Posts Tagged ‘junior golfers’

Junior Golf: 3 Fast Spring Cleaning Tips For Better Scores

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will address some spring cleaning issues. These are excellent tips that will help your daughter feel more confident with her game and help her achieve better scores. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Spring cleaning, wow! Depending on your exact circumstances those words can strike fear and stress into Mom and Dad’s hearts. Not to worry, these suggestions are fast, easy and effective and really are things that should become a part of your girl’s regular routine.

Clean the grips. Time required: 15-30 minutes. Repeat at least once a month or more often depending on frequency of use and weather conditions. Sweat, dirt, mud, grass and who knows what else can find its way onto the grip of a golf club. Proper texture, feel and softness of the grip are critical to hitting good shots. Clean grips give your daughter the desired feel when she takes the club in her hands. Put some non-abrasive detergent/dish soap in a bowl of warm water. Use a mildly abrasive and clean terry cloth rag or towel or a soft bristle brush and gently scrub the grips until they are clean and regain their correct feel. Rinse and dry.
Clean the clubface and grooves. Time required: 15-30 minutes at home. Repeat after every shot during practice and play. I can’t tell you what age S3 was when he decided that a clean clubface was a good thing. It may have been while we were watching a tournament on TV and a player hit a shot with a ton of spin and handed his club to the caddy who promptly cleaned the face and grooves. It was at this moment that S3 said, “So that’s what those grooves are for!” A clean face and clean grooves give the ball and clubface the opportunity to interact in the manner that was intended and will result in better shots. Correct friction between the 2 is critical. Some soap, water and a brush are all that is required. Scrub the face and grooves to remove all dirt and wipe off with a towel. Having a clean clubface at the start of a round means it’s easier to clean during the round when all that’s available is water and a brush. (golfshake.com)

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Clean the golf shoes. Time required: 30-90 minutes depending on time for soaking. I know that the tops of golf shoes being clean doesn’t technically impact your daughter’s swing but if they look nice it will help her feel better about herself and that’s a positive thing! So clean and polish the tops. Now turn the shoes over and look at the bottom. Is there some rock-hard gunk caked on in some spots? Are all the cleats there? Do they need to be replaced? Great tip: put the shoes in a shallow pan with just enough water to cover the bottoms. Let them soak for an hour. This should be enough to loosen the caked-on mud as well as the threads on the spikes if they need to be replaced. A brush and perhaps a screwdriver to dig out the really difficult junk are all that you should need once you have soaked the shoes as described. Scrub ‘em clean and deal with the spikes as needed.

Congratulations, Dad and Mom you have just set your girl up for success. These simple tasks are extremely important and should now be a regular part of your junior golfer’s regimen.

See you on #1 tee all cleaned up… Sam

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3 Steps To Prepare For Spring Golf

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at 3 things to do to help your daughter be prepared from a golf equipment standpoint, for spring golf. Tournaments will be here before you know it and the last thing you want is for your daughter to be walking out the door without an essential piece of equipment and no one is aware of it! (image jennleforge.com)image

Here we go:
Gather all her golf equipment. This means clubs, bag, zip-on top for the golf bag, push cart, head covers, tees, balls, golf brush, ball marker, golf towels, golf gloves, divot repair item-tees work fine and the very important Sharpie for marking her balls and the scorecard.
Carefully inspect everything. Is the bag fully functional? Does it have any tears or holes? Do all the zippers work? Are the stand legs working? Are the non-slip bottoms still attached to the legs? Are all her clubs there? Do her grips have the kind of soft tacky feel of new ones? If not, replace them. Or at least gently scrub them with non-abrasive soap and warm water, dry them and see how they feel. Does she have everything listed above? Wash the towels. Replace worn gloves. Do the old gloves even still fit? Does the Sharpie have any ink in it or has it dried out?
Take action. Look at the calendar. When is the 1st golf event? Plan a time to take your daughter shopping to buy the items needed. Go to the biggest possible golf store in your area. They will likely have a better selection and may also have some new items that your girl might like to try. (photo Junior_Academy_3.jpg, Banners Golf)

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Dad and Mom we’ve all been there. That moment when you thought you had everything in order only to arrive at the course and an item, usually one not sold at the course pro shop, is missing. Set your daughter up for success and do this little bit of advance preparation. It will save a bunch of headaches!

