Posts Tagged ‘physical fitness’

Junior Golf: 3 Major Benefits of Speed Training

In this Monday Mulligan we are continuing our foray into golf swing speed training.

Parents, perhaps you’re wondering where we’re going with this. Well here you go. In all our years of being a golfing family, we have heard swing speed and the importance of it mentioned countless times. However, we never pursued the topic because we didn’t know where to go for proper instruction on how to increase it.

Let’s turn this party around for you, enter Michael Romatowski. What’s different about his methods? He focuses on exercises and training to increase speed, pure and simple and it works. In the classes I’ve attended I have seen women, men, young, old, novice golfer, pro golfer all increase their swing speeds.

Most folks can expect a 5-10% increase and some gain even more speed. The time required to achieve gains is unique to the individual. My swing speed is up 2.5% after 4 sessions as I pursue that 10% goal!

The benefits for your junior golfer are: 1. It works. For every 1mph increase in driver speed, add 2.5 yards. The pros get excited about getting an extra 3 yards from a new driver. Every yard is important!

2. Your child will have a more efficient swing. After 1 class, a top local golfer said he felt like he was using more of his core and he had better balance.

3. It improves confidence. As your kiddo sees that he/she can increase swing speed and actually get more yards out of their driver, they know they are increasing their level of competitiveness. They like it!

What’s the next step? Contact Michael at MichaelRomatowski.com and ask him the best way to follow up. Ideally a family golf trip to San Antonio that would include going to a couple of Mike’s classes would be great fun! If that’s not doable I’m sure he’ll have some ideas for you.

See you on #1 tee hitting that driver a bit farther.., Sam

Junior Golf: Hello Girls-Speed Wins!

In this Friday Flop Shot we’re looking at speed. There are some places where speed gets a bad rap, but in golf, including junior golf, speed is a big deal and more speed is better.

If, Dad and Mom, you watch enough golf events: junior golf, high school golf, elite junior golf and college golf, you’ll see some truths emerge.

Example for high school upperclassmen and college boys/men, if their drives average about 280-285 yards, they are able to be competitive in a tournament.

Guess what young women, it’s different for you. The girls who hit their drivers the farthest have the best chance to win an event. Too many young ladies/girls just can’t get the ball far enough down the fairway to seriously compete.

This makes sense. If Judy consistently hits her drives 25 yards farther than most of her competition, she’s pretty much hitting 3 clubs less. She can hit a 9-iron and the rest are hitting a 6 or 7-iron. Who, over the 18 holes, has the better chance of getting the ball closer to the pin? Certainly, it’s Judy.

How does your girl increase her swing speed? Let’s skip the obvious multi-faceted reasons and go to speed training and only speed training. Parents, the math is: if the ball is hit in the sweet spot of the club, every 1mph increase in speed results in an additional 2.5 yards. So an increase of 10mph yields 25 more yards, yes indeed!

Our good friend, Michael Romatowski’s speed training is taking off like wildfire, speed fire! Linda, S3 and I are attending his classes and increasing our swing speeds and it’s a blast! Our collegiate golfer below has reached her goal of 100mph.  She has gained 11mph of clubhead speed. The point is folks most everybody can gain 5-10%. The math for an 80mph swing is: 5% of 80 is 4mph increase x 2.5 yards per mph=10 yards farther! 10% of 80 is 8mph x 2.5 yards=20 more yards!

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How do Mom and Dad followup? Stay tuned to this post because I’ll have much more about Michael’s innovative speed training in the near future. Follow Michael Romatowski on Facebook. Plan a vacation to San Antonio and attend some of his classes. Ask your PGA swing coach to get in touch with Michael.

Some of his regular attendees are a PGA Tour winner, a current PGA Latin American Tour player, a former World Long Drive Champion, a current World Long Drive Competitor and countless local golfers who want to improve their golf game.

Like so much we post, this stuff is real, it works! Please consider taking some action.

