Posts Tagged ‘golf shoes’

Junior Golf: Spikes Or Spikeless

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at another criteria for buying golf shoes for your son, those with spikes or the ones without spikes, called spikeless. It does make a difference.(photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106

In a TV broadcast a couple of years ago, Paul Azinger and David Feherty were talking about spikes and golf shoes. Zinger said, “They’d have to pay me a million dollars to wear a pair of those spikeless shoes!” To which Feherty replied, “Yes, I want nails!”

What does this conversation mean?
The purpose of spikes on golf shoes is basically traction, not slipping. There are a lot of times it’s tough to get good traction on a golf course. Grass, in itself is slippery and the longer it is, the tougher it can be to get solid traction. Loose dirt or sand, mud, small rocks or gravel all present their own traction challenges. So traction in merely walking or taking a stance has its own issues. But what Zinger and Feherty were mostly referring to is stability during the golf swing and follow-through. The forward foot must remain stable for proper distance, direction and balance, as well as helping prevent injury due to slipping.
Watch highly skilled golfers, men or women, and pay particular attention to their balance. It is a thing of beauty and it is essential in order to play golf at the highest level. You can also try walking around the golf course in shoes with limited traction. How is it to walk up a steep grassy slope? Not that much fun? Hard to get traction?
What’s a Dad or Mom to do for their junior golfer? Here’s a real-life example. Our whole family wore Adidas Tour 360 golf shoes for years and loved them. No break-in period, always waterproof and comfortable and good-looking. These are the shoes with the 3 45-degree stripes on the side that you see a bunch of the pros, both men and women wearing. They have soft spikes. They are fabulous golf shoes! (image google.com)image
So about S3’s junior year in college he falls in love with the Footjoy Comfort Spikeless golf shoe, bought 2 pairs and wore them almost 2 years. Now, please understand that while spikeless golf shoes do not have spikes, they do have small nubs on the sole for some degree of traction. It is not close to the amount of traction the your son can get with soft spikes, however. Near the end of his senior year, S3 says he’s going back to soft spikes, from his spikeless golf shoes, because he slipped a couple of times in tournaments, on long grass and it cost him some strokes. Ah, the price of education!image
Even if your son is shooting in the 70’s every round, I still feel you will put him in the best position for success by going with spikes. He needs the traction. The most important factor is proper fit, that the shoes are comfortable and need NO break-in period. With all the comfort technology available today, there is no reason to ever buy golf shoes with a break-in time. Your son should be able to put them on and go walk 18 holes immediately, with no problem. (photo golfwrx)
They must be waterproof. Quality shoes usually offer 1 or 2-year periods of waterproof warranty. Also important for your budget is to buy shoes with replaceable soft spikes. There are some models without this feature and the issue is that when the spikes are worn, the shoes are no good for golf and you now must buy new shoes instead of new spikes, big dollar differential!
See you on #1 tee with a new pair of soft spike golf shoes… Sam

Junior Golf: US Wins IC

In this Monday Mulligan we will enjoy looking at the great come from behind win the US LPGA stars pulled off this past weekend! (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135

The International Crown event was created in order to give the excellent Asian women’s golfers an international team event where they could play and represent their country. This is an 8-team event where eligibility is determined by the combined Rolex World Rankings of the 4 top players from each country. The 8 countries with the lowest totals get to play.

Countries are then seeded and placed into 2 4-team brackets and play 3 days of 4-ball, which is usually called best ball or better ball in the US. For example: 2 players from 2 teams play in a 4-some. Each player plays her own ball through the hole and the lowest score of the team’s 2 players is used. The 2 teams with the most points after 3 days of best ball, from each bracket, advance along with a 5th-place, wildcard team, to Sunday’s singles matches.

Sunday, yesterday, was singles matches where for instance, the 4 US ladies played 1×1 vs South Korea, England, Taiwan and wildcard entry, Japan. 2 points for a win, 1 for a tie and 0 for a loss.

To put things in perspective, the US played poorly on day 1, Thursday and got no points. Yes, that’s zero, nada, the big 0, whatever you choose to call it. So our girls were in a not so good spot, but still had a chance to win with strong play and that’s what happened.

