Posts Tagged ‘junior golfer’

Winner of U.S. Open 2009 – Lucas Glover!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Wow, how lucky were Lucas Glover and Ricky Barnes to be pretty much leading the tournament for most of the weekend!

I had the pleasure of watching these 2 young pros play golf the last couple days, I have to say I am very impressed regardless of who won.

For one, I have personally played with Ricky Barnes as a junior golfer, I am proud of him that he did so good.

As for Lucas Glover, he did outright win the tournament by playing better than the world’s best players.

Because of many rain delays and unfortunate luck of the draw, top players like Tiger  Woods may have gotten a bad break at the U.S. Open.

Neverthless, golf is not a game that players can control, players can only hope to control their own game to their best, no matter what the circumstance are.

That said, Lucas Glover is the 2009 U.S. Open champion!

As for my old friend Ricky Barnes, he did very well too by finishing tied for 2nd with Phil Mickelson and David Duval.  Ricky Barnes has never won a PGA tournament, let alone finish top 10, he’s going to be securing his PGA Tour card by finishing 2nd at U.S. Open for sure.  I am sure Ricky will win a regular PGA Tour real soon.

For Phil Mickelson, I won’t feel bad for him, he’s been making so much money winning tournaments, it’s just another U.S. Open, I am sure he will win many before he retires.

I also do feel happy for David Duval, the former #1 player in the world who has been struggling for the last  10 years or so.  I am glad he finished tied for  2nd, I see a strong possibility that David Duval might start winning tournaments again.

Overall, this year’s U.S. Open featured some of the “unknown” great players or even players who were good before.

I am sure a lot of you don’t even know who Lucas Glover was before this week or even Ricky Barnes.

I don’t think it’s a random chance they played well at this year’s U.S. Open.  But yes, time will tell if they were fluke or for real.

Anyways, congrats to everyone who finished the tournament today.  At the very least, everyone will be taking a large of chunk of change and history back home.  I would kill myself just to finish 60th at a U.S. Open, you probably would too.

Video of Tiger Woods as a Junior Golfer

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Here’s a very interesting video of Tiger’s junior golfing life between 1 and 20.  Lol, you can take some tips on how to get your daughter/son to become a great golfing legend.

How to Practice for Junior Golfers aspiring to go Pro!

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Well, one of our readers asked about her 15 year daughter coming down with a serious Golf Flu and asked me how to practice and what kind of program she should follow.

As a person who went through all that, here are my answers:

Lessons, how often and from whom?

For lessons, you need to first find a good teacher.  Try to sought out a local pro who has “experience” in pro tournament play.  It doesn’t have to be the PGA Tour, but the pro you take lessons should at least be able to break par every now and then.  Try to find a pro who gives you a “personalized” lesson, not a “do it this way or you die” type of a pro.

Every golfer has their own perfect swing.  A great teacher will help him/her find that.   There’s no textbook “set way” on how to swing the club.  Pros who condone that are the ones to stay away from.

There are lots of self-claimed “pros” that have no tournament experience and will not get your kid to play well under pressure nor teach well.  DO NOT take lessons from pros who sit on a chair all day.  Try to find someone who is also willing to take your kid out on the course for course strategy lessons.

Are the golf academies worth it?

Golf academies are worthless.  Most golf academies put you with several teachers that will only confuse your junior golfer.  Try to stick with “private” one-on-one lessons and get personalized lessons.  But golf camps are fun for the junior golfers.

How much and how often should you practice?

Your junior golfer should play more often than practice until she can break par.  My recommendation is to practice about 1 hour on the range (a bucket of balls), 1 hour on chipping/putting, and the rest of time on the course.  Always practice your short game as much as your full shots, that’s the key to breaking par.

Is the range a good place to focus before going to the course?

Yes, most pros actually spend about 15-20 minutes warming up on the range before they hit the course.  You definitely need to warm up before playing, otherwise it’s like working out from a cold start.

Equipment?

You don’t need great equipment to start out.  A lot of new golfers buy new golf clubs and never play golf at all.

You can go to Play It Again Sports or buy some used clubs at your local golf shop to begin with.

After your kid breaks 80, you can go buy her/him a “custom-tailored” set matching her height and angles.  But you don’t need this in the beginning unless you have money to throw away.   Besides, nothing can be “custom-tailored” right until your kid breaks at least 80, which is a good sign she has a consistent swing.

