Posts Tagged ‘Golf’

Junior Golf: Being Aware On The Golf Course

In this Monday Mulligan we will help parents understand how to help you junior golfer be more aware while he’s on the golf course. (image jennleforge.com)image

Depending on your son’s age, skill level and personality type he may be more or less situationally aware than other kids his age. While a golf course is not thought of as a dangerous place, there are things your boy needs to pay attention to while he is playing golf. Part of this is regular Mom and Dad teaching your child basic safety and awareness guidelines.

We ask our children to look where they are walking, don’t talk to strangers, avoid hazardous areas and have their eyes wide open. Golf courses offer some unique challenges. If your son’s ball is in the fairway or light rough the ground is more than likely relatively even and smooth and the sprinkler heads are easily visible. When the ball heads for the boonies there are other things that come into play.

Real-life example. S3 was 10 or 12 years old playing in a tournament on a city course here in San Antonio. He hit his ball about 10 feet into the left rough which had not been properly mowed and it was very deep in spots. While he was looking for his ball he stepped into a sprinkler head depression which was totally hidden by the high grass. Fortunately all he got was a stinger which impacted him for a couple of shots and then he was OK. Scary stuff though because this is exactly how many ankle and knee injuries happen with all golfers. There was no way to see that sprinkler head.

Another example is when S3 was 5 or 6 years old there were times he was more interested in the butterflies and turtles than playing golf. That’s part of it with the very young ones. There were plenty of kids interested in the wildlife. And here in central Texas we have courses with herds of deer almost on every hole, and turkeys, and javelinas and feral hogs. Avoid the wildlife, leave it alone. Even a docile whitetail doe has a kick that can seriously injure an adult, much less a youngster. And the pig family can become aggressive quickly. Really, the deer are pretty much used to the humans and most of the other animals want to run from you, most of the time.

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A final thought. At the wonderful TPC San Antonio courses, the rough on both of them is penalizing. It is covered in about 85% what we call moon rocks, rocks that have sharp edges, range from small to huge and have very little dirt around them. It is difficult walking and really tough hitting a shot out of without hurting your wrist. Be aware, fairways are a great place to be. (image West Texas Golf Courses)

So Dad and Mom encourage your son to enjoy the nature he finds at the golf course, but to also keep his eyes open for possible dangers. Look where he’s putting his feet. Watch for wildlife. Here, it’s deer, snakes and wasp nests. In Florida, it’s alligators and snakes. In Colorado, it’s bears and mountain lions. What is it in your part of the country?

See you on #1 tee looking aware… Sam

Junior Golf: Happy New Year-Play More Golf

imageHi Folks! As we wrap up the Holiday Season Linda and I just wanted to use this Monday Mulligan to send you our best wishes for a very Happy New Year and encourage you, your junior golfer and all your family and friends to play more golf, do more “golf” activities in 2017. (image jennleforge.com)

 

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See you on #1 tee looking for what lies ahead in 2017… Sam

Junior Golf: Last Minute Questions

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will consider some of those nagging last minute questions that go through our minds as we get closer to Christmas.img_0102

So now we’re down to crunch time. What do I still need to get? Have I forgotten anybody? Did I get everyone pretty much what they were hoping for, at least budget allowing? Who’s going to be at our house? Do we have all the food and enough of it? (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Man, we can generate a 100 questions and get ourselves all into a tizzy, can’t we? The reality is that more is not better, yes, really. And if your junior golfer gets something that is in their wheelhouse they’ll be excited. Gosh, in my mind, having enough food is more important than having a ton of gifts!

As the main chef in our house, I’m going over our Christmas food list like 10 times a day. My personality is detail-oriented and I really prefer to have all my ducks in a row. So whatever I still need to get in the food category, I’m finishing up today. Got to take a breath!

So Mom and Dad, where can we still buy what’s left on our lists without going insane? Let’s get groceries out of the way 1st. If you’re looking for seasonal food items like special cuts of roasts, hams, organic turkeys or even cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie spice, green bean casserole fixins or such buy them sooner rather than later because those items will sell out.

