Posts Tagged ‘health and fitness’

Junior Golf: A Different Kind Of Golf Story



In this Monday Mulligan we will look at a different kind of golf story. I’ve not written about this before but it seems now is an appropriate time.

On September 11, 2001, I was in the men’s lounge at The Dominion Country Club, near San Antonio, Texas, eating breakfast prior to a 9:00am tee time. It was to be a glorious day enjoying a fine golf course with 2 dear friends, Ron and Jim. As we watched the events taking place on the tv, Jim, a retired Special Agent for the FBI, needed about 1 second to say: “That’s no accident, that’s on purpose. It’s probably a terrorist attack.”

Jim and I first met in the 1970’s and we spent a lot of quality time together. His exceptional talents and skills needed no additional support, so terrorism it was. And of course, he was correct.

We decided to keep our tee time and try to play. After 9 holes we decided that our hearts and minds were somewhere other than the golf course and we walked off the 9th green and headed our separate ways. For the 3 of us at least, it wasn’t a day for golf.


Parents, the take home point today is that while there are few things better than playing golf, there are times when it is best to do something else. Life is full of highs and lows and some of the lows are so tough, so different, so once-in-a-lifetime, that it is just not possible to focus on anything, particularly our beloved sport.


Learning to differentiate between not feeling 100%, not being in the mood or having a runny nose and something truly devastating can be tougher than you’d expect. Playing hurt is part of sports and some athletes are better at it than others and certainly you never want to risk aggravating the injury or risking permanent damage to your child, but there are decisions to be made. To play or not to play, that is the question!

Linda and I were always wanting to give our kids the benefit of the doubt, in both directions. Frankly, in our house, if our kids could walk and breathe, they wanted to play, particularly in competition. And you know what, sometimes we let them and sometimes we didn’t. We had to make decisions and you’ll have to make some too. Please prepare!

See you on #1 tee with decisions made… Sam



Junior Golf: Your Junior Golfer Is Not Immune

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will address the fact that your junior golfer is not immune to her environment, friends, family and life in general. There was a big shakeup at The Masters this week because no one is immune, no one is bulletproof.


Dubai Golf

Things happen in life. They happen to all of us and your daughter is no exception. Good things, bad things, beneficial things, inconvenient things, there are a ton of things that can occur in one’s life.

Surely as Dustin Johnson was going down the wooden stairs in his stocking feet, it never crossed his mind that he might slip and fall and have to WD, withdraw, from the 1st men’s major of the year, The Masters. As you likely have heard, he did fall on his elbow and on the left side of his back. Yesterday just before his tee time, he decided he could not compete and withdrew. The physical pain is nothing compared to his mental anguish of the whole situation.

DJ, currently ranked men’s World #1, is generally regarded as being the most athletic guy on the PGA Tour and is in amazing shape, physically. So how does this happen to a DJ? Simply this walking down the stairs was such a nothing kind of everyday event that it seems DJ was on auto-pilot just going down a set of stairs. Boom, a slip and he’s out of the tournament. Wow!



So what impact does this have on the field? Well, their 1st reaction was probably something like, “He’s in such great shape, how did that happen to him?” Next thought, “Now I have a better chance to win because I don’t have to beat the World#1.” And final dose of reality, “Man, I need to be careful. That can happen to anyone at any time.”

What is the lesson for your daughter and your household? Please make her aware that she is not immune to injury. Things happen around the house. She could slip on a wet sidewalk. Awareness helps. With S3 we also asked him to limit, as in not play at all, in pickup team sports games like basketball and soccer. All it takes is 1 injury to a finger, hand, wrist, knee, ankle or foot and the junior golf schedule is put on hold. Depending on the severity of the injury, your girl might never recover well enough to play competitive golf again.

True story. S3 was playing in a college golf tournament and 1 of his group members dads was at the event. As we dads visited during the round he told me how his son had won just about every event in their home state the previous year. His boy was on fire! However his son also dearly loved wakeboarding and refused to give it up. Yes, that’s right, the son had a horrific fall, injured his back and his golf game never recovered. So instead of winning golf tournaments, it was all he could do to break 80. A tough life lesson!

Your girl does need time away from golf. As much as she may love the game, both practicing and playing, she needs a break. Balance in life is important. As you are helping her just be a kid, encourage her in directions that give her an opportunity to have fun, fun with reduced risks.

See you on #1 tee injury-free… Sam

Junior Golf: Go Beyond The Game

In today’s Monday Mulligan, we will ask parents to take an out-of-the-box line of thought. We’re going to ask you to consider going beyond the game.

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At some point, strength and conditioning training will need to be incorporated into your son’s/daughter’s regimen. Basically, all the PGA and LPGA players have strength coaches and/or personal trainers. During the Dell WGC Matchplay Championship, won by Dustin Johnson, the announcers commented about how well he, the World’s #1-Ranked Golfer, is playing. In addition to being a gifted athlete, DJ works out twice a day, 7 days a week. Wow, that is a serious routine and it’s really paying off!

So what does going beyond the game look like to the parents of a junior golfer? Simply put, it is doing something that is not golf that will help them play better golf, be physically stronger and have better endurance. It is very common to see junior high golfers gasping for air in the freshman year of high school when they have to carry their bag and play well for more than 9 holes. And the same thing happens during the freshman year of college when your son has to play 36-holes, walking of course.

In addition to the standard s&c workouts here are a couple of different and informal, spur-of-the-moment ways for Mom and Dad to go beyond the game and help their kiddo get into better golf shape, the ability to walk, carry their golf bag and play well for all the holes in their tournaments.

First, find some time for both of you to walk together around the neighborhood carrying golf bags or backpacks with weights or bricks in them. Just 15 minutes several times a week can be a genuine benefit to both of you. And it gives you time to talk, enjoy each other’s company and increase your understanding of where your child is at mentally during this stage of his/her life. These can be very special times and deepen your relationship with your child.

Second, and you will want to make this fun, have some of what we call p&p contests (push-ups and planks). Grab your son and tell him that it’s time for some push-ups. Depending on his/her strength level he may need to begin by doing push-ups on his knees and progress to his toes once he gets strong enough. See who can do the most or who can do the most in 30 seconds or such. Then do a plank or 2. Planks are amazingly beneficial to the whole body and are excellent for the building the very important core muscles. Time the planks and see who can outlast the other one. There are regular planks-arms extended, elbow planks-on elbows, side planks and even reverse planks. Unending planks! Tough, but oh so good for everybody! Yes, planks help increase the parent-child bond.

Frankly, even the most dedicated junior golfer needs time away from golf, time that is not specifically golf. It’s simple to incorporate these items into your weekly schedule. It just takes doing it, taking the first step. Start with whatever is easiest and add the second one in a couple of weeks. Let’s help your junior golfer and have some fun too!

See you on #1 tee ready to walk all 18 holes… Sam

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