Posts Tagged ‘Sam Goldfarb’

Junior Golf: Parents-Appreciate And Understand

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at a picture we see a lot of, but sometimes take for granted. Those folks who are not around elite junior golfers don’t fully grasp their skill level. (photo

S3, Linda and I pulled up to The Conservatory for our final round on the wonderful Hammock Beach Resort courses. As we were heading to the driving range, the starter came up and said that he had a single, a club member, that would like to join us, would we mind? It would be our pleasure, we all replied and Pascual introduced himself. All of us hit it off immediately and we headed to #1 tee.

Pascual mentioned he had heard someone in our group was playing from the tips and he really wanted to be a part of our 4-some. When S3 cranked his 1st drive right down the middle, Pascual said something to the effect of, “Man I’m going to enjoy this!”

As we got to know each other better, P had a stroke a few years ago and his Doctor said he would likely be wheelchair-bound and his golfing days were over. Well, sheer persistence and determination pulled him through to where he walks with no limp and still hits the golf ball in play and has skills around the green. It seems the prestroke Pascual was quite a good golfer. His left side is a bit weaker than his right so he hits a fade, but really is amazing to watch. He is a very positive man! What an inspiration!

Back to our round. I can’t tell you how many times P was in awe of S3’s distance and accuracy. It was a great blessing for us to spend a few hours with this delightful man. As our time together was ending, P emphasized several things: 1st how much he enjoyed our family’s interaction and that we should appreciate that we have it, 2nd how thrilling it was to see S3 hit so many professional quality golf shots and 3rd that he wanted to make sure he got S3’s name correct so he could follow him on the PGA Tour. What a great experience! (photo

Parents, we all get used to seeing our youngsters hit amazing golf shots because we are around them so much. The distance and accuracy at the elite junior golf level for boys and girls is surprising to those who do not see it on a daily basis. Please do not take your kiddo’s skills for granted. You, above everyone else, knows the time and effort required to achieve and maintain this high skill level. Take a breath, relax and actually see/focus on each shot and enjoy it and appreciate it. Remember that if your junior golfer regularly breaks 80, he/she is already playing better than 99% of golfers worldwide!

See you on #1 tee ready to appreciate what you have… Sam

Junior Golf: Recognition For Achievement

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at how Dad and Mom should respond when your daughter has a good result from some of her efforts. Depending on her personality type the perfect parental response can vary, but all 4 personalities can be addressed in a similar manner. (photo

Please remember that Linda and I are not sports psychologists, we are parents relating our experiences with our son. Linda is certified as an Advanced Personalities Trainer and is a Board Certified Christian Life Coach. Basically our kids do not want to disappoint us so conversely when they accomplish a good goal, say a high placement in a tournament, we should dutifully give them positive recognition. If your daughter is of the peaceful personality she would prefer to be told in front of close family only, not really in front of a bunch of people. Now the popular girl would like these words announced to the world, she wants everybody to know she did well. A directive child may already have told you how well she performed, but you still need to tell her yourself. And the perfect personality, who may be wondering if you are capable of understanding what a great job she did, still needs to hear from you, but just a few words, as below. More specifics on the personalities in future posts.

Being recognized by someone meaningful, as in a parent, just really makes your child feel good. A great phrase would be: “Great job Ashley, all your hard work really paid off!” There are a lot of meaningful words in this short sentence. Think about it, your kiddo wants to know that you know they did a good job and you approve, that’s it.

imageSo our most recent and biggest achievement by S3 is of course, his timely 4-year college graduation May 20, 2016. This was the major goal of all those wonderful years of junior golf and he did it! So after he walked the stage, we said all these words and more, it was an amazing moment! For an effort of this magnitude, Linda and I wanted to offer a nice trip as a recognition and reward. We asked if he preferred going with a friend or being with the 2 of us. When he said, “Mom and Dad I want to spend some time with you.” Our hearts melted. We’ll have a look at this trip of trips in the next post.

