Posts Tagged ‘TPC San Antonio’

Junior Golf: 4 Thoughts On Skin Protection

In this Wednesday Waggle we’ll look at some new ways to help protect your family’s skin.

Sunscreen is not on today’s agenda. It will get plenty of discussion in another post. It’s complicated.

Proper sun exposure is essential for good health but for golfers, the issue is perhaps too much sun rather than too little. More very interesting information on sun exposure will be presented in its own future post.

So your skin is your largest organ, let’s look at some ways to protect it.

1. Healthy skin starts with a healthy intestinal tract. A simple way to help your skin from the inside out is to make sure your whole family is getting enough quality omega 3’s. Lean, grass-fed beef, fatty fish such as mackerel or sardines, krill oil, flax seed, coconut oil and cod liver oil are good sources. For convenience, krill oil, coconut oil and cod liver oil are perfect. All are available in capsules most children should be able to swallow and no taste or smell. Fish oil caps are not usually your best choice.

2. Hydrate. Drink extra water starting 3 days before a tournament.

3. Cover up. Adidas, among others makes long-sleeve polo shirts for women and men. The new wicking/cooling technology makes these shirts very comfortable in hot weather. There are also the “sleeve” add-ons you see some LPGA ladies wearing. Collared shirts protect the back of the neck. Long hair and floppy hats can cover the ears, neck and forehead. When in doubt, cover.

4. Make a habit of conditioning your skin regularly, not just the day before a tournament. Mom, you’re likely way more informed than Dad on skin care products, but I’ll help cut through the maze of confusing options and offer some inexpensive, very low risk choices. We use Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Costco carries 2-packs. It is extremely clean and we love it. Another very beneficial skin care item is organic unrefined coconut oil. This has so many benefits I can’t begin to list them here. Coconut oil is widely available. Make sure it’s organic and unrefined. For a slightly pricier, but amazing 3rd option try Dr Mercola’s Organic Moisturizing Body Butter. It’s top-quality at a reasonable price. Try any or all of these and choose one for your daily moisturizer. Most experts recommend applying it after a warm shower. You’ll figure it out.

See you on #1 tee protecting your skin… Sam

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This Could Happen To You

In today’s Friday Flop Shot I’m going to share a once-in-a-lifetime experience that S3 and I had 2 days ago. It was unexpected and the kind of thing that money, at least for most of us, can’t buy.

Here’s our story:

S3 and I volunteered to caddy in the Valero Texas Open Pro-Am held Wednesday, April 18, 2018. The mindset is “hope we have some decent amateurs and a pro whose name we have at least heard of.” You never know what you’re getting. That was for sure the case today but on the other side of the coin.

So we found our group’s bags and were reading the tags to see who we each had. My guy was Martin Parrish, ok. Then S3 starts reading the rest of the tags and says, “Dad, come here.” He points to the spot that says Professional. And we do the classic Looney Tunes doubletake because it says Adam Scott, on all 4 bags, so it must be true!

It was five and a half hours of incredible memories. Oh, as I found out after the round, my player, Martin Parrish, is a top Valero officer and Chairman of this year’s VTO, the biggest dude at the tournament other than the players. He’s a great guy and brought 3 good amateurs with him. They were all fun to be around!

Now to Adam Scott and his caddy David Clark. I can’t imagine that there are any nicer, more helpful and genuinely patient and good guy professionals to be around than these two. Refreshing to say the least! It was just like talking to regular folks, no pretenses, amazing men, looked you in the eye and engaged when we talked to them. Wow, we are bigger Adam Scott fans than before, if that’s even possible!

As some of you may recall, our family has been active in golf in this city since 1925. The Executive staff at Golf San Antonio, a little birdie told me, wanted to put someone in the Chairman’s group they could trust to support and fit in with this marquee 4-some. They hand-picked us because they know us and were comfortable that we were the right guys for the job.

I told S3 this is a classic example of who you know and who knows you and what they think of you. I emphasized that this is a testament to our family’s golf heritage over all these years, but more recently to his, mine and Linda’s involvement over the last 20 years. Great life lesson!

Our group actually was third to pick a pro. Valero CEO played with Greg Norman who designed the course and manages the whole event. 2nd took Sergio and Martin chose Adam. Not bad.

I don’t have the words to convey how great this day was and getting to spend it with my son was so special. Incredible memories.

Next year we’ll reset to our original premise. Just hope we’ve heard our pro’s name beforehand.

Parents, let this be encouragement for you and your junior golfer to volunteer in big events. Something like this can surely happen to you, particularly when you least expect it.

Man, what a day! See you on #1 tee standing next to your favorite pro… Sam

Junior Golf: This Win Can Motivate Your Junior Golfer

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a look at the winner of The 2017 Valero Texas Open. His path to a victory has been long and filled with a number of curves. Let’s see how this particular win can become an excellent motivator for your child.

photocredit:jennleforge.com

Golf is very competitive at all levels. Whether your son/daughter is 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years old, there are plenty of golfers who can play as well or better than he can. One of the things S3 learned at a young age was that there were maybe a dozen guys in our area that he would be competing with for his whole junior golf, and to a degree, in his college golf career. And you know what, that’s a good thing.

