Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

Junior Golf: 3 Reasons For Variety

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re looking at the benefits of offering your child several different extra-curricular activities.

Golf is our family sport, no doubt about it, but Linda and I decided early on that S3 would have to choose golf as his sport, we weren’t going to force it on him.

When he turned 5 years old, S3 was playing golf and soccer. He liked his soccer and he had good speed and excellent endurance. Hand-to-eye coordination came naturally to S3 so he picked up golf quickly.

The soccer went away after a few seasons but he stayed with his golf. The next progression was to martial arts. He really enjoyed karate, but that too faded away while golf stayed.

Continuing with the hand-to-eye thing, S3 wanted to be a percussionist, so he joined the band in junior high. As a result he learned how to read music and genuinely knew his way around the percussion section. Next we bought him a full drum set, metallic burnt-orange Ludwig’s, of course, and man, was that a natural fit for him. Here he was, the next Keith Moon!

Photocredit:papyblues.com

When he entered high school, the golf team was a given but the band director also wanted him for the drum line. At this point, S3 knew golf was his future and there was no way to do both golf and drum line, so he graciously declined the band director’s offer.

Here’s why this variety is good for your child: 1. Your child’s extra-curricular activity must be his/her choice. By exposing them to different sports and activities, they can choose which one to pursue. The love, desire and passion must be sincere, thus it has to be their choice. 2. By trying multiple disciplines, your kiddo has a chance to develop a reasonable level of skill in a secondary endeavor. This helps greatly with self-confidence and depending on what the activity is, possibly better strength, conditioning and more. 3. Your son/daughter will begin to appreciate the number of hours in the day and will, out of pure necessity, learn an essential life skill, time management. There is no substitute for being able to manage one’s hours and the sooner your kiddo gets on board with this concept, they better off he/she will be.

So while S3 learned a little bit about soccer and martial arts, he really learned a lot about music, particularly, percussion. He could sit at a drum set right now and play very well. Or he could join the church orchestra, read music and play any percussion instrument perfectly. It’s very cool!

See you on #1 tee playing the sport you chose… Sam

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: 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

Getting Started in Junior Golf Made Easy – part 2

Welcome back!

I’ll share from Linda and I that we are truly enjoying the opportunity to share with you our experience as golf-parents. Our road has been a long and adventurous one and we are so glad to help you in any way we can. Shoot us an email with any questions or concerns and we will get back with you ASAP thegoldfarbs@parentingjuniorgolfers.com

Be sure to check out our previous post for part 1, which includes tips 1-5.

6.  Get an eye exam.  Golf demands excellent vision at all distances.  You would not believe how many juniors had no idea they needed vision help until they had an eye exam. We want our JG to start off on his or her best foot right from the beginning.

7.  Get a general physical exam.  Golf has its own types of physical requirements – a lot of walking for sure, carrying a golf bag, dealing with heat and cold, as well as the everyday stress and strain of growing up. You certainly want to know if your JG has any physical issues that need to be addressed before he or she gets out on the course.

8.  Buy a cap or hat.  These keep hair and the sun out of the eyes and sweat off of the forehead. You have so many styles to choose from, visors, floppies, wide-brim, flat-brim, baseball caps, or cowboy hats – if it works for your JG it will work in the game.

9.  Corrective lenses.  If your kiddo wears corrective lenses, you will want to discuss with their eye doctor the best lenses to fit them with for a combination of these types of vision needs:

  • distance-so they can see where their shots go,
  • close up-3 to 4 feet so they can clearly see the ball at address
  • close up wide view-in other words a big field of view so the ball stays in the same vision plane on their lens when they make a swing-if the head moves during the swing, the ball can go in and out of the vision plane and this is very distracting.

10.  Lessons and practice.  Please refer to our post on 7 Tips to Finding Your Best Golf Coach. 

11. Be a Junior Golf Encourager for your kiddo!  Your excitement and enjoyment of the game will be   contagious.

If your young person is not “on fire” for golf right now, be encouraged by this real life example:  A very dear friend and scratch golfer has been offering to take his wife and three daughters out to play golf for a number of years.  And the response has been lukewarm at best.  Now all of the women in his life want to learn how to play golf, and they decided to get into the swing of things at the same time!  Explain it?  No way!  But Seth has been leading these ladies down the “golf” path, not pushing them into it. To say he is very excited at their increased level of interest would be an understatement.

OK.  Print this out.  Stick it in your purse or pocket and get started on having some of the greatest times of your life with your Junior Golfer!

Get out there and have fun! – Sam

Improve Your Junior Golfer’s Score by Wearing These!

Junior golf is on the rise and today’s field can be very competitive, one way to improve your golfer’s score is to invest in Golf shoes! 

Yes, while it seems obvious that your Junior Golfer should wear golf shoes, you will be amazed by how many young golfers wear tennis-type shoes to play golf.  (Note: If your kiddo is under 10 years old, you may not have a great selection of junior-sized golf shoes available and tennis shoes can be less costly especially during frequent growth spurts.)