Friday we got 3 points with a halve and a win and Saturday was a 4-point day for our ladies with 2 victories. So entering Sunday’s singles matches we were in 2nd place with 7 points, 1 point out of 1st place. Not bad, still having a chance to win.image

Singles matches meant money-time for the US as our players went on a tear! Stacy Lewis beat Japan’s Mika Miyazato 3 and 2. Gerina Gillar smoked Taiwan’s former World #1 Yani Tseng, 4 and 3. And Christie Kerr dominated England’s tough Mel Reid, 3 and 2. Lexi Thompson and her putter had an inconsistent day and she lost 2 and 1 to South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu. But, the US got 6 points for a total of 13 points and none of the other teams had a chance to catch up. US ladies win, congratulations! (photo gabrielroux.com.mx)

What this means to parents of junior golfers is that you should be encouraging your daughters to have the confidence that they can hit good shots and can get low scores. Everybody has some bad shots, bad holes and a bad round. It’s coming back from those poor situations and hitting good shots is what it’s all about. It’s what life is all about. It’s what enabled our ladies to win the IC! Be an encourager!

See you on #1 tee looking encouraged… Sam

Junior Golf: Warm Dry Feet

In this Friday Flop Shot we will discuss the second most important piece of equipment for your daughter. Properly fitted golf clubs are, of course, the most important item in her golf inventory. But what we are talking about today is, with many parents, not given the attention and respect these critical items deserve.image

During golf practice and tournaments, your girl spends a lot more time putting 1 foot in front of the other than she does swinging a golf club. Parents, help your daughter appreciate and respect her feet. Shoes that are not golf shoes and ill-fitting shoes hurt your girl’s ability to hit good shots. Lack of traction, lack of lateral support, being too high above the ground all can show up in shoes that are not specifically designed for golf. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

Take your daughter to the nearest store that has at least 3 different brands of golf shoes and start trying them on. Write down the exact make and model number of the ones that fit and that she likes. If the price is above your budget buy them online during a sale. The selection becomes much larger once she starts wearing adult-sized shoes. Never buy any make or model of golf shoe that she has not previously tried on.

imageLinda, S3 and I have pretty much worn only 3 brands of golf shoes over the last 16 years: Adidas, FootJoy and TRUE linkswear. Adidas Tour 360 or similar models selling for around $200.00 are by far the ones we have bought most often and they are fabulous golf shoes! S3 is currently wearing spikeless FootJoy Contour Casuals and he loves them! Linda and I are currently wearing the TRUE linkswear zero drop, barefoot technology golf shoes which we find very comfortable. We always buy waterproof golf shoes. Wet feet are not your daughter’s friend on the golf course. (photo eBay.com.au)

imageCotton socks in our house are not for golf. I only wear them in hot weather to the range or if I am riding in a cart. There is no good reason for your daughter to wear cotton socks when she is walking in a golf tournament. The high tech socks available today provide a much higher level of cushion, comfort, hygiene, foot health, wicking and temperature control than any cotton or cotton blend can ever come close to. Buy several pairs of these and double check that your daughter likes them and will wear them without complaining. The 1st time she has trouble in an event from wearing the wrong socks, she will be much more amenable to your advice. Look for polyester or polyester blends or wool blends. Today’s wool is not as itchy as before.

Happy feet are a must to play good golf! Cushioned, dry, cool or warm as the temperature dictates is what you want for your daughter’s feet. Buy her proper golf shoes and socks today.

See you on #1 tee with comfy feet… Sam

Junior Golf: A Must Have-Waterproof Golf Shoes

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle we are going to look at some wet weather tips. There are always wet spots on golf courses even in the middle of the summer in a drought. There’s a creek, pond, hazard, leaky sprinkler or pipe so water is something you have to deal with in golf. Some days the moisture is just on the ground and other days it’s in the air too.

I think for the purposes of this post we’ll focus on golf shoes. There are plenty of additional wet weather tips for future posts. So, our family believes that next to properly-fitted golf clubs, quality waterproof golf shoes are a seriously important piece of gear. We have always bought name -brand waterproof golf shoes. Yes, children’s sizes can be hard to find and expensive so the thought process is: learn how to find bargains on the desired shoes and be patient as you wait for your junior golfer’s feet to get big enough for adult sizes, which makes this process easier and cheaper. (photo golfdigest.com)

Wet feet are horrible for any golfer, much less your daughter who may try to gut it out and tell you she’s fine, even when her wet socks and shoes are chewing her feet up. Yes Mom and Dad most of our kids are tougher than we give them credit for and they don’t want to disappoint us. This means there are times they just won’t fess up when they are hurting.

