I can't believe this year is over. In some way I am happy to see this year end and begin a new year. I have come a long way with my golf game, gone to The Masters, won twice on The Golf Channel Amateur Tour, competed at the Golf Channel Amateur Tour's National Championship, discovered my weaknesses, and created a plan to get better at them. Other than golf I can't wait to see what opportunities come my way. For right now I will enjoy the last moments I have left in '08 with my family and friends. Thank you everyone for reading my blog, visiting my website, and following me on twitter. I wish every one a happy and prosperous 2009 with awesome golf shots!
I know we are in the heart of winter and there is a lot of snow/rain on the ground (even for me), but there are those lucky ones who get to play golf in the warm sunny weather. I totally envy you! I love and miss the sun, but California needs rain, so I guess I can’t complain too much. Any who, I finally finished the Women’s Golf Collection from Nike on my website. It has been up for a while, so if anyone has checked out the Men’s Golf Collection from Nike, then maybe you have already seen it. I will add the Adidas Men and Women’s Golf Collection shortly. I promise it won’t take as long. I hope everyone is having a great winter golf season and Happy Holidays!
I totally forgot to post when and where the Duel in the Desert takes place! Thanks LadyGolfer for bringing it to my attention. Duel in the Desert take place February 5-7th 2009 in Mesquite, Nevada, where Big Break Mesquite took place a few seasons ago. For the tournament you will play on three different courses Palmer at Oasis Golf Club, Canyons at Oasis Golf Club, and Falcon Ridge Golf Club. The whole tournament is a packaged deal for hotel and tournament fees, which all comes down to about $800 for double occupancy room or $850 for single occupancy. My co-worker played golf in Mesquite a few years ago and she loved it. She said the courses are great and the price of food is cheap. The hotel that is part of the package deal is CasaBlanca Resort Hotel and Casino. The tournament is a two-person team competition with stroke play format, so the first day is scramble format, day two is modified alternate shot, and the third day is best ball. Anyone can play in this tournament, you do not have to be a member of the Golf Chanel Amateur Tour, although I definitely recommend becoming a member because it is so much fun! You can click here for the full details of the tournament. I would love to know who is interested in the tournament and who will be participating. I haven't decided yet if I am going, but if I can save up some money and convince my swing coach Kris to go, then I am definitely going.
This golf year is almost over and I am excited for a new one to begin. Some great things happened in regards to my golf game this year and I can’t wait to see what next year brings. Last year I had to opportunity to ply in the Duel in the Desert tournament hosted by the Golf Channel and for whatever reason I declined, and now that I have experienced The Golf Channel National Championship in Florida I am now more eager to play in the Duel in the Desert tournament. The Golf Channel puts on some great tournaments even though you pay a pretty penny for them, they are well worth it. If I decide to go I hope to see some of you there.
Q-school if finally over and we get to see the rookies for next years 2009 LPGA Season. Personally I follow LPGA Q-school more than PGA Q-school, just because I feel for women golf is a different game than it is for men. Anyway, I wished the Golf Channel would televise LPGA Q-School. Not much else is going on in the golf world, so I don't see why not. Whatever. Now onto the exciting news. In case you haven't seen the results for today Stacy Lewis finished out on top with 18 under for the five days with Amy Yang not far behind at 15 under. Michelle Wie Finished tied for 7th place with 12 under, which in my opinion is great. I know there are so many Michelle Wie haters out there, and she has made some really stupid decision in the past, but that is in the PAST! As golf teaches us put all of your mistakes in the past and don't look back on them, and we should do the same! Forget what Michelle has done in the past and look at what she is doing right now. She has a great swing, a coach that is doing what he can to help her become the best she can be, and I think now she is working harder than ever. She knows she has to prove to the rest of the world that she is worthy of playing with the best, and I think she is. By going to q-school and finishing in the top 10 she has shown us the she is ready to play some real golf and compete on the women's tour with the best FEMALE golfers in the world. I can't wait to see what she will bring to the tour next year. As far as Stacy Lewis goes I am so happy she won the whole thing! She is an amazing golfer and she was struggling during the season with money and being able to play enough tournaments and earn enough money to get her tour card. Stacy has a great golf history already. You can check out all of the detail about Stacy and her amazing career here. Amy Yang who won second place played this year on the LPGA tour as a rookie and has one LET (Ladies European Tour) victory under her belt. I can't wait to see what all of the women who received their tour cards will do next year. I hope everyone is having a great Winter Golf Season!
