Posts Tagged ‘golfers’

Junior Golf: Enjoy Family And Friends

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan we will be brief and encourage you to enjoy the day with family and friends. Retailers are mostly open today, but financial institutions and federal offices are closed.

There are some very good sales at some of the golf websites. If shopping is not your thing, final round coverage from TPC Boston begins at 10:30am on The Golf Channel and switches to NBC at 12:30pm, all times central. Set your TiVo or watch it live. There are 10 guys within 3 shots of the leaders, Rory McIlroy and Paul Casey. Winds are supposed to pick up later in the day so it could be a wild finish!

Take a breath, relax and enjoy the day! See you on #1 tee, looking relaxed… Sam

Junior Golf: The 100

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at the men’s playoffs now in the 2nd elimination round at TPC Boston. The low 100 scores from last week are competing for 70 spots this week to advance to the next stage. (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

Reminder that this is a Friday through Monday event so I slightly freaked out when there was nothing on our TiVo Thursday evening. Aha, it was then I remembered the next morning’s start times.

Yesterday was very interesting to watch. Part of it for me is that to my eye TPC Boston is a very mesmerizing course to look at. Man, it looks tough with winding, narrow, undulating fairways with lots of rough and bunkers and greens that have slopes and features resembling the North Atlantic during a storm. As good as these guys are, this layout really demands accuracy and punishes those who cannot put the ball where it belongs.

James Hahn hit every fairway, an amazing feat in itself and both he and Ryan Moore hit some great iron shots to take the lead at 6-under par. There are another 32 players at 3-under or better so these next 3 days should be exciting! These guys are good!

1 of the reasons Phil Mickelson is so popular is that he is so creative with his shotmaking. He pulls off shots that most other pros won’t even try. Yesterday was both ugly and amazing in this regard. I watched him take an 8 on a par 4, trying to hit a ball out of some cattails and couldn’t get the ball out, had to go back and drop, take a penalty shot, wow, really rough. Then on the 18th hole, his ball was right of the green, about pin high on a very steep slope in some fluff and there was only a small piece of green between a trap and the pin. Phil swung very hard, like out of his shoes hard, with a gap wedge, hit the ball a mile high, landed it just over the trap and almost holed out. What a highlight reel!

So get the TiVo going, enjoy your Labor Day Weekend and go hit some balls or play a round. By the way, just in case you hadn’t noticed, adding to the entertainment mix, college football starts as well, and my Longhorns host #10 Notre Dame on Sunday evening, Hook ‘Em!

See you on #1 tee ready for some excitement… Sam.

Junior Golf: Ladies Begin Play

In this Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at the Ladies Golf at the Rio Olympics. Play begins today and ends Saturday. The format is 72-hole stroke play, same as the men’s event won by Justin Rose of Great Britain. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102-1

The women have pretty much all of their top stars on hand so the competition should be excellent. Our Team USA includes Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson and Gerina Pillar and it will be most interesting to hear from them about all the ramifications of being an Olympian and being the 1st women Olympic golfers since 1900.

1 of the things not mentioned often enough is that Olympic medals are the rarest of them all, being up for competition only once every 4 years. I’ll leave it up to you math wizards out there to compute the odds, but the factors involved in winning an Olympic gold medal vs a major would be: a golfer has 16x the chances to play in a major based on frequency of occurrence, every year for majors and every 4 years for The Olympics. Then majors likely have about 156 entries each and there are many different ways to be eligible to enter each major, oh and there are 4 majors each year all of which have extremely high levels of prestige, although different. Olympic golf has a maximum of 4 entries per country, based on rankings. So math folks, go crazy here and give me a number of how rare an Olympic golf medal is compared to winning a major, please!

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The point I’m trying to make is that Olympic medals in golf are very rare birds. In fact, golf’s future after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where golf is included, will be determined at a meeting in 2017. So it is possible that golf could again be eliminated at the 2017 meeting and starting at the 2024 Olympics, it would be gone. Who knows for how long? Maybe medals from Rio and Tokyo would be the ONLY Olympic golf medals for another 100 years, Wow! So after Tokyo you would have a maximum of 6 different men and 6 different women who would have Olympic golf medals and all the other great players would be looking at that vacant spot in their trophy case never knowing if there would ever be another chance for them to win an Olympic medal to fill in that spot. (photo golfnewsnet.com)

The coverage begins at 5:30am today on The Golf Channel. All rounds are replayed several times throughout the day. Please, set your TiVo. This is golf history and it will excite your daughter and give her some opportunities to dream big! Can’t wait!