1st off he became great friends with several of these guys and 2nd off he learned that on any given day anyone in this group, including himself, could beat any and all the rest of the group. It was great competition for a number of years. Yes, it was wonderful! And learning that he/she as in your son/daughter, can come back and beat somebody, perhaps more than 1, that beat him/her in the previous tournament is a fantastic life lesson!

So let’s take a look at Kevin Chappell. He had a great amateur career. I’m not sure if you would call him a phenom, but he functioned at high levels in some very rarified amateur air! He turned professional in 2008 and had 1 win on the then, Nationwide Tour, now the Web.com Tour. 

photocredit:stevedykes

He earned his PGA Tour card for 2011 and started his career on the big boy pro circuit. Kevin had some success with enough earnings and placements to keep his PGA Tour card and maintain some status in certain events. A win, as in his 1st win on the PGA Tour, was hard to come by. A couple of 2nd’s, a playoff loss, so close, yet so far away! How on earth does a person keep coming back after being in reach of the gold ring and falling short, time after time? Man, it’s tough!

Psychologically, there’s a lot going on. A couple of major points are that Kevin had won golf tournaments before, he just had not won at this very highest level. So he knew he could win, he just hadn’t done it yet. And next, he believed in himself enough to keep getting back up after being knocked down, knowing that at some point a victory would be his.

Persistence overcomes resistance! Please Dad and Mom, learn this phrase and help every one of your family members ingrain it into their minds. This is one of the great truths of life! There is some debate over whether the 2017 VTO was Kevin’s 180th, 181st or 182nd PGATour start and it really doesn’t matter here. The point is that this 30 year-old teed his golf ball up in at least 180 events on the PGA Tour before he logged his 1st win. 

This is a classic example of persistence overcomes resistance. How many times did Kevin Chappell have to get back up after being knocked down? That’s what competition is about. That’s what life’s about! Come on Folks, this is great stuff! The tears in his and his wife’s eyes as they stood on the 18th green were a great testimony to sheer persistence.

A great takeaway for your junior golfer is Kevin’s response to an announcer’s question of, “How was today’s round different from your other final rounds where you didn’t pull out the win?” To paraphrase Kevin, “I was calm all day.” And when asked about the 8’2” birdie putt he made to beat Brooks Koepka by 1-shot, Kevin said, “I definitely had more nerves.” Meaning he had more control over his nerves than in a couple of previously events where he left potentially winning putts well short. This putt, however, went right into the center of the cup and Kevin won! No playoff! Congratulations Kevin on your 1st PGA Tour victory! 

See you on #1 tee looking persistent, believing in yourself and having a calm control of your nerves… Sam

Junior Golf: Go To The VTO Or At Least Record It

In this Friday Flop Shot we will do a little promoting of our hometown PGA Tour event, The Valero Texas Open. 

photocredit: Dubai Golf


Perfect weather here through the weekend with 80’s today and low to mid 70’s on Saturday and Sunday. Minimal chance of rain. Come on out to TPC San Antonio and enjoy the great golf, amazing facilities and the world-class environment that is a PGA Tour tournament.

The logistics are simple and really it is not necessary to spend a ton of money to attend. The shuttle buses run from several locations and they, in our opinion are the way to go. On-site parking is crazy expensive and seems to not offer much, if any advantage over using the shuttle buses. A very convenient departure location for the shuttles is Retama Race Track on I-35 in Selma. Just park your car, pay a few bucks and get on a bus. Simple and inexpensive.

Day passes are $20 in advance, $30 at the gate. Military and first responders receive special benefits and children 12 years old and under are free. The day passes are all you need to have a great time. There is plenty of open/free/public seating all over the course. And the AT&T Oaks Course is very walkable. More gently rolling than hilly. 

Food and drinks are plentiful and there is tremendous variety, so don’t be concerned about being hungry or thirsty. When you arrive, you will be scanned and then be admitted through the vendor area. It’s easy to spend a lot of time in this part of the grounds because there is so much interesting stuff. Free items, drawings, just fun times. You exit this area through an air-conditioned PGA/TPC/VTO tent with event logo shirts, caps, etc. Plenty of great souvenirs!

Here’s one of my best tips ever! Once you leave the souvenir tent you are basically at #17 green. This is a driveable par 4 as long as there is not much of a south wind. But Sunday will have a strong north wind and most of the guys will be trying to drive this green. Frankly it’s tough to get a tee shot on this green and to get it to stay on this green. What does that mean for fans sitting at the 17th green? Simply, you will get to see 1 of the great short game exhibitions of your life! 

The risk part of risk/reward will have guys hitting from fairway bunkers, greenside bunkers, short rough, deep rough and bare dirt. They will also be hitting flop shots to a pin they can barely see and from over the back of the green. All of these shots except for the ones from fairway bunkers will be about 30 yards or less! When we watched this exact scenario a couple of years ago, we must have seen 50-60 players doing this and guess what, they’re all really good! There were maybe 3 shots that were not in the very good to excellent to amazing categories! 

