Posts Tagged ‘PGA Tour’

This Could Happen To You

In today’s Friday Flop Shot I’m going to share a once-in-a-lifetime experience that S3 and I had 2 days ago. It was unexpected and the kind of thing that money, at least for most of us, can’t buy.

Here’s our story:

S3 and I volunteered to caddy in the Valero Texas Open Pro-Am held Wednesday, April 18, 2018. The mindset is “hope we have some decent amateurs and a pro whose name we have at least heard of.” You never know what you’re getting. That was for sure the case today but on the other side of the coin.

So we found our group’s bags and were reading the tags to see who we each had. My guy was Martin Parrish, ok. Then S3 starts reading the rest of the tags and says, “Dad, come here.” He points to the spot that says Professional. And we do the classic Looney Tunes doubletake because it says Adam Scott, on all 4 bags, so it must be true!

It was five and a half hours of incredible memories. Oh, as I found out after the round, my player, Martin Parrish, is a top Valero officer and Chairman of this year’s VTO, the biggest dude at the tournament other than the players. He’s a great guy and brought 3 good amateurs with him. They were all fun to be around!

Now to Adam Scott and his caddy David Clark. I can’t imagine that there are any nicer, more helpful and genuinely patient and good guy professionals to be around than these two. Refreshing to say the least! It was just like talking to regular folks, no pretenses, amazing men, looked you in the eye and engaged when we talked to them. Wow, we are bigger Adam Scott fans than before, if that’s even possible!

As some of you may recall, our family has been active in golf in this city since 1925. The Executive staff at Golf San Antonio, a little birdie told me, wanted to put someone in the Chairman’s group they could trust to support and fit in with this marquee 4-some. They hand-picked us because they know us and were comfortable that we were the right guys for the job.

I told S3 this is a classic example of who you know and who knows you and what they think of you. I emphasized that this is a testament to our family’s golf heritage over all these years, but more recently to his, mine and Linda’s involvement over the last 20 years. Great life lesson!

Our group actually was third to pick a pro. Valero CEO played with Greg Norman who designed the course and manages the whole event. 2nd took Sergio and Martin chose Adam. Not bad.

I don’t have the words to convey how great this day was and getting to spend it with my son was so special. Incredible memories.

Next year we’ll reset to our original premise. Just hope we’ve heard our pro’s name beforehand.

Parents, let this be encouragement for you and your junior golfer to volunteer in big events. Something like this can surely happen to you, particularly when you least expect it.

Man, what a day! See you on #1 tee standing next to your favorite pro… Sam

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Junior Golf: This Win Can Motivate Your Junior Golfer

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a look at the winner of The 2017 Valero Texas Open. His path to a victory has been long and filled with a number of curves. Let’s see how this particular win can become an excellent motivator for your child.

photocredit:jennleforge.com

Golf is very competitive at all levels. Whether your son/daughter is 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years old, there are plenty of golfers who can play as well or better than he can. One of the things S3 learned at a young age was that there were maybe a dozen guys in our area that he would be competing with for his whole junior golf, and to a degree, in his college golf career. And you know what, that’s a good thing.

1st off he became great friends with several of these guys and 2nd off he learned that on any given day anyone in this group, including himself, could beat any and all the rest of the group. It was great competition for a number of years. Yes, it was wonderful! And learning that he/she as in your son/daughter, can come back and beat somebody, perhaps more than 1, that beat him/her in the previous tournament is a fantastic life lesson!

So let’s take a look at Kevin Chappell. He had a great amateur career. I’m not sure if you would call him a phenom, but he functioned at high levels in some very rarified amateur air! He turned professional in 2008 and had 1 win on the then, Nationwide Tour, now the Web.com Tour. 

photocredit:stevedykes

He earned his PGA Tour card for 2011 and started his career on the big boy pro circuit. Kevin had some success with enough earnings and placements to keep his PGA Tour card and maintain some status in certain events. A win, as in his 1st win on the PGA Tour, was hard to come by. A couple of 2nd’s, a playoff loss, so close, yet so far away! How on earth does a person keep coming back after being in reach of the gold ring and falling short, time after time? Man, it’s tough!