See you on #1 tee looking to accomplish something… Sam

Junior Golf: Yes This Happens

In this Friday Flop Shot we want to bring up some things that do happen during golf tournaments and we encourage you to work with your son so he recognizes what he is going on and has some idea of what to do.image

Yes, we are talking about rules violations. It is amazing how quickly some young golfers grasp a few of the rules of the game. And understand that there are also rules that the pros have trouble with and a rules official may need to occasionally ask another rules guy or committee to help with a ruling. There are rules that are easier to grasp than others. (photo

For instance, putting a unique identifying mark on your golf ball. There are times during a golf tournament that your son may need to prove that a certain golf ball is his and it is not possible to do so unless he has marked his ball and shown his marked ball to his group members. Please recall the time when S3 and I saw Charley Hoffman and Billy Horschel showing each other their uniquely marked balls prior to teeing off in the Valero Texas Open. If the pros do it, every junior golfer needs to do it, period, for every event, no excuses.

Case in point. And this happened in a college event. A guy in my son’s group rope hooks his tee shot into the trees in the left rough. He declares that he is hitting a provisional and promptly hits it within a few yards of his 1st ball. Parents were allowed to help look for balls so Linda and I went looking for his balls. The young man offered that he was hitting Pro V’s (Titleist Pro V1) with a red number 1. Linda and I each found a ball matching the description, 2 balls exactly alike. I asked if there was an identifying mark on the ball and he said no. And then there’s the question of how did he know which was the 1st shot and which was the second, since both balls were identical and there was absolutely no way to decide which was the correct ball to hit. I believe that if the 1st ball is found, it must be played and the provisional ball is picked up. But, 2 BIG questions, is either of these balls his, because he has no way to prove it other than saying that it went past a certain landmark. And which is the 1st or 2nd ball? What a mess. (photo of Jordan Spieth’s golf ball courtesy of

Well, Linda and I could not comment and did not do so. S3 and the other guy in the group allowed the player to decide which ball was the 1st shot and allowed him to play it and still did not ask him to put his mark on it. Some things you see on the course are not readily explained. I am not a rules expert, but it seems the guy should have at least been penalized for not being able to identify his ball or should have gone back to the tee then hitting his 5th shot with a marked ball. Or is it a dq at some point? Does this fall under the playing the incorrect ball rule? And that rule is a 2-stroke penalty and the player returns to where he 1st played the wrong ball and plays the correct ball. Many times once the players understands he hit the wrong ball he looks a little more and finds his own ball. If your son were to tee off on the next hole without correcting his error he would be dq’d on the spot. See how quickly things can get confusing?

After the round, I asked S3 about this and I could see he knew that his response should have been different. However, being a young man who is not fond of confrontation, I understand why he went easy on the guy. This was a good lesson for our son and since then he has been much more on top of the rules.

See you on #1 tee, show me the mark on your ball… Sam

Junior Golf: Your New Best Friend


In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at increasing your junior golfer’s number of friends. This person is 1 who your daughter may not know very much about, however, in this post I will give a proper introduction. (Dufner photo

I’m talking about rules officials. Virtually all tournaments in the US are governed by the USGA’s Rules of Golf and the book is frequently updated. International tournaments may have a different ruling body, but probably 90%+ of golf rules worldwide are the same. Until your girl gets out of college, she pretty much only needs to concern herself with the USGA rules. Any local exceptions, which usually are ground under repair, or hazards vs out-of-bounds situation, or just unique local/course rules are announced before the start of the 1st round and may be handed to the players in printed material as well.

Your daughter must pay attention to these instructions and she must read and understand any material given out prior to teeing off. Over the last 17 years folks, I assure you that I have seen more kids ignore these rules than pay attention to them. Some just take the printed material and stuff it into their bag without even looking at it. That’s a mistake. S3 and I were told, a long time ago by a rules official, “You’ll win more golf tournaments if you know the rules.” It sounds so simple.

It took getting to college in our part of the world before it seemed that most of the players I was watching actually knew the rules and were interested in seeing them properly applied. S3 and his playing buddies are all pretty familiar with the several rulings you always see in tournaments, the most common of which is relief, as in your daughter taking relief from her ball being on the cart path or some other applicable obstruction. Then there is the old question is this casual water?, and everybody in the group takes a look. And of course is this hazard, native area or rough?

