Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Walker’

Junior Golf: It’s Cold-Lets Stay Inside And Learn Something

In this Friday Flop Shot we are going to accept the fact that this weekend it’s cold and windy with chill factors in the teens, and this is in South Texas, so this is a good time to stay inside and learn something. Get some more golf education.img_0106

All of our kids, including your junior golfer daughter, have limited attention spans, particularly if what Mom and Dad suggest is not in her highest priorities. And while she may love playing golf, sometimes watching golf or golf videos requires bringing her in and saying, “ Here’s a great video about a simple exercise to improve your driver skills.” Or “The Tournament of Champions is on TV from Hawaii. Let’s watch some of it and see if we’d like to go play that course some day.” (image offcoursegolf.com)

Put a point of reference in it for your daughter. Make it have some meaning, potentially, at least. If you and your daughter are serious about junior golf, you must have the Golf Channel included in your TV package. There is so much information on it alone, that if your family had no other digital or video media or magazines, your daughter could learn almost everything she would need to keep up with all things golf, just from this channel.

With the Web.com Tour, the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour and the European Tour there is more golf competition than can possibly be watched. And the instructional shows and the topical and fun Morning Drive Show are loaded with an endless array of golf information and history.

Pay attention to your emails. I mean every day I get them from tgw.com, Junior Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, Golf Digest STIX, Tips @ Golf Digest, Golfweek, Golf World and more. Sit down with your daughter and open these together and read at least 1 article in each. Some are short, no more than a Tweet, while others are more in depth. There is always something interesting and helpful than can be put to use immediately.

This morning I came across a Facebook post about Jimmy Walker’s shortened driver. In the offseason he wanted to improve his driving accuracy and removed some length from his driver. Jimmy says he lost 5-20 yards in distance, but the club feels so much more natural to him at this shorter length and his fairways hit, all but 4 in yesterday’s opening round, putting him in 2nd place, provided very positive feedback. Great stuff!

The Barclays - Round Three

A couple of years ago Bubba Watson mentioned that most amateurs had drivers that were too long. He mentioned that shortening them resulted in hitting more shots on the sweet spot, giving better and more consistent results. Who’d a thunk it? Check out the length of your girl’s driver. Maybe it’s time for a trim. (Bubba image Golf Monthly)

See you on #1 tee looking educated… Sam

Tour Championship Begins

And they’re off! The best 30 players on the PGA Tour have day 1 of The Tour Championship under their belt. And there were some surprises. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Hideki Matsuyama shot a 66 to tie for the lead with Kevin Chappell and pre-event favorite Dustin Johnson. The low 11 scores feature plenty of high-powered players including Jason Day 1 shot back, then Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy 2 shots back and finally Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar 3 shots back.

Notables who were in the back of the 30-man field were Bubba Watson at 2-over par, Patrick Reed at 3-over par and Phil Mickelson and Jimmy Walker, 4-over par. There are still 54 holes of golf to play, no 36-hole cut. The time to start shooting better scores would be now.

1 of the strategic truths of golf tournaments is that you can’t win an event during the 1st round but you can lose it. This means that if you shoot a terribly high score, putting too many strokes between you and the leaders, you have given yourself a slim to no chance to catch up and possibly take the lead.

This is an interesting field. Maybe ⅓ have won Majors/been on Ryder Cup teams/have won multiple events, about ⅓ have won maybe 1 event/no Majors or Ryder Cup but have been relatively successful and perhaps ⅓ who are young and very talented trying to elevate their success and status.

While statistically almost anyone in the field could win, the history is different. Look at the previous winners. Big names! Dominant players either historically or for the year they won. Billy Horschel is perhaps the only up-and-coming player to win and he put together a smoking hot final month of play culminating with winning The Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. He just wasn’t going to be stopped!

 

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If we can skip ahead to Sunday and look at the leaderboard before the final round begins, keep in mind what the great Jack Nicklaus said about competition during final rounds of big events. To paraphrase Jack, “I’d look at the leaderboard to see who had a chance to win. The guys who had never won a Major or big event I didn’t pay much attention to them because the pressure was too great. It was the guys who had won Majors or multiple Majors that I had to keep an eye on. They’d already done it. They’d been there.” (photo bmw-golfsport.com)

Encourage your junior golfer to stay calm and keep big numbers off the scorecard during Round 1. A bogey here and there is just fine, but the doubles, triples and quads are round killers, if not even tournament killers. There’s a time for high risk shots but remember that there are only a few pros who go for everything all the time. Safe shots are a good thing!

Set the TiVo. This should be good!

See you on #1 tee looking for the safe zone… Sam

Junior Golf: 3-Foot Putts

In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at something that occurs in every round of golf and sometimes they show up in numbers. To have any chance of winning a golf tournament your daughter must conquer these. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

What am I talking about, 3-foot putts of course! There’s a reason these are called knee-knockers or testers. This is a perfect in-between length where any player could casually walk up and take a swipe at the ball and likely miss. It is not a 6-inch tap-in and it’s not a 10-footer either. Watch how seriously every pro approaches these short putts. They go through their deliberate routine just as if it was a 30-footer.