See you on #1 tee with a faster swing speed… Sam

Junior Golf: Better Health Better Golf

Wow! After all the intense golf news of the past few weeks, in today’s Friday Flop Shot we will get back to focusing on helping junior golfers and their families. Let’s see how to begin the process of Better Health=Better Golf in your family.img_0106-1

Parents, I am usually hesitant to tell you that you must take some action. Today however, Linda and I believe taking control of your family’s health is so important, so readily available and so critical for all your family members and of course, your athletes, that we encourage you in the strongest terms to have the conversation we reference below. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

The 1st step is: Dad and Mom must have a discussion to decide if you want to address the taking control of your health issue. If the answer is no, then the status quo remains. If the answer is yes, congratulations, and the next step is to have another meeting and include your kids and inform them of your decision. Tell them that the family will be making changes in the areas of food, drink and exercise. Be positive, be excited. Your family is embarking on a life-changing journey! Mom and Dad must be united in this decision. Single parents, you may wish to discuss this with close friends and mentors, just be staunch in your decision.

If your answer is No, nothing changes. We sincerely hope you will reconsider your decision. Why did you choose No?

If you said Yes, here’s your next step after informing the rest of your family. Put together an action plan. Start simple because this can be a bit overwhelming. Frankly we could spend years on this topic and never cover everything so we are going to give you input to make this process as seamless as possible.

Linda and I have been serious amateur students of health, fitness, nutrition and supplementation for a long time. In fact Linda once held 2 certifications from The Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas, 1 as a Certified Fitness Specialist (precursor to Personal Trainer Certification) and 1 in wellness. Individually we had already taken control of our own health even before we met and have emphasized and maintained this philosophy continuously in our family. And it works. Our rare visits to the doctor ar almost always from sports/activity-based injuries. Taking control of your family’s health works! (photo pbase.com)

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Action Plan Step 1: Take a look at what your family is eating. Write it down. It may shock you when you see it on a piece of paper. Awareness is the 1st step in this process. People are always asking us for 1 sentence on health and nutrition. Over these many years what we have come up with is, “Take a look at what you are going to put in your mouth and ask yourself, “How close is this to the way God put it on this planet?” In other words, start cutting back on processed foods. Fresh fruits and veggies and quality meats are where we should be spending our food dollars. Get your awareness factor up! You may be surprised or even shocked by what your family is eating! We’ll stay on this for a few posts, so more great tips Monday.

See you on #1 tee looking healthy… Sam

Junior Golf: Memories Of Arnold


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In today’s Wednesday Waggle I’ll share a few family memories of times we were around Arnold Palmer.

He is everything and more than was said about him. Tom Watson mentioned that professional golfers should send Arnold Palmer a commission on every dollar that they earned. There are thousands of tribute articles available where you can get a comprehensive discussion of how Arnold changed almost everything about professional golf…the excitement, bringing the game to the masses with Arnie’s Army, increasing the endorsement money, revitalizing the British Open, bringing attention to the importance of golf as a world-wide sport, loving his fans, increasing purses and of course his amazing charity work. The list is endless and professional golf will be eternally grateful! (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

My Dad was very involved in running The Texas Open for many years including 1960-62 when Arnold won it all 3 years. Dad got to know Arnold at Fort Sam Houston in 1960. The 1st time I actually met him was in 1961 when, after finishing a round at Oak Hills, Arnold was talking to my parents as I walked up. Dad introduced me and Arnold said, “Hi Sammie, nice to meet you,” and we visited a few minutes and he moved on. Different times back then, no giant structures, pretty much the only grandstands that were around #9 and #18, both of them par 3’s. You had open access to all the pros and while some weren’t very talkative, many were.

Sitting at #17 green was my friends and my favorite spot because once the guys putted out you could watch them hit to #18. The tee box was right next to the 17th green. So 17 is a hard dogleg left with a forest in the middle of the way. Arnold was long enough to cut the corner but when we heard a ball crash into the middle of the trees. This was my hero’s group coming up and my heart sank as I watched Arnold go to the ball on the bare dirt with about 30 trees between it and the green. Well, don’t ya know, he hit a low roller out of there up to about 3 feet from the pin and made a birdie. Major excitement!