Yesterday was Annika's last day on the LPGA tour for now at least. Even though I have never met her she always carried herself as a strong, compassionate, yet quiet person. She gave so much back to the game of golf and we will truly miss her. She changed the game for the better as did Tiger, when they were not satisfied with a game of just consistency. They both became better players and athletes by incorporating weight training, conditioning, and nutrition into their daily routines. I believe that if Tiger hadn't gotten so strong in the gym that you would not see so many players hitting as far as they do and the game would not have progressed as it has. Golfers have become strong athletes regardless of what the outside world says. In order for professional golfers to perform at their best at all times during a tournament requires a lot of hours not just in the gym, but on the course practicing. As I found out, the hard way, in Florida for the Golf Channel Amateur Tour National Championship what you put into your body makes a difference in your performance. I was not eating enough of the right foods and my game dropped dramatically after the first seven holes. I was on my way to one of my best rounds and because I wasn't eating enough my body was not fully nourished and did not perform. Annika will sadly be missed, but we will always remember how she changed the game of golf and I will not be surprised if we see her in the future.
Winter is finally here and I am sure a lot of you are wondering what is in fashion this season. I will be putting together some pictures with a few comments on my new website of the big brands Nike and Adidas just so you can see what colors are in fashion for the winter season. I love golf fashion, so I will be taking my time and I will try to give you as much information as possible about the clothes and I will suggest various outfits. If you have any questions or would like to see other manufacturers just let me know. I pretty much have access to almost all of the catalogs for various clothing designer and I love to explore new designers so just e-mail me what you want to see and I am more then happy to do it. With all of that said I will start with the men's winter line from Nike and then I will move onto the woman's collection from Nike and then onto the Men and Woman's Collections from Adidas. Here is my website where you can find pictures from most of my golf adventures, two videos from the Samsung Championship and Paula Creamer's Victory speech, and pictures from the Nike Catalog. My website is and will always be a work in progress, so bare with me.Enjoy!
Winter is finally here, which means for most of us, that it is time to bring out the rain gear and fall/winter colors. This week I will post and put together the fall/winter golf fashions for men and women, so stay tuned!
For the past two years ATR International has supported BASHOF (Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame) which is an organization who recognizes Bay Area Athletes as well as supports children who want to play sports. Monday was the BASHOF Golf Classic at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. This event is always something I look forward to because it is so much fun, you meet amazing retired Bay Area athletes, and play golf on an amazing course. Ken Venturi grew up in the Bay Area and we are blessed to have him host a golf clinic, which ATR International has sponsored for the past two years, and I have been fortunate to meet him a few times and sit at his table after the round and talk/take some pictures with him. He is really nice and so approachable.
