Posts Tagged ‘golf tournaments’

Junior Golf: 4 Steps For Tournament Prep

In this Friday Flop Shot, we’ll take a look at 4 things to do to be prepared for an upcoming tournament. This is about inventory prep, not physical prep.

There’s no worse feeling than driving to an event and someone blurts out, “Oh no, we forgot the xxxxx!” In all of S3’s tournaments, I think the only times we had to really scramble was to buy an extra glove 🧤 or two at the course. No biggie other than you’re paying a bit more.

Here’s the routine that we followed to insure that when we left the house we had all the essentials to have a successful day on the golf course.

1. Golf Bag-inspect it and everything in it a week or at least several days beforehand. This allows time for minor repairs and purchases. Count the clubs. Make sure there are at least 3 gloves that fit and are without holes. Have at least 2 dozen tees and 6 to 8 golf balls, more if you deem it necessary. Put 2 ball markers, quarters are good, and a divot repair tool in a ziplock bag. If it’s a stand bag, do the legs work? Are the carry strap and handle in tact? Is the bag hood/top in it? Are 2 towels on the bag, one for clubs and one for the player?

2. Clothing-check the weather and select what he/she wants to wear. Make sure it meets all dress codes, course and event. Is rain gear or a jacket required? Yes, they add weight and bulk, but if you need them and don’t have them, the chances for having a competitive round are poor. What about headgear? There’s a reason the pros wear caps, visors or hats. S3 always had a cap. When you need one because of the angle of the sun or some moisture getting in you eyes, there’s no substitute.

3. Snacks and drinks-your kiddo needs to have 3 or 4 snack items and a full bottle of water or Gatorade to start the round. Depending on the heat, 3 or 4 bottles may be needed during the 18 holes. Check with the tournament director to see if they’re allowing parents to give their kids water during the round. Here in our Texas heat it’s a common practice but does vary among the sponsoring entities. You want your child hydrated, but you don’t want a DQ either.

4. Optional items-this includes sunscreen, insect repellent, umbrella and extra towels. The first 2, in small packaging add little weight or bulk. The umbrella is a pain if it’s not really needed, but extra towels are always a good thing.

Parents, it’s your persistence and responsibility that gets this done. It’s unrealistic to expect your young one to keep up with all this until they reach a certain age of understanding. Be sure to include your son/daughter in the process. Their input is valuable. Pay attention and offer constructive words. You have every reason to arrive at the golf course and know your inventory matches the needs of the day.

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

Junior Golf: 5 Winning Back-To-School Strategies

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we’re going to look at 5 ways parents can help their junior golfers get off to a good start in the new school year.

Pretty much everybody’s back in school by now so most of the anticipation and confusion of the beginning of a new school year is wearing off and the new routines are forming. There’s always some emotion with new things so right now I’m going to share some ways to ease the transition.

Mom and Dad please: 1. Stay calm, keep the drama to an absolute minimum. Your son/daughter needs a soothing demeanor from their parents. There’s plenty of anxiety whirling around without the family adding to it. 2. Be reassuring when insecurities pop up. For example: “I don’t like my new teacher.” “This coach is different from my old one.” “These new kids are really good golfers, I may never qualify for a tournament.” These thoughts are real and kiddo’s are impacted differently depending on their personalities and levels of confidence. Sometimes you must ask inquiring questions to find out these kinds of things. Please make it a habit to have meaningful conversations with your student athlete. 3. Be even more available than normal during the first month of school. Classroom schedules usually fall in place quicker and easier than athletic schedules. Volunteer to be a team parent. Tell the coach that you are ready to help any way you can. 4. Get a weekly golf schedule locked in ASAP. Make sure it includes after school and weekend play and practice. Double-check with all family members that the schedule works for them.

5. Start preparing for the first fall event. If your youngster is not on a golf team, find the upcoming tournaments in your area and enter your kiddo. Get a September event if available, sooner is better. If there is a team involved, know that the first tournament is going to be in September and it’s usually earlier in the month than you expected. Be prepared.

See you on #1 tee settled into your new school year… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Reasons For Swing Speed Training

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re looking at swing speed training and the solid benefits it offers your junior golfer.

Michael (Mike) Romatowski is an innovator and I’m so glad he moved to San Antonio a couple of years ago. As soon as I learned of his golf speed classes I started going. It just looked so new, fresh and exciting, I had to see what was going on!

Here’s a sample of what the one hour class is like: stretching and warmup, hit some balls with your driver to get a baseline of your swing speed, do some speed drills, then hit some more balls at the end of class to see if your speed has increased.

3 reasons why your youngster needs swing speed training:

1. It works immediately. Attending class at least 2x weekly increases speed. More classes per week yield greater gains.

In Mike’s own words:

“How often should I come to golf speed class?”

