Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Junior Golf: Being Aware On The Golf Course

In this Monday Mulligan we will help parents understand how to help you junior golfer be more aware while he’s on the golf course. (image jennleforge.com)image

Depending on your son’s age, skill level and personality type he may be more or less situationally aware than other kids his age. While a golf course is not thought of as a dangerous place, there are things your boy needs to pay attention to while he is playing golf. Part of this is regular Mom and Dad teaching your child basic safety and awareness guidelines.

We ask our children to look where they are walking, don’t talk to strangers, avoid hazardous areas and have their eyes wide open. Golf courses offer some unique challenges. If your son’s ball is in the fairway or light rough the ground is more than likely relatively even and smooth and the sprinkler heads are easily visible. When the ball heads for the boonies there are other things that come into play.

Real-life example. S3 was 10 or 12 years old playing in a tournament on a city course here in San Antonio. He hit his ball about 10 feet into the left rough which had not been properly mowed and it was very deep in spots. While he was looking for his ball he stepped into a sprinkler head depression which was totally hidden by the high grass. Fortunately all he got was a stinger which impacted him for a couple of shots and then he was OK. Scary stuff though because this is exactly how many ankle and knee injuries happen with all golfers. There was no way to see that sprinkler head.

Another example is when S3 was 5 or 6 years old there were times he was more interested in the butterflies and turtles than playing golf. That’s part of it with the very young ones. There were plenty of kids interested in the wildlife. And here in central Texas we have courses with herds of deer almost on every hole, and turkeys, and javelinas and feral hogs. Avoid the wildlife, leave it alone. Even a docile whitetail doe has a kick that can seriously injure an adult, much less a youngster. And the pig family can become aggressive quickly. Really, the deer are pretty much used to the humans and most of the other animals want to run from you, most of the time.

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A final thought. At the wonderful TPC San Antonio courses, the rough on both of them is penalizing. It is covered in about 85% what we call moon rocks, rocks that have sharp edges, range from small to huge and have very little dirt around them. It is difficult walking and really tough hitting a shot out of without hurting your wrist. Be aware, fairways are a great place to be. (image West Texas Golf Courses)

So Dad and Mom encourage your son to enjoy the nature he finds at the golf course, but to also keep his eyes open for possible dangers. Look where he’s putting his feet. Watch for wildlife. Here, it’s deer, snakes and wasp nests. In Florida, it’s alligators and snakes. In Colorado, it’s bears and mountain lions. What is it in your part of the country?

See you on #1 tee looking aware… Sam

Junior Golf: Plan Your Summer Now

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we are saying this is the time to look ahead a few months in the life of your daughter’s golf. Plan your family’s summer calendar now.img_0102-1

Summer is one of those times that junior golfers can really spend a lot of time improving their game. Pretty much every golf facility from driving ranges, golf courses, country clubs and resorts have as least some junior golf activities going on.

So where does a parent start? 1st, what is the family doing together this summer? Is there a vacation planned? Make sure it’s around at least a couple of golf courses so your daughter can enjoy playing new venues. Part of the love and sheer enjoyment of playing golf comes from teeing off on new golf courses. It is exciting and fun! Once you have the family schedule you can book your daughter’s golf camps and tournaments around the family events.

Parents please get after this as some tournaments will fill up quickly and your girl may end up on a waiting list for a big tournament she was really looking forward to competing in. 1st up is the Starburst Junior Golf Classic in Waco, Texas, June 13-15. This is a MUST PLAY at least once for your daughter. It is the largest junior golf tournament in the world with over 1,000 entries and it’s very prestigious and a ton of fun, open to ages 7-18. You need to enter soon because even if your girl’s event is still open, you may have trouble getting a motel room. The whole Waco area is completely booked solid for this event. She plays 3 different courses in 3 days. Great fun and parents are allowed to caddy here, yea! Linda and I alternated caddying for S3, a special time. ( Jason Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Next on the list should be your local city, county and state junior championships. While these can be slower to fill up, we always believed that entering sooner rather than later was always best. These tournaments are special because it shows your daughter where she stands relative to girls in her locale that she will be competing with even through college. She’ll make some lifelong friends in the process and frankly seeing some of her friends improve will likely inspire her to work even harder on her own game.