Psychologically, there’s a lot going on. A couple of major points are that Kevin had won golf tournaments before, he just had not won at this very highest level. So he knew he could win, he just hadn’t done it yet. And next, he believed in himself enough to keep getting back up after being knocked down, knowing that at some point a victory would be his.

Persistence overcomes resistance! Please Dad and Mom, learn this phrase and help every one of your family members ingrain it into their minds. This is one of the great truths of life! There is some debate over whether the 2017 VTO was Kevin’s 180th, 181st or 182nd PGATour start and it really doesn’t matter here. The point is that this 30 year-old teed his golf ball up in at least 180 events on the PGA Tour before he logged his 1st win. 

This is a classic example of persistence overcomes resistance. How many times did Kevin Chappell have to get back up after being knocked down? That’s what competition is about. That’s what life’s about! Come on Folks, this is great stuff! The tears in his and his wife’s eyes as they stood on the 18th green were a great testimony to sheer persistence.

A great takeaway for your junior golfer is Kevin’s response to an announcer’s question of, “How was today’s round different from your other final rounds where you didn’t pull out the win?” To paraphrase Kevin, “I was calm all day.” And when asked about the 8’2” birdie putt he made to beat Brooks Koepka by 1-shot, Kevin said, “I definitely had more nerves.” Meaning he had more control over his nerves than in a couple of previously events where he left potentially winning putts well short. This putt, however, went right into the center of the cup and Kevin won! No playoff! Congratulations Kevin on your 1st PGA Tour victory! 

See you on #1 tee looking persistent, believing in yourself and having a calm control of your nerves… Sam

Junior Golf: Go To The VTO Or At Least Record It

In this Friday Flop Shot we will do a little promoting of our hometown PGA Tour event, The Valero Texas Open. 

photocredit: Dubai Golf


Perfect weather here through the weekend with 80’s today and low to mid 70’s on Saturday and Sunday. Minimal chance of rain. Come on out to TPC San Antonio and enjoy the great golf, amazing facilities and the world-class environment that is a PGA Tour tournament.

The logistics are simple and really it is not necessary to spend a ton of money to attend. The shuttle buses run from several locations and they, in our opinion are the way to go. On-site parking is crazy expensive and seems to not offer much, if any advantage over using the shuttle buses. A very convenient departure location for the shuttles is Retama Race Track on I-35 in Selma. Just park your car, pay a few bucks and get on a bus. Simple and inexpensive.

Day passes are $20 in advance, $30 at the gate. Military and first responders receive special benefits and children 12 years old and under are free. The day passes are all you need to have a great time. There is plenty of open/free/public seating all over the course. And the AT&T Oaks Course is very walkable. More gently rolling than hilly. 

Food and drinks are plentiful and there is tremendous variety, so don’t be concerned about being hungry or thirsty. When you arrive, you will be scanned and then be admitted through the vendor area. It’s easy to spend a lot of time in this part of the grounds because there is so much interesting stuff. Free items, drawings, just fun times. You exit this area through an air-conditioned PGA/TPC/VTO tent with event logo shirts, caps, etc. Plenty of great souvenirs!

Here’s one of my best tips ever! Once you leave the souvenir tent you are basically at #17 green. This is a driveable par 4 as long as there is not much of a south wind. But Sunday will have a strong north wind and most of the guys will be trying to drive this green. Frankly it’s tough to get a tee shot on this green and to get it to stay on this green. What does that mean for fans sitting at the 17th green? Simply, you will get to see 1 of the great short game exhibitions of your life! 

The risk part of risk/reward will have guys hitting from fairway bunkers, greenside bunkers, short rough, deep rough and bare dirt. They will also be hitting flop shots to a pin they can barely see and from over the back of the green. All of these shots except for the ones from fairway bunkers will be about 30 yards or less! When we watched this exact scenario a couple of years ago, we must have seen 50-60 players doing this and guess what, they’re all really good! There were maybe 3 shots that were not in the very good to excellent to amazing categories! 