The best advice I have is to encourage your girl to never guess at a rule. The rules officials are on hand to help, not hurt the players. Ask someone to get a rules official, please. Yes, some have more personality than others and some are not much fun, but they should at least want the rules to be properly applied. These men and women are subject to the same integrity requirements as the entrants.

Also in almost every tournament, unless it is specifically forbidden, it is acceptable to play 2 balls. Your daughter must advise her playing partners she is doing so before playing the 2nd ball. This is a great question to ask at the players gathering before the start of the event.

With all due respect to every rules person S3 and I have ever been around, I must say that the rules officials at the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship in Port St Lucie, Florida, are especially amazing. Every 1 is a PGA professional and seems to really enjoy his duties. Of the 8 or 10 we’ve been around the past 4 years, every 1 at least gives you a head nod or returns a friendly wave of the hand. Duty comes 1st and they are always ready to quickly get to a hole where they are needed.

imageRight now I want to give a special shoutout to Brian Fahey, PGA professional, and 1 of the rules folks who was on S3’s course for every round this year and I think for the previous 3 years as well. Brian does rules at 3 tournaments this year, the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, the Junior Ryder Cup and the PGA Senior Championship, all while being Tournament Director at Pinehurst! Way to go Brian, great stuff! He always has a smile on his face and will give you a minute or 2 for a visit, but he is listening to his headset for what hole he is going to next. Here’s Brian and me at #6 green on the Ryder Course.

Brian and the whole rules crew are another reason the college players feel like they are treated like royalty when they play in this event at the PGA Village. They are part of the team that actually does treat the tournament like a PGA event. So parents remember, rules people can save your daughter strokes and perhaps keep her from making a misstep that could lead to a dreaded dq, something that should be avoided at all costs.

See you on #1 tee, ready to find a rules official when you need 1… Sam

New Year: New Attitude

In today’s Monday Mulligan we are going to look at the new year as an opportunity to have a new attitude, a fresh start, a clean slate. Put the past behind you and have your son do it also. (photo

It sounds so simple. A positive winning attitude is one of the most important mental aspects of playing solid competitive sports and the sooner your son addresses this issue the better off he will be. Please remember that I am not a sports psychologist. Linda and I are parents who are relating things we have personally experienced in our lives and in particular with S3’s junior golf and college golf careers.

Shaka Smart, the University of Texas Men’s Basketball Head Coach took an interesting approach to start the 2015-2016 season, he hired some former Navy SEALs to put his team and coaching staff through some of the same training that SEALs go through. The 3-day course, among other things helped players and coaches with team building, leadership and mental toughness. One of the great principles of the course is “It’s OK to be tired, but it’s not OK to quit.” What a great line! Your junior golfer will be tired after his last hole in a golf tournament. The mental and physical demands will have worn him out. And it is an age appropriate thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s 9, 18 or 36-holes, he will be tired. (photo

What does this have to do with attitude? From a purely parental point of view for your son to be a competitive junior golfer, he must first genuinely enjoy playing the game. Second, he must believe that he belongs on the course with his peers, including the really good ones and third, he must be in good enough physical shape to finish his round properly. With S3 this meant even par or better on the last 3 holes. This would be a decent indicator that his golf strength, aerobic conditioning and mental abilities were able to perform at the end of the day. If your son meets these 3 criteria his mental attitude is off to a good start.

See you on #1 tee and quitting is not an option… Sam

The Correct Fit for Your Junior Golfer Part 1

Here’s your Monday Mulligan. Today we will address item #4 from my previous post, Potholes, Bumps and Curves in Your Junior Golfer’s Path: improper or ill-fitting clubs, equipment or shoes. The correct fit of all these items for your junior golfer is critical.

golf fun




As a junior goimagelfer, your child’s main physical activities outside of conditioning exercises are swinging a golf club and walking. This is where they will spend the majority of their time and it is critical for their success and their good health that everything fits them properly.

