Posts Tagged ‘mental game’

Junior Golf: Did Brooks’ Putting Win the U.S.Open?

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will take a look at Brooks Koepka’s historic repeat victory in the U.S. Open.

Winning one U.S. Open is a lifetime goal for any golfer, but winning a second, in a row, puts a golfer in rarified air. Brooks is only the 7th golfer to win in consecutive years since the first U.S. Open in 1895.

The U.S. Open is different. Please make this point to your junior golfer: that even though there was plenty of controversy surrounding this Open, involving some players actions, some players comments and the USGA, there was still going to be a winner on Sunday! Controversy is a distraction and avoiding distractions is a key to being competitive. Focus on your own game and be positive.

When I close my eyes and think about the U.S. Open I use this Jack Nicklaus quote: “”A difficult golf course eliminates a lot of players. The U.S. Open flag eliminates a lot of players. Some players just weren’t meant to win the U.S. Open. Quite often, a lot of them know it.” And to paraphrase another of his quotes: “When I think of the U.S.Open I see a very long golf course with high rough, fast greens and tough pins. It should be different from every other course we see during the year.” No whining please.

So what were the keys to BK’s won? There’s a long list but we’ll just cover a few things here. It starts with being in a position to win on Sunday. At one point there were about a half-dozen guys within a couple of strokes of the lead but most of them either played themselves out of contention or couldn’t make the couple of late birdies to get into a playoff.

When it was obvious Brooks had won, the Fox announcers talked about the keys to his success. Yes, he hit some stray shots. And he made a bogey or 2. But he made clutch putts! During his final 9 holes he made several 8 to 10 footers for pars! Those were serious pressure putts and he made them.

Time and time again, after every tournament you’ll hear the announcers compliment the winner on his putting. Dad and Mom, your child must be an excellent putter if he/she is to have any chance of winning a golf tournament.

Surely the winner must hit some fairways and hit some greens. But making putts is the key to victory. You have to make a putt to make an up and down. You must make a putt to have a sandy. You have to make putts, period. Sometimes you have to make a putt to have a “good” bogey. Yes, there is such a thing because it’s way better than a double bogey.

Photocredit: golfchannel.com

And your son/daughter must make some birdie putts and some par putts. And in theory, to win, they need to make just about everything from 10 feet and in. Make 100% of the 3-footers. Yep, ya gotta make putts to win.

Congratulations to Brooks Koepka!

See you on #1 tee dreaming of winning the U.S. Open… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Lessons From A Tough Day

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at 3 lessons your junior golfer can learn when he/she has a tough day on the golf course.

Let’s use yesterday’s round from the men’s U.S. Open Championship as a frame of reference. The wind was howling on Long Island and the world’s best male golfers scored one of the highest average rounds in PGA Tour history. There were a few guys barely under par and the rest were over par, some way over par.

These are professionals and they, as a rule, respond to difficult situations more effectively than the rest of us. We’ll see what happens today and over the weekend, but some of our fan favorites may not make the cut.

Here are 3 takeaways:

1. Every golfer has a bad shot, a bad hole, a bad round or a bad day. It’s going to happen, it’s part of life. How your youngster responds is the key. Help him/her to let go of, release, forget about the last shot and focus on hitting a good next shot.

2. Everyone needs a way to deal with frustration and anger. Don’t you think that Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy wanted to explode, cry or something after they combined for 25 strokes over par in Thursday’s round. Each of them must go low today to have any chance of making the cut. Help your son/daughter learn how to manage tough situations at the earliest possible age. It’s never too soon to address this issue.

3. Even in the toughest weather somebody’s going to have a good score. Those four 1-under par 69’s yesterday were superhuman and awesome considering the struggles the rest of the field had. In high school, S3 played in a snowstorm and the round was called after 9 holes. He shot 39, 3-over par, pretty decent considering the conditions, but one guy shot 34, 2-under par. Yep, there’s always that player! Have the proper clothes and equipment for windy and/or wet conditions. Everybody’s playing the same course and conditions. Someone’s going to have a good score. Encourage your child to be that golfer with the good score.

See you on #1 tee ready to handle the weather… Sam

Junior Golf: It’s U.S. Open Week

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at this very special week we have in front of us.

It’s time for the second men’s major of 2018, The U.S.Open, hosted by Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York. There is plenty of history with this club since it is one of five original founding members of the USGA and has held four previous U.S. Opens including the 2004 U.S. Open won by Retief Goosen.

