Posts Tagged ‘Nick Faldo’

Junior Golf: 1 Attitude For A Sunday Win

In this Wednesday Waggle we’ll take a look at 1 particular mindset that has proven successful for some professional golfers over the years. Your daughter is an individual and will develop her own type and style of mindset based on her skill level, maturity and competitiveness.

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photocredit:golfdigest.com

Being within 5 or 6 shots of the lead at the start of a final round of any tournament means a player, your daughter/son in this case, has a chance to win. I mean a couple of bad shots by the leader and a couple of great shots from your kiddo and she’s right there.

Have you ever asked her what her final thoughts are just before she initiates her pre-shot routine for her 1st shot? Well, that could lead to a very interesting answer. Just don’t ask her at the event. This should be discussed well prior to any competition. And her answers will likely change as her game and confidence improve.

6-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Sir Nick Faldo referred to his own pre-game mentality as he was getting ready to tee off in the last group in the final round of a tournament and right now we’re talking about The Masters, which Sir Nick won 3 times. He knows of what he speaks, at least for himself.

To paraphrase Sir Nick: “You’re standing there waiting to be announced and tee off. You shake hands and say something proper like play well but in my mind I’m saying, I’ll bury you!” Now these words may sound a bit harsh to some Moms and Dads out there. These are the words of Sir Nick Faldo and how his mind had to get in a place to win a huge event and certainly he meant them no physical harm. He was going to bury them under his barrage of great golf shots that were better than his opponent’s shots!

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photocredit: sky sports

These words aren’t for everybody but I assure you that there are women and men who have this or a very similar thought process when they prepare for competition. To be competitive means a number of things. It means your daughter enjoys the challenge of constantly improving her game in order to have some opportunity to win. And then it will become a desire to win. How badly does she want to win? Is she willing to make the necessary sacrifices required to attain the victories she is dreaming of?

The bottom line parents is that your girl will need to decide if she really wants to win or just play kind of for the fun of it. If she truly wants to win that means she has to beat everyone else. She has to want to play better than them and do it! If she wants to win, she’ll find the mental self-talk that works for her. Ask her about this. Let her do most of the talking and you do most of the listening. You may find you have a real competitor holding onto that golf club!

See you on #1 tee ready with a winning mindset… Sam

Junior Golf: Thoughts From Sir Nick

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will enjoy some thoughts from 1 of the all time great golfers, Sir Nick Faldo, winner of 6 major championships. There are some men and women in our wonderful world of golf whose thoughts and words offer great insight and advice and Sir Nick is certainly 1 of them. (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106

Now before we get too far along here, David Feherty asked Sir Nick about the formality, almost haughty use of the “Sir Nick” term, to which Faldo replied, well, “It’s actually a request of the Royalty that the term Sir be used to compliment and reinforce the title and tradition.” I mean this is a very big deal in Britain.

Ok, on to golf. Sir Nick is 1 of the rare announcers who offers really useful insights into what a player sees and feels and needs to do to compete at golf’s highest level. When Jason Day blew his drive left into the trees on #16 last Sunday, leading to a double-bogey which took him out of the lead, Faldo said, “Think how good he’ll be when he gets a fade. In order to be the absolute complete golfer, you must be able to fade and draw your driver.” Jason Day needed to hit a fade on #16, but didn’t/couldn’t and it cost him.

Dad and Mom you may be thinking that right now you will be pleased if your daughter just hits her tee shot in play. Yes, being able to draw and fade any club is an advanced technique, but put it on the list. Have big goals and big dreams!image

Another great insight from Sir Nick came during his appearance on Feherty. Sir Nick mentioned that he made a terribly costly mistake when he decided to tweak his swing. He went to legendary coach David Leadbetter for help. According to Sir Nick it took 2 years for the new swing to kick in. He was on the European Ryder Cup Team, who won, but he didn’t really contribute. He hit 5 buckets of balls a day, not the normal buckets, but the 300 ball buckets, you got it, 1500 balls a day for 2 years to get the new swing down. So when your girl hits 1 large bucket of 120 balls at the range, well, let’s put it in perspective, hit more balls! (photo sports.yahoo.com)

Faldo basically lost 2 prime years of opportunity in professional golf to make a swing change. When your girl is unhappy when, after a week, she is not perfectly executing the points from her last lesson, perhaps mention Sir Nick’s 2-year odyssey. Patience and hit more balls, my dear!

See you on #1 tee, using Sir Nick’s tips… Sam

Junior Golf : Are You Watching?

imageHappy Friday Flop Shot to you as Linda and I ask, are you watching, as in are you watching The Masters, the PGA men’s 1st major tournament which ends Sunday?

Please, as we previously mentioned, set your TiVo and record this event. The lessons and insights for your daughter, yes even though this is a men’s tournament, are invaluable and some are unique to this venue. (photo by offcoursegolf.com)

Tee shots on the 1st hole of any golf tournament can be nerve-wracking, but even 6-time Masters winner Jack Nicklaus admitted that his 1st shot at Augusta was always intimidating. Why is it so? The consensus seems to be that players just want so much to win The Masters as many regard it as the holy grail of all golf tournaments.