Here’s how to buy quality golf shoes without breaking the bank. Sign up for free emails from the big golf online stores: The Golf Warehouse, Golfsmith, Golf Galaxy, Edwin Watts Golf and more.
While you can go on eBay or Amazon, we find that dealing with the stores themselves is easier if there is an issue. Most golf shoes have a waterproof warranty as follows: No Warranty(no protection from water), 1-year Waterproof Warranty and 2-year Waterproof Warranty. S3, Linda and I have worn many pairs of Adidas, FootJoy and now TRUE Linkswear golf shoes and every pair has had some waterproof warranty. And to this point over some 16 years we have never had any pair of any of these brands leak. Folks there are some good golf shoes being made.image

If you can be patient, some store always has some golf shoes on sale. Check them out. I don’t mean to play favorites, but The Golf Warehouse seems to always have golf shoes on sale. They may be close-outs of lasts year’s styles, but so what they are still great shoes, now at a really great price. (photo tgw.com)

Parents, you can keep water from coming in from the soles, seams, fabric/material of your daughter’s golf shoes. Buy quality as recommended above. Now keeping water from coming in over the top of the shoe or from running down the clothes or leg into the shoe is a matter for another day.

See you on #1 tee, with dry feet… Sam

Junior Golf: What To Expect After the Break

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we’ll look at the to expect from your daughter after the break is over. Interesting things happen and perhaps don’t happen when there is no golf activity for a week or 2. There will be some surprises so be prepared to take advantage of them rather than being upset by them.

So your kiddo is ready to get back into her golf regimen and you need to set up her routine for the fall. Part of this is done for you if she is on a high school, junior high school or club golf team and all you have to do is be a good golf parent and chauffeur. And you can offer extra putting and chipping drills at home, if her schedule allows. (photo from golf digest.com)

Starting back into school has a slight adjustment period so there will be some confusion and possible frustration at first and golf may suffer as everything else settles in place. Missing a week or 2 of golf makes for interesting start back up scenarios. She may have an amazing day on the range followed by an ugly day. Muscle memory is there, but strength and conditioning may have suffered. She just needs to work back up into golf shape. New team members pose an interesting situation as some may become best friends with your daughter and others may not.image

Be an encourager and get her hitting a bunch of balls, even when she is not too excited about it, so she can wake her muscles back up and get into competitive golf shape. Bubba Watson says one of the best things for amateur golfers to do is to hit more balls. Get “golf strong” by hitting a lot of golf balls. (photo from craigdailypress.com)

Plan on getting a physical exam, have her eyes checked, make sure her golf shoes still fit and replace the cleats. Get excited, fall golf means a new season of golf friends and golf tournaments. Your daughter is entering into new territory!

See you on #1 tee… Sam.

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 offcoursegolf.com)

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 fit2score.com)

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 Tournaments: Last Minute Checklist

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot, we’ll go over your last minute check list for junior golf tournaments. It is time to gather everything and head to the golf course. Your child is excited, really everyone is excited and it is easy to forget something important in the thrill of today’s possibilities! (Flop shot photo from offcoursefolfnetwork.com)

Take a breath and lets get started:

1. golf bag and clubs, 14-club maximum by rule.
2. golf balls, tees and 2 gloves
3. a towel or 2, small ones, for cleaning balls and clubs and to wipe face, hands, arms, etc
image4. sunscreen and insect repellent
5. cap, visor, glasses
6. golf shoes

Proper clothing is another requirement. The mindset is that you want to dress nicely out of respect for the game, course and tournament. For boys it is basically wear slacks or Bermuda-length shorts , with belt and collared golf shirts tucked in. Denim shorts, jeans, T-shirts, sleeveless shirts, denim shirts and shirts with inappropriate words or images are not permitted.

Girls are asked to wear blouses with sleeves or sleeveless blouses with collars. The most popular top for female golfers, however, is the polo-style shirt. Turtleneck tops are also widely accepted. Inappropriate tops for the golf course include T-shirts, halters and tank tops. For warm weather, girls are mostly wearing crops, shorts or skorts. Jeans, sun dresses, sweats or athletic pants are all considered improper. (photo from paloaltojrgolf.com)

Last but not least is nutrition and hydration. Make sure your golfer get a good meal, but not too heavy or spicey before teeing off. During the round, which can be as long as 5 hours, your kiddo must have a lot of hydration and additional nutrients. Good clean water is best and some sports drinks are OK as well. Snacks for summer golf are tricky, because some are made inedible by the heat. Foods that work are: gummy bears in the small baggies as the brain must have some glucose. Additional excellent choices are peanut butter crackers, pbj sandwich cut into 4 pieces, small baggies of non-msg beef jerky and health/granola bars. Avoid chocolate as it turns into a nasty mess almost immediately in the summer heat. Remember that in most tournaments, unless you are the caddy, you cannot give you junior golfer anything once they have teed off. So these items must be in the bag.

Your junior golfer needs to drink fluids almost constantly and consume some food, just a few bites,every 3 to 4 holes.