Over time, you will see many examples of clubs that are too long or too short, a push/pull cart that the kiddo is not strong enough to use, improper footwear and ridiculous clothing. I will touch briefly on each of these areas to give you a sound starting point toward having your junior golfer properly outfitted.

Golf clubs that are the correct length for your kiddo are the single most important piece of equipment. Clubs that are too long or too short can help create bad habits and greatly hinder the chance to hit a good shot. Free club fittings are commonly offered at almost every place that promotes golf from driving ranges and golf courses to retail sporting goods stores and golf specialty stores like Edwin Watts. There will be a charge to shorten or lengthen the clubs. For beginners, US Kids has inexpensive starter sets. Your golf budget is unique to your family and you can certainly spend a ton of money on golf clubs. Our son, Sam III, did not get his first full set of clubs until he was 10 years old. He started with partial sets such as 5, 7, 9-iron, putter and 3-hybrid, and grew into a full set .over a few years time.

This club is the 8-iron from my first full set of golf clubs. Dad gave me his Spaulding Gene Littler Master Model synchro-dyned irons. The are blades, really all irons were blades in the 1950’s. Note the genuine leather tour-wrap grips. They are wonderful, but get slick in the rain.


So get in the car and make a run to your local golf store. Or get on the Internet and look at used golf clubs on EBay and new ones on Amazon. Plus you can always visit Golfsmith, Edwin Watts, Golf Galaxy and The Golf Warehouse.

Now, get your junior golfer and have some fun! See you on #1 tee… Sam

What’s Hurting Your Junior Golfer?

As an athlete, your junior golfer will be hurt by illness and injury. These are 2 more reasons he may not be eager to practice or play. You need to ask questions related to these issues.

Athletes can have a different mindset about injury and illness than non-athletes, so if you think there is a health issue, it is helpful to orient your questions toward activity specific to golf.

The goal is to get input from your kiddo so you can define what is going on and address it so he can resume his golf regimen safely and quickly. Our son Sam III, S3, was usually not forthcoming in telling us he was hurt or sick so we had to learn the correct questions to ask. If he had a headache or some sinus issues, S3 almost always said he was fine and could play. Frankly, his level of play wasn’t much affected by minor aches and pains.


Last year he injured his wrist warming up for the final round of the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The inflammation did not set in until after the round so he played all 18 holes pain-free. But once he got back to Texas and went out to hit balls, the pain was devastating. Swinging the club was not the issue, it was the impact of the club hitting the ball that hurt. S3 would take a swing and drop to his knees two seconds after the ball/club contact. We made an appointment with our AIRROSTI doctor , Nick Askey, DC, and discovered that S3 had some inflammation in a tendon in his wrist. Dr. Askey addressed this inflammation and S3 was 90% pain free after one treatment and was 99% healed in three treatments over 10 days. AIRROSTI Doctors are amazing with what they do! I encourage you to check out their link.

To most effectively discern if your child is injured you need to know how they manifest their athletic practices and events when they are healthy. Be observant. Inspect their hands and feet. Look for blisters, ingrown toenails, swelling and anything abnormal. Some kids just don’t want to tell you when they are not feeling completely healthy and well.

Illness and injury are part of being an athlete. Parents its up to you. You are in charge. Ask, inspect, act. Take your kiddo to a medical professional. Your junior golfer will enjoy himself more and play better when he is pain free and feeling good.

Now grab your young golfer and head to the golf course! 

See you on #1 tee… Sam

Take Advantage of Your Junior Golfer’s Unique Path!

What do you do if your junior golfer is not a Jordan Spieth or a Lexi Thompson?

Your athlete has his/her own unique path for their pursuit of the game. It is likely that your child is in the 80-85% of golfers whose persistence and diligence can pay off in the long run.

Statistics show that 80-85% of pro golfers follow the path of hard workers who have diligently focused on improving their game to be able to compete at the highest level. Those competitors who have exhibited amazing results throughout their careers comprise the remaining 15-20% we refer to as phenoms.

Generally speaking, a phenom is someone who consistently plays above or at a higher level than everyone else, their age, in their sport.

