Posts Tagged ‘National Championship’

Junior Golf: It’s U.S. Open Time

Today, in this Wednesday Waggle, we’re taking a quick look at the week. It’s the 2nd men’s major championship of 2017 and that means it’s U.S. Open time!

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Photocredit:Golf Digest

Erin Hills Golf Course, 35 miles north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the site, hosting the 1st ever U.S. Open to be played in the state.

Let’s skip right to a very important point if you are at all serious about junior golf and golf, in general. Please make sure your TV package includes the channels which carry golf tournaments and add any of the following that you are missing: Golf Channel, NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN and the ESPN2’s, etc, Fox, FS1 and related channels and TNT.

This week it’s Fox’s turn to host another U.S. Open after a shaky start with clumsy announcers 2 years ago, although slightly improved last year. The players and the course make the event and solid golf broadcasters are certainly important but there will be tons of excitement no matter the quality of the announcers. So Thursday and Friday the tournament is on FS1 from 10:00am-5:00pm, central time. Saturday and Sunday it’s on regular Fox from 10:00am-7:00pm and be sure to record at least 2 hours after 7:00pm, just in case.

This playoff situation is a bit different. If 2 golfers are tied at the end of 72-holes, they return the next day for an 18-hole playoff. If 3 or more golfers are tied at the end of 72-holes, they go into a sudden-death playoff.

Why is this tournament important for a junior golfer? It’s 1 of only 4 major championships annually and it is also regarded as the Men’s National Golf Championship of the United States. Yes, the winner is the National Champion! Sounds pretty good, right?

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Photocredit:Golf-Wisconsin 

Now if you want to rev your kiddo up a bit, boy or girl, and you, your spouse and the rest of the family, record The Greatest Game Ever Played. This is based on the true story of how young Francis Ouimet overcame prejudice and huge obstacles to defeat the greatest golfers of the age and win the 1913 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. It is a great movie and will have your whole family ready to golf play some golf. This is inspiring, truly inspiring! It airs 2x this Friday on The Golf Channel. Record it, it’s worth it!

So please make sure you have all these channels in your television package. Likely you have the Fox channels, so you can enjoy this week’s major. And get the TiVo! Most of the tv we watch is recorded, it is so convenient and saves a lot of time.

The players are already complaining about the insanely long rough, so the USGA mowed it down a bit. But 1 of the trademark characteristics of a true U.S. Open venue is long, tough rough. It would be nice to be able to find your ball, however.

OK, turn on the tv and set up your recordings. It’s U.S. Open time!

See you on #1 tee ready to stay out of that long rough… Sam

Junior Golf: Teamwork

In this Friday Flop Shot we will take look at an aspect of all golf, certainly including junior golf that is often downplayed, overlooked or just not given enough attention. We’re talking about teamwork. (photo offcoursegolf.com)timg_0106-1

There are teams everywhere in our lives. From family dynamics, the workplace, relationships and extra-curricular activities, teamwork is in action. Sometimes it’s more obvious as in the team sports like football, soccer and the rest. Individual sports have teams as well, it’s just that those teams are mostly behind the scenes. Golf is the 1 individual sport where an aspect of the team is displayed when the event allows caddies. Caddies, good caddies, are absolutely invaluable to the player. In a tournament, the caddy is the only 1 who can give advice to the player and the best caddies give good advice. The player doesn’t have to heed the recommendation, but at least it was offered.

Jordan Spieth uses the term we more than any other PGA or LPGA player. When asked about the use of the term, Jordan says it refers to him, his caddy and his family and friends who have supported him in so many ways during his whole career from junior golf to today. Jordan does certainly understand that he, the player, is the 1 who must actually swing the club and bear the responsibility that goes with it, good shots or poor shots. (photo pgatour.com)image

Mom and Dad, please recognize that you are a junior golf team with your daughter. There is no way any professional athlete can operate without a team, often much larger than you would expect, supporting them. Your junior golfer is every bit as dependent on you for everything except for taking the shot! It is your help with finding the tournaments, getting her entries in, paying for the events and getting her prepared to play in them and then getting her to and from them. And hopefully being on the course with her as encouraging spectators or her caddy, when allowed.

