Posts Tagged ‘Golf’

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: Starburst-More Than Candy

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at a great junior golf tournament that you may have never heard of.

The point is Dad and Mom, that today there are so many junior golf tournaments that you can’t possibly know about all of them. But there are some that you really need to be familiar with and among those is Starburst.

The Starburst Junior Golf Tournament is held in mid-June annually in Waco, Texas, 200 miles north of San Antonio and 100 miles south of Dallas on I-35. There are divisions ranging from age 7 up to Championship for boys and girls. There were around 400 entries in 2018 and in some years the number of players approaches 1,000.

College coaches like Starburst because it’s a major junior golf event. The sheer number of quality entries, that fact that there are kiddo’s from many countries and the fact that every division plays 3 different courses over 3 days make it a great test of golf!

This is something you want to check out. Make a note for mid-February 2019 to go to starburstgolf.com or the Starburst Golf FB page for next year’s details. You should go at least once, it’s fun!

Now a shout out to 2 of our favorite guys: Director of Instruction for the Alamo City Golf Trail and the Golf Channel Academy at San Pedro, PGA Tour winner, David Ogrin, who had some of his proteges play in Starburst and to our good friend and Director of Instruction at Laredo Country Club and at RG Golf Academy, coach Rudy Gonzalez.

Photocredit: kwtx.com

Rudy’s feeling pretty chipper these days since one of his students, Marcelo Garza of Nuevo Laredo, won the Boy’s Championship Division. Congratulations to Marcelo and coach Rudy on a job well done!

Parents, South Texas has a ton of great golf courses and we have some of the best instructors in the nation. Do something different. Plan a trip around getting some new input for your junior golfer, playing some wonderful golf courses and enjoying all the friendly sights that exemplify our area! Come see us!

See you on #1 tee Starburst ready… Sam

Junior Golf: Did Brooks’ Putting Win the U.S.Open?

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will take a look at Brooks Koepka’s historic repeat victory in the U.S. Open.

Winning one U.S. Open is a lifetime goal for any golfer, but winning a second, in a row, puts a golfer in rarified air. Brooks is only the 7th golfer to win in consecutive years since the first U.S. Open in 1895.

The U.S. Open is different. Please make this point to your junior golfer: that even though there was plenty of controversy surrounding this Open, involving some players actions, some players comments and the USGA, there was still going to be a winner on Sunday! Controversy is a distraction and avoiding distractions is a key to being competitive. Focus on your own game and be positive.

When I close my eyes and think about the U.S. Open I use this Jack Nicklaus quote: “”A difficult golf course eliminates a lot of players. The U.S. Open flag eliminates a lot of players. Some players just weren’t meant to win the U.S. Open. Quite often, a lot of them know it.” And to paraphrase another of his quotes: “When I think of the U.S.Open I see a very long golf course with high rough, fast greens and tough pins. It should be different from every other course we see during the year.” No whining please.

So what were the keys to BK’s won? There’s a long list but we’ll just cover a few things here. It starts with being in a position to win on Sunday. At one point there were about a half-dozen guys within a couple of strokes of the lead but most of them either played themselves out of contention or couldn’t make the couple of late birdies to get into a playoff.

When it was obvious Brooks had won, the Fox announcers talked about the keys to his success. Yes, he hit some stray shots. And he made a bogey or 2. But he made clutch putts! During his final 9 holes he made several 8 to 10 footers for pars! Those were serious pressure putts and he made them.

Time and time again, after every tournament you’ll hear the announcers compliment the winner on his putting. Dad and Mom, your child must be an excellent putter if he/she is to have any chance of winning a golf tournament.

Surely the winner must hit some fairways and hit some greens. But making putts is the key to victory. You have to make a putt to make an up and down. You must make a putt to have a sandy. You have to make putts, period. Sometimes you have to make a putt to have a “good” bogey. Yes, there is such a thing because it’s way better than a double bogey.

Photocredit: golfchannel.com

And your son/daughter must make some birdie putts and some par putts. And in theory, to win, they need to make just about everything from 10 feet and in. Make 100% of the 3-footers. Yep, ya gotta make putts to win.

Congratulations to Brooks Koepka!

See you on #1 tee dreaming of winning the U.S. Open… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Lessons From A Tough Day

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at 3 lessons your junior golfer can learn when he/she has a tough day on the golf course.

Let’s use yesterday’s round from the men’s U.S. Open Championship as a frame of reference. The wind was howling on Long Island and the world’s best male golfers scored one of the highest average rounds in PGA Tour history. There were a few guys barely under par and the rest were over par, some way over par.

These are professionals and they, as a rule, respond to difficult situations more effectively than the rest of us. We’ll see what happens today and over the weekend, but some of our fan favorites may not make the cut.

Here are 3 takeaways:

1. Every golfer has a bad shot, a bad hole, a bad round or a bad day. It’s going to happen, it’s part of life. How your youngster responds is the key. Help him/her to let go of, release, forget about the last shot and focus on hitting a good next shot.

2. Everyone needs a way to deal with frustration and anger. Don’t you think that Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy wanted to explode, cry or something after they combined for 25 strokes over par in Thursday’s round. Each of them must go low today to have any chance of making the cut. Help your son/daughter learn how to manage tough situations at the earliest possible age. It’s never too soon to address this issue.

3. Even in the toughest weather somebody’s going to have a good score. Those four 1-under par 69’s yesterday were superhuman and awesome considering the struggles the rest of the field had. In high school, S3 played in a snowstorm and the round was called after 9 holes. He shot 39, 3-over par, pretty decent considering the conditions, but one guy shot 34, 2-under par. Yep, there’s always that player! Have the proper clothes and equipment for windy and/or wet conditions. Everybody’s playing the same course and conditions. Someone’s going to have a good score. Encourage your child to be that golfer with the good score.

See you on #1 tee ready to handle the weather… Sam

Junior Golf: Plan to Win

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at the significance of having a strategy, a plan, a game plan for every event.

One of the things that many junior golfers and their parents aren’t aware of is that in addition to the other pre-tournament preparation, their son/daughter needs to have some idea of the best way to play that specific golf course.

Let’s begin with a very basic and simple plan that all youngsters can understand. Every golf shot should be hit at a target so pick a spot where the tee shot should land. On par 4’s and par-5’s this would be a zone safe from water, traps, trees and other hazards, allowing a good look and chance to hit the desired next shot. When hitting to the greens, including par-3’s, simply aiming for the middle of the green is an acceptable choice.

The plan is greatly enhanced by playing a practice round prior to the event. Most courses offer discounted pre-tournament pricing for entrants. Subtleties of the layout are revealed and a practice round will greatly add to your kiddo’s knowledge of the course and improve the game day strategy.

So let’s watch as a game day strategy is executed to perfection. Quoting the greatest Olympic broadcaster of all time, Jim McKay, “He came out of nowhere at the Olympic trials. He got married and some said that would ruin his chances for a medal. He has two bad knees and couldn’t train for weeks. A year ago he wasn’t in the World Rankings at all. He seemed to come from heaven knows where.”

Watch as “the golf cap” obviously knows his game and how to use it to design a winning game plan and then beautifully perform it.

The takeaway here Mom and Dad is that having a game day plan gives your girl/boy a chance to be competitive at the end of the day. And having the patience to stay with the plan after hitting a bad shot or two is essential. Make a plan and stick with it!

See you on #1 tee with a plan… Sam

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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