Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

Junior Golf: Is There An Afterlife?

 

Now before any of you start thinking I’m getting all ethereal and deep-thinking on you, I’m just having some fun with ya!

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

Yeah, probably I should have said is there a life after, as in after junior golf and college golf?

Advance planning, as in plan ahead is the key. It is never too early to ask your golfer where he/she wants to be after 4 years of college eligibility have expired. The options are endless: play professional golf, work in the golf industry, take a break from golf, get an interim job to make some money, pursue another career path or move to Timbuktu and just veg out for a while? There are options and the earlier you bring them up, the better.

Our eyes were opened wide over the years as we heard so many talented college golfers talk about their post-graduation plans. Our brother and sister golfers from Spain, are pursuing their engineering careers and the brother is showing an incredible talent in robotics!. Another teammate is in the golf industry near Houston working on golf videos, coaching and training, although he’s always loved politics and something in me thinks he might dip his toe in that water at some point. AJ is back in the down-under getting a law degree and making custom golf clubs. And we have a couple of friends trying to get on the web.com Tour.

Our personal frame of reference is of course, unique to us, but not really unusual. Graduating from college in 4 years with a degree is a big deal in our family and we wanted to celebrate. Sammie asked Linda and me to join him on his graduation trip so we went to Florida and played a bunch of golf and had a great time. Upon returning to San Antonio, S3 was ready to take a break from 16 years of non-stop golf. In our talks about his future I mentioned that it took me a couple of years after college to find my niche in the business world and that while he needed to get a job to support himself, I suggested he take a breath and keep his eyes and ears open. And he has ended up with a great opportunity in management training with Chick fil A.

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So we recently entered an 8-week 2-man best ball tournament at the newly renovated San Pedro Golf Academy playing the excellent and challenging par-3 course. After our 1st match, S3 said to me, “Dad, playing competitive golf again really gets me going. It makes me realize how much I miss it!” What does this mean? I have no clue, but it’s sure fun to hear!

Dad and Mom, there is certainly a life after all those years on the golf course. There’s nothing wrong with your son/daughter not wanting to be the next Jordan Spieth or Lexi Thompson. They can surely enjoy playing golf with the Peeps and maybe enter a tournament now and then.

See you on #1 tee knowing what you want to do… Sam

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Junior Golf: A Transformational Quote From The Presidents Cup

 

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at a new attitude showing up on the PGA Tour. And we’ll refer to a revealing and transformational quote from The Presidents Cup.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

The point I’m going to here is that there’s a different mentality surfacing among this talented group of young American pros. It’s a dramatic change from the attitude of days of old and really the days of fairly recent.

An influential older generation pro and perhaps it was a golf announcer said after watching all the comraderie and genuine friendships in the mostly under-30 American group (paraphrased), “I don’t know if they’re tough enough to win majors and be dominant champions.” I feel he was uncertain or maybe uncomfortable with all the time the young guns were spending together and and felt they were not focused enough on wanting to win.

Linda’s and my attitude at S3’s tournaments was that we wanted everyone to bring his best game and let’s see what the scores are at the end of the day. If our son is going to beat you, he must play better than you no matter how good you’re playing. As relentless encouragers, we applauded every good shot in the group we were following, not just S3’s shots.

As a result of our behavior we had an amazing encounter after a round at The Tribute at The Colony, just north of Dallas, a very fun golf course, by the way. One of S3’s 3-some came up to us after the round and said, “We love being here! Everyone is so nice and the hospitality is fabulous. And I wanted to tell you how much it meant to me that you acknowledged good shots from all of us, in addition to Sam. Where I’m from, (West coast), the parents and gallery boo our (the competition’s) good shots. So this environment is new to us and we love it!”

This brings me to what I believe is the most important and insightful quote of the whole 2017 Presidents Cup. It also shows the humility and strength of Phil as he was able and comfortable to be transparent and revealing about himself. In a post-Cup interview the announcer asked him what it is that makes the chemistry of this US team so special? Phil’s words (paraphrased by me), “Everybody gets along. The team room is a blast. We’re all kidding each other and having fun. And there’s a unique dynamic with these guys, something that’s taken me decades to learn and that’s how to be really happy for someone else when they have success.”

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Photocredit:NBC

Wow, ladies and gentlemen, let that sink in. In the cutthroat world of professional sports here’s one of golf’s most successful and popular players, ever, saying that he is now at a place where he can congratulate someone on a good round or a win and be actually be excited for them.

Mom and Dad, this is transparency that transforms and it’s right out of our parenting manual. It has transformed Phil. It will transform some of his fans, including junior golfers.

Please understand that a strong desire to win doesn’t mean that your child should not be disappointed when they lose. It means that it’s ok and healthy to be glad for someone else’s success! It gives your son/daughter something to strive for!

