October 27, 2014 - 10:50am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
golf, juggling, junior golf
YouTube
These junior golfers from Finland are second to none in the golf-ball juggling game. See for yourself.

Over the weekend, our Andrew Prezioso was out covering the PGA Junior League Golf Championship at TPC Sugarloaf.

While he was there, he shot a cool video of some of the junior league players juggling golf balls.

Since then, we've had some emails roll in of other impressive golf-ball juggling acts from junior players.

This one from Finland (a video that posted to YouTube in May 2013, but sure hasn't gotten the eyeballs it deserves), in particular, blew us away:

 

How about those juggling skills?

Well done. 

Junior golfers with serious juggling skills
October 27, 2014 - 10:05am
andrew.prezioso's picture
PGA Junior League
Turner Sports Interactive
The responsibility of making sure a player is hitting the proper shot falls to his or her teammate at the PGA Junior League.

DULUTH, Ga. -- Jim Collins’ official title was Captain of Team California, not coach. After the way his team performed at the 2014 PGA Junior League Golf Championship, it’s clear why his title is captain.

When it comes down to it, the role of coach was really spread out among all the players. The same could be said about the other seven teams who played at TPC Sugarloaf.

With four pairings of teammates on four different holes at the same time, it was a challenge for a captain or assistant coach to be ingrained in every match. But even if they were closely following a certain match, the captains and coaches tended to take a hands-off approach.

“The kids are out there making decisions on their own and coming up with their own strategies on each shot, each hole,” Team Indiana Captain Amy Nickol said. “As captain, I’m out there to give them positive encouragement in between holes. If they’ve got questions, maybe answer them in between holes. But otherwise, they are their own player, they are their own coaches out there.”

Related: Team Tennessee shows off it golf ball juggling

Team New Jersey assistant coach Paul Kaster said he tended to just provide encouragement for his players and help on the greens, but he left the breakdown of shots to his players.

That put the responsibility of making sure a golfer was taking the right approach on his or her teammate and playing partner.

“When you see a teammate going up to hit, you want to make sure they’re ready to hit the ball,” Team California player Macade Mangels said. “You have to think about how they’re going to hit the ball and how you’re going to hit the ball. You have to help line up each other. … When you’re out there, you feel like a coach.”

Collins compared the format of the Junior League to basketball, a sport that he also coaches. With the PGA Junior League being a team format rather than stroke play, players are forced to work together, much like the five players on a basketball court.

That was even more important, Mangels said, especially with Sugarloaf’s fast greens.

“You have to convince them they can make the shot,” he said. “If they don’t think they can make the shot, you have to help them with the process.”

PGA Junior League National Championship: California wins title | Photos

So instead of relying on individual skill and self-analysis, the PGA Junior League brought a different side to the sport. Perhaps that’s what helps to explain why the popularity of the league has doubled from last year to this year. There are now 18,000 participants and 1,500 teams around the country.

“Being able to work with someone else and manage yourself, manage them over the course of four-and-a-half hours under some pressure, that’s a pretty useful skill that can transfer over to a lot of different endeavors,” Kaster said.

It’s that type of communication that can help these players in all aspects of life.

“I think what they really learn is that two heads are better than one,” Collins said. “Maybe that will help them communicate better with their parents. Their parents are telling them what to do and maybe (the kids think) ‘maybe I need to listen a little better do this because two is better than one.’

“As they get into college and later in life and become parents, they are going to remember what they learned.” 

PGA Junior League teaches more than golf
October 27, 2014 - 10:04am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
John Daly, Kenny G
Telly
In China for the World Celebrity Pro-Am at Mission Hills over the weekend, John Daly and Kenny G collaborated for an impromptu concert in the hotel lobby.

Imagine... you're walking through the lobby of a hotel in China and then -- suddenly -- a John Daly/Kenny G concert breaks out.

It would never happen, right?

Well, at Mission Hills on Sunday night, it did.

Check it out:

OK, so maybe our lead-in was a little dramatic. But Daly was excited about it.

This is what what Daly wrote on his post: "WOW, what a night!!!! One HELL of an unscripted night in the lobby with my buddy @Officialkennyg!"

Daly and Kenny G are at Mission Hills for the World Celebrity Pro-Am. 

John Daly, Kenny G rock out in hotel lobby
October 26, 2014 - 1:10pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Juggling
Turner Sports Interactive
Team Tennessee liked to show its juggling skills at the PGA Junior League National Championship.

Want to duplicate Tiger Woods' famous Nike commercial where he juggles the ball? Turns out doing so will help your golf game. 

TIGER TAMER: Niece Cheyenne Woods shows she can match her uncle's juggling skills

Suzanne Strudwick, the Captain of Team Tennessee at the 2014 PGA Junior League National Championship, teaches her students at Fairways and Greens Golf Center in Knoxville, Tenn., how to flick the ball up and juggle the ball starting around the age of 6.

"It is fantastic for them because it develops their early hand-eye coordination," Strudwick said. "They love it, they love doing it together." 

It was clear by watching Team Tennessee wait to tee off on Day 2 of the Junior League Championship how much they loved practicing that skill. 

 

Team Tennessee shows off some nice juggling skills before the second session of the day. #PGAJLG #golf

A video posted by PGA.com (@pgacom) on

The fancier the juggle, the stronger the hand-eye coordination and ball control skills, Strudwick said. Some of the variations include juggling between the legs and getting the ball to stop on the club face. 

"Just like if you were a basketball coach, you would teach things like that," she said. "We teach that to our kids at an early age and it's so fun."

And of course, with a drill that's fun to do, Strudwick says she sees players practicing it all the time. 

"You see them doing it when they first get to class, you see them on the tee trying to do it and going, 'Oh, I did this. Can you do this?'" Strudwick said. 

Golf ball juggling: More than just a trick
October 26, 2014 - 11:02am
mark.aumann's picture
Mt. Fuji
Kirk Oguri/Twitter
Mount Fuji looms in the distance over the practice range at Kawaguchiko Country Club.

Let's face it: Golf courses are designed with natural aesthetics in mind. The whole idea of golf is to spend some hours away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and in a natural environment.

GORGEOUS GOLF: Grading the most scenic courses on PGA Tour

But even so, there are some places on Earth that just take your breath away. For example, Kirk Oguri shared this picture Sunday morning on Twitter.

 

 

It's got to be just a little hard to concentrate on your shot when every time you look up to follow the flight of the ball, you see Japan's iconic Mount Fuji in the distance. Not your typical driving range view, to be sure. And the rest of the course appears to be just as gorgeous.

In case you'd like to experience this for yourself, Kawaguchiko Country Club is located southwest of Tokyo -- and about 25 kilometers (roughly nine miles) from Fuji's summit, according to Google maps.

World's most beautiful range view?
October 26, 2014 - 9:02am
mark.aumann's picture
Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson/Twitter
Bubba Watson and his family pose for a Halloween photo that will leave quite an impression on you.

Bubba Watson is a two-time Masters champion who isn't afraid to show his goofy side. Although in this case, it's more like Mickey Mouse.

Once you see this, it may be impossible to unsee it ever again.

BUBBA'S NEW BUDDY: Golfing prodigy Tommy Morrissey amazes the Masters champ

Watson tweeted a photo of his family's Halloween costumes -- and it's so cute, it's horrifying.

 

 

Yes, that's Watson in a Mickey Mouse outfit, complete with ears, red shorts and oversized hands. Just try to find a golf glove to fit those fingers.

And you thought Henrik Stenson's skull mask was the scariest thing you were going to see from a professional golfer this month. Not even close.

Happy Halloween from the Watsons