Posts Tagged ‘The Open Championship’

Junior Golf: 5 Options for the Sunscreen Dilemma

This Friday Flop Shot will be short as I search for the perfect solution for sun protection.

Even for us, it’s hot. Temperatures are well above 100 degrees with no letup in sight. Yes, we’re used to the heat but I’m always looking for a better solution to the extended sun exposure that our junior golfers must deal with.

Here are 5 tips, some previously mentioned and a couple of new ones:

1. Shea Butter has it’s own SPF of 6, not bad. You want organic and unrefined. Try it prior to slapping some on for tournament day. Minimal protection, but clean.

2. Organic Sunscreen. Nearly all have zinc or magnesium dioxide. Try it first. Some folks are allergic to zinc so I’d really like to find an organic sunscreen without these 2 metals. Beauty by Earth SPF 25 mineral sunscreen looks pretty clean. Buy on Amazon.

3. Cooling/wicking long sleeve summer shirts. Anything is better than nothing. Even cotton has a single-digit SPF. Please practice with this shirt to make certain your kiddo’s swing is not impeded.

4. Make your own sunscreen. Search the web. There are plenty of recipes.

5. Regular sunscreen. This is a last resort. Using it infrequently and in small amounts, will minimize the negative effects. I’ve seen some kids so slathered up it was horrific. Please don’t be one of those parents.

Be wise when it comes to sun exposure. Do some research and don’t default to the everyday chemical-laden stuff. You can do better.

See you on #1 tee ready for a sunny day… Sam

Junior Golf: 6 Reasons to Watch The Open

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at 5 reasons your junior golfer will benefit by watching this week’s Open Championship, previously called The British Open.

Carnoustie Championship Course is the venue for the 3rd of this year’s men’s majors and it’s got its own set of unique qualities.

Reasons to watch:

1. The history. Britain is the home of golf. It’s where golf began and golf has been played at this course since the early 16th century. This is a chance to learn things about our great sport that you won’t hear at any other event.

2. The courses. Most golf courses in Britain are serious links designs, the likes of which are few and far between in the U.S. It takes a different mindset and genuine creativity to have a good round on these courses. You will be fascinated by the unique designs.

3. This course, Carnoustie, a long and narrow golf course at more than 7400 yards, is a brute. As Sir Michael Bonallack put it, “When the wind is blowing, it is the toughest golf course in Britain. And when it’s not blowing, it’s still probably the toughest.”

4. The players and their strategy for links golf. All the world’s top players will be here, including your favorites. You will see types of shots attempted here that are not seen on the typical PGA Tour venues. If the course is dry and fast, you will see some fabulous low rolling shots. The pros hit these because links greens are notorious for not holding when they are hot and dry. The only way to get close is to roll the ball.

5. The weather. PGA Tour player Davis Love III, was asked what was the most layers of clothes he had worn in a golf tournament. He said, “That’s easy. It was 5 layers in the 198x British Open.” Summer weather in Britain is unpredictable. Calm and 70-degrees one day and windy, wet and 50-degrees the next. It’s usually a decent opportunity to see who makes the best rain gear.

6. The dreams. Dreams and creativity go hand in hand in this wonderful game. No venue offers more of either of these than The Open Championship. As my dear friend and excellent golfer, Nelson said, “If you don’t have any dreams, why do you even get out of bed in the morning?” Give your son/daughter a chance to dream.

Now it’s dvr time. The Golf Channel has Live From The Open on from 5:00a-11:00a through Wednesday, then scattered throughout the day from Thursday-Sunday. Tournament schedule is Thursday and Friday, 8:30a-3:00p on the Golf Channel and on NBC, Saturday, 6:00a-2:00p, and Sunday, 6:00a-1:30p. We always record 2 hours after the event in case of a playoff.

Junior Golf: Perseverance Changes Everything

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will take a look at how it is possible to move past bad shots and get back to hitting good ones. Perseverance is a big key.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

Yesterday’s final round of The Open Championship was an absolutely amazing display of many aspects of this game we love. It was a classic, in it’s own way every bit as good as last year’s epic battle between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson. It was filled with highs and lows, patience and excitement, classy behavior and good manners. Wow! This final round was all about 2 battles: one between Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar and one between Jordan Spieth and himself. Oh, and Jordan won them both!