See you on #1 tee looking like an Olympian… Sam

Junior Golf: Thrilling Olympic Battle

In today’s Monday Mulligan we look at the thrilling final 18 holes of the 2016 Rio Olympics Men’s Golf Competition. It was a classic battle which had a ton a drama and surprises! (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135

Yesterday started off with Justin Rose 1 shot ahead of Henrik Stensen and everybody else was basically fighting for 3rd in theory, at least, because these 2 guys were in good form. Rose appeared unflappable as he had been playing well for the 1st 3 rounds and Stensen had been playing good for weeks and recently won The Open Championship. Probably neither 1 was going to collapse during the final round. Bubba Watson was T4, 6 shots back and Matt Kuchar was T7, 7 shots behind Rose and Rickie Fowler was 9 behind and Patrick Reed was 13 shots down in the pack. Medal hopes for the Americans were not looking good.

With Rose and Stensen trading birdies nobody gave much thought to 3rd place until someone saw that Matt Kuchar, playing a couple of groups ahead of the leaders, had gone 6-under par on holes 5 through 10 and was blasting past people on his way up the leaderboard. Getting a bronze was looking good but a silver or gold was needing 3-under at least on the 3 easier finishing holes. After driving the par 4 16th, Kooch 3-putted for a par. Stuck his tee shot on the par 3 17th to less than 3 feet and made a birdie and just did not hit his 3rd shot close enough on the par 5 18th and made par, so he finished 13-under and locked up the bronze medal.

Meanwhile back in the last group, Stensen pulled even to Rose with a birdie on #17. Now they’re tied going into the par 5 72nd hole. Lead NBC announcer legendary US golfer Johnny Miller said,
“I think whoever birdies this hole wins! I don’t expect both guys will make birdies, the nerves are just too great!” All of the announcers made reference as to how everybody on the course, not just the players was feeling the intense pressure of being the 1st Olympic Golf Gold Medalist in 112 years!

So Henrik was 1st to hit to the 18th green leaving his approach almost 30 feet short of the hole. Then Justin stuck his 3rd shot to maybe 2 feet, pressure, what pressure? Henrik missed his birdie putt so that meant a 2-footer was all that Justin needed to win the gold medal and yes, he made it. Coming down to the final shots on the last hole, what a finish for golf!image

Gold Medal-Justin Rose, Silver Medal-Henrik Stensen, Bronze Medal-Matt Kuchar. Great job guys!

Let me close with some quotes from Matt Kuchar and his USA teammate Bubba Watson. “I can assure you I’ve never been so excited to finish in the top three in my life,” Kuchar told Golf Channel’s Steve Sands. “I can’t explain to you the pride I feel just burning out of my chest. It’s something I haven’t felt before.” Watson, who was in contention for a medal at the start of Sunday’s round, was excited for Kuchar. “I was grinning from ear to ear every time I looked at the leaderboard and saw he was making pars and making birdies, he was going to get a medal. As long as he signed the scorecard the right way, he was going to get a medal.” Can you say team sport?

See you on #1 tee looking to be a part of something bigger than yourself… Sam

Junior Golf: Unexpected Results

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at unexpected results, what happens when your son’s round of golf doesn’t look anything like you thought it would or should, or what we, his team, were expecting.img_0106

A perfect example is yesterday’s 1st round results at the PGA Championship. 2 of the biggest favorites will need to have a great round today or miss the cut. Rory McIlroy had a 4-over par 74, with 35 putts. Please note that most tour pros would love to average 27-28 putts per round, or less, so 35 is horrible. Now Dustin Johnson, winner or 2 events in a row not that long ago blew up to a 77, what’s up with that? (photo offcoursegolf.com)

Along with Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Ricky Fowler, these were most of the top names being picked to win the 4th major of 2016. Let’s see, Jimmy Walker and Martin Kaymer, who are they again? Well, Martin has won 2 majors and Jimmy has won 5 times in the previous 2 years, but neither has had a lot going on this year. How is Jimmy leading and how is Martin tied for 4th with Henrik among others, after 1 round?

Jimmy said he grew up playing a Tillighast course, I think referring to our wonderful Brackenridge Park Golf Course, Old Brack, here in San Antonio. The big greens, generous fairways and bunker placements were familiar to him. Folks, the pros favor some courses over others and pleasing to the eye, familiarity, acceptability of their preferred shot shape, etc are big deals. It’s a bonus to Jimmy that a course in a major feels comfortable to him. (Jimmy Walker photo pga.com)

PGA: PGA Championship - First Round

Jul 28, 2016; Springfield, NJ, USA; Jimmy Walker reacts to the crowd after making a putt on 17th hole during the first round of the 2016 PGA Championship golf tournament at Baltusrol GC – Lower Course. Mandatory Credit: Eric Sucar-USA TODAY Sports

And Martin Kaymer, in majors he’s either really on or really off and if it’s an on week for him, look out. He can get in a serious zone. Let’s not forget Henrik Stensen, winner of The Open Championship 2 weeks ago, he’s and Martin are only 2 shots back. No disrespect to the other players in the top 10 after round 1, but you can look up the complete leaderboard online.