See you on #1 tee ready for you to congratulate me, and mean it, when I beat you… Sam

Junior Golf: Check Out Great Local Opportunities For Your Girl

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our focus on girls’ golf which is certainly getting a tremendous amount of positive attention during the Women’s U.S. Open week.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

 

Girl’s golf is booming! If you are not the parent of a junior golfer, you may not be aware that the fastest growing segment in golf in the United States is girls under the age of 18. A quick look at leaderboards or at the attendees during golf camps should provide a quick glimpse into what’s going on.

A lot of the credit goes to the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf program. With more than 400 chapters nationwide, there is likely a group convenient to you and your girl. It’s easy to search for Local Girls Golf and see what comes up. This is a multi-faceted regimen that keeps girls interested, having fun and making new friends. Fun is a big factor and the youngsters are staying on board while enjoying improving their golf skills.

Some good examples are all the younger players on the LPGA and Symetra Tours. Many of these ladies are former participants in this excellent girl’s golf program.

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Photocredit:Chris Keane/USGA

This boom in girl’s golf is exciting and is having an extremely positive effect on women’s athletics all over the country. Please take a minute and read the linked article. I think it may certainly be helpful for your girl’s junior golf career and rev up her level of interest! For some details and very interesting reading go here.

More golf today includes the Scottish Open coverage on The Golf Channel. The weather is brutal. Chilly, windy and rainy, the weather fans love and players hate. Oh, unless you grew up in it like the guys from the British Isles! But Rickie Fowler is leading right now. This makes for great tv! Look closely and see if you can discern any players exhibiting Tom Watson’s bad weather behavior. It has been said that the 5-time British Open-now The Open Championship winner always looked liked it was 75-degrees and sunny, no matter what the actual conditions were. He was enjoying playing golf! That’s surely one mark of a great champion!

See you on #1 tee with 75-degrees and sunny weather, I hope… Sam

Junior Golf: Tribute To A Persevering Parent

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take a look at a great example of what a persevering parent should be.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

It was about 10 or 12 years ago that S3, Linda and I had the pleasure of meeting Chris and his dad, Randy. Throughout junior golf and college golf as well, S3 and Chris competed against each other and they were pretty evenly matched so their shots provided lots of great excitement.

As we got to know each other’s families better, Randy mentioned that he, Randy, had some serious health issues. He was battling cancer, had his colon removed, was on dialysis and was on a transplant list. Wow, put on that hat and try wearing it for a while!

During all the tournaments where we saw Chris, Randy was also there. He was the most consistent parent attending his child’s golf events we have ever seen. My guess is that from age 5 to 21 years old, Linda and I missed maybe 5 of S3’s events. Randy was just like us. He wanted to see his son play golf and he made extraordinary efforts to attend.

So Randy and his wife and some additional family members were a great support team for Chris. Randy and usually Chris’ Mom and some additional relatives were present to watch Chris play. They definitely were the family we saw more than any others, out there on the golf course cheering on their junior golfer!

Randy passed away earlier this week and we are sad that our good friend is gone. The legacy he leaves as an exceptional persevering parent who relentlessly supported his child is even more impressive when you consider that Randy always walked. I never saw him ride in a golf cart to follow his son. 100 degrees didn’t matter. Windy and wet didn’t matter. Randy was walking following his son, colostomy bag and all. That’s wanting to be there, hanging in there, being tough, whatever you want to call it. How many of us are setting an example like this?

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One of the best days we all had together was a couple of years ago during the San Antonio Men’s City Championship. Chris was in the group right behind S3 so Randy and I had plenty of chances to interact during the round. So everything’s backed up at a driveable par 4 and Randy comes up to me and asks: “How’s Sammie doing?” I replied “2-under, how about Chris?” “He’s 5-under,” Randy replied and we both smiled so big!

Chris finished at 5-under par. Randy walked up to S3 and asked,”How’d you end up Sammie?” S3 looking a bit disappointed because he did not finish as well as he would have liked, said, ”Even par.” Randy stuck out his hand and with a huge enthusiastic smile said, “That’s a damn fine round round, Sammie, congratulations!” That’s the kind of guy Randy was. His son had just smoked the course with a 5-under par round and he, Randy wanted to make sure that my son understood that even par on this course was also an excellent performance. It was one of those special moments!

Parents, we all can be more like Randy. It’s requires persistence, perseverance and yes, unconditional love.

See you on #1 tee ready to leave a wonderful legacy… Sam

Junior Golf: Happy Birthday America!

In this Monday Mulligan, let’s keep it simple. Tomorrow is July 4th. Take some time to relax with family and friends.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

In our family we make an effort to spend some time, perhaps just a few minutes to explain the purpose of the individual holidays and the accompanying celebrations. Giving some depth and meaning to these important events gives your junior golfer some substance to grasp the significance of what’s going on.