Please allow me to once again briefly visit my Longhorn Legends On The Couch as they discussed their thoughts during the 2006 Rose Bowl National Championship win over USC. This is just fun for me, pardon my indulgence. Teamwork, teamwork and more teamwork was constantly referred to during the analysis of the game. Michael Huff and Aaron Ross, the 2 defensive players on the Legends Couch mentioned the confidence that the defensive squad had in each other. A player could count on his teammates to be in the correct position on every down. And the mentality of the defense was to swarm to the ball. If you get a chance to see this game, please notice how many white longhorn jerseys are involved in every tackle, they were swarming!

Kasey Studdard, Longhorn Legend offensive lineman, said the USC was running the same couple of blitzes, different defenses, when the Longhorns lined up in a certain formation. Well, the offensive line, who had played together for years and may be the best offensive line in UT history, took about 10 seconds to discuss it and figured out how to defeat it and they did so the rest of the game. Superior example of great teamwork!

Yes, team sport teamwork is similar to, but different from, individual sport teamwork. It is however, everyone being on the same page and fulfilling their duties. Parents, please get on board today with your girl’s junior golf efforts. If she’s willing to put in the effort to practice and play then you need to support her, period. If you are unsure of the best ways to support her contact us at icare4parents@gmail.com

See you on #1 tee with support… Sam

Junior Golf: More Championship Thoughts

In this Wednesday Waggle let’s spend a little more time of the way champions think. These are valuable lessons from highly successful athletes.img_0102-1

The mental game or the mindset of a player, coach or team is critical to performing at a high level. In fact most elite athletes will tell you that they wish they had started working on their mental game earlier than they consciously did. The consensus is that the physical part of the game is easier to master than the mental part. We can all see this play out in every sport. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Early in the UT/USC National Championship Game, UT’s Aaron Ross dropped a punt and USC recovered the ball on the Texas side of the field. To paraphrase UT head coach Mack Brown,
“Aaron was the only 1 mad on our sideline because all the rest of us knew what a great player Aaron was and that he wouldn’t do that again.” Wow, what great confidence by teammates and coaches! Having this level of confidence allows everyone involved to focus on what’s important, as in the next play and winning the game. It keeps everybody as calm as is possible in such circumstances. When your daughter hits a poor shot, how does she react? Please encourage her and help her build her confidence so that when she has an undesirable result on the golf course, she can recover and get back to playing her normal game.

As the halftime break was ending and UT was getting ready to go back out on the field, 1 of the offensive linemen gave a brief and enthusiastic rah rah speech. Then Coach Brown uttered his own final words to the team, and I’ll paraphrase his brief statement, “OK, let’s go win this game!” What a classic speech of confidence in his team! They were leading and had 30 minutes of football left and if they played as good as they were capable of they would be National Champions. The team and coaches knew they were good enough. This was the perfect time to reinforce their level of confidence with a few calm and choice words. If Mack had yelled and screamed at the team or thrown things, it would have appeared as as lack of confidence or panic to the players. (photo from google.com)image

Do you remain calm or do you show signs of stress or panic with your girl? Does your daughter believe that you have confidence in her and her abilities on the golf course? If not, Dad and Mom, it’s time to change your tune! Encourage her during practice with words like, “you can hit that shot, chip it in, make that putt, you know how to do that, you’re good enough and of course, I love you.” Our youngsters are fragile creatures who do not want to disappoint their parents. A smile, a thumbs up and an I love you are what your junior golfer needs more than anything else.

Calm and confidence are 2 traits that can vanish quickly during the heat of competition. A couple of bad holes and all of a sudden your daughter doesn’t even think she can hit her golf ball. Some days she’ll recover and sometimes she may not, but that’s golf and that’s life. It’s not how you react to something, it’s how you respond. There’s a big difference.

Tons of excellent golf books and sports psychology books are for sale all over the web. Or look up some world champions and see how they prepared for competition. I suggest you only look at players who finished 1st at least once at the highest level of competition in their sport. Read some of Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus’s quotes or any of the golf legends, male or female. Their insights are spectacular and immediately useful. Help your daughter build up her confidence and the calm that, hopefully, goes along with it.

See you on #1 tee looking calm and confident… Sam

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