Posts Tagged ‘Instruction’

Putting Tips From GCA Coach David Ogrin

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re going to get some putting advice from our good friend, PGA Tour winner and Golf Channel Academy coach, David Ogrin.

Perhaps you’ve seen one of his segments on The Golf Channel. We’re fortunate to have him full time here in San Antonio at The Golf Channel Academy at San Pedro. One of his recent posts caught my eye and I’d like to share it with you.

Today, I have Ogie’s permission to use one of his recent Facebook posts talking about putting. This is addressed to instructors, however, parents and their junior golfers have some excellent takeaways here. Without further ado, in David Ogrin’s words:

“On this putting thing, here would be my preferred way to teach it.

1. Give them your game theory. HIGH SIDE CORRECT SPEED IS NEVER A THREE PUTT. MAXIMUM BREAK, MINIMUM SPEED.

2. Teach them the mechanics. THUMBS ON FLAT OF PUTTER. STRAIGHT BACK, STRAIGHT THROUGH. YOU ARE PERFECTLY DESIGNED BY INSTINCT TO DO THIS.

3. Teach them how to read greens. UPHILL OR DOWNHILL? DOES HILL TIP LEFT OR RIGHT? WHAT SIDE OF HOLE DO YOU AIM?

4. Play for $1 per hole, 9 hole matches until they beat you. PUTT, PUTT, PUTT, PUTT, PUTT, PUTT, PUTT

5. If a student can beat me putting, and I know exactly where I stand on the golf ladder, that student has a chance. THREE FEET 100%, EIGHT FEET 50%, 33 FEET TWO PUTTS

Thanks again Coach Ogrin for the excellent advice!

Dad and Mom, print this out. Hit it with a highlighter. This is valuable information on the basics of putting. To win any golf tournament, the player must make putts and they must make more putts than everyone else.

This is a huge key for winning golf tournaments. Please grasp the inherent value here.

See you on #1 tee ready to make some putts… 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: Snacks That Beat the Heat

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we’re taking a look at how, in the middle of summer, your kiddo can have snacks that beat the heat.

All athletes must replenish calories during competition and your junior golfer is no different. So when it’s time for a healthy munchie, which for golfers is about every 3 or 4 holes, and your son/daughter reaches into the bag to pull one out and they get a handful of inedible mush, it’s not good.

First off, the calories are lost and now one hand is yucky and must be cleaned so the next shot can be hit. Hope he/she has a water bottle and towel!

Here in South Texas there’s plenty of warm/hot weather golf so we have some snacks that will definitely beat the heat. It did take a few tries so we could eliminate some things that sounded good but didn’t work out.

Snacks that hold up in the heat:

1. Jerky is a perfect source of protein, a little fat, some salt and it’s immune to the weather. 2 reasons we buy ours at Costco: most, if not all, the jerky they carry has no msg. Also Costco usually has large bags with individual serving packs inside, very convenient!

2. Trail mix which includes fruit and perhaps M&Ms, although they can get soft in high heat. This provides protein, fat, some salt and carbs through the fruit/M&Ms. Do not get trail mix with loose chocolate or chocolate chips. It will melt and make a terrible mess.

3. Granola/protein/health bars. These are convenient but be aware: we stay with organic to avoid gmo’s which are prevalent in most grains. Also we avoid chocolate because of how messy it is in the heat. Some of these bars taste much better than the others. Take your young golfer to the store and together choose several different bars to try before a tournament. The bar does no good if your child won’t eat it.

4. Cut up fruit. When in doubt, a banana or orange slices always works. Put ’em in a ziplock bag and the sticky cleanup is easy with some water or saliva. No protein or fat here, but there are some good carbs which is better than nothing.

5. PBJ, yes, a good ole peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into 1/4’s for convenience. Fat, protein, carbs and salt all in one easy format.

Something that TV golf coverage doesn’t really show is how much the pros eat and hydrate during around. S3 and I caddied with Adam Scott’s group during the 2018 Valero Texas Open. Adam and his caddy always had water or a banana or part of a sandwich in their hands. It was the best possible example of how to take care of one’s hydration and nutrition during competition!

See you on #1 tee with a water bottle and snacks…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: 3 Tips For Summer Golf Success

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at 3 simple ways for your junior golfer to have a successful summer of golf.

Ok, school is out for just about everybody so let’s get after some fun summer golf planning!

1. Start with getting the whole family together to go over summer calendars. Prep for this by having dates of tournaments and golf camps on hand. If you’re planning a major vacation for the family, be sure to include the golf clubs.

2. Mom and Dad, review the summer budget. Then decide how much discretionary money can go towards golf. Know costs of tournaments, golf camps, clubs and lessons. Remember that summer is a time when major advances in skill levels can occur.

3. Be aware that your non-golfing kids need attention too. Balance your time and money as best it’s possible, among the youngsters.