See you on #1 tee with everything you need for success… Sam

Junior Golf: Buy The Right Golf Bag

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will open up some ideas for gifts that may not have been on your radar. Let’s think outside the box and buy something different, like a new golf bag! Which style is the best for a junior golfer?img_0102

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will open up some ideas for gifts that may not have been on your radar. Let’s think outside the box and buy something different, like a new golf bag! Which style is the best for a junior golfer? (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

We don’t think about golf bags too often in our house, partly because S3 had school-issued bags in high school and college. Another bag can come in handy, however. If your son has gotten bigger, he probably needs a larger bag.

Depending on his skill level, strength and typical weather conditions, his required features on the bag can vary. If for example, he’s not carrying 14 clubs, buy him an ultra lightweight adult bag with just a couple of pockets. It likely won’t have a stand but that’s OK. The very light weight combined with a limited number of clubs will make it a pleasure to carry. There are a number of adults who like to walk and prefer these bags to stand bags because they just weigh little to nothing. Also some of the walkers don’t carry 14 clubs, sometimes to reduce weight, but sometimes to force creativity by having only a few clubs. This is a ton of fun, by the way!

Next size larger would be a stand bag, a bag with collapsible legs that extend out to keep the bag “standing” when it is set down. These bags are 1 of the great golf inventions of all time. All school bags are stand bags and your son will love having 1.image

Now a school-issued bag gives you no choice, but when you pay for a stand bag on your own, here are the things to pay great attention to. 1. Make sure the rubber tips on the ends of the legs are seriously attached, not just slip-ons over the metal end. When these come off, replacements are difficult to get and the bag will want to slide when your son attempts to stand it on a slick surface. For something so minor, it is a real pain. 2. Check the weight. Some bags are amazingly light, while others are ridiculously heavy. 3. More pockets are better. Really your son will want a pocket to put a water bottle in and depending on the make and model of bag, it may be an insulated pocket or just a stretch web pocket. This is a must have. Most bags will have enough other pockets for extra gear plus an umbrella slot. (image: affordable golf)

The next 2 larger sizes of golf bags are the cart bag and the Tour bag. Neither is appropriate for your junior golfer. They are too big and not practical.

Please follow the golf equipment sales going on right now. Be patient and you will find some golf bags on sale. Have fun!

See you on #1 tee with that new stand bag… Sam

 

 

 

Junior Golf: Great New Gift Ideas

In this Wednesday Waggle we will introduce you to some wonderful new items that your junior golfer will likely be totally surprised by and will totally enjoy!img_0102

Sometimes it’s tough to find a new, different and useful gift for our young golfers. Gag gifts were not our thing as we wanted our golf budget to be spent on something of value that could benefit S3’s golf game. (photo golfdigest.com)

Here are a few very cool goodies. Let’s start with a high-ticket item. The Arccos 360 Performance Tracking System: Low-profile sensors attach to clubs and record every shot, generating swing analytics and providing live shot-tracking among an assortment of features. www.arccosgolf.com / $250. Yes, this is pricey, but if you are not close to a major golf facility that has this or similar equipment, this could be a bargain for the feedback it will provide.

There are a couple of things that can immediately shut down your son’s good round of golf and turn it into a nightmare. Cold hands are 1 of these things. The chemical hot packs have been around for years, are legal in events and work pretty well for keeping hands warm. Our guys always preferred the larger size for more and longer heat. And they’re inexpensive. The giant mitts are good too but the idea is to keep the hands warm, not let them get cold and have to warm them up again. We always carried both the chemical packs and mitts.

However, there’s a new wind blowing in the hand warmer world. It’s the G-Tech Apparel hand warmer used by both Patrick Reed, in this year’s Ryder Cup, and by LPGA star Lydia Ko. This is state-of-the-art technology and seems to be beyond everything else in its ability to keep hands warm in a comfortable and convenient fashion. While it’s not cheap at $99.00, you should get years of use for your money and it’s not player specific so it can be used by anyone and everyone in your house. Check it out at www.gtechapparel.com. (image: the warming store)image

Now this item may be my favorite of all of these. It’s the JBL Clip 2 Speaker with 8 hours of battery life. Clip it onto the bag and let the music fly. Not usable in most tournaments, of course, but S3 and his buddies always had music playing during practice rounds and non-sanctioned events. This Bluetooth speaker is perfect for walking, push carts or riding carts. Music relaxes all of us and our kids in particular. This is $60.00. Go to www.jbl.com. Love it!

Parents, your junior golfer will be totally surprised and amazed by finding any of these items with his name on it. Have at it!

See you on #1 tee looking hi-tech… Sam

Junior Golf: 5 Tips For Better Sleep

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will continue our look at the serious importance of quality sleep and how to set your daughter and the rest of the family up with the best possibility of having a restful night’s sleep.img_0102

We’re offering 5 tips today and while there are more steps that can help with good sleep, these will get you off to a great start. Oh, and we’re not even talking about diet and food today! (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Cooler room equals better sleep. This has been known for many years and we put high importance on the temperature in our house. A solid rule of thumb is the best sleep occurs when the bedroom is 70-degrees F or below. Please, before you mention your utility bill, understand that we live in Texas and it’s hot more often than not. We consciously budget the increase in our electric bill to have our thermostat at 70 degrees several hours before bedtime and keep it there overnight. When we do need our heater, it’s set at 65-degrees so we wear more clothes. For many folks this is a budgeting issue. Please consider that good sleep, which means better health, is not cheap, but is doable with proper planning.

The bedroom should be dark, dark and dark. Ambient light of any kind can be detected by the subconscious and disrupt sleep. Also NO blue light numbers on clocks or electronic devices. Only red numerals are allowed.

No electronic devices within 3 feet of your/your daughter’s head. This includes everything, cell phones, iPads, radios, TVs, clocks, etc. The emissions from these items are not conducive to quality sleep. Do NOT let anyone fall asleep with the radio or TV on. The mind locks into the songs or programming and does not allow a good night’s sleep.

No adrenaline-producing activities within 2 hours of bedtime. This would include playing video games, watching/reading exciting shows or books, no office work/homework, and so on. You get my point. Winding down before going to bed is what we are striving for.

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Engage in regular exercise. This is likely not an issue with your junior golfer, but it may be with the rest of the family. Be certain to end all exercise, particularly strenuous exercise, at least 3 hours prior to bedtime. Make exercise a habit. Get into the structure of regular exercise and you will start seeing some sleep benefits in a month or so. And outside exercise where you can get some vitamin D is exceptionally good! Exercise is extremely important for everyone! (photo Omni Hotels)

The overriding principle here is that the bedroom should be a sanctuary, a place of peace and rest. Treat it as such. Help your daughter and the whole family incorporate habits that will help lead to a wonderful night’s sleep.

See you on #1 tee looking very well rested… Sam

Junior Golf: Minimize These For Better Health

For this Monday Mulligan we will continue our introduction to better health with some followup from our previous post.image (photo jennleforge.com)

Did you have an opportunity to see what your family is eating and drinking? Did you read the ingredients on the labels? What did you see? A great guideline is if there are words you cannot pronounce, what is in the package is likely highly processed and contains things that should not be consumed. For example, look at what’s in a loaf of the commercial brands of breads. Man there’s a million items. Now I’m looking at a loaf of rosemary garlic bread fresh made at a local store. 9 main ingredients with another 9 of 2% or less and I have heard of all of them and can pronounce all of them, sounds like real bread to me! Breads made with absolutely no preservatives will have even less ingredients but need to be eaten within several days of purchase. We’ll take a more in-depth look into food items in future posts. This is an example to set up today’s big picture view.

The foundation here of our family philosophy is that we believe our bodies are under constant assault, 24/7 by undesirable things like viruses, bacteria, parasites, chemicals, pollen, food additives and more. So we do everything we can to minimize our exposure. Some things are beyond our control but there is action we take.