If your child is a hard worker be aware that more reps, more positive reinforcement, more instruction, just more basics are needed to keep your junior golfer on the path of constant advancement. Our college golfer Sam II! Is a hard worker. He has won some golf tournaments and a solid goal for him during his junior golf years was a Top 10 finish. S3, as we call him, has been on a path of steady improvement since he began playing golf at age 5. A half-step forward at a time has been his mantra and his constant lowering of his scores from one year to the next gives cause for great optimism.

Forward progress is what it’s all about. There will be some setbacks which are part of the deal. As 3-time Major Champion, Padriag Harrington said on Feherty, a golfer learns a lot more when he shoots a 78 than when he shoots a 63.(paraphrased)


Check out this putting video☺️

Next time we will address some potholes, curves, and bumps in the road associated with each young golfer’s individual path.

See you on #1 tee… Sam

How To Keep Momentum During Your Golf Match

Momentum is one of those intangibles that is hard to dissect. You either have it or you don’t. So when you have it, how can you keep momentum during your golf match? And when you lose it, how can you get it back?

The short answer is to relax and have fun…many times easier said than done. The pressure of competition is pervasive and you can pay thousands of dollars trying to help your junior golfer deal with it. Stress is an ongoing part of life and helping your junior golfer manage their “golf” stress will help them deal with stress in all areas of their lives.

Keeping Mo involves continuing to hit good or great shots, hopefully through the completion of the round or match. Encourage your kiddo to “feel it” when they are playing well and to expect the next shot to be a good shot. Your Junior Golfer should believe that they can hit one good shot after another. Stay positive, relax and have fun.

Getting Mo back once your young athlete has lost it is tough. Losing Mo can result in disappointment, loss of enthusiasm and energy and even temporary depression. And all of these are not conducive to hitting good golf shots. What mental state helps your kiddo regain some Mo? Relaxing, maybe just being tired of having a brief “pity party”, or just not caring too much or trying too hard….getting back to having fun! Hitting a good shot can immediately lift their spirits and help them hit a string of good shots. And believing that they can compete with (read beat) everybody in their division, so they need to get back to playing like it!

Mo is elusive, so recognizing when your Junior Golfer has it is important and they want to keep it going for as long as possible.

The awareness of knowing that all athletic contests, including golf tournaments have ebbs and flows of momentum is very important. It is critical that your Junior Golfer knows that it is very rare for anyone’s momentum to last for all 18 holes. Mo comes and goes throughout the round and the key is to keep it going for as long as possible and get it back as quickly as possible.

For a quick Mo demo, take your Junior Golfer and see how many consecutive 6-foot putts each of you can make. When you miss a putt, you lose momentum…point made.

Til next time… Sam Jr

Momentum Helps Your Junior Golfer Succeed

Mo, Mo, Mo…we hear about it all the time in other sports… Momentum… and it exists in golf, as well. Mo is more obvious when you are playing but it can also show up, or not, during practice.

Your Junior Golfer will either have momentum or they won’t have it, but their Mo can change very quickly. It is important for your kiddo to recognize that Mo really does exist and they can use it to their advantage.

How do you know if if you “have Mo” or you don’t? It is simple, if they are hitting good shot after good shot and are scoring well, they “have Mo”. If they are just playing barely OK or are struggling, they certainly do not “have Mo”.

Momentum can easily change several times during 18 holes. This was very visible at the recent WGC Cadillac Championship when Graham McDowell was hoping to catch Tiger Woods during the final round. G’Mac started with a couple of birdies to close the gap and then in the middle of his round, had a 3-putt or a bogey and it seemed to take the steam (read-Momentum) right out of his game.
By the time G’Mac regained some Mo, it was too late in the round and Tiger’s lead was too large. So if McDowell had not lost Mo or had gotten it back sooner, he would have had a chance to catch Tiger.

Golfers at all levels are affected by Momentum and Your Junior Golfer may feel the impact even more than the older golfers. Next time we’ll look at how to keep the Momentum going and how to get it back when it disappears.

Now, grab your young athlete and go to the driving range.

Til next time, Sam.

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