Posts Tagged ‘World Golf Hall of Fame’

Junior Golf: Big Achievement Big Reward

In this Friday Flop Shot we will discuss how Mom and Dad should give recognition to your junior golfer when he reaches a goal or completes something very meaningful. This can range from making an adjustment to his putting stroke, to winning a tournament, getting a golf scholarship or in our case graduating from college in 4 years on a golf scholarship.image

Once S3, Linda and I acknowledged we were all on the same page regarding college golf and college graduation as the end goals, we proceeded full-speed ahead. As it became clear S3 would get his degree, we began planning his graduation gift/recognition. A nice golf and coast-oriented vacation with Mom and Dad was requested and I went to work. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

Since we love Florida, that became our focus. A search of golf resorts came up with several including the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast. It didn’t take long to see that this was where we needed to spend some time. It was good geographically being close enough to the World Golf Hall of Fame so we could take a day trip and still come back to Hammock Beach and play an afternoon round. And it was a decent drive from Navarre Beach where we would spend time with our dear friends Shirley and Steve.

Our first stop after a 12-hour drive was Navarre Beach and S3 and I played Tiger Point Country Club the next day. Although the course was suffering from water issues, it was easy to see how this layout could be very tough with proper course conditions. So we worked out the kinks from the previous day’s drive and played call-shot golf. Great fun really when you want to do something different on a mostly vacant golf course.

Next morning we drove to Hammock Beach Resort for a 3pm tee time on the fabulous Ocean Course. The HB Resort courses are top-rated and both are stunningly beautiful and very hard. The Ocean Course has about 6 holes right on the Atlantic beach and there is water of some sort on nearly every hole. The 2nd course, The Conservatory, is regarded as Tom Watson’s masterpiece of golf design. It is Florida’s longest course at 7777 yards tipped out. As an inland venue, The Conservatory has a million sand traps, lots of undulations, some water and has every inch of grass in perfect shape. The are no proper words to describe the exhilaration you feel when you are playing this course! It’s a must play! Below, S3 is cutting the corner on this lengthy par 4 on the back 9 at The Conservatory.image

After our 4 days at HBR we headed back to spend Memorial Day weekend at the beach with Shirley and Steve before driving back to San Antonio. S3, Linda and I enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime vacation and had so many extra-special moments. It was more than any of us had anticipated!

So parents, the point here is that your junior golfer will benefit from your acknowledgement/recognition of improvements to his game and goals he has achieved. Your response should be appropriate, in kind, to the level of your son’s achievement. Smaller for smaller and bigger for bigger.

See you on #1 tee ready to achieve something… Sam

Junior Golf: The Majors

In this Friday Flop Shot we will introduce you and your son to The Majors, the men’s major golf championships. Yes, The Houston Open is in progress and it’s an excellent tournament but for today’s purpose, it is the event the week before the 1st major of the year. (photo offcoursegolf.com)image

What are “major championships”? Well, they are rare since there are only 4 men’s majors in a year. They are prestigious as each major has its own strict qualifications to be able to enter. You don’t just go sign up. They are also prestigious because every course is set up to be a rigid test of a professional golfer’s skills. So the courses are tough. They are prestigious because they have a mental pressure far greater than a regular PGA tour stop. They are difficult to finish out to win because frankly the thought of being in a position to win a major can blow a player’s mind. So they are 1 of the ultimate mental tests. And of course winning a major puts a golfer into the extremely rare air of a very elite status. Winning majors and how many a golfer has won is how the greatest golfers are measured. And a professional golfer with no majors won will find it difficult, if not impossible to get into the World Golf Hall of Fame, in fact it may be that 2 major victories are now required to be considered for induction.image

The 1st major is The Masters, played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, starting Monday. It is unique among the majors because it is played at the same course every year. Previous champions have an advantage and it’s not uncommon to win this event more than once. Of course the pro must get that 1st Master’s win. (wghof photo by golfscene.ca)

The 2nd major each year is The U S Open, to be played this year at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania near Pittsburg, June 13-19. The US Open is also commonly called the US National Championship since amateurs as well as pros can qualify to enter. It changes courses every year but a number of sites have hosted more than 1 US Open. This is another tough event folks as testified by Oakmont Country Club regarded as perhaps the most difficult golf course in America is hosting its record 9th US Open. Now that’s impressive and it shows you the USGA, who runs the US Open, isn’t kidding around when it crowns a national champion!

The 3rd major of the year is The Open Championship, formerly called The British Open. 14 different courses have hosted this event. This year the 145th version of The Open Championship will be played at Royal Troon on the rugged awe-inspiring coastline of the West of Scotland, July 10-17. And since Scotland is the birthplace of golf, winning The Open Championship has a prestige and historical significance all it’s own. Also, the winner is called The Champion Golfer of The Year, which sounds really cool!

The 4th and final major is the PGA Championship which this year will be held at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey, July 25-31. Since the PGA Championship’s inception in 1916, Baltusrol is 1 of the very few courses to host this event more than once. This tournament is unique in that only PGA professionals are eligible to enter. And there are entry slots available for PGA pros who are not on the tour. No amateurs.

See you on #1 tee looking ready for a major win… Sam

Junior Golf Parents – Gary Player on Why Golf for Kids!

Parenting Junior Golfers is an exciting time of life!

During an interview prior to the start of the 2012 British Open Championship, World Golf Hall of Fame Member and golfing legend Gary Player was asked why there were so many talented younger professional golfers?  His response was that the United States and South Africa have by far the best Junior Golf Programs in the world today -so many of these exceptional younger pros are from those two countries.

To paraphrase Player, The people in America should kiss the ground of that country every day.  When asked why golf is such a great sport for kids, the always optimistic, energetic and enthusiastic Player continued:  “Golf is a friend-making factory!  In one four-hour round of golf you can make a friend for a lifetime.  Golf is an ageless sport-you can easily play into your 80’s or longer.

I concur with Player wholeheartedly. Here are few more reasons why your child would benefit from playing golf:

As a rule, golf people are good people and golf courses are good places for kids to spend time.  And most JG’s are polite, well-spoken and well-mannered-the kind of kids you want your child to be around.

Golf will help get your Junior Golfer in shape and keep them in shape.  It is a sport of flexibility and balance and strength-all important for a lifetime of good health.  And the Vitamin D they get from sun exposure is super healthy!

Honesty, integrity, confidence and perseverance are just some of the life skills your Junior Golfer will be able to experience.   Golf is very healthy as a character-building environment.

The risk of injury in golf is minimal when compared to other sports.  A sprain, bruise, some sunburn or tendonitis covers the great majority of golf injuries.  You just don’t need to worry about your child’s sport being a threat to their health.  Golf is a benefit to their health!

Junior Golf in the U. S. is more popular than ever!  Top quality coaches, courses, clinics, inexpensive/beginner’s equipment and proper attire are readily available.  And there are so many Junior Golf Tournaments, for players of every level, you can barely keep up with them.

Junior Golf promotes life skills combined with competition.  And along with competition comes pressure-a lot like life.  After you introduce your kiddo to golf and if they “take to” it, you are in for years of quality time together.  You will watch your Junior Golfer grow up and become more mature right before your eyes.

I love promoting the game of golf, especially to young people as they are the future of the sport… now, get out there and play! – Sam

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