tournament starts tomorrow. He doesn’t need additional things to think about or worry about. Dad and Mom this isn’t rocket science. All you need to do is let him relax and perhaps play some video games with some friends. Or go to a movie. Take his mind off of golf. Then get a good night’s sleep, a solid breakfast, a relatively quiet drive to the course and then some encouraging words as he proceeds to check-in and warm-up. (image Lyman Orchards Golf)

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5. Choose to let your child choose golf. The previous 4 choices are your responsibility. Linda, my wife and coaching partner, has shared that the love of the game and the success that follows is your child’s. If his heart is not in the game, the best equipment and best environment won’t make him successful.

See you on #1 tee ready for success… Sam

3 Steps To Prepare For Spring Golf

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at 3 things to do to help your daughter be prepared from a golf equipment standpoint, for spring golf. Tournaments will be here before you know it and the last thing you want is for your daughter to be walking out the door without an essential piece of equipment and no one is aware of it! (image jennleforge.com)image

Here we go:
Gather all her golf equipment. This means clubs, bag, zip-on top for the golf bag, push cart, head covers, tees, balls, golf brush, ball marker, golf towels, golf gloves, divot repair item-tees work fine and the very important Sharpie for marking her balls and the scorecard.
Carefully inspect everything. Is the bag fully functional? Does it have any tears or holes? Do all the zippers work? Are the stand legs working? Are the non-slip bottoms still attached to the legs? Are all her clubs there? Do her grips have the kind of soft tacky feel of new ones? If not, replace them. Or at least gently scrub them with non-abrasive soap and warm water, dry them and see how they feel. Does she have everything listed above? Wash the towels. Replace worn gloves. Do the old gloves even still fit? Does the Sharpie have any ink in it or has it dried out?
Take action. Look at the calendar. When is the 1st golf event? Plan a time to take your daughter shopping to buy the items needed. Go to the biggest possible golf store in your area. They will likely have a better selection and may also have some new items that your girl might like to try. (photo Junior_Academy_3.jpg, Banners Golf)

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Dad and Mom we’ve all been there. That moment when you thought you had everything in order only to arrive at the course and an item, usually one not sold at the course pro shop, is missing. Set your daughter up for success and do this little bit of advance preparation. It will save a bunch of headaches!

See you on #1 tee with everything you need for success… Sam

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