I invited my coach Kris and my big sis Sandy to come out and play with us. Sandy and Kris are such great golfers I wasn’t sure how I would fare, and how much I would contribute to the group. It was play your own ball format and the two best balls counted. The conditions were not too bad, except that the greens were in pretty bad shape. I think the Olympic Club is trying to convert their greens, so they were not well taken care of and it was hard to now exactly what they would do. Sometimes they were fast and sometimes they were slow, and it didn’t help when you had to put over a big diseased patch. Nonetheless, we had an awesome time and dinner is always a great show. Last year I had the pleasure of sitting next to Gene Upshaw and since he passed away not long ago there was a nice tribute to him before dinner. After the tribute and the nice dinner they gave away the prizes for the day and I ended up winning longest drive for the women on the Ocean course! I won a $100 gift certificate to a restaurant in San Francisco. But, I must say I just edged out my big sis Sandy, and Kris who most certainly would have beaten me and the longest drive for the men, but she ended up in the rough, so it didn’t count. Basically I got lucky. :) After the prizes the auction started, which is really fun. We won our tickets to The Master last year from this event (Ken Venturi Donated them) and my dad was very eager once again to bid on them. This year they added some extra perks to the package, such as special passes to the CBS Lunch Booth, and some time with Jim Nantz of CBS Sports. The bidding was really exciting this year. For whatever reason last year BASHOF had to almost beg people to bid on the tickets for some reason, but this year it was almost a bidding war, which made things really exciting. In the end we got really lucky and my dad ended up winning the tickets. I am one of the luckiest people in the world and I can’t wait to go to The Master with my family again to experience one of sport’s most elite events. I will of course post as much as I can from August as I did last year.
The rest of the night was great fun and I can’t wait to do it again next year. Next up...18 Hole Ladies Halloween Tournament.
I was really excited to get to play golf again and start from scratch and try to play Andrea golf. We arrived a few hours before our tee time so we could have breakfast at The Lodge at Torrey Pines and just relax and warm-up a bit before the days round. While we were having breakfast I realized that one table was full of people reviewing binders that read Tee off with Tiger. I didn’t think much of it, but at the end of breakfast the waiter told us that Tiger will be on the course filming a commercial for his tournament. Well, it turned out Tiger was meeting a contest winner and he would walk a few holes with the winner and be his caddie. We eventually saw Tiger as we were getting ready to tee off doing an interview for the local news station. It was kind of cool to see Tiger unexpectedly at Torrey Pines.
The rest of the day was really fun, except that we paid $40 for a cart that could only be driven on the cart path! But we managed, and because it was a beautiful day there were a bunch of groups on the course and we were kind of running back and forth between our golf balls and the golf cart in order to not fall behind.
All in all we had a great day of golf, even though I did not play as well as I wanted, and it was awesome to watch the F/A-18 Hornet Navy Fighter Pilots fly over the golf course about every 20 minutes. Those planes are so amazing and as loud as they are it did not drive you crazy. I am a proud supporter of the U.S. Military as my cousin is a Pilot in the Marines. Thank you to all Men and Women who serve and protect this beautiful country.
The last day was more of for fun then anything else. My mom was able to ride in the cart with me which was really nice. The shotgun start was at 8:30, so I got to sleep in a little bit, and I just didn’t worry too much about warming up. I just practiced on the putting green and walked around and talked to people I had played with in the previous days.
When we drove out the the hole I was in group 14A and one of the guys in group 14b told me that the two guys I was playing with were in the championship flight (scratch to 5 handicap), so he was nice enough to invite me to play with his group. We played in a five some and in order to speed up the game we played on points so a double bogey was 0 points, bogey 1 point, par 2 points, birdie 4 points, and an eagle was 6 points. After a bogey we would just pick up. I think by Saturday I was mentally and physically burned out, even though I was so happy to be playing golf. So I just looked at this day as just trying to make some adjustments to my swing. I realized that I was standing a hair to close to my club, which caused my arms to jam at impact and in turn left the club open. Even though I did not win anything I had a great time with my playing group and overall it was a great experience.
I learned that I need to keep practicing the technique of my full swing as well as the technique of my short game, so when I am faced with competitive tournament my game will not come unraveled when I do mentally. I am not sure how you accomplish this other then pounding balls on the range and just playing as much as you can. I realized that when I play on my home course I am just go out to play for fun and I don’t really focus on what I am doing or what I want to accomplish. From now on I am going to have a new approach to playing at my home course and how I practice. I can’t wait for the off season to come. I really want to work on my strength training and fitness. As much as I love going to the driving range and just practicing my short game, I know the work I will do in the gym will improve my game dramatically and I can’t wait to see the results of it on Tour next year. Next up...Torrey Pines in San Diego.