Our data shows this, in terms of average club head speed improvement after 8 weeks:

3x/week 14mph                                             2x/week 9mph                                               1x/week 6mph                                               3x/month 4mph                                             2x/month 2mph.                                           Contact Mike: Mromatowski13@aol.com

2. Classes are fun. New concepts, new drills, new training aides, class is a blast! And the results or potential for results is immediately visible, so the excitement factor is high.

3. It’s a new and similar but different way to improve one’s golf game. We’re always looking for ways to “freshen up” our practices and routines and golf speed class/training is a super one.

Mike’s training is really taking off. He has a steady stream of PGA teachers and players inquiring about his approach. From Tour players to mini-Tour players, college coaches, top amateurs and eager juniors, Mike has quite a mixture of the golfing world seriously looking at what he’s doing and wanting to be a part of it.

Parents, why is this so important? For girls, it’s very simple: the girls who win the most are the ones who drive the ball the farthest. A 1-mph increase in swing speed equals 2.5 yards more distance. 10 yards more with the driver means 1 club less/shorter hitting to the green. Very desirable results.

For the boys, 280-290 off the tee keeps them competitive. More distance is a great thing, but the ball needs to be in the short grass.

Getting involved is easy. Simply pass this article and Mike’s information along to your swing coach. Tell him you’re interested in pursuing this for your junior and you’d appreciate his looking into it. Mike has trained a number of PGA coaches who are incorporating his speed training in their classes. Please understand that the coaches and attendees, Kids and adults, love swing speed training. If your swing coach isn’t interested, please consider finding another swing coach.

See you on #1 tee swinging faster… Sam

Junior Golf: 5 Options for the Sunscreen Dilemma

This Friday Flop Shot will be short as I search for the perfect solution for sun protection.

Even for us, it’s hot. Temperatures are well above 100 degrees with no letup in sight. Yes, we’re used to the heat but I’m always looking for a better solution to the extended sun exposure that our junior golfers must deal with.

Here are 5 tips, some previously mentioned and a couple of new ones:

1. Shea Butter has it’s own SPF of 6, not bad. You want organic and unrefined. Try it prior to slapping some on for tournament day. Minimal protection, but clean.

2. Organic Sunscreen. Nearly all have zinc or magnesium dioxide. Try it first. Some folks are allergic to zinc so I’d really like to find an organic sunscreen without these 2 metals. Beauty by Earth SPF 25 mineral sunscreen looks pretty clean. Buy on Amazon.

3. Cooling/wicking long sleeve summer shirts. Anything is better than nothing. Even cotton has a single-digit SPF. Please practice with this shirt to make certain your kiddo’s swing is not impeded.

4. Make your own sunscreen. Search the web. There are plenty of recipes.

5. Regular sunscreen. This is a last resort. Using it infrequently and in small amounts, will minimize the negative effects. I’ve seen some kids so slathered up it was horrific. Please don’t be one of those parents.

Be wise when it comes to sun exposure. Do some research and don’t default to the everyday chemical-laden stuff. You can do better.

See you on #1 tee ready for a sunny day… Sam

Junior Golf: 6 Reasons to Watch The Open

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at 5 reasons your junior golfer will benefit by watching this week’s Open Championship, previously called The British Open.

Carnoustie Championship Course is the venue for the 3rd of this year’s men’s majors and it’s got its own set of unique qualities.

Reasons to watch:

1. The history. Britain is the home of golf. It’s where golf began and golf has been played at this course since the early 16th century. This is a chance to learn things about our great sport that you won’t hear at any other event.

2. The courses. Most golf courses in Britain are serious links designs, the likes of which are few and far between in the U.S. It takes a different mindset and genuine creativity to have a good round on these courses. You will be fascinated by the unique designs.

3. This course, Carnoustie, a long and narrow golf course at more than 7400 yards, is a brute. As Sir Michael Bonallack put it, “When the wind is blowing, it is the toughest golf course in Britain. And when it’s not blowing, it’s still probably the toughest.”

4. The players and their strategy for links golf. All the world’s top players will be here, including your favorites. You will see types of shots attempted here that are not seen on the typical PGA Tour venues. If the course is dry and fast, you will see some fabulous low rolling shots. The pros hit these because links greens are notorious for not holding when they are hot and dry. The only way to get close is to roll the ball.

5. The weather. PGA Tour player Davis Love III, was asked what was the most layers of clothes he had worn in a golf tournament. He said, “That’s easy. It was 5 layers in the 198x British Open.” Summer weather in Britain is unpredictable. Calm and 70-degrees one day and windy, wet and 50-degrees the next. It’s usually a decent opportunity to see who makes the best rain gear.

6. The dreams. Dreams and creativity go hand in hand in this wonderful game. No venue offers more of either of these than The Open Championship. As my dear friend and excellent golfer, Nelson said, “If you don’t have any dreams, why do you even get out of bed in the morning?” Give your son/daughter a chance to dream.