Mom and Dad it’s what the U.S.Open really is that is important. It’s other name, not really a nickname, is the U.S. National Championship. At some point, every young athlete dreams of being a champion, perhaps even a national champion. Use this week as a time of inspiration, get some dreaming going on.

What does “Open” mean? There are basically 3 types of event categories for entrants: open events, amateur events and invitational events. “Open” means open to anyone who qualifies, both professionals and amateurs. “Amateur” means amateurs only, no professionals. “Invitational” means you must be invited to play in the event and may include either or both professionals and amateurs.

This week there is a star-studded field of all the world’s best golfers ready to prove their skills. And they’ll need them as traditionally this tournament is known for its length and brutal rough. Shinnecock Hills already is regarded as a challenging course and with a U.S.Open type setup we should see some amazing shots.

Photocredit: golfdigest.com

Let’s set up the TiVo. Coverage is on Fox, all times are Central: Thursday 3:30pm-6:30pm. Friday 3:30pm-6:30pm. Saturday 10:00am-6:30pm. Sunday 9:00am-6:00pm. Be sure to record at least 1 hour after Sunday’s end time in case of a new format 2-hole playoff. And all week long the Golf Channel has the very informative Live From the U.S. Open broadcasts starting today.

See you on #1 tee with championship dreams… Sam

Junior Golf: Ignore The Naysayers

In this Wednesday Waggle, we’re taking a slightly different look at junior golf. Come along with me and enjoy the ride.

So your son/daughter has been playing well, having a Top 10 finish, a Top 5 finish or maybe a win. The next tournament is the finale, the biggest, the end of the season, the state championship, it’s a very big deal. And the naysayers show up saying things like, “Your boy/girl is not going to do well on that course. The fairways are too narrow, the greens are too fast, he/she doesn’t hit the ball far enough and they’ll never beat so-and-so.”

This was slightly the case as Big Red prepared for his biggest event. Even with convincing wins in his first 2 races, the negative folks were still saying this course was too long, he’d never hold up, his first 2 wins were flukes, he’d never beat his main competitor in this race and so on.

His coach/trainer, Lucien Laurin, and his caddy/jockey, Ron Turcotte, knew their athlete very well. They understood that he loved to run and he loved to run fast, very fast. And they also knew that he wanted to beat all of his competitors. He had to win, no second place for him!

Watch how this athlete handles his last competitive event. Watch the greatest racehorse of all-time, Secretariat, and see how he finishes his career. Watch the greatest athletic performance in history!

FYI Mom and Dad, in each of his Triple Crown races, Secretariat ran each quarter-mile faster than the previous one. He was constantly accelerating! Talk about finishing strong!

The takeaway here parents is to know your athlete, ignore the naysayers, be positive and move forward. The team must be on the same page so that the athlete has the best opportunity for an excellent performance. Finishing strong is a big deal!

See you on #1 tee ready to perform… Sam

Junior Golf: Inspiration For The New Year

In this Friday Flop Shot we’re offering you some very special inspiration to help fire up your junior golfer, Dad and Mom and the whole family as we enter a new year.Photo credit dubaigolfThere are reasons some athletes are great. And at times we can’t completely figure out why greatness is in some people but not in others. There are times that greatness shines beyond the boundaries of apparent human ability. Oh, and for those of you who think you’re a decent snow skier, this post may put things in perspective.

Today we’re not talking about a golfer. We’re talking about Franz Klammer. Who? That would be the Franz Klammer who is the greatest men’s downhill ski champion of all time! What does skiing have to do with golf, you ask? As we look at genuine greatness, today it has everything to do with your junior golfer.

Examples of greatness can leave us with our eyes and mouth wide open, shaking our head at what we just saw! Hopefully that’s what you all will feel after watching the attached video.

Frank Gifford, former pro football player and avid skier and Bob Beattie, former U.S. national ski team coach are doing the play-by-play. The setting is thus: a Swiss skier has just set an incredibly fast time in men’s downhill skiing, in the 1976 Winter Olympics. The very fast time seems almost impossible to beat. Klammer is the last skier with any chance, no matter how slim, to take the lead which would mean winning the gold medal. Klammer is Austrian. The Olympics are at legendary Innsbrook, Austria. He’s going for gold in front of his home crowd. Franz Klammer is revered as the greatest athlete in Austrian history! Could any athlete have a more exciting opportunity than this, heck no!