How can I say this? On Sunday, sitting at 17 green with a north wind is the absolute best seat on the whole golf course. Go early, stay late. Take a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Have fun!

See you on #1 tee with some great VTO stories… Sam

Junior Golf: 2nd Must Have Piece Of Inexpensive Rain Gear

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our recommendations of inexpensive rain gear that is absolutely critical to your son’s/daughter’s ability to play, hopefully reasonably well, in wet weather. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

The most important item was previously covered and that item is the wetter is better style of golf gloves made by several quality brands and pretty much available everywhere. As we mentioned, these gloves allow your youngster to have a good grip on the club in the rain. If a player is unable to hold onto the club, there is no way to play golf. The other rain gear you have, no matter the quality, is irrelevant if your son can’t hold onto the club.

The 2nd must have item is likely already in inventory and that would be an effective way to keep the rain out of your child’s eyes. We’re not talking about glasses here. In addition to the obvious need for clear vision/sight, your junior golfer, no golfer for that matter needs the challenge of trying to hit a shot, chip or putt while rain is hitting them squarely in the eyes.

So, the item is: a cap or hat that covers the head and has enough bill or rim to protect the eyes. Our family loves visors but in rain that is heavier than fog or mist, they allow too much moisture onto the hair and head and end up being more of a pain than an advantage. If your budget allows, you can get a waterproof and breatheable cap or hat. These can be comfortably worn in any weather, but really are helpful on a rainy day. The water sheds off them and since they’re not absorbing water, they don’t get soggy and heavy. They are genuinely a wonderful piece of equipment!
Expect to pay in the $25-$50 range for a waterproof cap or hat, sometimes called bucket hat.

While the breatheable/waterproof hats and caps are not as widely found as regular caps, many stores carry them, but you might have to ask for help finding them. Online sellers are numerous, so there’s not much effort involved in getting your hands on one. Please be certain to confirm your kiddo’s hat/cap size. Keep in mind that most caps have adjustable bands, but most hats are of a fixed size. Does your child wear a youth cap size? This is important to know if you are searching online.

Hats and caps are important items and should be worn pretty much all the time at the range and on the golf course. Just take a look at the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Web.Com Tour or European Tour. Count how many players are bare-headed. Did you need more than 1 hand? There are many very good reasons they are wearing hats, caps and visors.

See you on #1 tee with a good-looking cap on… 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.

image

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: Healthy Sweet Options

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will continue down the path of taking control of your family’s health. Knowing some healthy options for sweeteners is a big step in a positive direction. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

There are times that something sweet really can be satisfying; cookies, cake, pie, ice cream, a shake or even a soda can just taste soooo good! Among our health challenges today are the negative issues associated with improper eating habits, including too much carb intake. These include heart disease, high blood pressure and blood sugar situations such as diabetes, among others.

So how do you help yourself, your spouse and kids satisfy that sweet tooth? The long-term answer is changing your complete food regimen to a healthy-fat diet, more on that in subsequent posts. The short-term answer is 2-fold: reduce the total number of carbohydrates-sugars, white flour, white potatoes, etc, that are eaten and find healthy sweeteners to calm down those sweet cravings. A corollary is to not eat any artificial sweeteners.

Please keep in mind that Linda and I are not medical professionals, sports psychologists or PGA Professionals. We are the parents of a college graduate who started playing golf at age 5 and went to college on a golf scholarship. The information we are passing on to you includes many things that have been helpful to us and that we believe to be true.

Where on earth does a parent find sweet things that are healthy? 2 or 3 pieces of fruit a day are plenty for your junior golfer and you too. Locally grown fruit is probably best, organic is next best and so on. Fruit juice is not healthy unless you juiced it yourself and it has the whole fruit, including the fiber, in it. Otherwise it is all sugar! Not good!