For gift items, here are a few things from the internet today. Under Armour has up to 40% off at their outlet store. Golf Week is giving away a trip for 2 to the 2017 Masters Tournament. Order today from Costco and get overnight shipping on select items. Golf Now has some great prices on green fees at some legendary courses, check it out. All the golf retailers still have plenty of items at good prices. Get your order in today or you’re on the brick and mortar storefront path to complete your shopping. Yikes!image

While the getting gets most of the attention, it’s actually the giving which can impact your young golfer and all of your family in a more significant manner. From simply putting some money in a Salvation Army bucket to serving meals to the less fortunate, there are ample opportunities to give rather than receive. Linda and I have dozens of examples of kids we have known from age 5 or 6 up to college graduates whose lives were deeply touched when they participated in a giving opportunity. Once they realize that what they, our kids, are doing is truly giving a person a bite to eat or a piece of clothing to ward off the cold, their expressions are all over the place. From excitement that they are helping, to sadness that they can’t do more and perhaps a dose of reality that there is so much more that needs to be done, just look at those faces!

See you on #1 tee ready to enjoy giving me 3 strokes a side…Sam

Junior Golf: Great New Gift Ideas

In this Wednesday Waggle we will introduce you to some wonderful new items that your junior golfer will likely be totally surprised by and will totally enjoy!img_0102

Sometimes it’s tough to find a new, different and useful gift for our young golfers. Gag gifts were not our thing as we wanted our golf budget to be spent on something of value that could benefit S3’s golf game. (photo golfdigest.com)

Here are a few very cool goodies. Let’s start with a high-ticket item. The Arccos 360 Performance Tracking System: Low-profile sensors attach to clubs and record every shot, generating swing analytics and providing live shot-tracking among an assortment of features. www.arccosgolf.com / $250. Yes, this is pricey, but if you are not close to a major golf facility that has this or similar equipment, this could be a bargain for the feedback it will provide.

There are a couple of things that can immediately shut down your son’s good round of golf and turn it into a nightmare. Cold hands are 1 of these things. The chemical hot packs have been around for years, are legal in events and work pretty well for keeping hands warm. Our guys always preferred the larger size for more and longer heat. And they’re inexpensive. The giant mitts are good too but the idea is to keep the hands warm, not let them get cold and have to warm them up again. We always carried both the chemical packs and mitts.

However, there’s a new wind blowing in the hand warmer world. It’s the G-Tech Apparel hand warmer used by both Patrick Reed, in this year’s Ryder Cup, and by LPGA star Lydia Ko. This is state-of-the-art technology and seems to be beyond everything else in its ability to keep hands warm in a comfortable and convenient fashion. While it’s not cheap at $99.00, you should get years of use for your money and it’s not player specific so it can be used by anyone and everyone in your house. Check it out at www.gtechapparel.com. (image: the warming store)image

Now this item may be my favorite of all of these. It’s the JBL Clip 2 Speaker with 8 hours of battery life. Clip it onto the bag and let the music fly. Not usable in most tournaments, of course, but S3 and his buddies always had music playing during practice rounds and non-sanctioned events. This Bluetooth speaker is perfect for walking, push carts or riding carts. Music relaxes all of us and our kids in particular. This is $60.00. Go to www.jbl.com. Love it!

Parents, your junior golfer will be totally surprised and amazed by finding any of these items with his name on it. Have at it!

See you on #1 tee looking hi-tech… Sam

Junior Golf: Change Is Good

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at change and why, in the great majority of cases, change is good. (image jennleforge.com)image

Charlie Strong, head football coach at my alma mater, The University of Texas, was fired Saturday and replaced by Tom Herman. This is a rather obvious example of good change because Coach Strong had 3 consecutive losing seasons, which is totally unacceptable at UT, and he had to go. We’ll see how Coach Herman does, but in any case, a change had to be made and made now. The losing could not be tolerated any longer. Optimism is once again in the air at The University of Texas football program.