Arnold won The Texas Open again in 1962 and I know he came back to play in the 1968 PGA Championship at Pecan Valley. He and Dad got to say “Hi” again and I so wanted Arnold to win this event. You may recall he rope-hooked his drive into the woods on the 72nd hole but managed to hit a miraculous 3-wood close enough for a decent birdie look which would have tied him with Julius Boros. The putt didn’t drop and Arnold finished 2nd.

imageThe last time I saw Arnold in-person was at a Senior Tour event at Oak Hills in 2004. One of my life goals was to get a photo of S3 with The King and I had no idea how I was going to do it. When I read that Arnold said he always liked Oak Hills, where he won 2 Texas Opens, and wanted to play it 1 more time, I couldn’t believe it! We went on Pro-Am day because there are light crowds and access to players is good. There was a slight backup on #11 tee and The King was gracious enough to let S3, then 10 years old, sit in his lap. It’s a lifetime event photo, a true treasure! Thank you, Arnold! The King is gone but he has given our family a lifetime of memories.

See you on #1 tee honoring The King… Sam

 

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Junior Golf: Amazing Finish But I ‘m Also Sad

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at the amazing finish to The Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. And as great as that was I’m also sad that my #1 sports hero of all-time, Arnold Palmer, passed away. I’ll share some of our family’s personal memories with The King on Wednesday. Today let’s look at what happened in Atlanta!image

Sunday began with most of the golf pundits just about ready to concede both events to DJ, Dustin Johnson. Why not, he was playing well, had a great year and just needed a good final round and he would be very hard to beat. Well, guess what, golf happened! (photo jennleforge.com)

He played poorly, in fact, the worst round of the day for the 30-man field, a 73 and with 6 holes to play there was no way for him to win the TC. There were 3 guys who were fighting it out and it was great golf and exciting TV.

Kevin Chappell, was leading but a poor drive on #17 left him with a bogey. Being in the last pairing right behind Rory McIlroy and Ryan Moore, Kevin had some idea of what was happening ahead.

Let’s back up. Ryan was slowly catching Kevin all day long. DJ played poorly and was out of contention. Rory was a few shots back and was not a threat, yet. Well, Rory holed out for an eagle on #16 to seriously get back in it. He parred #17 and birdied #18 to finish -12. His playing partner Ryan finished 4, 3, 5 to also be -12. So Kevin went 3, 5, 5 to make it a 3-way tie at 12-under. Let the playoff begin.

Who could have won outright? The rough was notoriously tough and Chappell’s poor drive on #17 cost him a bogey. A par would have meant a win. An expensive shot. Ryan had maybe an 8-footer for a birdie on his 72nd hole that would have put him at 13-under par and an outright winner. He missed it and I think that was the only putt under 10-feet he missed all day! Wow!

Playoff holes were 18, 18, 15, 16, 17 and 18, sudden death! Rory hit a 360-yard drive on the 1st playoff hole leaving only 213 yards to the pin. He promptly hit his 2nd shot to 6 & 1/2 feet and it seemed like it was over. Kevin hit a poor approach and missed his birdie putt and he knew he was done. Ryan had almost the exact same putt he had missed just moments earlier and he stroked it right into the middle of the cup for a birdie, forcing Rory to make his eagle putt to win.

The announcers mentioned that Rory really wasn’t taking any time with the putt and he was just stepping up and hitting it. Perhaps he should have taken more time because he missed it. So he and Ryan played 18 again, then 15 and then the par 4 16th. After an awkward chip, Ryan made a 20-footer for a par. Rory had 14 & ½ feet for his birdie and he made it! Had Kevin or Ryan won the tournament, DJ would have won the FedEx Cup. Rory, by winning the last event of the year also won the FEC, congratulations, Rory! (photo pga.com)

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It was amazing to watch. I mean Kevin Chappell went 66, 68, 68, 66 and finished 3rd. That’s great golf on a tough course! Ryan Moore kept making shots and would not make a bogey. And he made a ton of putts. Fabulous grit and determination! And Rory, who at some point must have known that he would have to win it because Ryan was not going to hand the victory to him, hit 1 more great shot than Ryan to claim his win on the 4th playoff hole!

