Posts Tagged ‘winning’

Junior Golf: Plan to Win

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at the significance of having a strategy, a plan, a game plan for every event.

One of the things that many junior golfers and their parents aren’t aware of is that in addition to the other pre-tournament preparation, their son/daughter needs to have some idea of the best way to play that specific golf course.

Let’s begin with a very basic and simple plan that all youngsters can understand. Every golf shot should be hit at a target so pick a spot where the tee shot should land. On par 4’s and par-5’s this would be a zone safe from water, traps, trees and other hazards, allowing a good look and chance to hit the desired next shot. When hitting to the greens, including par-3’s, simply aiming for the middle of the green is an acceptable choice.

The plan is greatly enhanced by playing a practice round prior to the event. Most courses offer discounted pre-tournament pricing for entrants. Subtleties of the layout are revealed and a practice round will greatly add to your kiddo’s knowledge of the course and improve the game day strategy.

So let’s watch as a game day strategy is executed to perfection. Quoting the greatest Olympic broadcaster of all time, Jim McKay, “He came out of nowhere at the Olympic trials. He got married and some said that would ruin his chances for a medal. He has two bad knees and couldn’t train for weeks. A year ago he wasn’t in the World Rankings at all. He seemed to come from heaven knows where.”

Watch as “the golf cap” obviously knows his game and how to use it to design a winning game plan and then beautifully perform it.

The takeaway here Mom and Dad is that having a game day plan gives your girl/boy a chance to be competitive at the end of the day. And having the patience to stay with the plan after hitting a bad shot or two is essential. Make a plan and stick with it!

See you on #1 tee with a plan… Sam

Junior Golf: Ignore The Naysayers

In this Wednesday Waggle, we’re taking a slightly different look at junior golf. Come along with me and enjoy the ride.

So your son/daughter has been playing well, having a Top 10 finish, a Top 5 finish or maybe a win. The next tournament is the finale, the biggest, the end of the season, the state championship, it’s a very big deal. And the naysayers show up saying things like, “Your boy/girl is not going to do well on that course. The fairways are too narrow, the greens are too fast, he/she doesn’t hit the ball far enough and they’ll never beat so-and-so.”

This was slightly the case as Big Red prepared for his biggest event. Even with convincing wins in his first 2 races, the negative folks were still saying this course was too long, he’d never hold up, his first 2 wins were flukes, he’d never beat his main competitor in this race and so on.

His coach/trainer, Lucien Laurin, and his caddy/jockey, Ron Turcotte, knew their athlete very well. They understood that he loved to run and he loved to run fast, very fast. And they also knew that he wanted to beat all of his competitors. He had to win, no second place for him!

Watch how this athlete handles his last competitive event. Watch the greatest racehorse of all-time, Secretariat, and see how he finishes his career. Watch the greatest athletic performance in history!

FYI Mom and Dad, in each of his Triple Crown races, Secretariat ran each quarter-mile faster than the previous one. He was constantly accelerating! Talk about finishing strong!

The takeaway here parents is to know your athlete, ignore the naysayers, be positive and move forward. The team must be on the same page so that the athlete has the best opportunity for an excellent performance. Finishing strong is a big deal!

See you on #1 tee ready to perform… Sam

Junior Golf: Inside The Minds Of Champions

 

In this Friday Flop Shot we will see how winners think by taking a quick look at how they really approach this game. Let’s look inside the minds of some champions.

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Dubai Golf

I sincerely hope you are recording The President’s Cup. While the US has a big lead, there is some great golf being played and some wonderfully insightful quotes from the players.

World Golf Hall Of Fame member and captain of the Internationals team, Nick Price, was asked about his team’s mental state prior to Thursday’s start. “It’s good. We love to play golf, we love to compete and we want to win!”

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were asked why they had been such a successful pairing
in international competition. Patrick, “I’m kind of firey and Jordan’s always calm, so our personalities help each other to calm down or get revved up!” Then Jordan, “There’s also this competition within the competition where each of us wants to be the one who hits the great shot, makes the winning putt. We push each other like that.” Folks, this is a paraphrase and you could attribute these words to either one of these guys because they are asked about this all the time and this is always their answer.

Let’s stay with these two. After making a great comeback to get 1/2 point from Friday’s four-ball match, they were asked how pleased they were with a tie rather than a win. It was obvious that while a 1/2 point was better than no points, they really wanted to win. So here’s the great quote: Interviewer asks if it’s more satisfying to make an amazing comeback, 2 down with 4 holes to play or to win in a runaway. Patrick’s classic response (paraphrased): “Making a comeback means you’re playing a lot more holes to get something out of your round. Winning in a runaway means you’re playing great golf!”

These quotes are right in line with Bubba Watson’s statement of a few years back’ “Nobody out here’s playing for 2nd place!”