Where should a teenager be with the game after a certain period of time?

Well, it depends.  It took me about 4 years before I broke 90. (I was 13…)  Golf is not easy but if your daughter is 15 years old, she will need to break 80 in the next year or two to be competitive.

In all, try to enjoy the game.  Having the goal to have fun will improve her game more than anything.  Trying to be too competitive will only kill her efforts.  Short game is really the key again because short game requires more “feel” and practice than any lessons can give you.  My advice is to practice the short game more than anything on the extra time allotted.

Also, do not burn out your child, let your kid be a normal kid and enjoy life.  There’s no need to practice/play golf all day long.  You need to keep your kid’s desire in check and fresh.  No food taste the same after eating it 100 days in a row, just use your common sense.

I hope that helps and let me know if my advice helped your daughter! :)

LIVE UPDATE: AT&T Classic Ryuji Imada beats Kenny Perry!

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Wow, Ryuji Imada wins with a simple par.  I guess my prediction was right.  The last couple shots are very crucial to the golfer’s memory, especially if the golfer changes his strategy.

Kenny Perry’s downfall?  He went for the green in two under the pressure whereas 15 minutes before he laid up.

The lesson?

Don’t push yourself so much in playoff situations.

A par usually can win.

Congrats to Ryuji Imada, he deserves a PGA TOUR win, finally!

I’ve been watching Ryuji since he was a junior golfer and admired his game so…

How to Practice to be a Scratch/Pro Golfer!

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

If you are trying to be a scratch golfer or a pro golfer, often people will ask themselves how many balls to hit per day.

Now, having experience watching other aspiring junior golfers when I was a junior golfer, the number of balls you hit actually does not mean anything once you get to a certain point. (Let’s say you can consistently shoot around 75 or lower)

I do however, have experince of hitting 10 buckets per day, that’s about 1,000 balls. I did that for about 3 months during summer and school breaks.

My mom would drop me off at the practice range at 8am, she’d pick me up around 8pm when I was done hitting 1,000 golf balls.

After I grew up and around college I was shooting consistently 3 under par. Those days, I didn’t practice with focus on quantity. However, I did focus on hitting each shot on the range as if it were a real tournament shot.

Now, that is called, quality practice. I still do that same type of practice and even do couple practice swings before I even hit the ball.

What does this do for you? Well, it let’s you hit the best possible shot you can on every practice shot.

Now, I average only 100 balls and practice maybe once a month. But I can still go out to the course any day and shoot around par.

So today’s lesson?

Next time you practice, do the following before hitting each shot:

1. Visualize your golf ball flight and your swing.

2. Make 2 or 3 practice swings matching your visualization and “see” the ball hit perfectly to your target.

3. After doing 1 and 2, go up there and hit that ball without thinking too much. Rely on your muscle-memory to hit it, just like in tournament golf or under pressure situations where you’d have to make a birdie to win all those skins.

Explanation

Golf is a game of visualization. If you hit 100 balls in a row at the range without clear thinking (visualization) of what you want to do, you are basically instilling that into your brain.

The next time you go out and “play” on the golf course, your practice habits will be present whenever you encounter any kind of pressure.

More Tips on the Range

1. Do not hit the same type of shot more than 10 shots in a row. You need to keep hitting a 5-iron, sand wedge, driver, etc…etc… and keep it rotating.

2. Practice your weaknesses.

Golf is all about lowering your percentage of failure. The more you practice your weaknesses, the less chance you will make bad shots on the course.

3. Practice your strengths.

Golf is also about having your strengths. For example, if I am at 125 yards from the hole, I can promise you that the ball “will” end up within 10 feet 10 out of 10 times. You need to find out what shot you are good and also practice that a lot.

Pros call this, “bread and butter” shot. Every pro has one including Tiger Woods. It’s a shot you can rely on the most toughest situations. Make sure you have couple in your bag.

4. Practice lots of wedge shots from 100 yards in.

I actually do about 50-60% of my practice shots for wedge shots from 30 yard, 50 yard, 75 yard, and 100 yard targets.  These are the shots that can save you “lots” of strokes.  Tiger practices these about 80% of his practice balls.  I did see Tiger practicing couple years ago, where he’d “hit” every target with his wedges.

Now, try these tips and I am sure it will help your score next time on the course especially if you have been banging those poor balls mindlessly and carrying that to the course before.