Posts Tagged ‘mental game’

3 Helpful Tips From Tiger’s Win

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at 3 things from Tiger’s win yesterday that you can immediately use with your junior golfer.

The last few years for Tiger Woods have been difficult, to say the least. Speculation has been rampant with so many reasons that he could never be the Tiger of old, much less win anything, much less a big tournament. He proved the doubters wrong and won a tiny event called The Tour Championship. This, his first win since 2013, has been called the greatest comeback of all time.

Certainly it’s a very big victory, requiring excellent application of massive amounts of every skill, mental and physical, that a professional golfer has.

Here are 3 lessons from Tiger’s win that you can use with your son/daughter: 1. He kept his passion for the game, the competition, being in the hunt on Sunday. Your child’s passion/love of the game is a major driver. Please stay on task and be aware of this. 2. He believed he would come back. Through all the messiness of life and the injuries, surgeries and rehab, Tiger relentlessly stayed on a comeback path. Encourage your kiddo. Help him/her stay positive when “life happens”. 3. He continued to do golf things. Tiger always asked his doctors what golf functions he could do. Can I putt, chip, hit wedges, do something with a golf club or golf ball. And he also kept up with new technology and innovations, evidenced by his new Bridgestone golf ball, the Tour B XS, and his bag of TaylorMade clubs. Yes, some of this is because Nike left the golf ball/equipment business, but still, Tiger had to spend time on research. Go shopping with your junior golfer. Hit some new clubs. Read up on new golf balls. Staying current is critical.

Photocredit:espn.com

Tiger’s playing great and the crowds are huge. Should be an exciting Ryder Cup, September 28-30 from Paris!

See you on #1 tee unfazed by life’s intrusions… Sam

Junior Golf: Wise Words From Sir Nick

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at some great wisdom shared by TV announcer and 6-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo.

The finish to yesterday’s PGA Championship was wild and very exciting. Early in the day, up until the middle of the round, there must have been a dozen players within 2 strokes of leader and eventual winner, Brooks Koepka.

One of the first players to make a birdie run to hopefully get into a playoff was Thomas Pieters. He birdied 14 and 15 at which point Sir Nick was asked, “What does Pieters mindset need to be here on in to have any chance of winning or making a playoff?” The response, “Hit great shots and make everything!”

That says it all, doesn’t it? Now at this point there were a lot of guys making a ton of birdies. Anyone getting some momentum was going to need to keep it as long as possible to have any chance at all. Brooks was continuing to hit excellent shots. He wasn’t making many mistakes.

Tiger’s game is improving and he ended up in 2nd place after Adam Scott, who was once tied with Brooks for the lead, but missed a couple of birdie putts and lost his momentum. Adam finished 3rd after tugging a couple of drives to the left on 17 and 18, resulting in a bogey on the 72nd hole and moving Tiger to 2nd place by himself.

Tiger had the crowd going as he started 0 for 7 fairways and was still 2-under par. He finished with a 64 and was sticking shots close to the pin and making birdies. He was looking good as he’s sneaking up on playing well enough to win a big tournament.

However, it was Brooks Koepka’s day as he and Adam battled head-to-head for 16 holes. Adam’s miscues on 17 and 18 ended his chances as Brooks cranked out great shot after great shot and made, not everything, but enough key putts to win. Great golf, great drama!

Photocredit:golfdigest.com

So while Sir Nick’s line was initially addressed to Thomas Pieters, it was Brooks Koepka who executed those instructions perfectly. There were a lot of top pros playing really good golf, but you, BK, were the only one living out Faldo’s advice for the victory! You played better than everyone else, Congratulations!

See you on #1 tee ready to win… Sam

Junior Golf: 5 Important Quotes For Junior Golfers

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re going to look at 5 quotes from top PGA professionals and get some insight into how winners think.

In one of S3’s mental management courses, the instructor interviewed only world-class 1st place winners in many different sports, both team and individual. He asked them what percentage of their sport was mental. Their answer was all the same, 90%.

Think about that for a minute. The concept is that if someone had the basic body type necessary for a particular sport, then most people were, if driven to succeed, coordinated enough to achieve some level of success. The degree of success depends on how well the athlete masters the mental game.

What does this look like in golf? Here are 5 quotes from great golfers, in no particular order:

1. The King, Arnold Palmer: “I’ve always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.”

2. The greatest golfer of all-time, Jack Nicklaus: “As soon as I heard a player talking negative about the course or conditions, I wrote him off as a competitor. He’d already taken himself out of the tournament.”

3. The third member of The Big Three, Gary Player: “We create success or failure on the course primarily by our thoughts.”

4. The man with the most PGA Tour wins, San Snead: “Forget your opponents, always play against par.”

5. Two-time Masters Champion and super creative, Bubba Watson: “Nobody our here’s playing for second place.”

Photocredit:nicklaus.com

What common thread do you see? Dad and Mom, each of these men has a mental structure, a discipline that is constant. They do not veer from it.

We’ve seen confidence from Arnold, positivity from Jack, controlling thoughts during a round from Gary, play against the course not the player from Sam and 1st place is why we play from Bubba.

See you on #1 tee mentally ready… Sam

Junior Golf: 6 Reasons to Watch The Open

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at 5 reasons your junior golfer will benefit by watching this week’s Open Championship, previously called The British Open.