As cost effective and comfortable as tennis shoes and sandals may be, they are poor first-choices because they’re not made for playing golf.

  • Tennis shoes tend to have thicker soles which raise the foot higher off the ground
    • Leading to a possibly higher incidence of ankle injuries
    • Less feel on all ground surfaces
    • Poor traction and stability
    • Virtually no water resistance.
  • Sandals do not provide the lateral support required for golf
    • Are uncomfortable when there is moisture or ants present.

Parents, please remember, there is always water on or around golf courses; from early morning dew, to a rain shower and of course, the dreaded water hazards.  Our family has always believed that water-resistant or waterproof golf shoes are the only way to go as an investment into our Junior Golfer’s future.  Again, for your kiddos under age 10, these shoes can be hard to find and run into some money, particularly if you are buying shoes every few months.

Let’s begin with some golf shoe basics. The main reasons to wear golf shoes are:

  • 1.  To provide a stable platform for the golf swing – cleats
  • 2.  To provide support and comfort for the feet during all phases of the round -swinging and walking
  • 3.  To provide traction for walking on slick, grassy surfaces
  • 4.  To provide some water resistance or waterproof protection
  • 5.  And certainly for teenagers, to provide a degree of fashion and good looks

 Features you want in a golf shoe:

1.  A good fit – let the shoe pro determine a great fit

2.  Soft replaceable spikes – metal spikes are not allowed on many courses

3.  Water-resistant or waterproof material

4.  Leather is best (it lasts longer than synthetics)

5.  Buy a name brand – over time your JG will feel the difference

6.  Buy a box of spare cleats and a cleat tool for your specific cleats

Some top name brands are Adidas, Ecco, Etonic, FootJoy and NikeOakley and Puma make great products that are starting to show up in more stores.  Never buy golf shoes without having your Junior Golfer try them on first.  Nikes tend to run narrow and while our son loves their styles, he has not been able to find a pair that fits his feet.

 S3 and our whole family have worn the Adidas Tour 360 4.0’s (now called Tour360 ATV) for the last 4 years and have found them to be fabulous golf shoes.  They are durable, waterproof, easy-to-clean and a fit great!  And a lot of pros wear them-just look for the 3 slightly diagonal stripes on the side of the shoe.

News Flash!!!  Ask your swing coach, junior high coach or high school coach what kind of discounts they can get from their golf reps.  These discounts are widely available and can save you as much as 50%.

Well, that’s enough for now!  Let’s go find some golf shoes!!

Getting Started in Junior Golf… Made Easy – part 1

Parenting a Junior Golfer leads to memories that last a lifetime!

Wow, here we’ve been going into a lot of details about what to do to support and encourage your Junior Golfer, but maybe you’re visiting for the first time and hadn’t consider golf as an option for your youngster… Well here’s our first installment of how to start your child in the wonderful, exciting and healthy world of Junior Golf.

This will begin some of the greatest experiences you, your Junior Golfer and all your family will ever have!

Let’s begin:

1.  Does your child have any interest in golf?  How do you know?

  • Start by asking and taking a trip to the range. let them swing at some balls and watch the excitement in his or her eyes.
  • If your child is very young, under 5 years old, buy a set of plastic clubs at a discount store and let them swing at whiffle balls in the yard.
  • If your child seems to have little interest right now, that’s OK.
  • Expose them to some golf:  have them watch golf on TV with you
    • Let them putt on the carpet and again take a couple of swings at the good old whiffle balls…great, inexpensive training aids.
    • It’s kind of like the kiddo who does not want to go fishing, but you take them anyway.  They really are not too interested until someone catches that first fish.  Then they say, “Do you think I could try that?”
    • Promote Positive Exposure without being pushy.
Wood, putter and iron are shown.

Wood, putter and iron are shown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2.  Get them some clubs.  Pre-owned children’s/beginner’s sets are readily available.

  • Every golf-related business either has some on hand or knows where you can get some at a very inexpensive price.
  • To get started, your JG needs only a few clubs:  5-iron, 7-iron, 9-iron, pitching wedge, putter and either a 3-wood or 5-wood.
  • U. S Kids Golf makes great clubs for youngsters.
  • As their skills increase, you can upgrade to more clubs and more different types/brands of clubs-skill level compatible.
  • Caution:  make sure the clubs are the correct length for your child.
    •   Clubs that are too long or too short do not give your Junior Golfer much chance of success.
    • Get your child fitted at a major sporting goods store or golf facility.
    • Write down the correct shaft length of the 5-iron that fits your child.
    • While you may be charged for the fitting, you are not obligated to buy clubs from the person that does the fitting.
    • But you do want to buy clubs with a 5-iron that matches the length you wrote down.

3.  Buy a golf bag.  As a rule, buy the lightest bag that their stature allows them to carry.

  • One or two pockets are all they need at this point.
  • Stand bags -the ones with the legs that pop out when you set them down, are super!
  • Buy the size that fits your Junior Golfer, not you.

4.  Buy the best quality golf shoes you can afford.  Top name brands include Adidas, Etonic, Footjoy and Nike among others.