What does this mean to your junior golfer? Every shot counts. Never give up. Give your best effort on every shot every time. Take a breath. Enjoy the thrill of the moment because these moments are rare.

See you on #1 tee ready to give your best effort on every shot… Sam

Tour Championship Begins

And they’re off! The best 30 players on the PGA Tour have day 1 of The Tour Championship under their belt. And there were some surprises. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Hideki Matsuyama shot a 66 to tie for the lead with Kevin Chappell and pre-event favorite Dustin Johnson. The low 11 scores feature plenty of high-powered players including Jason Day 1 shot back, then Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy 2 shots back and finally Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar 3 shots back.

Notables who were in the back of the 30-man field were Bubba Watson at 2-over par, Patrick Reed at 3-over par and Phil Mickelson and Jimmy Walker, 4-over par. There are still 54 holes of golf to play, no 36-hole cut. The time to start shooting better scores would be now.

1 of the strategic truths of golf tournaments is that you can’t win an event during the 1st round but you can lose it. This means that if you shoot a terribly high score, putting too many strokes between you and the leaders, you have given yourself a slim to no chance to catch up and possibly take the lead.

This is an interesting field. Maybe ⅓ have won Majors/been on Ryder Cup teams/have won multiple events, about ⅓ have won maybe 1 event/no Majors or Ryder Cup but have been relatively successful and perhaps ⅓ who are young and very talented trying to elevate their success and status.

While statistically almost anyone in the field could win, the history is different. Look at the previous winners. Big names! Dominant players either historically or for the year they won. Billy Horschel is perhaps the only up-and-coming player to win and he put together a smoking hot final month of play culminating with winning The Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. He just wasn’t going to be stopped!

 

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If we can skip ahead to Sunday and look at the leaderboard before the final round begins, keep in mind what the great Jack Nicklaus said about competition during final rounds of big events. To paraphrase Jack, “I’d look at the leaderboard to see who had a chance to win. The guys who had never won a Major or big event I didn’t pay much attention to them because the pressure was too great. It was the guys who had won Majors or multiple Majors that I had to keep an eye on. They’d already done it. They’d been there.” (photo bmw-golfsport.com)

Encourage your junior golfer to stay calm and keep big numbers off the scorecard during Round 1. A bogey here and there is just fine, but the doubles, triples and quads are round killers, if not even tournament killers. There’s a time for high risk shots but remember that there are only a few pros who go for everything all the time. Safe shots are a good thing!

Set the TiVo. This should be good!

See you on #1 tee looking for the safe zone… Sam

Junior Golf: Final Exam

In this Wednesday Waggle we look at the end of the semester, actually a year-long semester for The PGA Tour. The Finals are here for the FedEx Cup and play starts tomorrow. (photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Only the top 30 players based on FedEx Cup points have qualified to play in the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The purse is $8,500,000 with $1,530,000 and 2,000 FedEx Cup points going to the winner. It is possible to win the 4-day tournament and also end up with enough points to be FedEx Cup Champion, meaning the best player over the year-long PGA Tour schedule. That’s a paycheck of $11,530,000.

Usually, the Top 5 players, on a points basis, if 1 of them wins the 72-hole event has an excellent chance of winning both events, because of the 2,000 points earned by the Coca Cola Championship winner. It can be a bit confusing but the tv announcers will keep us endlessly up-to-date with scores and rankings so we won’t have to track it on our own.

Golf is the ultimate performance-based sport since scores are objective and the only subjective possibility might be a rule interpretation which may happen once per round, if that. So the score’s the score. You shoot low, you advance, if you shoot high, you’re out. Very simple.

These pros have had to meet specific points goals for 3 weeks in a row and make the Top 30 in order to get a week off before tomorrow’s 4-day final exam. It’s not like there’s a lack of pressure on the PGA Tour, but not all pros enjoy playing 3 weeks in a row, so this took some of them out of their comfort zone, but it was time to perform or go home.

