Posts Tagged ‘improve at golf’

Junior Golf: More Stretching=Better Golf

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we’ll see how more stretching equals better golf. Yes, your daughter is as nimble and flexible as a piece of string, but she will benefit from proper stretching. The best golf is a result of many things including a body that is properly stretched out. Tight muscles just cannot get into the proper positions to execute good swings.

Even with the innate agility that comes with youth, your daughter still needs to start investigating a solid stretching, strength and conditioning program. The easiest to implement is the stretching because it requires no special equipment or clothing. 40 years ago the only guy doing anything remotely resembling these things was Gary Player. Look at him today. He looks great and can allegedly outwalk the young pros on tour! It’s no accident. His years of extra conditioning work have really paid off. (Jason Duffner photo from

Where do you start with the stretches? Our family has a series of stretches that have helped 100% of the folks we know have properly used them. These were given to me by an orthopedic surgeon 20 years ago when my lower back was knotted-up. They are designed to stretch pretty much everything on your back side from the base of your skull to your Achilles’ tendon. And with a knotted-up lower back, I was pain-free and better than normal after 16 days of doing these stretches 2x daily. Now they are an integral part of my fitness regimen. And they stretch the quads and calves too!image

Today virtually everyone on the PGA/LPGA has some sort of fitness routine. The competition demands it. Sometimes kids take more readily to new things if they are fun, so here are 2 stretching situations that you can certainly make “fun” to your daughter. It is just plain “fun” to watch Miguel Ángel Jiménez do his brief stretches on the driving range. They are quick and easy, but they may not be the only warmups he does. Find a video and go for it. (photo from

Another great video from The Golf Channel, I’m sorry I don’t remember the specific show: is one of the guest instructors showing quick stretches to do when your daughter is late getting to #1 tee and there is no time for formal routines. It is great and it takes just a minute or 2.

See you on #1 tee…and your daughter better be stretched-out and ready to play… Sam

Junior Golf: Embrace the Change in Your Child’s Path

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at how to embrace the change in your child’s path. Yes, her path will change and you should expect change, embrace it and adapt to it. (photo by

Paths in life are not straight lines, so why would we expect a junior golf path to be any different? Curves in the path are inevitable and change is good although at times it is uncomfortable at best. Some curves will be pleasant, some will be difficult to understand and some will test you and your junior golfer’s patience to the extreme.

Having a solid relationship with your child is key to recognizing change, figuring out what is going on and implementing a positive solution in order to move forward. Some change is obvious. She grew 2 inches and the golf shoes don’t fit, her clothes are too small and her clubs are too short.

Emotional change can be tricky to see and complicated to refocus. The causes are many, ranging from hormone/puberty issues, school issues, relationship issues, poor diet and more. Getting back on track in dealing with emotional issues can be really difficult and this is not the time to go deeper into it.image

Physical issues can be more than just growing a few inches taller. Shin splints, ingrown toenails, tendonitis and headaches are common as kids grow up. And athletes tend to downplay these as they want to continue practicing and playing their game and they may not want to seem like a wimp. Side effects from prescription medications can be unhelpful for athletic activity. Proper hydration and nutrition will help maximize results during practice and play.

Have your daughter’s eyes checked regularly. We personally know of several excellent junior golfers who kept making uncharacteristic mistakes, particularly around the green. They all needed some vision correction, amazing! (photo from

Anticipate curves in the path. Have some idea of action to take depending on what causes the curve. Above all be encouraging and positive. This is all part of junior golf life.

See you on #1 tee…and I expect everyone to have a great attitude… Sam.

Achievement Goals for Your Junior Golfer Golf Goals

In our third and final posting on goals, we will address golf goals. These are similar but different for every Junior Golfer.


Really, the most important all-encompassing goal is constant improvement… better today than yesterday and better tomorrow than today.

There are an infinite number of golf goals so the ones below are skill specific to help you get inspired to help your Junior Golfer come up with their own. You can have goals ranging from very short-term to very long-term (“the dream”). Always encourage your kids to dream.

Beginner skill level:
1. Strike the ball on every swing
2. Score less than 10 on each hole
3. Have a maximum of 3 putts on any hole
4. Play golf with someone you did not previously know
5. Enter golf tournaments on a consistent basis

Intermediate skill level:
1. Regularly break 100 for 18 holes
2. Have 2 pars per 18 holes
3. Find the club that puts you in play off the tee box, not Driver
4. Play against people that are better golfers than you are
5. Consistently put your chips within 3 feet of the hole

Advanced skill level:
1. Work on your course management
2. Work on controlling your emotions, particularly anger
3. Work on your short game, chipping and putting
4. Work on your people skills, play with a smile or at least appear to be in a good mood
5. Perfect a brand new shot or two

Lessons, range time, putting on the carpet at home, hitting whiffle balls in the yard are all part of golf goals and should be regularly scheduled.

Our experience with Sam III, S3, was that by the 8th grade he was hitting a lot of good shots, but needed consistency throughout 18 holes. Lessons were only 3 or 4 times a year, mainly when his swing just got out of sync…or he grew 3 inches over the summer! His goals were to be fighting for #1 or #2 on his high school golf team, be a leader on the team by his scores and actions and to always be in the Top10 in every tournament…high school, city championship and TJGT (Texas Junior Golf Tour). And of course to play college golf, which he is currently doing for Texas A & M International in Laredo, Texas. ( great NCAA Division II University just starting the process of building a winning college golf program. Your Junior Golfer might want to consider joining S3 in a great college golf environment.

Your Junior Golfer needs goals to know where they are going. Working on goals and reaching some of them promotes the confidence needed to compete at advanced levels. And the advanced skill levels are the ones the college coaches are interested in. College coaches will ask, “Why do you want to play golf for us? What do you want to get out of your college experience? “. You want solid answers. S3’s response was, “I want to get my degree, help build a winning golf program, be a leader on the golf team and be able to consider pursuing the PGA Tour when I graduate.”

OK, what are some goals you and your Junior Golfer can set today?

You’re up on #1tee…till next time…Sam Jr

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