Here’s the link to the video. The first 2 minutes set the scene and the last 2 minutes are the run. I highly suggest watching this on the biggest screen possible with the sound turned all the way up to capture the enthusiasm of the announcers. This is one of the top individual performances in the history of sports.

The Winter Olympics are coming this February. Men’s downhill is one of the first events, usually starting the first Saturday and only running a couple of days. You easily can miss the whole thing. We always record men’s and women’s downhill plus a lot of other events too. Franz Klammer’s 1976 performance is special but that doesn’t mean you won’t see someone else put on a spectacular gold medal performance. If you don’t watch, you’ll never know!Photocredit Sports Illustrated

The lesson here is belief. Believing that you can do it when you need to do it. Hit the fairway, hit the green, make the putt. Ya gotta believe!

See you on #1 tee believing you can put on a great show… Sam.

Junior Golf: Inside The Minds Of Champions

 

In this Friday Flop Shot we will see how winners think by taking a quick look at how they really approach this game. Let’s look inside the minds of some champions.

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Dubai Golf

I sincerely hope you are recording The President’s Cup. While the US has a big lead, there is some great golf being played and some wonderfully insightful quotes from the players.

World Golf Hall Of Fame member and captain of the Internationals team, Nick Price, was asked about his team’s mental state prior to Thursday’s start. “It’s good. We love to play golf, we love to compete and we want to win!”

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were asked why they had been such a successful pairing
in international competition. Patrick, “I’m kind of firey and Jordan’s always calm, so our personalities help each other to calm down or get revved up!” Then Jordan, “There’s also this competition within the competition where each of us wants to be the one who hits the great shot, makes the winning putt. We push each other like that.” Folks, this is a paraphrase and you could attribute these words to either one of these guys because they are asked about this all the time and this is always their answer.

Let’s stay with these two. After making a great comeback to get 1/2 point from Friday’s four-ball match, they were asked how pleased they were with a tie rather than a win. It was obvious that while a 1/2 point was better than no points, they really wanted to win. So here’s the great quote: Interviewer asks if it’s more satisfying to make an amazing comeback, 2 down with 4 holes to play or to win in a runaway. Patrick’s classic response (paraphrased): “Making a comeback means you’re playing a lot more holes to get something out of your round. Winning in a runaway means you’re playing great golf!”

These quotes are right in line with Bubba Watson’s statement of a few years back’ “Nobody out here’s playing for 2nd place!”

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Photocredit:Golf Channel 

Parents, start with Nick Price’s 3 things. Hopefully your youngster loves golf. And is getting used to competing and is starting to enjoy it. And has a desire to win welling within. With some kiddos this is more of a process than with others. Love the game, love to compete and want to win. Perfectly stated!

See you on #1 tee loving to play golf… Sam

Junior Golf: What Is This?

In this Monday Mulligan please take a look at the photo below and see if you can figure out what it is. This is a beautiful visual example of a very valuable educational opportunity for your son/daughter.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

Perhaps you recall the great line by the Guardian of The Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, “He chose poorly.” More contemporary golf lines might be, “He went for the hero shot and didn’t make it,” or “He should have taken his bogey medicine.” Whatever line you prefer, the poor result is the same.

This is, of course, a screenshot of the path of Jason Day’s golf ball on the 18th hole during the 3rd round of the recent PGA Championship. Jason’s unfathomable choice for his 2nd shot destroyed any chance to get off the hole with a bogey, 5 and then put him in a situation where he ended up with a quadruple bogey-8, which included a crushing 3-putt.

On the 18th tee box, a par or bogey would have kept him in a decent position to make a run for the win on Sunday. Golf truths you may hear: “Sometimes you have to take your bogey medicine.” “There are times when a bogey is a good score.” “Not even the pros execute every hero shot.” Jason chose to hit right when the hole and accessible fairway were to the left. It appeared that hitting a shot back in play to the fairway on his left was not a tough shot and that choice might have given him a decent bogey chance.

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Golf is not about hitting a great shot every time. It is about believing that you can hit a great shot every time. The nitty-gritty is all about how your youngster responds to a poor shot. It’s tough. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening. It’s golf. There is always a better choice, but one must choose to take it!

See you on #1 tee ready to make good choices… Sam

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