Mom and Dad, this is why we have TiVo! So much happened during these 18 holes, there is not nearly enough time or words to address everything. My best advice is if you have a recording of the final round, make sure you and your junior golfer watch it. This is a ton of life lesson stuff and it is filled with so many highs and lows let’s get started. Your whole family will find this video to be very inspirational, enjoy!

Jordan and Matt were in the final pairing and Jordan hit a really good-looking tee shot on #1 and Jordan was smiling and feeling good about the shot. Unknown to him, his ball ended up in some very long grass about 3 feet shy of the shorter grass. When he got to his ball, his demeanor changed. He was not happy. Jordan bogied 3 of the 1st 4 holes. He seemed to lose his confidence and missed short putts that he usually makes. Tee shots were errant and the neck-and-neck battle between these 2 guys took at turn in Matt’s favor when Jordan blew his tee shot on the 13th hole nearly 100 yards to the right of the fairway.

It took more than 20 minutes before Jordan played his 2nd shot and he managed to get off of #13 with just a bogey. Something changed during that time span. Jordan played holes 14 through 17 in 5-under par, making 70 feet of putts on 14, 15 and 16 alone. His attitude was completely different. A par on 18 gave him a 3-stroke victory over Kuchar.

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How did Jordan change his demeanor? Folks, he’s done this before. He kept his eye on the prize, persevering through those rough initial 13 holes. Somewhere on that huge sand dune on 13, he “shook”. With all due respect, that’s a term we use in our house when an attitude changes. It’s what dogs do when they change their mind, they “shake.” And whatever it was that Jordan found within himself to change from the erratic, not very confident player he was through his tee shot on 13, he became an absolute beast on those last 5 holes. It was a complete turnaround and Matt Kuchar played a decent round of golf but Jordan ran right past him starting on hole 14. Persevere, persevere and persevere some more!

Parents, encourage your kids that they can turn their game around. It is done every day, it’s life. It’s getting back up when those bad shots knock you down. How does your youngster do that? Well, there are lots of sports psychologists and golf books and self-help books that can address this in great detail. For now encourage your junior golfers that it is possible to leave those ugly shots behind and get back to hitting goods shots during a round of golf. It’s done all the time at every level, but not everybody can or will do it. Help your kiddo be a can do athlete! Find a way for him/her to “shake.”

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Congratulations to Champion Golfer Of The Year, Jordan Spieth. And congratulations also to Matt Kuchar for playing some excellent golf and showing genuine class while he waited 20 minutes for Jordan’s ruling, drop and 2nd shot on 13. A fine man!

See you on #1 tee knowing how to shake… Sam

 

 

Junior Golf: It’s Open Championship Week-Get Excited!

In this week’s Monday Mulligan there is so much history, so little time! It’s my favorite golf week of the year, the week of The Open Championship-formerly called The British Open, the 3rd men’s major championship of 2017.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

 

This Thursday will mark the start of the 146th Open Championship. There is not enough time to get into the history of golf’s oldest championship. Here’s a taste of what will get you fired up!

Arnold Palmer’s Dad told him that if he was going to be a great golfer, he had to be great all over the world. In those days it mostly meant playing in The British Open. He did for the 1st time in 1960, coming in 2nd and won the next 2 years. Jack Nicklaus joined him and more Americans followed, elevating the quality of play because at that time, with a few notable exceptions, the Americans were the best golfers in the world. Now all the world’s greatest golfers want to be in this field.

Let’s get to it. One of the most important things this week involves freeing up space on your TiVo because there is a ton of hours to record. Next make sure you have The Golf Channel on your TV package because ALL The Open Championship coverage is on it, Directv Channel 218. Now be sure to record Live At The Open because you will learn more interesting golf stories and history and tips this week than in any other week of the year. There must be at least 50 hours of LATO.