Now we come to junior golf tour events. Here in Texas the North Texas PGA and the South Texas PGA sponsor their own series of junior tournaments. There are a bunch of them, pretty much all over the state and they are inexpensive. Depending on your daughter’s skill level you may look at entering her in the Texas Junior Golf Tour or the Legends Junior Tour. These are events for kiddos at the medium to high skill level. Your girl should be consistently shooting in the mid-80’s to play in these tournaments. They are pricey but the atmosphere and talent level is exhilarating for participants and parents alike. If your girl likes to compete, this should fire her up!

Here’s a photo of S3 and his caddy, me, prior to teeing off in a US Amatuer Qualifier at Comanche Trace Country Club, Kerrville, Texas, summer of 2015. I’m telling all you golf parents, these are some of the best moments of your lives, take advantage of them and enjoy this quality time with your junior golfer!

imageAnd for the highest skill levels, you have the AJGA and then the national junior championships put on by the USGA. If your daughter is keeping a GHIN, then you can see if her GHIN is low enough to enter the USGA events. They are super special and pressure-packed! It is not unusual for golfers to be nervous or a bit intimidated by more prestigious events. The jitters should calm once she gets off of #1 tee.

See you on #1 tee with a full summer golf schedule… Sam

Beat the Heat – Junior Golfing Tips – part 2

If you can’t stand the heat… don’t parent a junior golfer!

As you know Mom and Dad, the days of playing junior golf tournaments in 75 degree, blue-bird weather, at least in Texas are few and far between.  Our kiddos more than likely will be playing in high heat in the summer and maybe decent, but chilly weather in the winter.

Okay, here’s the second installment of Beat-the-Heat tips, I pray you have taken advantage of the first set. Let me know how you implemented them with your Junior Golfer.

7.  2 Gloves, at least 2 gloves:  Gloves can get soaked with sweat and your JG needs the comfort of having at least 1 extra glove…probably a total of 3 gloves is best. S3 has worn Nike, TaylorMade, and Titleist gloves over his Junior Golf career. He prefers the leather Nike Elite Feel, but his college teammate, Dakota likes the leather Titleist Player’s glove. Gloves come in synthetic or leather, we prefer leather for overall quality, feel and longevity.

8.  Hats, caps and visors:  Bigger brims provide more protection but if it is windy, bigger can become a hassle.  Beginning JG’s may find bigger hats to be uncomfortable or clumsy. Preference plays a big part in the selection, but getting your JG to be comfortable in a cap, hat, or visor may protect them from suffering heat stroke in extreme weather.

9.  Sunscreen and insect repellent:  We prefer organic sunscreens which stop the burning rays while letting in the beneficial rays.  Be sure to put some sunscreen on your Junior Golfer’s ears, nose, back of the neck and forehead. Warding off those flying no-seeums and mosquitoes is no fun especially during a tournament we use a non-toxic repellent found online at www.mercola.com and FYI we do not receive any monetary benefit from this website.

 10.  Eyeglasses:  If your Junior Golfer wears prescription glasses, just make some provision for them not to slide around on the nose or face during their swing.  Contact lenses may perform better for your Junior Golfer if available, or prescription sunglasses. S3 wears non-prescription sunglasses (Oakley’s) about ½ the time –and frankly I think he plays better without them.  Pay attention to how your Junior Golfer plays with and without shades and offer them your input.

11.  Head-bands, wrist-bands and soaking neck towels:  These are a matter of personal preference…of course, as the boys and girls get older –some items are just “unfashionable”.

12.  Follow the tournament rules:  At the recent San Antonio Junior Matchplay Championship, parents were encouraged to give their Junior Golfer’s something to drink as often as possible –between every hole, if necessary, because of the extreme heat –no coaching of course.  There was a course appointed cart bringing wet towels to the competitors.  The safety of our JG’s is paramount for a day of excellence at the golf course and when parents and spectators are given this latitude of additional contact with the players –parents are expected to display their personal integrity and refrain from coaching. (Linda will give us ‘how to’s’ on this in a later post.)

There you go, 12 tips you can put into practice today to prepare your Junior Golfer to beat-the-heat in style.

The time you spend with your Junior Golfer will be some of the best moments in both your lives!  Preparing for inclement weather puts your Junior Golfer at the top of the playing field, weather-wise, with the other players who are prepared –and at a great advantage over the players who are not properly prepared.

We will be posting future preparation tips for rainy and cold days of play. Until then, get out there and have fun!! – Sam

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