Next on the list is locally grown organic, unfiltered, raw-meaning unpasteurized honey. Now all honey must be heated a little bit to get the honey to flow and go through a strainer to take out certain unattractive chunks. Once it gets up to a temperature of 120-degrees Fahrenheit most of the really good ingredients are degraded. That’s why you want raw, meaning unpasteurized. Raw organic unfiltered honey has antifungal, antibacterial, and more healing properties that put it in the miracle healer category. There is a ton of documentation online. In fact the military here in San Antonio is testing and in some cases using this type of honey for a number of different applications including burn treatment, wound healing and MRSA.

image

More healthy sweet choices are stevia, a sweetener made from the plant of the same name. It is sometimes combined with other sugars or fillers to make it taste more like something you are familiar with. Stevia has a different taste, but not a bad taste. Only get 100% stevia. And xylitol is a wood sugar that actually has a number of health benefits. It can be tricky to bake with, tastes pretty good and it is actually in some chewing gum, healthy chewing gum, really! (image: Healthy with Honey)

Cane sugar is the last resort because while it is not really healthy, it is so much better than any artificial sweetener and in small quantities it is not the worst thing in the world.

Mom and Dad just a reminder that everything in the world of health, nutrition, supplementation and fitness seems to be controversial. There are a million opinions on everything. That’s why Linda and I encourage you to take control of your family’s health. Do your own research. When in doubt go with the unprocessed or the least processed food item. Eat lean and green. Less carbohydrates and more healthy fats. More to come!

See you on #1 tee looking fit… Sam

Junior Golf: Valero Texas Open-We Were There

imageIn this Friday a Flop Shot, a bit late, sorry, we will look at the great time Linda and I had yesterday at the Valero Texas Open. There was an opening in our schedules and we took advantage of it to enjoy some time at a great PGA Tour event.

Transportation was easy as the shuttle bus lot is only a couple of miles from our house. The fee is $5 per car to park and the shuttle, both ways is free. This is a great deal and TPC San Antonio is just about a 10-15 minute bus ride. This makes for a low-pressure, no hassle trip. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

We were scanned and searched at the bus lot so when we got off the bus we went straight into the Vendor’s area. There are so many good deals and discounts, but we were early for the day and wanted to check things out and decide how we wanted to watch the players, so we kept moving, leaving the vendor goodies for later.

The 1st spot you come upon where you can actually watch the tournament is #17 green, 1 of our favorite spots. #18 tee is also close by but you can’t really see much except for the swings on the tee shots. Previously you needed upgraded tickets to sit at #17 green so we were keeping an eye out for a place to upgrade but when we arrived at the green, there was open public seating, as in free. And there was a concession stand and restrooms very close by. Since no Round 2 groups had come through yet there were some empty chairs and we grabbed 2 and sat on the 1st row with a perfect view of the green, including the cup and a look all the way to the tee box. We could see the guys hit every shot on this 347 yard par 4! Perfect!

An added bonus was that we had a north wind, which means the guys are able to choose true risk/reward on this potentially driveable par 4. The choice is to lay up to a desired wedge distance or to ride the north wind and try to drive the green. Let me offer a point to ponder for your junior golfers who like to go for everything: Linda and I watched about 60 golfers play #17 and there were 4 balls that were hit as far as the green and only 1 ball was on the green. That ball belonged to Brandon Grace who made a beautiful 2-putt birdie from the front of the green to a far back left pin.image

The Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio is tough, the most difficult non-major course on the PGA Tour in the 2015 season. It is no surprise that our informal percentage of birdies on this short little par 4 was less than 25%. Phil and Koooch made birdies and Freddie Jacobson’s ball lipped out and stopped 1-inch from an eagle hole-out. Lots of interesting and exciting shots! (photo flickr.com)

While we could have stayed longer, evening commitments meant we had to leave. You know what, we knew we would enjoy ourselves, but even seasoned tournament attendees like us had more fun than we anticipated. Do you and your junior golfer, heck your whole family a favor and load up the car and go to a PGA Tour event, you all will love it!

See you on #1 tee with some good memories from watching the pros… Sam.

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