Another great outcome of change was Ryan Moore’s dramatic improvement in his finishes on the PGA Tour, after changing golf balls. He went from middle-of-the-pack to Top 5 or Top 10 finishes and played his way onto the Ryder Cup squad where he clinched the winning point. Talk about positive results from change!image

So Dad and Mom, change something for your junior golfer. I’m not talking swing changes here. I mean a new ridiculous head cover that causes her to smile every time she looks at her bag! Or buy some colored golf balls. Or buy a different brand of golf balls, proper compression of course. Shop for new golf shoes. Perhaps get 1 of the new floppy hats which provide great protection for the ears and back of the neck. And there’s always some new practice aide that can be used in the backyard or even in the house. We are big fans of putting aides. They are an excellent way to shave off some strokes. Let’s use change to have fun!image

Inject a little fun in the game. Smiles are relaxing and we all know our kids can use some more relaxation on the golf course. (images global golf and roxy)

See you on #1 tee smiling… Sam

Junior Golf: Changing Spikes

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at the most common maintenance required with spiked golf shoes and that is replacing the spikes or cleats, as they are sometimes called, on the shoes. (image jennleforge.com)image
Changing the spikes sounds so simple, but I can assure you that there have been several times I thought I was going to pull a muscle trying to break a worn spike loose. Some of them seem to be almost glued in place!
2 keys which will make changing cleats/spikes much much easier is 1st have a proper tool for the job. These sell for about $5-$10, fit your hand nicely and are as they say, the right tool for the job. The 2nd aide is to get a pan or bowl big enough to hold at least 1 golf shoe, obviously holding both shoes is better. Put about 1-inch of water in the bowl and let the sole of the golf shoe soak in the water for a few minutes to help loosen and mud and dirt around the threads of the cleats. Now the tool should relatively easily break the spikes free and you can remove them. If, after soaking, they still don’t come loose, spray some lubricant on them and allow them to soak a few minutes. Hopefully now they will come loose. If they still won’t cooperate, repeat the above steps or get someone bigger and stronger than you to turn the tool.
Once all the old spikes are out, clean the orifices so all dirt and grime is removed. Allow them to dry. Spray a bit of lubricant in the holes before installing the new spikes. This step seats the new spikes nicely and may aide in easier removal the next time you swap them out. (image soft spike images, link is not active)image
Be certain to buy the correct spikes for your daughter’s shoes. There are several different thread patterns and what you buy must match the grooves on her golf shoes. Once you have identified the thread type, there may be 2 or 3 different kinds of spikes to choose from. This changes a lot so just because you have spikes left over from her previous pair of golf shoes, don’t assume they will fit her current pair. Double check!
Examine her cleats at least monthly. Always replace any missing cleats. We replaced S3’s cleats every 6 months or more often. He was constantly playing golf and these soft spikes wear out and then they begin to lose their grip. Got to have good spikes!
See you on #1 tee looking for good traction… Sam

Junior Golf: Better Sleep/Better Golf

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at how lack of enough quality sleep negatively impacts your son. Sleep deprivation and poor quality of sleep are widespread health issues among all ages all over the world. The facts are that better sleep equals better golf, better student and better overall health.image

In today’s fast-paced and exciting world it’s common to run across someone who wants to get by with 3 or 4 hours of sleep. They love life and have so many things they want to enjoy! Well, the studies show that only a very small percentage of the population can perform well on minimal sleep, usually meaning averaging less than 8 hours per night and I’ll tell you right now, it’s highly unlikely anyone in your family is included in this minuscule group. (photo jennleforge.com)

While the hours of sleep necessary can vary from infants to
pre-teens to teens to adults, a solid starting point is basically 8 to 9 hours of good sleep per night. Certainly right now some of you are saying, “No way! I don’t see that happening in our house.” (photo Trovati Faceplant Dreams)

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May I offer some data? Sleep deprivation may be associated with poor athletic performance, poor grades, decreased ability to learn and create, slowed reaction time, increased risk of depression, increased susceptibility to any number of health issues including diabetes, weight gain and blood pressure issues, a reduced ability to control emotions and responses and many many more. Folks this is real! (photo Phoenix, Tucson, Arizona golf images)

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Where do Mom and Dad start? Modifying your own sleep habits sets a good example. Your junior golfer will more likely do what you do and your proper example sets the standard for the whole family. Schedule a brief family meeting to review the new sleep times and how all will benefit. Be excited about it! Enough beneficial sleep is every bit as important as clean water, healthy food and exercise. It’s a big deal!

Back out the necessary times. When does everyone need to get up? If it’s 7:00am, have the kids in bed by 10:00pm for 9 hours of sleep. Grade schoolers were in bed by 8:30pm in our house and we worked our way up to 10:00pm for high school. Younger kids need more sleep. Parents, you’ll benefit too.