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Photocredit:Golf Channel 

Parents, start with Nick Price’s 3 things. Hopefully your youngster loves golf. And is getting used to competing and is starting to enjoy it. And has a desire to win welling within. With some kiddos this is more of a process than with others. Love the game, love to compete and want to win. Perfectly stated!

See you on #1 tee loving to play golf… Sam

Junior Golf: The Sheer Joy Of Winning

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at what winning should truly feel like. Let’s have some fun!

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photocredit:jennleforge.com

It’s tough to win a golf tournament at any level. There are always a number of players in every field that are surely capable of winning. There were playoffs in both the LPGA event in Texas and at the PGA team event in New Orleans.

Haru Nomura was certainly excited to finally defeat Christie Kerr after a lengthy playoff. But the uninhibited joy of winning his first PGA tournament was on display with young Australian Cameron Smith, who along with teammate Jonas Blixt won the Zurich Classic defeating Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown on the 5th hole of a sudden death playoff this morning.

After Cameron made a short birdie putt for the victory, the announcers came up for a quick post-game interview. Cameron was so choked up he just was unable to communicate. His life had been totally changed by the win and all the emotions of a 23 year-old poured out, leaving him with a million thoughts spinning in his mind and uncontrollable tears of joy! He was unable to speak.

Thankfully the interviewers understood that they should let Jonas Blixt do the talking for the team. And he did a great job. Jonas explained that the 2 of them both lived in Jacksonville, practiced together at TPC Sawgrass and had become good friends and he, Jonas had genuinely enjoyed watching his friend play excellent golf and was thrilled for both Cameron and himself, of course, for their team victory.

Please understand that there are many victories to be had, some large and some small. Hitting a good shot after hitting a poor shot is a victory. Getting out of a sand trap is a victory and hitting the ball fairly close to where your son/daughter wanted it to land is a victory. While these small victories may not always lead to uncontrollable tears of joy, they certainly are opportunities for encouragement, a smile, a thumbs up, I love you! Recognize these moments and participate, within the rules, in them. There will be more moments in the future, but they will not be the same as this moment right now!img_0196

In society today we are encouraged to control our emotions, be stoic, stand tall. And there are times for that. In the midst of golf competition, the best players make every effort to stay in their emotional zone, not too high and not too low. Then at the end of the event, players can let their emotions loose and manifest them freely and openly. That’s what Cameron Smith did and it was a beautiful thing to see.

Show your son/daughter.

Tell them that it’s OK to have some uninhibited joy! These are rare and special times!

See you on #1 tee ready to have some fun… Sam

Junior Golf: How To Win And Still Be Friends

In today’s Good Friday Flop Shot we will offer some input on how your son/daughter can win a match or tournament and still be friends with their fellow competitors.

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Dubai Golf

Our wonderful sport is about friendships, friends and family, family and friends. Time spent on the course is precious and even among the most relaxed fun-filled groups, a little bit of competitive spirit usually shows up, even if only for a hole or 2. Maybe your son and his buddy both missed the green and and your boy says,”Hey, how about a chipping contest? Closest to the pin wins!” Great fun, very little pressure and no financial risk, not playing for money, just 1 shot. No drama, no big buildup, just do it. Good old-fashioned competition, fun competition.

Trying to win a match or tournament ramps everything up a few notches. The pressure, intensity and ability to perform in these circumstances is tough. Let’s look at 3 things for your junior golfer to be aware of so that he and his competition can continue to be friends after the event.

Golf is about making friends. The 1st time your youngster joins any organized golf function, tournament, clinic or camp, he will start making friends. This will continue through college and many of these relationships will last his whole life and several of his buddies will form a genuine core group of his inner circle of friends. Very cool stuff!
Golf is a sport of honor, integrity and accountability. There is no place for bragging, mocking or finger-pointing. Respect for the game, the opponents and for himself/herself must be introduced and encouraged from your child’s initial contact with the sport. Win with grace, lose with grace. Life lessons right here, Mom and Dad!
It is possible to be pleasant and even friendly with the competition and still win. Look at Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose in the final round of last week’s Masters. These guys are Ryder Cup teammates, fellow European Tour members and good friends. How many times did they say good shot or give a thumbs up to each other? Certainly each one wanted to win with a passion. They wanted to beat their good friend but they would pursue this desire to win with respect, honor, dignity and friendship. It was special to watch!

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photocredit:GOLF.com

Your child’s mental and physical abilities will be challenged constantly during competition. Not winning occurs more often than winning. You will see the highest of highs and lowest of lows from your kiddo during some of these very trying situations. A thought that Linda and I found to be relatively effective with S3 in tough moments, was to remind him that this was not his last round of golf he would ever play. Focus on improving the process and the desired results will come. There will be more golf to play. The future is bright!

See you on #1 tee ready for a friendly round of golf, but I still want to beat you… Sam

Junior Golf: 1 Attitude For A Sunday Win

In this Wednesday Waggle we’ll take a look at 1 particular mindset that has proven successful for some professional golfers over the years. Your daughter is an individual and will develop her own type and style of mindset based on her skill level, maturity and competitiveness.