Now it’s dvr time. The Golf Channel has Live From The Open on from 5:00a-11:00a through Wednesday, then scattered throughout the day from Thursday-Sunday. Tournament schedule is Thursday and Friday, 8:30a-3:00p on the Golf Channel and on NBC, Saturday, 6:00a-2:00p, and Sunday, 6:00a-1:30p. We always record 2 hours after the event in case of a playoff.

Junior Golf: 5 Essentials for Hot Weather

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at some things that are critical for success when it’s hot. These are always important but hot weather is different and that makes them even more essential.

What is your definition of hot? Maybe it’s 85 degrees for some of you but really most of our bodies notice the heat as the outside temperature approaches our body temp of 98.6. And certainly more humidity makes the heat more oppressive.

Hot weather can take a toll on any athlete and our kids are more susceptible to its affects than we are.

To give your junior golfer the best chance of success, make sure he/she has these items:

1. Refillable water bottle. Drinking 3 or 4 bottles during 18 holes is probably about right. Sipping is better than gulping. Before teeing off and at the turn, ask the tournament staff to please make sure all on-course water supplies are constantly refilled. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had an afternoon round and there was no water on the course. It’s absolutely inexcusable and don’t put up with it. Down here most tournaments tolerate or even announce that it’s OK for parents to give their kids water or Gatorade, yes, during a tournament round. Kids’ safety first! Please double check with the Tournament Director to avoid a possible DQ.

2. 2 towels, a larger towel for the bag and a smaller one for face and hands.

3. Extra gloves, maybe 2 or 3. Your child is going to sweat. A wet glove is useless.

4. A hat, cap, visor or head band to keep salty sweat from running down into their eyes.

5. Sunscreen. Please don’t bathe in it. We use very little and it’s mostly on nose, ears, cheeks, etc.

Of course, there are many more items on your pre-tournament checklist like snacks, balls, tees, counting clubs and so on, but the 5 items above are particularly critical when high temperatures prevail.

See you on #1 tee ready for the heat…Sam

Junior Golf: When A Foot Reminds You of Phil’s Wedge

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at how a foot, or certain feet, may remind you of Phil Mickelson and his wedge.

In the golf world’s list of short-game masters, Phil is certainly at or near the top of the list. He loves the artistry involved in hitting those special shots that seem so easy for him.

Easy because he spends hours practicing different kinds of shots he might face on a particular golf course. The sand, the rough, the cuts around the green, the green itself, all are unique to each course. So, the shots may differ slightly from week to week.

It requires the ability to visualize the shot/shots that have the best chance for success in a specific situation. Is a putt, a chip, a pitch or a flop shot called for? An experienced golfer understands that perhaps all of these shots may be used during a round of golf. Hours of practice and hard work are the keys to being able to attempt a desirable shot.

So where does a foot/feet come in? I’m not talking distance, like feet or yards. I’m talking feet, like at the bottom of your leg, what you walk on, what you put your shoes on, a piece of your anatomy.

Yes, I’m talking soccer. What do soccer/futbol and golf have in common? Some sports fans find both difficult or boring to watch: soccer because of low scores and golf because it’s slow. Ignore that.

Let’s go to why both are exciting to watch. You and your junior golfer know about golf so I’ll offer a compelling reason to spend some time watching soccer, as in World Cup soccer.

Think of all the magical things Phil can do with his wedge, ok? Now think of the soccer teams currently playing on their biggest stage, the World Cup. Every soccer player on every team has 2 wedges, his 2 feet that can do things as magical as Phil does with his wedge.

These guys have a zillion ways to pass or shoot the ball. They use their toe, the inside of the foot, the outside of the foot, the top of the foot, the heel and the cleats. Through many hours of practice over a lot of years, these men have worked to elevate their foot skills to a world-class level. Below are 2 minutes of Brazil highlights. Neymar will blow your mind at the 1:40 mark as he passes to himself by grabbing the ball with his feet and by using more pressure with his right foot he brings the ball from behind, throwing it over his left shoulder so it lands in front of him and he can resume his attack. This is creativity and execution to the max!

All World Cup players have ridiculous abilities, but some are superstars. Messi of Argentina, Ronaldo of Portugal, Neymar of Brazil and Suarez and Cavani of Uruguay are names to pay particular attention to. If you can’t watch a whole game, skip to the goal-scoring. Some are things of beauty, some are bizarre and some are accidents. All are worth watching! The different ways these men use their feet to contact the ball are crazy and they’re doing it while running at full speed!

The point is Mom and Dad, great skills don’t come about without hours of proper effort. Phil and these World Cup players have all worked hard to get their skills to the highest level. And they keep working on improving their game!

Fox and FS1 broadcast all the World Cup games. Set the TiVo. The WC continues for a couple more weeks. Use this as an inspiration, an encouragement to practice and learn to be more creative about it!

See you on #1 tee ready to create… Sam

%d bloggers like this: