Posts Tagged ‘Open Championship’

Junior Golf: You Got To Believe

In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at belief and how it can be used to positively impact your youngster’s golf game.

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Photocredit:Golf Digest

One definition of belief is: a trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something. Now before we got lost in all these words, let’s look at a few golf examples of belief.

In the last round of the recent Open Championship, Jordan Spieth managed to turn his final round from horrible-for him, to absolutely fabulous. How did he do this? In his words, once he and Matt Kuchar became tied, Jordan’s nerves disappeared and he was able to focus on hitting good shots and man did he! Belief!
In last week’s Canadian Open, Jhonny Vegas said, “I’ve had a horrible summer to put it the best way,” Vegas said. “But it’s golf, and you have to keep a positive mentality and always think that you’re going to play your best.” And he did that Sunday ultimately beating Charley Hoffman in a playoff.
A few years ago in the 2010 Masters, Phil Mickelson hit an incredible shot off of some pine straw, between 2 trees, over the creek and onto the green and continued on for a 3-shot Masters win. Belief!

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Photocredit:Getty Images


Finally, Zack Johnson’s recap of a conversation with his Dad
from earlier in his career. To paraphrase, Zach said,”I want to win every tournament.” His Dad replied, “What is most important is that you believe you can win every tournament!” Believe, believe, believe.

So what does this have to do with your junior golfer? Well, depending on age and skill level your child must have a belief in something positive about his/her golf game.
I believe I can hit the ball on every shot.
I believe I can hit the ball in the air.
I believe I can play better than some of my friends.
I believe
I can make the golf team.
I believe I can earn the #1 spot on the golf team.
I believe I can make birdies.
I believe I can win a golf tournament.
And so it goes.

Have a talk with your kiddo. Be an encourager! Point out a nice shot he/she hit and complement it. Help them believe that there are many more excellent golf shots coming in the future. Your kids want to have fun and enjoy this great game. Believing that the next shot will be a good shot is very important and when your son/daughter does it, you will smile from ear to ear.

See you on #1 tee believing you can hit good shots… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Tips For Lower Scores In Bad Weather

 

In this Wednesday Waggle we will offer 3 mental postures or tips for parents to share with your junior golfers. These will help your daughter/son have an opportunity to shoot lower scores in bad weather. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Few if any golfers enjoy playing in terrible conditions. It is not fun, it takes every golfer out of their normal playing/pre-shot routine and it’s more challenging to shoot a decent score. There are players who find success in nasty weather. Let’s look at how they do it.

Last weekend during the PGA Genesis event at Riviera Country Club, former World #1 David Duval was asked, “How do you mentally prepare to play in this? The weather is terrible.” The host was referring to the rain and 25 mph winds battering the course and players. To paraphrase David’s response: “There are several things you need to do mentally. 1st, understand that everybody is playing in it, so it impacts the whole field. 2nd, there are players who really dislike these conditions and they are not going to play very well. 3rd, there are players who embrace these conditions and play better during bad weather than nearly everyone else. They gain strokes on the field. This weather is an excellent opportunity to move up in the standings for players who can take a breath and embrace tough playing conditions. In fact, there are some good scores out there right now.” Yes, there were some players shooting 3,4,5-under par in ugly weather.

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Hall of Fame member and 8 time major champion Tom Watson won the British Open, now The Open Championship, 5 times. After Arnold Palmer, Tom is probably the American golfer that is most loved by the British golf fans. When asked why Tom was so successful playing in the notorious and unpredictable British summer weather, 2 main reasons were offered. His ball flight was lower and thus less affected by the elements. And he was able to totally embrace the weather. It has often been said that when it was cold, windy and rainy, you couldn’t tell it by Tom Watson’s attitude. He looked like he was enjoying a sunny 75-degree day! There ya go! Attitude, attitude, attitude…positive attitude! (Tom Watson photo sporting news)

Golf is certainly a mental game and there is always another opportunity to test your daughter’s mental strengths. Ugly weather is one of those moments. She will play tournaments in cold, wet and windy conditions and these 3 tips can help her shoot a better score.

See you on #1 tee mentally ready… Sam

 

 

Junior Golf: Links Golf

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we are going to investigate a name which may be new to you and your daughter, links golf. Basically there are 2 types of golf courses, links and traditional, for lack of a better word.