If you are inclined to do this, it’s helpful to take a couple of minutes to think about what you are going to say and right before you serve the hot dogs and hamburgers is a great time, because you really have everybody’s full attention!

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Photocredit:Health Magazine

While our words change a little bit from year to year, we always encourage our kids to have sincere gratitude and appreciation for being able to live in a country where they can pursue their dreams, including the dream of playing junior golf, perhaps college golf and maybe even professional golf. We live in a special place and it deserves our respect and thankfulness.

Happy Birthday America! ‘Enjoy your 4th!

 

See you on #1 tee thankful to be there… Sam

Junior Golf: How To Give Good Advice-Like A Good Caddy

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a quick look at what happens when the proper kind of advice and support is furnished at the right time during competition.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

As parents, we have unending opportunities to offer input to our kids. How effective is that information, that is the real question here? It’s important to understand both your and your junior golfer’s personalities so that your words are offered in the manner which will be most effective for your kiddo’s personality type.

Our young athletes have plenty of pressure and Mom and Dad we are in a position to help them effectively deal with that stress. Whether it’s a tough homework assignment, an upcoming test, a golf tournament or just a part of dealing with everyday life and relationships, our children don’t have the answers. They need our help, proper help.

Today’s example deals with the relationship between professional golfers and their caddies. While we tend to think of our golf pros as stand-alone individuals, they really do have a teammate, in their caddy. This is the only person available to give advice and input during competition. The old school take on caddies was something like, “show up, shut up, keep up.” This attitude is not the most effective. Sometimes you will see the winners of tournaments give praise to their caddies for offering timely and effective input during a round.

The most recent example is Jordan Spieth praising his caddy, Michael Greller. Jordan is known to be an approachable, respectful and polite young man who values all his team members. So it was no surprise when, during his brief post-game interview with Peter Kostis after winning the Travelers event with a holeout from a greenside bunker to defeat Daniel Berger on the 1st playoff hole, Jordan offered great praise about how Michael had helped him, “step back, get my breathing under control and reset during a very tough day on the golf course (paraphrased).”

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Photocredit:golf digest

Talk about proper and effective input at the right time! The result was winning the tournament. Dad and Mom that’s the kind of results we want when we caddy for our kids. Wow, big-time!

All of us, parents and kiddos, need to get better at this. And you know what folks, the better we adults get at doing these 3 things, the better we’ll be at helping our kids.

See you on #1 tee under control… Sam

Junior Golf: Choose These Foods For Better Attitudes

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at some food choices, snack choices, that can contribute to better health and attitudes for everyone in your house.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

When we think of snacks, it’s easy to immediately gravitate to candies, sweets, chips and sodas. And there are times during a competitive round of golf that the brain needs glucose. There is a regimen of snack items that may not be the first group that comes to mind, but that provide considerably more benefits to your junior golfer than just simple sugars and carbs. Eating too much sugar and carbs is harmful to everyone’s health and does not benefit your young athlete’s performance!

Here’s a sample list of healthier snack items for both the home and the golf course. Granted, the 1st time your son/daughter finds these in the place of some previous items, you may get a look or comment like, “Really, Dad?”

Delicious and healthy:
Hard-boiled eggs. These are packed with nutrition, are quick and easy to eat and will hold up in a baggie during a tournament.
Cut up fruit like watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple. Keep this in the refrigerator. Not the best choice for competition because it can be messy.
Whole fruit. An apple, banana, pear, strawberries, blueberries, orange, figs or dates hold up quite well during events. Keep some at home, sitting out, easy to see and grab.
Cut up veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes.
Beef jerky without msg-monosodium glutamate. Read the label, this can be tough to find. Costco usually has some in stock.
Nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts and even peanuts offer decent fat and protein. Raw is best but your kiddo may prefer roasted and salted, that’s OK. It’s still more beneficial than a lot of things he/she could be eating.

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Photocredit:Today’s Golf

While your child’s initial reaction may be that you are ruining his/her life by offering some new and different snacks, the fact is that your goal is to help them navigate towards a healthier diet. Everyone loves an occasional candy bar or bowl of ice cream, but athlete’s bodies have increased nutritional requirements. Athletes who compete at the highest levels pay strict attention to what and how much they eat. The competition requires it!

Parents, the goal here is to introduce your youngster to paying attention to what goes in their mouth and how does it affect their golf game. A healthier mind and body for your junior golfer means an enhanced ability to perform at a high level, a lower risk of injury and quicker healing from injuries. Set a good example. Pick up one of the new snack items, state that it actually tastes pretty good and offer one to your child. You know what? He/she will actually enjoy a couple of the new items.

Dad and Mom, you could always make a statement to your junior golfer like, “Come on, let’s get healthier together!”

See you on #1 tee looking healthy… Sam

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