Are you wishing you had reviewed this list last night-lol! Enjoy the tournament, these are some of the best times of your family life!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

The Correct Fit for Your Junior Golfer: Part 3

Welcome to our first Friday Flop Shot. The FFS finishes our weekly focus reminding you to review the Monday Mulligan and Wednesday Waggle. It also provides new related information and encourages you to get some golf activity booked for the weekend😀 The Correct Fit for Your a Junior Golfer: Part 3 takes a brief look at push/pull carts and golf shoes and finishes our Correct Fit series. (Flop shot photo from offcoursegolfnetwork.com)

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Boys, in particular, go through stages of using push/pull carts. Once puberty sets in, carts are not considered “manly” and your son will not use one. This isn’t all bad as carrying your own bag is the norm in junior high, high school and college golf. Your kiddo’s shoulders, back and legs need to get used to carrying an extra 30-pounds for 5 miles. We have 2 carts: an inexpensive pull cart we paid $25.00 for and it is functional. Then a couple of years ago we bought a ClikGear for $220.00. The difference is similar to comparing a cheap bicycle to a Mercedes Benz. I caddy for S3 in the San Antonio Men’s City Championship. This is 54 holes, 18 holes a day for 3 days in late June in San Antonio, Texas. It is hot and afternoon tee times are brutal. The ClikGear is an almost effortless pleasure to push around the course and I will never use the pull cart again, now that the CG is in our family. Here is a photo of our personal ClikGear and we absolutely love it😃 The pull cart, however, depending on your physical needs can be much more comfortable than carrying the bag. Again, the choice is yours and needs can surely change over time. Girls are much more inclined to use carts and end up saving energy for those crucial shots at the end of the round.

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Golf shoes, shoes that are designed for golf are essential. If your kiddo’s feet aren’t happy, your kiddo isn’t happy. Blisters, wet shoes, shoes with no waterproof ability all can make a round of golf a round of misery. Playing in tennis shoes is barely tolerable and here’s why: they may have the foot too high off the ground, may not provide proper lateral support and may not have sufficient traction. The new spikeless golf shoes are much more than just sneaker look-alikes as they meet all the above requirements. With careful shopping you should be able to find a pair of junior golf shoes for under $50.00. Footjoy, Adidas and Nike are very popular trusted brands and Puma, Oakley, Under Armour, Callaway and True Linkswear also make great products. The Golf Warehouse always has some golf shoes on sale.

Now, get your junior golfer and head to the driving range! See you on #1 tee… Sam

Now Is the Perfect Time of Year to Save Money

The newest models of all golf clubs, shoes and everything else are here or will be at retailers very soon. This means that some bargains are available and will be, depending on exactly what you need…for the next few months. Closeouts of last year’s models of shoes, rain gear and clubs have some great prices! We rarely buy any new golf clubs for our son when the last year’s models are at least 30% off and the technology is certainly current enough. So this is a great time to upgrade or modernize your young golfer’s clothes, shoes , clubs or training aides.
FootJoy Mens GreenJoys Athletic Spikeless Golf Shoe Closeouts

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Sale
Now $49.98
Orig. $70.00

For example, this website, http://www.tgw.com, has closeouts of more than 200 models of golf shoes. Our son, Sam III (S3), bought 2 pairs of Footjoy Contour Casual Spikeless Golf Shoes for $49.99 each…2 pair for less than the regular retail price of 1 pair! There are a bunch of super deals like this…just search different websites.

Golf shoes, or at least the shoes your kiddo wears to play golf are the second-most important item, after the clubs. We encourage you to avoid buying cheap golf shoes. Your youngster’s feet must have proper fit and support, period. This is the time to buy a name-brand golf shoe at a killer price. If your budget is blown after your Christmas spending, look at the spikeless shoes on sale for less than $50.00. They are cheaper and better than tennis shoes, which are also spikeless to a degree, but the golf shoes will also have a 1 or 2-year waterproof guarantee. Keep in mind that spikeless shoes place a premium on balance and thus provide instant feedback if your junior golfer likes to swing out of his/her socks! Being way out of position or even falling to the ground can occur…so be advised. They are however, notoriously super-comfortable and look good enough to be worn as a casual shoe all around town.

From time-to-time, we will mention our youngest son, Sam III, who is now playing D-II college golf at Texas A & M International in Laredo, Texas. He is our learning laboratory where we have gone and are still going through most of the scenarios we reference in this column.

This journey has been one of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences any parents could have and we love sharing it with you! Now work on that positive mental attitude!
Be positive, Happy New Year, Sam.

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