Now record the tournament coverage. 1st round coverage begins at 12:30am, central time, this Thursday, July 20. Same start time for Friday. Saturday and Sunday play airs on The Golf Channel starting at 3:00am, central time. And, as always, record at least 1 extra hour past Sunday’s scheduled ending time, in case of a playoff.

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Photocredit:The Golf Club Secretary

Be advised, minimize your access to social media. There is always someone posting the latest scores, leaders and great moments as soon as they occur. If you would prefer to find out theses things on your own you’ll need to take precautionary measures to protect your exposure to updates. When you wake up Sunday morning, in the U.S., at least, there will be a new Champion Golfer Of The Year. If you want to learn who it is on your own, stay away from social media. Get ready for an amazing week!

See you on #1 tee wanting to be Champion Golfer Of The Year… Sam

Junior Golf: The Majors

In this Friday Flop Shot we will introduce you and your son to The Majors, the men’s major golf championships. Yes, The Houston Open is in progress and it’s an excellent tournament but for today’s purpose, it is the event the week before the 1st major of the year. (photo offcoursegolf.com)image

What are “major championships”? Well, they are rare since there are only 4 men’s majors in a year. They are prestigious as each major has its own strict qualifications to be able to enter. You don’t just go sign up. They are also prestigious because every course is set up to be a rigid test of a professional golfer’s skills. So the courses are tough. They are prestigious because they have a mental pressure far greater than a regular PGA tour stop. They are difficult to finish out to win because frankly the thought of being in a position to win a major can blow a player’s mind. So they are 1 of the ultimate mental tests. And of course winning a major puts a golfer into the extremely rare air of a very elite status. Winning majors and how many a golfer has won is how the greatest golfers are measured. And a professional golfer with no majors won will find it difficult, if not impossible to get into the World Golf Hall of Fame, in fact it may be that 2 major victories are now required to be considered for induction.image

The 1st major is The Masters, played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, starting Monday. It is unique among the majors because it is played at the same course every year. Previous champions have an advantage and it’s not uncommon to win this event more than once. Of course the pro must get that 1st Master’s win. (wghof photo by golfscene.ca)

The 2nd major each year is The U S Open, to be played this year at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania near Pittsburg, June 13-19. The US Open is also commonly called the US National Championship since amateurs as well as pros can qualify to enter. It changes courses every year but a number of sites have hosted more than 1 US Open. This is another tough event folks as testified by Oakmont Country Club regarded as perhaps the most difficult golf course in America is hosting its record 9th US Open. Now that’s impressive and it shows you the USGA, who runs the US Open, isn’t kidding around when it crowns a national champion!

The 3rd major of the year is The Open Championship, formerly called The British Open. 14 different courses have hosted this event. This year the 145th version of The Open Championship will be played at Royal Troon on the rugged awe-inspiring coastline of the West of Scotland, July 10-17. And since Scotland is the birthplace of golf, winning The Open Championship has a prestige and historical significance all it’s own. Also, the winner is called The Champion Golfer of The Year, which sounds really cool!

The 4th and final major is the PGA Championship which this year will be held at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey, July 25-31. Since the PGA Championship’s inception in 1916, Baltusrol is 1 of the very few courses to host this event more than once. This tournament is unique in that only PGA professionals are eligible to enter. And there are entry slots available for PGA pros who are not on the tour. No amateurs.

See you on #1 tee looking ready for a major win… Sam

Junior Golf: St. Andrew’s Ultimate Lesson

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at the Ultimate Lesson from St. Andrews and this year’s Open Championship and put it in a junior golf perspective. So what on earth is the Ultimate Lesson we take from last week’s major championship? (photo from offcoursegolf.com)

It is learning how to win and how to lose with grace. Often we tell our kids that although losing can be painful and very tough, it is important to be decent and polite, even though you did not take 1st place. While being a good loser is frowned upon by some and they think everyone who ends up in 2nd place or lower should be mad or disrespect the winner. We disagree.

