Posts Tagged ‘Valero’

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: More Lessons From Valero

In this Wednesday Waggle we will continue to examine some additional lessons from the just completed Valero Texas Open played on the tough TPC San Antonio Oaks Course. There is so much information that it will be a challenge to cover some highlights here. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

In this Wednesday Waggle we will continue to examine some additional lessons from the just completed Valero Texas Open played on the tough TPC San Antonio Oaks Course. There is so much information that it will be a challenge to cover some highlights here.

Let’s talk a bit more about strategy and how to use it as your daughter analyzes her approach to a golf course. If the TV announcers said it once, they said it at least 100 times during their coverage, success on this golf course starts with putting your tee shot in the fairway. The 1st cut wasn’t too bad this week, but if the ball went into the rough, on the Oaks Course it is pretty much a 1-stroke penalty. The trees and “moon” rocks as we call them here are almost impossible to hit any kind of a shot other than a punch-out, and the risk of wrist injury is high. The top finishers were putting their drives in play. Dad and Mom, 1 of the basic tenets of playing winning golf is having a high percentage of your daughter’s tee shots in the fairway, period. A tee shot in the fairway starts the process of having a good score on a particular hole.

The 2nd must do strategy on this course is to put the approach shot on the correct portion of the green to have a decent birdie putt. Yes, this is an advanced technique, but if for now, your girl focuses on just hitting her ball on the green, that’s a good thing. She can work on accuracy as her skill level advances. The guys in the top 10 had lower scores because they made more birdies and had fewer bogies than everybody else. Birdies are easier to make if the approach shot is closer to the hole. Basic stuff.

And of course, to make birdies, you must make putts. Something else you will hear time and time again is that to win any golf tournament you have to make more putts than the rest of the field, particularly those in that 8 to 15 or 20-foot range, because the make percentage for the 3 and 4 footers is pretty high for everybody. So the great separator is who makes the mid-range putts. Think about who gets hot with a putter, Jordan, Jason, Adam, Bubba and Henrik to name a few. There are tournaments where 1 of those guys seems to be making everything and if he keeps it up for 4 days, he will likely win!image

Parents ask your daughter which of her longer clubs she’s more comfortable with, if she is a beginning golfer, it may be a 5-iron or 5-wood, doesn’t matter. Then get with her swing coach and let her work on getting condiment that this 1 particular club can be her “go to” club when she wants to make sure the ball ends up in the fairway. Later, she can use this to build confidence with other clubs as well. We’ll get to the other clubs later. Here’s a photo on my “go to” driving iron.

See you on #1 tee looking to put your drive in the middle of the fairway… Sam

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