Inside the house we use very few chemicals. Cut lemons or essential oils provide a wonderful healthy fragrance. The store-bought air fresheners are nothing but chemicals which we do not want in our home. Carpets are gone. They are dust traps/allergy inducers. We have tile and wood floors. Throw rugs are great. Buy inexpensive ones and throw them away when they get really dirty. No pest control companies spraying inside or outside our house. Roach traps and mouse traps work really well inside and there are some good organic products for outside application both for pest control and a nice lawn. Fragrance-free laundry detergent for our sensitive noses and wool or rubber balls for the dryer. Fabric softener is not your friend.

Awareness is what we’re going for. Now that you are reading some food labels please be aware that ingredients are listed in the order of largest content 1st. In other words the 1st item listed as an ingredient has the most volume in the formula. So if sugar is the 1st listed then there is more sugar than anything else in the product…items are in descending order, so the last item has the least volume in the product. Some labels will really get your attention! (photo golf-info-guide.com)

The benefits of taking these small steps of eliminating undesirable products are wonderful. Your family spends considerable time in your home and yard and the less exposure all of you have to any single potentially harmful item is beneficial. Take a moment. Look around your house and yard. Look under the sink and in the garage. What do you see that could be replaced with a healthier product?

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Go ahead switch out some things for healthier alternatives, there are plenty of them. It shouldn’t cost very much and it may save you some money in the long run. Our wool dryer balls and the rubber ones also, last for years so we save money and improve our health because we don’t buy fabric softener or the sheets.

Please remember that billionaire Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart could not buy back his health when he became ill. Better health means better golf/better everything really. Please take some action, however small, today.

See you on #1 tee, looking healthy… Sam

Junior Golf: Memories Of Arnold


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In today’s Wednesday Waggle I’ll share a few family memories of times we were around Arnold Palmer.

He is everything and more than was said about him. Tom Watson mentioned that professional golfers should send Arnold Palmer a commission on every dollar that they earned. There are thousands of tribute articles available where you can get a comprehensive discussion of how Arnold changed almost everything about professional golf…the excitement, bringing the game to the masses with Arnie’s Army, increasing the endorsement money, revitalizing the British Open, bringing attention to the importance of golf as a world-wide sport, loving his fans, increasing purses and of course his amazing charity work. The list is endless and professional golf will be eternally grateful! (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

My Dad was very involved in running The Texas Open for many years including 1960-62 when Arnold won it all 3 years. Dad got to know Arnold at Fort Sam Houston in 1960. The 1st time I actually met him was in 1961 when, after finishing a round at Oak Hills, Arnold was talking to my parents as I walked up. Dad introduced me and Arnold said, “Hi Sammie, nice to meet you,” and we visited a few minutes and he moved on. Different times back then, no giant structures, pretty much the only grandstands that were around #9 and #18, both of them par 3’s. You had open access to all the pros and while some weren’t very talkative, many were.

Sitting at #17 green was my friends and my favorite spot because once the guys putted out you could watch them hit to #18. The tee box was right next to the 17th green. So 17 is a hard dogleg left with a forest in the middle of the way. Arnold was long enough to cut the corner but when we heard a ball crash into the middle of the trees. This was my hero’s group coming up and my heart sank as I watched Arnold go to the ball on the bare dirt with about 30 trees between it and the green. Well, don’t ya know, he hit a low roller out of there up to about 3 feet from the pin and made a birdie. Major excitement!

Arnold won The Texas Open again in 1962 and I know he came back to play in the 1968 PGA Championship at Pecan Valley. He and Dad got to say “Hi” again and I so wanted Arnold to win this event. You may recall he rope-hooked his drive into the woods on the 72nd hole but managed to hit a miraculous 3-wood close enough for a decent birdie look which would have tied him with Julius Boros. The putt didn’t drop and Arnold finished 2nd.

imageThe last time I saw Arnold in-person was at a Senior Tour event at Oak Hills in 2004. One of my life goals was to get a photo of S3 with The King and I had no idea how I was going to do it. When I read that Arnold said he always liked Oak Hills, where he won 2 Texas Opens, and wanted to play it 1 more time, I couldn’t believe it! We went on Pro-Am day because there are light crowds and access to players is good. There was a slight backup on #11 tee and The King was gracious enough to let S3, then 10 years old, sit in his lap. It’s a lifetime event photo, a true treasure! Thank you, Arnold! The King is gone but he has given our family a lifetime of memories.

See you on #1 tee honoring The King… Sam

 

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