  • Make sure they fit properly.
  • Soft spikes are required on almost every golf course these days
  • Buy a waterproof style if you can afford it.  Wet feet are no fun on the golf course.
  • S3 has worn the Adidas Tour 360 4.0’s for the last 4 years and they are fabulous-a bit pricey, but an excellent value!

5.  Get a glove.  99% of all golfers who wear gloves, wear one on their weak hand.

  • If your Junior Golfer is playing golf right-handed, they would use a glove on their left hand.
  • The best selection of gloves is at the biggest golf stores.
  • If your Junior Golfer needs a Youth or Children’s glove-their hand is smaller than an Adult XS, yes, you need to shop at a big golf store.
  • For the girls, there are a good variety of gloves in very lady-like colors.  Again, go to the bigger golf stores or big sporting goods stores.
  • Gloves serve several purposes:  controlling moisture, controlling grip, helping with feel and with beginners, even stopping the formation of blisters.  And gloves just look good!

Okay, these are the first 5 tips, 5 more to come, we don’t want to overload you… that would be like carrying a full pro’s bag for 18 holes – think of this more as a golf cart version – we want you to enjoy the game, and this blog!

Now get out there and yes… have fun! Sam and Linda

7 Tips for Junior Golf Parents to Finding Your Best Golf Coach

As the parent of a Junior golfer it’s important to release them to the professionals as soon as you can!

Our son, S3, has only had 2 coaches over the last 13 years.  Junior Golf coaches are called, Coaches, Swing Coaches or Instructors, for the most part –as differentiated from Coaches of a particular golf team –a high school or college team, for instance.

S3’s first swing coach was PGA Professional John Clay –a fine instructor, a fine man and a good family friend to this day.  When John moved to a different location, we had to find a new swing coach.  At a summer junior golf skills clinic at Olympia Hills Golf Course, we first met Tim – PGA Professional Tim Harford.  Tim was great with these youngsters, S3 was 7 years-old, I knew we had found our new swing coach.  Tim has been S3’s coach for the last 11 years and the 2 of them have produced great results!

Here are 7 tips to get you started:

1.  Select a PGA Professional Instructor.  In most cases, family and friends are not suited to be your Junior Golfer’s golf coach.  It is better to get proper instruction from the start, than to have your Junior Golfer exposed to some bad habits and having to fix them later.  A PGA Pro is your best choice.

2.  Consider the distance. Your coach probably has a driving range he or she likes to use; the closer they are the easier it will be to fit your practice schedule.  Proximity doesn’t kill the deal in the selection process but it should be a consideration simply for time sake.  I realize that in some cases you have no choice.

3.  Consider his or her track record.

  • Ask for referrals.
  • Ask about the success of their students.
  • How many have placed in or won tournaments?
  • How many are on junior high or high school golf teams?
  • What is their rank on the team?
  • Have any made All-District or been Regional or State qualifiers?
  • Are any attending college on a golf scholarship?

This is a big deal.  You want your Junior Golfer with a successful coach.

4.  Consider the cost.  Here in San Antonio, the price ranges from $25.00 per hour to $100.00+ per hour.   More expensive is not explicitly better; many times you are paying for more than the Pro, it could include range use, overhead costs, and secondary fees.  Usually we get 5-lesson packages from Tim and worked out a discount for range balls to go along with the lessons.  This made for a very reasonably-priced package. Don’t be afraid to ask!

5.  Consider the coach’s temperament. Go watch your candidates give a lesson to a kiddo about your child’s age.  How is the instructor with this age group?  You will see differences, so go watch several lessons by different PGA Pro’s.  Be sure to select a coach who tells the students what to do, rather than one who tells them what not to do.  This is very important.

6.  Consider the coach’s teaching style.

a. How much does the coach talk during the lesson?  We have found that less is better.  You will see some coaches that talk incessantly and give their students a zillion things to remember.  Run the other way!  Your child’s brain is a sponge and if they soak up all that chatter they will be overwhelmed and never get any better.

b. S3’s Coach, Tim, keeps instruction simple and to a minimum.  For the past 11 years we have never seen Tim raise his voice or get angry.  He is soft-spoken and has an amazing knack for giving his students only 2 or 3 things to work on when their lesson is over.  And his students improve their golf game!

7.  Consider the coach’s interaction with your Junior Golfer.  You won’t really know this until you have had a few lessons.

  • Ask your kiddo if they like working with Coach X.  You may be very surprised at the answer if your JG tells you they don’t like this coach, but didn’t want to say anything because it might upset you.  You must ask this question because if your JG doesn’t like the instructor, they won’t learn much, if anything.
  • Does the coach return your calls, texts, or emails promptly?
  • Are they willing to work your child in for a lesson on little or no notice?  If this one won’t, there are plenty that will.

When you find the right coach, you and your Junior Golfer will know it.  You will have made a good and trusted friend.  And you may have two different coaches, one for initial instruction and one for more advanced techniques.

Now, start looking!  Have some fun!! – Sam

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