See you on #1 tee wide awake and rested… Sam

Junior Golf: Better Health Better Golf

Wow! After all the intense golf news of the past few weeks, in today’s Friday Flop Shot we will get back to focusing on helping junior golfers and their families. Let’s see how to begin the process of Better Health=Better Golf in your family.img_0106-1

Parents, I am usually hesitant to tell you that you must take some action. Today however, Linda and I believe taking control of your family’s health is so important, so readily available and so critical for all your family members and of course, your athletes, that we encourage you in the strongest terms to have the conversation we reference below. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

The 1st step is: Dad and Mom must have a discussion to decide if you want to address the taking control of your health issue. If the answer is no, then the status quo remains. If the answer is yes, congratulations, and the next step is to have another meeting and include your kids and inform them of your decision. Tell them that the family will be making changes in the areas of food, drink and exercise. Be positive, be excited. Your family is embarking on a life-changing journey! Mom and Dad must be united in this decision. Single parents, you may wish to discuss this with close friends and mentors, just be staunch in your decision.

If your answer is No, nothing changes. We sincerely hope you will reconsider your decision. Why did you choose No?

If you said Yes, here’s your next step after informing the rest of your family. Put together an action plan. Start simple because this can be a bit overwhelming. Frankly we could spend years on this topic and never cover everything so we are going to give you input to make this process as seamless as possible.

Linda and I have been serious amateur students of health, fitness, nutrition and supplementation for a long time. In fact Linda once held 2 certifications from The Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas, 1 as a Certified Fitness Specialist (precursor to Personal Trainer Certification) and 1 in wellness. Individually we had already taken control of our own health even before we met and have emphasized and maintained this philosophy continuously in our family. And it works. Our rare visits to the doctor ar almost always from sports/activity-based injuries. Taking control of your family’s health works! (photo pbase.com)

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Action Plan Step 1: Take a look at what your family is eating. Write it down. It may shock you when you see it on a piece of paper. Awareness is the 1st step in this process. People are always asking us for 1 sentence on health and nutrition. Over these many years what we have come up with is, “Take a look at what you are going to put in your mouth and ask yourself, “How close is this to the way God put it on this planet?” In other words, start cutting back on processed foods. Fresh fruits and veggies and quality meats are where we should be spending our food dollars. Get your awareness factor up! You may be surprised or even shocked by what your family is eating! We’ll stay on this for a few posts, so more great tips Monday.

See you on #1 tee looking healthy… Sam

Junior Golf: Memories Of Arnold


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In today’s Wednesday Waggle I’ll share a few family memories of times we were around Arnold Palmer.

He is everything and more than was said about him. Tom Watson mentioned that professional golfers should send Arnold Palmer a commission on every dollar that they earned. There are thousands of tribute articles available where you can get a comprehensive discussion of how Arnold changed almost everything about professional golf…the excitement, bringing the game to the masses with Arnie’s Army, increasing the endorsement money, revitalizing the British Open, bringing attention to the importance of golf as a world-wide sport, loving his fans, increasing purses and of course his amazing charity work. The list is endless and professional golf will be eternally grateful! (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

My Dad was very involved in running The Texas Open for many years including 1960-62 when Arnold won it all 3 years. Dad got to know Arnold at Fort Sam Houston in 1960. The 1st time I actually met him was in 1961 when, after finishing a round at Oak Hills, Arnold was talking to my parents as I walked up. Dad introduced me and Arnold said, “Hi Sammie, nice to meet you,” and we visited a few minutes and he moved on. Different times back then, no giant structures, pretty much the only grandstands that were around #9 and #18, both of them par 3’s. You had open access to all the pros and while some weren’t very talkative, many were.

Sitting at #17 green was my friends and my favorite spot because once the guys putted out you could watch them hit to #18. The tee box was right next to the 17th green. So 17 is a hard dogleg left with a forest in the middle of the way. Arnold was long enough to cut the corner but when we heard a ball crash into the middle of the trees. This was my hero’s group coming up and my heart sank as I watched Arnold go to the ball on the bare dirt with about 30 trees between it and the green. Well, don’t ya know, he hit a low roller out of there up to about 3 feet from the pin and made a birdie. Major excitement!

