Posts Tagged ‘Tiger Woods’

Junior Golf: Wise Words From Sir Nick

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at some great wisdom shared by TV announcer and 6-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo.

The finish to yesterday’s PGA Championship was wild and very exciting. Early in the day, up until the middle of the round, there must have been a dozen players within 2 strokes of leader and eventual winner, Brooks Koepka.

One of the first players to make a birdie run to hopefully get into a playoff was Thomas Pieters. He birdied 14 and 15 at which point Sir Nick was asked, “What does Pieters mindset need to be here on in to have any chance of winning or making a playoff?” The response, “Hit great shots and make everything!”

That says it all, doesn’t it? Now at this point there were a lot of guys making a ton of birdies. Anyone getting some momentum was going to need to keep it as long as possible to have any chance at all. Brooks was continuing to hit excellent shots. He wasn’t making many mistakes.

Tiger’s game is improving and he ended up in 2nd place after Adam Scott, who was once tied with Brooks for the lead, but missed a couple of birdie putts and lost his momentum. Adam finished 3rd after tugging a couple of drives to the left on 17 and 18, resulting in a bogey on the 72nd hole and moving Tiger to 2nd place by himself.

Tiger had the crowd going as he started 0 for 7 fairways and was still 2-under par. He finished with a 64 and was sticking shots close to the pin and making birdies. He was looking good as he’s sneaking up on playing well enough to win a big tournament.

However, it was Brooks Koepka’s day as he and Adam battled head-to-head for 16 holes. Adam’s miscues on 17 and 18 ended his chances as Brooks cranked out great shot after great shot and made, not everything, but enough key putts to win. Great golf, great drama!

Photocredit:golfdigest.com

So while Sir Nick’s line was initially addressed to Thomas Pieters, it was Brooks Koepka who executed those instructions perfectly. There were a lot of top pros playing really good golf, but you, BK, were the only one living out Faldo’s advice for the victory! You played better than everyone else, Congratulations!

See you on #1 tee ready to win… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Benefits of A Short Memory

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’re going to look at memory or lack of it. There are times when having a short memory is a very good thing.

Have you heard the phrase, “have a cornerback’s memory.”? What it means is that every cornerback-a defensive player on a football team, will get beaten on a pass play at some point and he’d better be able to forget about getting smoked by the receiver and get back to playing good football ASAP.

The point here Dad and Mom, is that mistakes, in golf that would be poor shots, are going to happen and your junior golfer needs to put them out of his/her mind as quickly as possible.

Here are 3 benefits of a short memory:

1. It gets a player’s focus back on track. The previous shot is history, forget it. Focus on hitting the desired next shot.

2. It gets the vital signs returning toward normal. Taking a few deep breaths can help return heart rate and stress levels to where they should be. Elevated pulse and respiration rates are not helpful for playing good golf.

3. It instills and reinforces a winner’s mindset. The elite players in every sport do not dwell/replay the negative. They stay focused on the positives and on improving their game.

Depending on your child’s age, skill level and personality type it can take a while for him/her to get these concepts down consistently. That’s OK, kids need to work through things.

Photocredit: cdnsportsmemorabilia.com

The PGA Tour player with the most all-time wins, it’s not Tiger, Sam Snead, has a bit of a footnote to his legacy of 82 PGA Tour wins and 7 majors. It’s that he really had trouble letting go of a bad shot. Sometimes he’d carry his bad attitude for several holes, which he played poorly enough to remove him from contention. Many folks feel Snead might have won several more U.S. Opens if he just could have let go of those bad shots. Wow!

See you on #1 tee with a short memory… Sam

Junior Golf: Making Golf More Fun

In today’s Monday Mulligan let’s take a look at a couple of unique situations where the PGA Tour is helping/allowing golf to be more fun, certainly for many of the fans and for a lot of the players as well. (image jennleforge.com)image

1st we congratulate Hideki Matsuyama on his playoff victory over Webb Simpson in the Phoenix Open. This event at TPC Scottsdale is truly a one-of-a-kind situation. It has by far the largest attendance of any professional golf event in the world with this year’s crowd topping 655,000 with more than 200,000 on Saturday alone. Wow, learn to love those shuttle buses!

It takes a certain type of personality to really be comfortable in this environment. Listen to the words of fun-loving Rickie Fowler, “I love it. You know, it’s a lot of fun. You hear a lot of stuff throughout the course, and it’s louder throughout the rest of the course than other tournaments. Once you get to 16, it’s a completely different story.”

So it’s louder everywhere on the course than the pros are used to during tournament play. Not everyone is comfortable in this environment. And then there’s 16, as in the 16th hole, a short par 3 ranging from about 127 to 155 yards.

As 1 of the TV announcers so graphically described during the play on Saturday. From the player’s perspective: “You walk off of 15 green headed for the tunnel. As you enter it the anticipation of what’s ahead causes a louder more rapid thumping in your chest. And then you exit the tunnel and there it is. Hole #16 at TPC Scottsdale, known during the Phoenix Open as the Stadium Hole, because that’s exactly what it is.

Now your heart is jumping out of your chest, your palms are getting sweaty and the adrenaline is kicking in. Wow, time for some breathing exercises to calm down before it’s your turn to hit.” So when Rickie says 16 is a completely different story, but he loves it, imagine what the guys that don’t love it are going through. The ones that perform best at these type of events are the ones who find some way to embrace the chaos, either through their natural personality or with the help of some mental training. And if they can’t, they may not return next year.

The hole is completely surrounded by seats. More than 20,000 people fill the open seats, the reserved seats and the luxury boxes on this hole and it’s so popular the organizers basically expand the seating capacity every year. It’s an overwhelming sight from a spectators point of view so I can’t imagine what’s going through the mind of a player who needs to hit a good shot. They crowd consumes massive amounts of beverages and is on the rowdy side. They cheer good shots and boo bad ones and no player is immune.

Another unique aspect of this event is that players are allowed to toss souvenirs into the crowd on 16 and this may be on Saturday only since that is regarded as the craziest day. A number of the pros bring items to give away, notably Bubba Watson and Andrew Beef Johnson. It is great to watch!

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Thank you to the PGA Tour and the event organizers for allowing all this fun to take place. Hopefully we’ll see some more fun things show up at other events.

Parents, please remember that you junior golfer wants to enjoy his golf. Find ways to keep the fun factor high. Try doing some things differently. Play some music during practice. Make some noise, but please don’t be rude to other folks on the range. Put some surprises in the works. Tiger’s dad used to drop his golf bag flat on the ground in the middle of his backswing. Check out the look on your boy’s face the 1st time you do that! After the shock, laugh about it, joke about it, come on and inject some fun!

See you on #1 tee ready to handle some noise… Sam

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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