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photocredit:golfdigest.com

Being within 5 or 6 shots of the lead at the start of a final round of any tournament means a player, your daughter/son in this case, has a chance to win. I mean a couple of bad shots by the leader and a couple of great shots from your kiddo and she’s right there.

Have you ever asked her what her final thoughts are just before she initiates her pre-shot routine for her 1st shot? Well, that could lead to a very interesting answer. Just don’t ask her at the event. This should be discussed well prior to any competition. And her answers will likely change as her game and confidence improve.

6-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Sir Nick Faldo referred to his own pre-game mentality as he was getting ready to tee off in the last group in the final round of a tournament and right now we’re talking about The Masters, which Sir Nick won 3 times. He knows of what he speaks, at least for himself.

To paraphrase Sir Nick: “You’re standing there waiting to be announced and tee off. You shake hands and say something proper like play well but in my mind I’m saying, I’ll bury you!” Now these words may sound a bit harsh to some Moms and Dads out there. These are the words of Sir Nick Faldo and how his mind had to get in a place to win a huge event and certainly he meant them no physical harm. He was going to bury them under his barrage of great golf shots that were better than his opponent’s shots!

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photocredit: sky sports

These words aren’t for everybody but I assure you that there are women and men who have this or a very similar thought process when they prepare for competition. To be competitive means a number of things. It means your daughter enjoys the challenge of constantly improving her game in order to have some opportunity to win. And then it will become a desire to win. How badly does she want to win? Is she willing to make the necessary sacrifices required to attain the victories she is dreaming of?

The bottom line parents is that your girl will need to decide if she really wants to win or just play kind of for the fun of it. If she truly wants to win that means she has to beat everyone else. She has to want to play better than them and do it! If she wants to win, she’ll find the mental self-talk that works for her. Ask her about this. Let her do most of the talking and you do most of the listening. You may find you have a real competitor holding onto that golf club!

See you on #1 tee ready with a winning mindset… Sam

Junior Golf: Winning Is Hard

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at winning golf tournaments and it’s hard to win golf tournaments whether it is a modified 6-hole little bitties event or a 72-hole PGA venue. (photo offcoursegolf.com)image

There are ebbs and flows of momentum in every competitive event and golf is no exception. If your son plays really poorly early in the tournament, he can take himself out of contention. If he plays good enough to stay within a few shots of the leaders he can have a legitimate chance to win or at least be top 10 or better. The goal is to be close enough during the final round or even last 9 holes to make some good scores and catch the leader.

Last Sunday the final round of the Valero Texas Open had a perfect setup. At 1 point early in the day I think around a dozen players were within a couple of shots of the Round 3 leader. Folks, this makes for fun golf to watch and this is a main reason I encourage you to record these professional golf broadcasts.

3rd round leader Ricky Barnes was in the last group and struggled all day and could not maintain his lead.Former World #1 Luke Donald started the final round as many people’s pick to win. Well, he shot 2-over on Sunday to finish way back in the pack. The next-to-last group is where a bunch of the action took place with Charley Hoffman, Patrick Reed and Billy Hoerschel playing together.

You know, there are different tournament goals for different golfers and for different levels of golf. There are times that a top-5, top-10 or even top-20 is desirable and a win would be really cool! Yes, the pros can get FedEx points, certain exemptions and a ton of money without winning a Tour event, but as Bubba Watson so beautifully put it, “Nobody out here is playing for 2nd place.” Winning brings so much more!

As the leaders faltered, Charley started moving up as did Patrick. Billy was always close but wasn’t really looking like he might make a playoff or such. Much of the TV focus was on this group. Charley was now leading and the decent birdie holes of 16, 17 and 18 were next after Patrick pulled within 1 stroke of Charley with a birdie on 15.

Reed missed birdie putts of less than 8 feet on 16 & 17 and Hoffman made pars. So we’re on 18 tee and Charley has a 1stroke lead over Patrick. This is pressure folks and a lot of golfers can’t handle it. Reed put his drive just in the left rough and hit the shot of the day to follow up, a rope hook around a tree stopping on the fringe at the right front edge of the green. Charley blew his 2nd shot on this par 5 over the back left of the green into a bunker, leaving a touchy downhill sand shot. Patrick chips to within 2 feet and Charley blasts to maybe 6-10 feet. Reed putts out for a birdie leaving the final shot to the potential winner. And Hoffman performed perfectly with the ball going right into the center of the cup for his birdie, maintaining his 1-stroke lead and winning the tournament. Congratulations!image

Ricky Barnes and Luke Donald eliminate themselves by not playing well. Patrick Reed hits a ton of great shots but misses too many short putts. And Charley Hoffman made a few birdies, kept grinding out pars kept his head in the right place and won! Winning is hard as Charley stated in his post game comments. (Patrick Reed/Charley Hoffman photo pgatour.com)

See you on #1 tee ready for a tough game… Sam

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