There you go, quick and easy. If college golf is a goal, I encourage you to spend as much time and money as you can, in a prudent way, to immerse your kiddo in summer golf. Amazing things happen with immersion!

S3 took this photo of my shot on this par 3 at the beautiful Nicklaus Ocean Course at the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida. This was during his college graduation trip in 2016.

The summer between his junior and senior years of high school, S3 had 23 days of tournaments. Yes, this is a lot of golf but we had budgeted for it and he played some of the best golf of his life. It was fun!

See you on #1 tee with a better game… 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

Junior Golf: 3 Major Benefits of Speed Training

In this Monday Mulligan we are continuing our foray into golf swing speed training.

Parents, perhaps you’re wondering where we’re going with this. Well here you go. In all our years of being a golfing family, we have heard swing speed and the importance of it mentioned countless times. However, we never pursued the topic because we didn’t know where to go for proper instruction on how to increase it.

Let’s turn this party around for you, enter Michael Romatowski. What’s different about his methods? He focuses on exercises and training to increase speed, pure and simple and it works. In the classes I’ve attended I have seen women, men, young, old, novice golfer, pro golfer all increase their swing speeds.

Most folks can expect a 5-10% increase and some gain even more speed. The time required to achieve gains is unique to the individual. My swing speed is up 2.5% after 4 sessions as I pursue that 10% goal!

The benefits for your junior golfer are: 1. It works. For every 1mph increase in driver speed, add 2.5 yards. The pros get excited about getting an extra 3 yards from a new driver. Every yard is important!

2. Your child will have a more efficient swing. After 1 class, a top local golfer said he felt like he was using more of his core and he had better balance.

3. It improves confidence. As your kiddo sees that he/she can increase swing speed and actually get more yards out of their driver, they know they are increasing their level of competitiveness. They like it!

What’s the next step? Contact Michael at MichaelRomatowski.com and ask him the best way to follow up. Ideally a family golf trip to San Antonio that would include going to a couple of Mike’s classes would be great fun! If that’s not doable I’m sure he’ll have some ideas for you.

See you on #1 tee hitting that driver a bit farther.., Sam

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)

image

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

Junior Golf: Unforced Errors

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at something that happens in every sport, it just tends to happen less among the players and teams who are properly prepared mentally. (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135

Unforced errors are our topic today. What are they? Simply put, it’s making a mistake when you should not have. In golf, it’s hitting a poor shot when your ball was in a decent position for you to have hit the proper shot, a good result. You had no extraordinary degree of difficulty or challenges required to hit the good shot. Missing short putts or hitting poor chip shots from a good lie are also valid examples.

In volleyball, service errors are 1 example of unforced errors. If the serve is merely in play, it forces the receiving team to make a play. If the serve is not in play the receiving team gets a free point. The #1-ranked US Women’s Volleyball team entered their semifinal match against Serbia as the Gold Medal favorite. 18 US service errors later-read 18 points for Serbia-our ladies lost 15-13 in the 5th set. In fact 2 of Serbia’s last 4 points to win the match were US service errors. The final point was a block going off of 1 of our girls and ending up out of play, Serbia wins 15-13. Serbia played great, in fact they peaked in this game because China blew them out 3-1 in the Gold Medal match.

How on earth does our team of this caliber commit 18 service errors in 1 match? I mean that’s 18 points and Serbia only beat us by a total of 11 points in the 3 sets that they won! Is it lack of practice/preparation, poor coaching, lack of focus during the game, folding to the pressure of The Olympics or just having a bad night? I don’t know the answer, only the result. Unforced errors took our team out of the Gold Medal Match. To the ladies’ credit they did bring home the Bronze Medal and had a lot fewer service errors! (photo 14-05-1994.blogspot.com)image

Golf’s latest example of unforced errors was yesterday when Rickie Fowler took himself out of contention shooting 5 strokes over par on his last 8 holes, after going 55 holes without a bogey. With a final round 74, Rickie’s fluid swing from earlier in the week disappeared and he could not maintain his great scoring. So he ended up T-7 in The Barclay’s. He needed to be T-3 or better for an automatic Ryder Cup spot. Surely he is still in the running for a Captain’s pick.

Errant tee shots-read unforced errors-led to more difficult following shots, which made pars very challenging on this very tough golf course.

What happened? No telling. Was it really old-fashioned pressure of too many high-value goals dependent on the last few holes? Sure, the pros feel pressure just like the rest of us, but they’re usually better than we are at dealing with it.

Minimizing unforced errors is critical for your daughter. Depending on her age and skill level, confidence is a good place to start eliminating mistakes. Get her off the range and onto the course. Encourage her to remember how it felt to hit that good shot, chip or putt. Ask her how she can feel her muscles soaking up the memory of a great shot. Put these positives in her mind. Pressure is coming and proper preparation and a solid level of confidence are important foundations to be able to handle it.

See you on #1 tee, properly prepared… 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

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