At some point in your daughter’s junior golf career she will be introduced to a links golf course. Now the word links can be confusing because sometimes the word is used as catch-all for golf courses in general. The USGA even had the Public Links Championship which technically had nothing to do with links style golf courses, but was for golfers who played mostly on public courses rather than private courses. This event has been discontinued. (photo golfdigest.com)

So what does links golf mean to your daughter? Links golf courses are the original golf courses, formed along coastlines in Scotland where there is rolling sandy terrain and lots of wind. Links courses require creativity because when they are in proper condition, meaning dry and extremely fast fairways and greens, your daughter must use different shots and strategies to have a decent score. On most holes, the greens are so hard and fast she cannot land her ball on the green, but must roll it to the pin. This means a lot of fun, seeing the contour of the ground along the desired path and then rolling a low shot snakeing towards the hole. It is very exciting and fulfilling to watch the shot she visualized actually end up where she had hoped. So your daughter will get great experience on how to handle windy conditions.

Links courses have few trees, but are known for very difficult rough and the dreaded round “pot” bunkers, which are pretty much a 1-shot penalty when you are in 1 because it is very hard to advance the ball. It’s usually all a golfer can do to just get out of a “pot” bunker. In 1 of Tiger’s British Open wins, and they are all played on links courses, he did not hit his driver at all during the tournament. He played strategic smart golf because hitting less than driver kept his ball short of most of the bunkers and I don’t think he was in a fairway bunker at all. (photo golfdashblog.com)image

Links golf courses: rolling, undulating, fast fairways and greens. Few, if any trees. Very difficult rough. Pot bunkers. Cannot land ball on green, or at least anywhere near the pin. Lots of wind. Great fun and an opportunity to really engage and enhance your junior golfer’s creativity. Find a links course near you and take your daughter to go play it. Make sure the course is dryed out and fast. Don’t go right after a big rain. The course will not reveal its true self when wet.

Golf is more of an art than a science. Every shot is different and creativity is a big part of playing good golf. Get creative with your daughter. Book a round on a links course today.

See you on #1 tee, looking very Scottish… Sam

Junior Golf Parents – Gary Player on Why Golf for Kids!

Parenting Junior Golfers is an exciting time of life!

During an interview prior to the start of the 2012 British Open Championship, World Golf Hall of Fame Member and golfing legend Gary Player was asked why there were so many talented younger professional golfers?  His response was that the United States and South Africa have by far the best Junior Golf Programs in the world today -so many of these exceptional younger pros are from those two countries.

To paraphrase Player, The people in America should kiss the ground of that country every day.  When asked why golf is such a great sport for kids, the always optimistic, energetic and enthusiastic Player continued:  “Golf is a friend-making factory!  In one four-hour round of golf you can make a friend for a lifetime.  Golf is an ageless sport-you can easily play into your 80’s or longer.

I concur with Player wholeheartedly. Here are few more reasons why your child would benefit from playing golf:

As a rule, golf people are good people and golf courses are good places for kids to spend time.  And most JG’s are polite, well-spoken and well-mannered-the kind of kids you want your child to be around.

Golf will help get your Junior Golfer in shape and keep them in shape.  It is a sport of flexibility and balance and strength-all important for a lifetime of good health.  And the Vitamin D they get from sun exposure is super healthy!

Honesty, integrity, confidence and perseverance are just some of the life skills your Junior Golfer will be able to experience.   Golf is very healthy as a character-building environment.

The risk of injury in golf is minimal when compared to other sports.  A sprain, bruise, some sunburn or tendonitis covers the great majority of golf injuries.  You just don’t need to worry about your child’s sport being a threat to their health.  Golf is a benefit to their health!

Junior Golf in the U. S. is more popular than ever!  Top quality coaches, courses, clinics, inexpensive/beginner’s equipment and proper attire are readily available.  And there are so many Junior Golf Tournaments, for players of every level, you can barely keep up with them.

Junior Golf promotes life skills combined with competition.  And along with competition comes pressure-a lot like life.  After you introduce your kiddo to golf and if they “take to” it, you are in for years of quality time together.  You will watch your Junior Golfer grow up and become more mature right before your eyes.

I love promoting the game of golf, especially to young people as they are the future of the sport… now, get out there and play! – Sam

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