Having a repeatable putting routine is critical and is an absolute necessity. The pros know the numbers and guess what, the winners of most pro events, both men and women, will be pretty much 100% makes on putts of 3-feet and less. Yep, that’s 1 of the stats that’s key to winning at any level of golf. (Doug Sanders photo utube.com)

Here’s how important it is to make these little putts. In 1970 Doug Sanders missed a 30-inch putt on the 72nd hole at St Andrews to win the British Open. He then lost an 18-hole playoff to Jack Nicklaus the next day. What happened in Sander’s own words, “I didn’t get set. I was thinking about which side (of the stands containing the British Royalty) to bow to. I saw my good friend Ben Hogan swat a bug away from his face, but later he told me he was trying to get me to walk away and reset.” Doug lost his focus, casually took the short putt for granted and missed. He said it likely cost him $200 million dollars plus the winning of a major and that was in 1970!image

Let’s look at the other side of 3-foot putts from last Sunday. Jimmy Walker had the same situation as Doug Sanders did in 1970, a 3-foot putt to win a major. And Jimmy went through his putting routine and stroked his ball into the middle of the cup. He stayed in the moment and got his 1st major.

Your daughter can get close to 100% makes on 3-footers, too. When S3 has been practicing on our favorite Dave Pelz putting aide, he makes just about everything. It’s quite clear, when he makes putts, he has practiced properly and when he misses those same putts, he has not, simple. Find a practice routine for short putts that keeps your daughter’s attention and get after it. It will pay off!

See you on #1 tee ready to make some putts… Sam

Junior Golf: Congratulations Jimmy!

In this Monday Mulligan we will revisit the great action at the men’s PGA Championship. This tournament provided as much excitement and interest as anyone could want, filled with everything you could imagine except for lead changes, hard fairways and fast greens. (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135

In the leadup to this event most pundits had Jason, Rory, DJ, Jordan, Henrik, Bubba and Ricky in their top 5 favorites to win. There were a few other names in the mix with some writers offering 10-15 of their most likely-to-win names. The thing is that Jimmy Walker’s name was not on many, probably not any, lists.

Some of you may not be familiar with Jimmy. He’s a local guy for us, playing high school golf at Canyon High School in New Braunfels on the northeast fringe of San Antonio, college golf at Baylor, just up I-35 in Waco and now lives in Boerne on the north edge of our city.

Until his win yesterday Jimmy’s most recent victory was at our own 2015 Valero Texas Open on the Oaks Course here at TPC San Antonio. And he is a strong supporter of The First Tee of Greater San Antonio, where Linda, Dr. Nick Askey and I put on regular parenting seminars. So I think it’s fair to say that San Antonio golf fans were thrilled with Jimmy’s 1st major win!

Parents, this tournament is 1 of those BIG reasons I recommend you TiVo pretty much every pro tournament. Day 1 provided plenty of surprises with Jimmy unexpectedly leading and Rory and DJ not playing well at all and a lot of other top players looking pretty good.

Friday saw Rory and DJ go home, as in not making the cut, what’s up with that? Some other big names moved up the leaderboard and couple of new guys, like Robert Streb were playing well. Jason and Henrik, among other were staying in contention and looked like they were going to fight all the way to the 72nd hole.

Saturday morning saw a few people get 18 holes in but play was stopped before the leaders teed off. So 36 holes was on tap for the leaders on Sunday, a test of endurance and patience.

Lift, clean and place was in effect Sunday as about half the tee shots plugged or got virtually no roll. So the course played longer, even though the soft greens meant the guys could shoot right at the pin. As the day went on, it seems that someone tied Jimmy for a hole or 2, but Jimmy didn’t falter, but everyone else did, except for Jason Day. The guys trying to catch up, were for the most part too far behind and Jimmy was playing very solid golf.

Henrik was in it with Jimmy and Jason until he blew a ¾ 9-iron over the green for a double-bogey on #15 and never really regained his game afterwards. So we had a 2-man race with Jason trying to catch Jimmy and Jimmy not making any mistakes. On #18 tee Jason was thinking he is 2 shots behind and needs to eagle the par 5 18th to have a chance to get in a playoff. As he walks up the fairway he sees the leaderboard showing that Jimmy had just birdied #17 and now he, Jason was 3 shots back. It had to be an eagle and Jason hit his 2nd shot to 10 feet or so and made the putt for the eagle. Now Jimmy knew he needed a par 5 to win. (photo pga.com)

PGA Championship - Final RoundGoing for the green in 2, he blew his 2nd shot over the green into some fluff. A lot of folks questioned why Jimmy chose to go for it rather than laying up, but Jimmy,and his caddy knew his stats and would hit the same shot again. So Jimmy hit a flop shot to about 30 feet and put his lag putt to about 3 feet. Folks if you want pressure, try standing over a 3-footer on the 72nd hole to win your 1st major! No problemo for Jimmy! He stroked that little putt into the center of the cup like he had been doing all day long, what performance under pressure! Congratulations Jimmy Walker!

See you on #1 tee looking like a major champion… 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

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