There is losing, where your child makes unforced errors and ends up being out of the running. And there is plain old just getting beat, where someone makes better shots and has a lower score. The response although difficult should be the same. Congratulate the winner and move on. This is not the last round of golf to be played. And whether your youngster lost or got beat, depending on her age, it may be hard for her to differentiate between the two. Doesn’t really matter as a serious golfer should always be seeking to improve her game.

Zach Johnson won The Open Championship with humility and grace. He played better than everyone else. His emotional press conference was a classic in how to gracefully and respectfully respond to winning a huge event. He gave God praise and thanks for his talent, he said the win would not define him, but his family and kids would. A class act, congratulations Zach!

And Jordan Spieth, who was certainly shocked when he saw his approach shot on the last hole land near the pin and then spin back some 20 feet, off the green. His birdie putt, to make the playoff, was hole high and an inch or 2 left of the cup. A good effort, just not good enough this time. Most players, once they see they are not in the playoff, head straight for the airport and get out of Dodge. Not Jordan. He followed the guys in the playoff, stayed to congratulate Zach on his win and even drank out of the Claret Jug. Nothing but class! (photo from usatftw.files.wordpress.com)

imageS3 is 4 and 1 in playoffs and the 1 defeat is from his opponent making a birdie on the 1st playoff hole. S3 was disappointed, but played well enough to make the playoff and he just got beat, period. So he sincerely congratulated the winner, accepted the 2nd place trophy and then we went home. A decent day really.

Golf tournaments at any level are hard to win so when your junior golfer is seriously contending with a few holes left, they really want to win. Different kinds of pressure show up in these instances and can make those last few holes very challenging. And winning is more fun than losing, but she needs to respond properly in either case.

Remind her that she will have many more golf tournaments and encourage her to keep improving her skills.

See you on #1 tee…with a smile on her face… Sam

Junior Golf: The Open Championship at St. Andrews Is Inspirational

imageIn this Monday Mulligan we will look at how The Open Championship at St. Andrews is inspirational for your junior golfer. As you read this, the best golfers in the World will be finishing their final round at the 144th Open Championship on The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. (photo by jennleforge.com)

Please, I hope you recorded some of the play, which has taken 5 days to get to the last round. Your child can easily be captivated by the stunning scenery, challenging weather conditions and special atmosphere. And the British fans have a respect for the game of golf that is second to none.

Wind and rain delays are the reasons the golfers are playing today. Yesterday saw almost no wind, leading the announcers to say they had never seen the winds so calm at any Open Championship. So the challenge of high winds, rain and chilly conditions make for an interesting opportunity for any golfer who wants to test his skills. Legendary golfer, Davis Love III was asked what the most layers of clothes were that he had worn during a golf tournament and his answer was “That’s easy, 5-layers at The Open Championship in the 1980’s”. As former Open Champion John Daly said at this Open Championship, “I can handle the wind or the rain, but please don’t give me both.” The atmosphere is totally unique.image

You may be thinking at inclement weather doesn’t sound inspirational, but if you present it in the proper way, it can be. Playing in wet and windy conditions is something that happens to most serious golfers of all ages. Preparation is a key. A name brand golf rain jacket and rain pants and a pair of the “wet” black golf gloves are essential as are of course, waterproof golf shoes. (John Daly photo mobile.twitter.com)

During S3’s fall golf season in his sophomore year in high school it seemed like every tournament was 45-degrees and blowing rain. Nobody’s rain gear was good enough. Every player and spectator was soaked to some degree. Those that didn’t have the wet weather gloves could hardly hold onto their clubs. It was tough. But you know what, every tournament had a winner and we all did it again the next week. It certainly helps you appreciate more decent weather conditions.

imageThen there’s the history. St. Andrews is widely regarded as the birthplace of golf, with the earliest mention of play in the early 1400’s. The history, architecture, local customs, food and scenery will set your young golfer’s mind spinning. A trip here for a round of golf would be one of the “lifetime” trips for anyone who loves this sport. What an amazing place! (photo from standrews.com)

There is an Open Championship every July, so if you missed this one, plan ahead to record the 2016 event. Your kiddo will love watching it! It’s a big stage!

See you on #1 tee… maybe at St. Andrews… Sam

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