The Top 5 are Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Jason Day and Paul Casey. And right behind them are Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. There are plenty of other big names in the Top 30 and the point is there should be some some great golf from these guys. Every now and then someone runs away with it but hopefully we’ll have some amazing golf and mesmerizing drama! There is not a cut and tv time will be fewer hours than normal because there is less than half of a regular weekend field.

To make the Playoffs a golfer must be in the Top 125 to enter The Barclay’s. The Top 100 then advance the next week to the Deutsche Bank event. And the Top 70 advance to The BMW Championship where the Top 30 are reseeded and move to the Tour Championship in Atlanta 2 weeks later, which is where we are now. (golf week.com)

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Your son has his own junior golf version of this and it’s called PBE or performance-based entry. It means that his ability to be qualified to enter certain events is based on his prior performance. Shoot low scores and he can enter, shoot high scores and he will need to be working on his game.

Much of life is performance-based. Our family is used to it and we encourage all our kids to give their best effort at everything. School, sports, music, and now since they are grown we include work, always give 110%, period. Giving one’s best effort is a very desirable trait and 1 that is certainly noticed and respected.

See you on #1 tee ready to give maximum effort… Sam

Junior Golf: Giving Back

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at 2 words commonly used by successful athletes and business men and women. They are an expression of gratitude and show a desire to help communities, charities and even individuals, usually in geographical areas where they have some affiliation, perhaps where they grew up or where they do business. (photo jennleforge.com)image

I’m referring to the phrase giving back and the golf community is a leader in actions and dollar volume donated to organizations across the US. The name sponsors of tour events are interviewed on the air and they always talk about how much they love sponsoring the tournament. It’s great exposure and name recognition and then they will mention the dollars that have been raised for local charities during the current year and over their time of involvement. Mom and Dad, it’s tens of millions of dollars!

PGA Tour golf is big business and everybody wins. The players are paid lavishly. The sponsors benefit greatly. And the local foundations and charities receive huge amounts of money! Win, win, win!

Our own Valero Texas Open has raised $101 million dollars since 2002, becoming only the 4th PGA Tour event to break the 100 million dollar mark. So it’s no wonder local charities are excited when VTO time comes around!

What does this mean to your junior golfer? He/she can be proud to be part of a sport that really gives back to the communities. Technically giving back sounds like returning part of what was earned. It can be in your junior golfer’s case, just giving, since really they aren’t earning a living playing golf yet.

Ways to give: make/distribute food to those less fortunate, volunteer the whole family to serve food at charitable events over the holidays, spend time at senior’s facilities reading or playing games, volunteer at golf or civic functions, get a group to pick up trash at a city park, there’s a ton of options depending on your junior’s age and abilities. (photo arnoldpalmercharities.com)

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Parents, if you have been involved in giving then you know of what I speak. Kids love giving! And parents will too! We have had 2 aha occurrences along these lines in our family. The 1st was when S3 was about 10 years old and we went on a Thursday night to make sack lunches for the people under the bridge. This referred to an area of downtown under some overpasses where homeless folks hung out.

Linda, S3 and I were part of about 20 folks assembling these bags. Food items were 2 pieces of bread with a slice of baloney in-between, a bag of chips and a can of generic soda all in a brown lunch sack. When it was mentioned that this might be all a homeless person may have to eat for a couple of days, S3 was sad that we couldn’t do more. He did accept that doing something was better than doing nothing.

The other time(s) were at Feed My Starving Children where over the last 6 years our church and affiliates and have made millions of nutritious meals delivered to kids in 70 countries. Our family loves doing this! It feels like you have actually done something very worthwhile! This year over 3 days we made 544,320 meals, enough to feed 1492 children for 1 year, amazing!

Sometimes it seems like getting is emphasized over giving. I’d like to encourage you to turn that around and emphasize giving over getting. It’s very possible you might notice a subtle change in your junior golfer’s mindset. Kids love to give, but guess what Parents, it all starts with you.