How can I say this? On Sunday, sitting at 17 green with a north wind is the absolute best seat on the whole golf course. Go early, stay late. Take a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Have fun!

See you on #1 tee with some great VTO stories… Sam

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: Special Moments At Pro Events

In this Friday Flop Shot we are going to suggest some ideas for exciting trips you can plan for your junior golfer and the rest of the family too. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

What type of trip would get everybody fired up? There are 2 major categories. 1st is to attend a pro tournament. With the choices available of the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour and the Web.com Tour, there are quite a few options. The event locations kind of follow the nicer weather, so right now the tournaments are in more of the Southern or warmer states and as the temperature heats up, events will move northward.

See if you can find an event within your geography and budget and book a hotel and buy some tickets. Just do it! Don’t overthink it! Professional golf tournaments are a lot of fun. It really is different being there in person as compared to watching on the TV.

Couple of FYI’s. Depending on your scheduling flexibility you might consider attending during the pro-am days or on Thursday or Friday, when the crowds are smaller. Fewer people means easier parking, easier movement around the course, shorter lines for vendors and restrooms and you and your junior golfer can get closer to the players and actually hear them talk.

Perfect example. A few years ago Rory was playing in the Valero Texas Open, which was uncommon for hm. S3 wanted to see him so we noted Rory’s tee time, this was on a Saturday, was 11:15am. So we went and got to #1 tee on The Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio and man were there a ton of people. So Rory and his group teed off and about 99% of the gallery went with them.

There were 2 more groups to tee off so S3 and I moved right up against the ropes about 10 feet from the tee markers. The next group was Billy Horschel, Charley Hoffman and Retief Goosen.

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Here’s a classic conversation: Charley and Billy showed each other the markings on their golf balls just like you are taught in day 1 of junior golf. Great to see this! Then Billy says to Charley, “Our balls are marked pretty similarly, don’t hit my ball.” And Charley replied, “If I do, I’ll hit it in the water!” They both laughed so hard and after they teed off, they were still chatting their way down #1 fairway. A classic moment and a teachable moment at a professional event. (Hoffman image GolfLink.com)

These special one-of-a-kind moments are happening at these big tournaments, but if you don’t go, you won’t experience them.

See you on #1 tee at a pro event… Sam

Junior Golf: Lessons From The Valero Texas Open

In this Monday Mulligan we’re looking at some lessons to be learned from the just completed Valero Texas Open, won by Charley Hoffman. Watching professional athletes in competition provides opportunities for all of us including your junior golfer to gain some valuable information. (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135

Last Friday Linda and I watched about 50-60 entrants play the driveable par 4, #17 at the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio. There was a following north wind and the far left back pin was maybe 360 yards from the tee box, driveable for the longer hitters in those conditions. After watching several groups come through, 2 strategies became clear. 1st, most of the players were laying up, some hitting irons off the tee to a desired wedge distance. 2nd, about 10% were bombing their driver trying to get on the green in 1.

It became apparent that there were 3 choices for how to hit a wedge, from the layup, into the green. 1st land the ball on the back side of the ridge running left to right across the green and let it kick downhill toward the pin. This was the most popular effort and was executed beautifully by a number of players. 2nd choice was to land the approach on the left side of a ridge running middle to back and let it kick left to the hole. Freddie Jacobson’s shot of the day lipped out doing this and he had a tap-in birdie. The 3rd and toughest plan was to land on the flatter surface near the pin. The north helping wind made this difficult to judge and almost every ball landing within 10 feet of the pin from a head-on direction rolled to or off the back of the green. What we saw was that these guys, at least most of them, were aware of these options and went with the 1 they were most comfortable with. (Linda and me at our superb seats on the back right of #17 green😄😎)

imageThe bombers had a different day of it. Only 5 balls got anywhere close to the green with their driver in the groups we saw play hole #17. Brandon Grace drove the green and 2-putted for a birdie. Another player, whose name escapes me had a good lie in the 1st cut left of the middle of the green and made a nice up-and-down for a birdie. Johnny Vegas short-sided himself in the rough left of the pin and bogeyed the hole. Of the bombers, there were 2 birdies, 2 bogies and a par. True risk/reward scenario!

The lesson? Your junior golfer should have a plan for each hole. She’s not too young to start thinking about the strategic planning that is essential to playing winning golf. Start with an easy hole, perhaps a short par 3 or a par 4 with a really wide fairway. Don’t be concerned if she is not controlling where her ball goes, it’s the thought process that you’re ingraining here. Ask her where she thinks a good place would be for her ball to stop on this shot. The goal is to have the ball in a position to hit a good next shot. On a par 3 this would mean being on or near the green with her tee shot. On a par 4 it would be having her drive in the fairway. As her skills improve, you can discuss if 1side of the fairway is better than the other as it relates to being able to hit the desired next shot. Strategic planning is fun, let’s start now!

See you on #1 tee with a plan… Sam

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