Posts Tagged ‘Match Play’

Junior Golf: Here’s A Look At What Is Possible

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look into the future, a peek at what is a distinct possibility for your junior golfer’s future.

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Photocredit:Jennleforge.com

It’s that very busy time of year. The end of school and all the functions that go along with it. It’s also a time for golf playoffs. High schools are wrapping up, but colleges are still playing.

Today starting at 3:00pm, Central Time, The Golf Channel is airing the Women’s NCAA Division-I National Championship. These are the best female college golfers in the world. There are a considerable number of hours devoted to this event culminating with the National Championship Match Play Finals on Wednesday afternoon.

Please record this. Although the format may sound a bit confusing, it’s really not. There are 54 holes of team stroke play. An individual champion is crowned after the completion of the stroke play, then the low 8 teams advance to the match play championship round concluding with the finals on Wednesday afternoon.

This year’s weather has created very tough scoring conditions. Watch some of the video and you’ll see what it means to “gut it out.” These girls are tough. Golf is always fun when it’s 75-degrees and sunny. Sometimes we forget about those cold, rainy, windy days when we still have to perform. You’re cold. You’re soaking wet and somehow you have to still play better than everybody else in the field. Yikes!

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Photocredit:Golf Channel

This year’s champion will be composed of a bunch of very determined girls. They had to tough it out in some of the worst weather they’ve likely ever played in, but again, that’s what champions are made of, right?

Please set your DVR. This is good stuff, no, it’s great stuff and you and your daughter and son, as well, should watch. It will be inspirational. If you don’t have The Golf Channel on your TV package, now is the time to add it.

See you on #1 tee looking forward to playing college golf… Sam

Junior Golf: Ryder Cup Excitement Begins

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at today’s start of The 41st Ryder Cup from Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. This is a team matchplay event where 12 of the best US men’s golfers compete against the best 12 from Europe.img_0106

If you’re not already recording it, I suggest you set the TiVo right now. Coverage starts on the Golf Channel at 730am central time today and goes until 600pm. Saturday’s coverage is 800am-600pm on NBC. Sunday’s broadcast time is 1100am-500pm again on NBC. We always record an additional hour in case the event runs long. Ties count and there is not a playoff but weather delays and other unknowns might cause matches to run longer than usual. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

You will hear 3 types of matches discussed. These 1st 2 are a bit confusing. Foursomes refers to 4 players, 2 2-man teams, in each group and it is played where team members hit every other shot with 1 team member hitting 1st on odd-numbered holes and the other hitting 1st on even-numbered holes. Often both players in singles play, use very different golf balls. Different degrees of firmness/softness and high spin vs low spin means the teammates must find a compromise ball since they aren’t allowed to switch balls each shot. The pros are so finely tuned to the feel of their golf ball that switching to another ball takes a lot of practice. It is very different. Yardages, amount of draw or fade, spin rates and backspin all are impacted. There’s a ton of pressure on Foursomes since you really don’t want to hit a poor shot which leaves your partner facing a very difficult next shot. You don’t want to let your partner down. Each team’s score is recorded on every hole and low score out of the 2 team scores wins the hole.

Fourballs is also 2 2-man teams playing against each other. All 4 players play their own ball through the hole and the low score for each 2-man team is recorded. Lowest score of the 2 team scores wins the hole.

Singles are on Sunday and the 12 matches will include every player on each team, 1 US player vs 1 European player. It’s very straightforward. Low score wins the hole.

Each of the 28 total matches is worth 1 point. The winning team of each match gets 1 point, the losing team gets 0 points and if the match is tied/halved, each team gets ½ point. The 1st team to reach 14 and1/2 points wins the Ryder Cup. If the teams tie at 14-14 the previous Ryder Cup winning team retains the Cup. (image agtgolftours.com)

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The crowds are very loud for golf tournaments. There will be more European fans than you could possibly imagine and they are loud. The enthusiasm and energy of the players and fans is unique and contagious. Pretty much every player will tell you that this is the 1 event where their knees are literally shaking on #1 tee. I mean, you’re playing for your flag, your country, your national pride. It’s so different than playing for oneself. I think it was Zach Johnson that said there was tremendous pressure on every shot in a Ryder Cup because the stakes are so high and the pressure on the 1st tee was insane! It’s a lifetime achievement for these guys, certainly equal to or close to the equal of winning major championships.

Please have your junior golfer watch some of this event. It should certainly excite him and inspire him to dream more and dream bigger. The excitement is contagious!

See you on #1 tee looking proud of your country… Sam

Junior Golf: Interpreting Stats

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue looking at your daughter’s stats and what they mean. How can the 2 of you understand what’s going on with her golf game and how can you help her lower her scores?image

Statistics are everywhere. They are commonly misstated or manipulated to show a desired outcome rather than the genuine results. Keeping that in mind, know that the stats on your daughter’s scorecard are very matter-of-fact and Mom and Dad, even for you it would be hard to misrepresent what they show.

Yes, the most important number in stroke/metal play is the score and in match play, it’s the number of holes won. The other data on the card reflect her strengths and weaknesses during a round and when you look at several scorecards together, you may very well identify a trend. (offcoursegolf.com)

Let’s say your daughter has averaged hitting 7 out of 14 fairways for 3 consecutive rounds. This needs improvement and the number needs to be at least in double digits, maybe 10 minimum. The question is, why does she miss fairways? Does she miss on 1 side or does she miss both right and left? When you can answer that it’s time to get with her swing coach. (photo wickedgolfers.com)

GIR, Greens In Regulation, is a little different in that more clubs are used and distances are varied and sight pictures can be intimidating. On an approach shot if your daughter struck the ball well, why wasn’t the ball on the green? Wrong club, crazy bounce, misalignment, be aware. You would like for her to be hitting at least 50% of the greens.image

Ideally with chips and putts you want to see 1 chip and 0 putts, meaning a chip-in or 1 chip and 1 putt meaning an up-and-down. When either of these is out of a sand trap I put an S next to the 1 in the chip box. If your daughter has more of 1 chip and 2 or even 3 putts, then she needs to work on her chipping. Chips from around the green should be 3 feet or less. Thus improved chipping also improves putting. Golf tournaments are won around the greens and making up-and-downs is seriously important.

In our previous post S3’s scorecard had a little bit of everything in what was frankly a fun round to watch. And he had 31 putts which is a lot particularly when you consider his 18-hole score was 1-over par 73. The pros average number of putts is usually in the mid-20’s. So if your girl averages 27 putts or 1.5 putts per hole for 18 holes, that is very acceptable. Getting up around 30 putts is not good and being less than 27 putts is very good!

What do you see on these scorecards? What part of her game is most in need of extra work? The stats will show you. Get with her swing coach and make a plan.

See you on #1 tee statistically speaking… Sam

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