See you on #1 tee with a giving attitude… Sam

Junior Golf:Uniquely American

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we are going to look a the huge sporting events that are place around the world. Depending on the country the sport could be soccer, volleyball, cricket, rugby, ice hockey, water polo or perhaps auto racing. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Today, however, I’m focusing on America and guess which sport I’m talking about? College football and I’m really referring to the 30 to 40 mega-programs with gigantic stadiums. Certainly there are other schools and the military academies which have great stadium environments, but please allow me to go mega today for reasons I’ll mention.

As a University of Texas grad, there’s nothing for me like being at a home game in DKR Stadium with 102,000 of my Longhorn buddies and getting there early to watch the Longhorn Marching Band entrance. 400 strong the excitement builds as the drum line enters 1st to set a cadence for the others. Then Texas Fight (UT fight song) is played and the crowd erupts and the tone is set for the next several hours. The earth shakes from the band and the crowd, there is truly nothing else like it!

From USC to Wisconsin to Ohio State to Carolina to Alabama to Florida, all over America there are great marching bands getting their fans ready for a big-time football game. Amazing! (photo wikipedia.org)image

A few years ago our good friends Mike and Sherry invited S3 and me to join them at a UT home game vs Baylor. This was S3’s 1st time at an event of this magnitude and Mike and Sherry always wanted to be in their seats for the band entrance which is usually 30-45 minutes before kickoff, after the teams finish warming up. Well, I can tell you it took my son about 10-seconds to get into it as soon as the drum line entered the stadium. It was so cool watching him enjoy this and seeing him sing along to Texas Fight. He was pumped up the whole game as we watched UT beat the Bears.

A friend’s daughter wanted to be a part of the UT Marching Band. She had to pass 4 auditions before she was accepted and she made the traveling squad. Her timing was perfect as she played in the Pasadena New Year’s Day Parade and at the 2006 Rose Bowl when Texas won the National Championship. Let’s give these band kids credit since they rehearse a ton of hours and are really great at what they do. And the bands provide a level of enthusiasm, enjoyment and intensity that nothing ease can.

Now, please gather your kiddos and take 5 minutes and watch this video. Even if you are not a Longhorn fan it may give you an adequate representation of the feelings I’m trying to convey in today’s post.

Why is this important to junior golfers? It exposes them to new feelings, new levels of excitement and perhaps an appreciation of what it means to live in the USA. Hopefully it will inspire some dreams, new dreams, bigger dreams! Excitement is the most easily transferred emotion so let’s get our kiddos excited! Let’s go play!

See you on #1 tee with big dreams… Sam

Junior Golf: BMW Unbeatable

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a look at the best performance during the next to last event in the FedEx Cup playoffs, the unbeatable play of the BMW Championship winner. (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135-1

We’re talking about DJ, Dustin Johnson, of course. His 23-under par victory yesterday was an all-time record for lowest score in a playoff event. Paul Casey finished 2nd at 20-under which would usually win most tournaments on the PGA Tour.

There are times when your daughter will get beaten and there are times when she will be unbeatable. Sunday’s final round was pretty much a 2-man race as to who would win and included considerable drama about who would make the last cut of 30 to move on to the finals in 2 weeks in Atlanta.

Paul was hanging around within several shots of DJ and then he,Casey, eagled #15. Guess what, DJ put an eagle putt in on top of Paul’s putt on #15 and that meant that unless DJ had a major blowup during the last 3 holes, Casey would not be able to catch him.

Outdriving the field by 30 yards meant Dustin was hitting wedges into holes that other players would hit 7 or 8-iron into, several clubs longer. Big advantage to Johnson and big payoff for all the work he has recently put in with his wedges. He kept hitting big drives, close wedges and was #1 in putting for the event. This is called unbeatable!

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How does this help your daughter? Please help her understand that there will be times when she plays well, perhaps very well and still gets beat by someone playing at an amazing level. It happens, but she will have her days where everything goes right and she is the unbeatable player. (DJ photo golfchannel.com)

There’s a reason legendary golf instructor Harvey Penick said the 3 most important clubs are the driver, wedge and putter. Ask your girl which 1 of those she would like to work on and set up a practice routine. Find some drills at Golf Channel Academy or get her some lessons. It will pay off and it’s fun!

See you on #1 tee looking unbeatable… Sam

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