Carnoustie Championship Course is the venue for the 3rd of this year’s men’s majors and it’s got its own set of unique qualities.

Reasons to watch:

1. The history. Britain is the home of golf. It’s where golf began and golf has been played at this course since the early 16th century. This is a chance to learn things about our great sport that you won’t hear at any other event.

2. The courses. Most golf courses in Britain are serious links designs, the likes of which are few and far between in the U.S. It takes a different mindset and genuine creativity to have a good round on these courses. You will be fascinated by the unique designs.

3. This course, Carnoustie, a long and narrow golf course at more than 7400 yards, is a brute. As Sir Michael Bonallack put it, “When the wind is blowing, it is the toughest golf course in Britain. And when it’s not blowing, it’s still probably the toughest.”

4. The players and their strategy for links golf. All the world’s top players will be here, including your favorites. You will see types of shots attempted here that are not seen on the typical PGA Tour venues. If the course is dry and fast, you will see some fabulous low rolling shots. The pros hit these because links greens are notorious for not holding when they are hot and dry. The only way to get close is to roll the ball.

5. The weather. PGA Tour player Davis Love III, was asked what was the most layers of clothes he had worn in a golf tournament. He said, “That’s easy. It was 5 layers in the 198x British Open.” Summer weather in Britain is unpredictable. Calm and 70-degrees one day and windy, wet and 50-degrees the next. It’s usually a decent opportunity to see who makes the best rain gear.

6. The dreams. Dreams and creativity go hand in hand in this wonderful game. No venue offers more of either of these than The Open Championship. As my dear friend and excellent golfer, Nelson said, “If you don’t have any dreams, why do you even get out of bed in the morning?” Give your son/daughter a chance to dream.

Now it’s dvr time. The Golf Channel has Live From The Open on from 5:00a-11:00a through Wednesday, then scattered throughout the day from Thursday-Sunday. Tournament schedule is Thursday and Friday, 8:30a-3:00p on the Golf Channel and on NBC, Saturday, 6:00a-2:00p, and Sunday, 6:00a-1:30p. We always record 2 hours after the event in case of a playoff.

Junior Golf: 5 Essentials for Hot Weather

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at some things that are critical for success when it’s hot. These are always important but hot weather is different and that makes them even more essential.

What is your definition of hot? Maybe it’s 85 degrees for some of you but really most of our bodies notice the heat as the outside temperature approaches our body temp of 98.6. And certainly more humidity makes the heat more oppressive.

Hot weather can take a toll on any athlete and our kids are more susceptible to its affects than we are.

To give your junior golfer the best chance of success, make sure he/she has these items:

1. Refillable water bottle. Drinking 3 or 4 bottles during 18 holes is probably about right. Sipping is better than gulping. Before teeing off and at the turn, ask the tournament staff to please make sure all on-course water supplies are constantly refilled. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had an afternoon round and there was no water on the course. It’s absolutely inexcusable and don’t put up with it. Down here most tournaments tolerate or even announce that it’s OK for parents to give their kids water or Gatorade, yes, during a tournament round. Kids’ safety first! Please double check with the Tournament Director to avoid a possible DQ.

2. 2 towels, a larger towel for the bag and a smaller one for face and hands.

3. Extra gloves, maybe 2 or 3. Your child is going to sweat. A wet glove is useless.

4. A hat, cap, visor or head band to keep salty sweat from running down into their eyes.

5. Sunscreen. Please don’t bathe in it. We use very little and it’s mostly on nose, ears, cheeks, etc.

Of course, there are many more items on your pre-tournament checklist like snacks, balls, tees, counting clubs and so on, but the 5 items above are particularly critical when high temperatures prevail.

See you on #1 tee ready for the heat…Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Benefits of A Short Memory

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’re going to look at memory or lack of it. There are times when having a short memory is a very good thing.

Have you heard the phrase, “have a cornerback’s memory.”? What it means is that every cornerback-a defensive player on a football team, will get beaten on a pass play at some point and he’d better be able to forget about getting smoked by the receiver and get back to playing good football ASAP.

The point here Dad and Mom, is that mistakes, in golf that would be poor shots, are going to happen and your junior golfer needs to put them out of his/her mind as quickly as possible.

Here are 3 benefits of a short memory:

1. It gets a player’s focus back on track. The previous shot is history, forget it. Focus on hitting the desired next shot.

2. It gets the vital signs returning toward normal. Taking a few deep breaths can help return heart rate and stress levels to where they should be. Elevated pulse and respiration rates are not helpful for playing good golf.

3. It instills and reinforces a winner’s mindset. The elite players in every sport do not dwell/replay the negative. They stay focused on the positives and on improving their game.

Depending on your child’s age, skill level and personality type it can take a while for him/her to get these concepts down consistently. That’s OK, kids need to work through things.

Photocredit: cdnsportsmemorabilia.com

The PGA Tour player with the most all-time wins, it’s not Tiger, Sam Snead, has a bit of a footnote to his legacy of 82 PGA Tour wins and 7 majors. It’s that he really had trouble letting go of a bad shot. Sometimes he’d carry his bad attitude for several holes, which he played poorly enough to remove him from contention. Many folks feel Snead might have won several more U.S. Opens if he just could have let go of those bad shots. Wow!

See you on #1 tee with a short memory… Sam

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

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