Yesterday had a couple of difficult moments, those where your daughter can see that crazy things happen to every golfer, even the best players in the world. Ernie Els, legendary nice guy, make that great guy, 7-putted #1. Folks, in all the junior and college golf that I have personally watched, a 5-putt is the most I can recall. S3 has had 1 4-putt and those dreaded 3-putts are something all golfers want to eliminate. Having a round with no 3-putts is always a goal. Ernie finished with an 80, 8 over par, playing his last 17 holes in 2-over, not bad.

2009 Masters winner Angel Cabrera had a 9 on the par 5 15th hole, 4 over on 1 hole. Now if you ever wondered about the mental toughness of athletes at this highest skill level, he immediately put that previous hole out of his mind and shot birdie, par, birdie on his final 3 holes, using 9 shots total for all 3 holes. Mom and Dad, that’s what champions do! So Angel finished at 73, 1 over par, better than the field average, with a 9! Learning moment here. (Angel Cabrera photo PGA.com)image

There is a cut after today’s round so everyone will be focusing on playing well enough to play on the weekend. There are a few previous winners flirting with that cut line so they’ll need to step it up today. Jordan Spieth played a beautiful round yesterday shooting a leading score of 66, 6 under par. It was a very breezy day Thursday, but as Sir Nick Faldo said, “Jordan played like there was no wind at all, putting his shots in the right places”. And as Sir Nick, 3-time Masters winner also stated, “Augusta National is all about putting your shots in the correct positions. Just being a few feet off in the wrong direction can leave you no real chance to hit a good next shot”. This is because this is cumulative in a way. In other words, if the tee shot is out of position, then it is difficult, if not impossible, to put your next shot in position, and it continues and players are struggling to 2-putt or make dicey up-and-downs. Shot placement, where you want your ball to end up, stop rolling, is always important.

See you on #1 tee looking for a great shot… Sam

Junior Golf: Austin Nuggets

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at some thoughts, some takeaways, some nuggets of insight and wisdom from the WGC Dell Matchplay Championship that ended yesterday. (photo by jennleforge.com)img_0135

Matchplay is different. The players for the most part really enjoy it because it is 1-on-1 competition. Let’s begin with the Austin Country Club course. At just about 7,100 yards, it is relatively short compared to other PGA tournament courses. Pete Dye however always gives the players challenging holes. So in the words of announcers Sir Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller, both winners of multiple major golf tournaments and members of the world Golf Hall of Fame, “the course is really suited to match play.” What does this mean?

Matchplay has a different mentality than stroke play and each player is trying to win or at least tie each hole. So there is a “go for everything” mentality, sometimes called risk/reward. If you watched some of the event, you would have immediately noticed the stunning beauty of many of the holes. And much of this beauty was because of plentiful water, hazards with sheer drop-offs and unplayable lies and greens with multiple slopes. As fans we want to see great golf shots, thrilling golf shots and the inherent risk/reward of matchplay golf combined with a risk/reward golf course makes for a fun combination.

Part of the reason why Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson are so popular is their “go for broke” mentality. They love to play aggressive golf! When asked why he attempted so many difficult shots, Arnold replied, ”How would I know if could hit that shot if I didn’t attempt it in competition?” Frankly these 2 guys hit a lot of great shots from lies most of us would never consider attempting. Austin Country Club offers plenty of risk/reward opportunities.

Sir Nick on match play mentality, “you’re trying to win every hole, hit every shot exactly where you want it and make all your putts. But you cannot give any holes to your opponent. Make him earn the holes he wins.” This refers to unforced errors. At least twice in this tournament I saw the 1st hitter put his ball into the water. Now many of us, if we were the 2nd hitter might think that all we needed to do was keep our ball away from the water at all costs and advance the ball to a safe zone that left us in a good position for our next shot. Well folks, twice I saw the 2nd hitter also put his ball into the water. How can this be? Oh, these guys are human! In effect, the 2nd player just surrendered his tactical advantage and both players now, once again have a chance to win the hole. You just don’t expect to see this from the pros, but, wow!

imagePGA Professional, World Golf Hall of Fame member and Austin Country Club member Tom Kite was interviewed by Nick Faldo during the Finals Match yesterday and Tom offered, “these greens are tough. Pete Dye gives you lots of undulations and a player might have a putt that goes left, then comes back right and ends up going left at the hole. These are tough greens, but the guys will be more familiar with them next year.” When asked about the length of the course, Tom referred to a drivable par 4 on the back nine and said, “this little hole is giving these guys fits. You can’t keep your drive on the green and the chips you end up with are tough and the green has a lot of slopes.” So this little par 4 had the guys scrambling to make a par. (photo geoffshackelford.com)

I hope you watched some of the tournament. There were a bunch of great golf shots and some not so great. Jason Day defeated Louis Oosthuisen in the finals and guess what? At the end of all the risk/reward shots, the great shots and poor shots, the guy that won, Jason Day, just flat putted better than everyone he played. If you’re going to win, you have to make putts! And yes, he also hit some excellent shots.

See you on #1 tee ready for match play… Sam

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