What does this mean to you and your junior golfer? Competitive sports is tough, it’s like life, things happen! Good things and bad things happen and many cannot be readily explained. It’s getting back up to hit another shot that counts. Believing that the next shot will be a good shot counts even more! I can assure you that there were times S3 looked like he was ready to cry, faint or throw up after hitting a bad shot or having a bad hole. Sometimes he got over it on the next tee box and sometimes it took a few holes, but he got over it during the round, usually finishing with a strong final 3 holes, at least.

Being an encourager is 1 of the most important roles for a parent. Remember that just because your son has been playing great recently does not mean he will play great in his next event. The encouragement must be that nobody plays great all the time, but he, your son, must believe he can hit a good shot after hitting a poor 1. Positive, positive, positive! If you get knocked down, you get back up. Forget the bad, focus on the good.

Let’s enjoy this great golf weekend! The Women’s Open Championship is in progress and of course we have the rest of the Men’s PGA Championship. Get the TiVo going!

See you on #1 tee expecting good shots… Sam

Junior Golf: The International Crown

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at the ladies’ event taking place right now at The Merit Club near Chicago. The LPGA has a lot of great golfers and this event has a true worldwide and international flavor.img_0106-1

We’re talking about the 2nd incarnation of The International Crown, won by the Spanish ladies in 2014’s inaugural event. The IC features 8 teams of 4 players each, representing their country. Players and thus the teams must qualify based on the cumulative team score of the 4 players’ Rolex World Rankings. Teams are seeded 1-8 and put into 2 4-team pool brackets where each team plays the other 3 teams in their bracket in a series of 4-ball matches. The top 2 point-earning teams from each pool plus 1 wild card team will advance to Sunday’s singles matches. The winning country is determined by the highest number of cumulative points from Thursday through Sunday’s matches. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

The Spaniards, 2014 winners, did not qualify for 2016 and neither did the runner up, the Swedes. This year’s IC teams include the United States, South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia and England. Lots of great lady golfers represented here.

All but 2 hours of Sunday NBC coverage is on The Golf Channel and you know what I’m gonna say now…set your TiVo and record this tournament. I watched most of the 2014 play and it was great! This ladies are playing for their countries and it means a lot to them. Emotions and passions run high and these gals can play!image

Please don’t confuse the ladies’ tees at your home course with LPGA tees. This course is set up for 6668 yards, par 72. That’s in line with a low to medium length for men’s regular tees at most courses. So for most of the Dads out there, these women are basically playing from your tee box! Can you hit your drives as far as they do? Probably not! Great stuff! Well coverage has started and I’m watching it! (photo Jose Maria Saiz V.)

See you on #1 tee looking for that International Crown… Sam

Junior Golf: Amazing Golf

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at yesterday’s final round in The Open Championship where 1 of the most exciting 2-man duels of all time captivated viewers and lovers of golf worldwide. (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135-1

After Saturday’s 3rd round Henrik Stenson was 12-under par and Phil Mickelson was 1 shot back. Everyone else was well behind these 2 so barring a collapse by both Henrik and Phil combined with a phenomenal round by someone else, it was basically a 2-man race for The Champion Golfer Of The Year.

The weather was cold and windy to start the day but it didn’t matter to these guys in the final group. Phil birdied #1 and Henrik 3-putted so they switched scores and places on the leaderboard. Stenson righted his ship and started making birdies and Phil was making birdies and an eagle. They both finished the front 9 with 4-under par 32’s, meaning Henrik maintained the 1-stroke lead he had to start the day.

Phil caught Henrik on #11 and they stayed tied for the next 2 holes. Then Stenson continued his amazing round of golf by hitting more fabulous shots and making long putts. He birdied 3 of the last 5 holes to shoot a 63, with 2 3-putts. I believe that if you asked Phil before this final round if he, Phil, thought a 65 on the last round would win The Open Championship, he would have certainly said, “Yes, I’ll take that score in every final round!”image

Well folks, guess what? Phil shot a 6-under par final round, bogey-free 65 and took 2nd place all by himself, 11 shots ahead of 3rd place but 3 shots behind Henrik. Wow, it’s unbelievable, but true. Phil played great golf and did nothing wrong. Henrik, however, was on another planet, hitting great shot after great shot and making putts, long putts. Henrik just plain ole beat Phil. (photo pgatour.com)

Dad and Mom, this is why I encourage you to record these events! It may be 10 years before you see another amazing display of championship golf like this. I mean, this was an all-time classic!

See you on #1 tee ready to hit some amazing shots… Sam

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