Arnold won The Texas Open again in 1962 and I know he came back to play in the 1968 PGA Championship at Pecan Valley. He and Dad got to say “Hi” again and I so wanted Arnold to win this event. You may recall he rope-hooked his drive into the woods on the 72nd hole but managed to hit a miraculous 3-wood close enough for a decent birdie look which would have tied him with Julius Boros. The putt didn’t drop and Arnold finished 2nd.

imageThe last time I saw Arnold in-person was at a Senior Tour event at Oak Hills in 2004. One of my life goals was to get a photo of S3 with The King and I had no idea how I was going to do it. When I read that Arnold said he always liked Oak Hills, where he won 2 Texas Opens, and wanted to play it 1 more time, I couldn’t believe it! We went on Pro-Am day because there are light crowds and access to players is good. There was a slight backup on #11 tee and The King was gracious enough to let S3, then 10 years old, sit in his lap. It’s a lifetime event photo, a true treasure! Thank you, Arnold! The King is gone but he has given our family a lifetime of memories.

See you on #1 tee honoring The King… Sam

 

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Junior Golf: Amazing Finish But I ‘m Also Sad

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at the amazing finish to The Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. And as great as that was I’m also sad that my #1 sports hero of all-time, Arnold Palmer, passed away. I’ll share some of our family’s personal memories with The King on Wednesday. Today let’s look at what happened in Atlanta!image

Sunday began with most of the golf pundits just about ready to concede both events to DJ, Dustin Johnson. Why not, he was playing well, had a great year and just needed a good final round and he would be very hard to beat. Well, guess what, golf happened! (photo jennleforge.com)

He played poorly, in fact, the worst round of the day for the 30-man field, a 73 and with 6 holes to play there was no way for him to win the TC. There were 3 guys who were fighting it out and it was great golf and exciting TV.

Kevin Chappell, was leading but a poor drive on #17 left him with a bogey. Being in the last pairing right behind Rory McIlroy and Ryan Moore, Kevin had some idea of what was happening ahead.

Let’s back up. Ryan was slowly catching Kevin all day long. DJ played poorly and was out of contention. Rory was a few shots back and was not a threat, yet. Well, Rory holed out for an eagle on #16 to seriously get back in it. He parred #17 and birdied #18 to finish -12. His playing partner Ryan finished 4, 3, 5 to also be -12. So Kevin went 3, 5, 5 to make it a 3-way tie at 12-under. Let the playoff begin.

Who could have won outright? The rough was notoriously tough and Chappell’s poor drive on #17 cost him a bogey. A par would have meant a win. An expensive shot. Ryan had maybe an 8-footer for a birdie on his 72nd hole that would have put him at 13-under par and an outright winner. He missed it and I think that was the only putt under 10-feet he missed all day! Wow!

Playoff holes were 18, 18, 15, 16, 17 and 18, sudden death! Rory hit a 360-yard drive on the 1st playoff hole leaving only 213 yards to the pin. He promptly hit his 2nd shot to 6 & 1/2 feet and it seemed like it was over. Kevin hit a poor approach and missed his birdie putt and he knew he was done. Ryan had almost the exact same putt he had missed just moments earlier and he stroked it right into the middle of the cup for a birdie, forcing Rory to make his eagle putt to win.

The announcers mentioned that Rory really wasn’t taking any time with the putt and he was just stepping up and hitting it. Perhaps he should have taken more time because he missed it. So he and Ryan played 18 again, then 15 and then the par 4 16th. After an awkward chip, Ryan made a 20-footer for a par. Rory had 14 & ½ feet for his birdie and he made it! Had Kevin or Ryan won the tournament, DJ would have won the FedEx Cup. Rory, by winning the last event of the year also won the FEC, congratulations, Rory! (photo pga.com)

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It was amazing to watch. I mean Kevin Chappell went 66, 68, 68, 66 and finished 3rd. That’s great golf on a tough course! Ryan Moore kept making shots and would not make a bogey. And he made a ton of putts. Fabulous grit and determination! And Rory, who at some point must have known that he would have to win it because Ryan was not going to hand the victory to him, hit 1 more great shot than Ryan to claim his win on the 4th playoff hole!

What does this mean to your junior golfer? Every shot counts. Never give up. Give your best effort on every shot every time. Take a breath. Enjoy the thrill of the moment because these moments are rare.

See you on #1 tee ready to give your best effort on every shot… Sam

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