Wow 7:43 Tee time! I have never played golf so early. The sun doesn’t rise here until 7:30! I didn’t warm up as much as I wanted because I didn’t have much time, and I thought it was more important to warm up on the practice green. I thought today would be a better day since I did not want to make the same mistakes as yesterday, but I made different mistakes today. I best hole I had was on a par 3 with a Mickey Mouse bunker, and it was a closest to the pin contest and I had beat the person who was already on the green, which was about 6-8 inches from the hole, and I made the birdie put. It felt really good. Especially since I had a par on the hole before. After that I had two more pars, thankfully, because that really saved my score. I still shot a 106, but as good and confident as I feel, I cannot compete to a certain degree with men who can hit the ball at least 250 yards and when I am trying to reach a 545 yard par 5 in regulation. But, I try to do what I can with how my game is.
After the round I went to the TaylorMade Performance Lab, and it was an amazing experience. I will do a separate post on my experience, but even though I see my swing on camera for my lessons it was great to see it a different angles and the lines for my hips, shoulders and feet. You get to take with you a CD of all of your swings from driver, irons, chips shots, and your putting stroke. I took a modified version of it and I just looked at my driver swing, iron swing, and my putting stroke. I will attempt to implement the changes that I discussed with Travis (the The TaylorMade performance lab guy) and Phillip (my Sacramento tour director). Everything that they said were things that I had previously discussed with my coach, so it was easy to make the adjustments. Tomorrow I play at another new course (Orange Lake) and again I have an early tee time. I am definitely going to try and warm up on the range as much as possible to just loosen up my back and get use to the changes I want to make. Wish me luck!
Today was the first day of the GCATNC and I got to play on Disney’s Palm Golf Course. My mom and I made our way over (we got lost on the way) and I only had 45 min. to warm up, which I guess was enough. As I said before I don’t like to warm up too much on the range, because then I start to correct myself, which then just confuses me. After my warm up I drove to the tee, met my playing partners (two really nice women), and then waited for about 20-30 minutes before we could tee off. Skycaddie was nice enough to provide us with the new Skycaddies for the day, which was a big help. My group started on the back nine, which I usually do better on so I was happy. I started off great. I bombed my drive down the middle of the fairway hit my second shot on the green and two putted for par. The next seven holes were just like this, and then for whatever reason everything went down hill from there. The next ten holes were disastrous and my group was put on the clock. I didn’t let the fact that we were on the clock for two holes distract me from my goal, but I just could not get the shots to work in my favor. I ended up shooting a 105 which is awful in my book and I should be doing so much better than that. The good thing is that I ended up paring the last hole of the day and I did a lot of things well. My biggest concern was that I would not get the speed of the greens, but I adapted really well, and I started really well and gave myself a chance to be on top of the leader board. Now looking back at my round I really think the fact that I did not eat enough throughout the round really effected me and my body just wasn’t doing what it was suppose to be doing. I wasn’t keeping my chest behind the ball enough and as a result my bad swing crept in and when I tried to recover, I was just not hitting the ball close to the pin and I was making it hard to make putts. The holes I played well was because I stuck the ball close to the pin and I made it easy to make par putts. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully I can make up some ground on the leader of my flight who shot an 89 today. Wish me luck! I have my work cut out for me.
*You can follow my journey more closely on twitter!
I always love watching the LPGA on TV, but when I get to watch them up close it is an extra special treat. My parents and I got to half moon bay just in time to watch the last two groups tee off, and Paula was in the final group so I got to watch her first hole pre-shot routine which was great. She took few second before she approached the ball and looked down and just said a few calming words to herself which I thought was great. It really gives you time to relax and just calm your nerves before you take your first shot of the day. I will definitely implement it when I go to Florida for the National Championship. For whatever reason, I don’t take as much time as I should because since I am the last one to tee off in my group I just try and rush a bit so we can be on our way. I learned a lot from the all of the ladies I saw out there and it was awesome to watch Paula win. The weather was great and it was a great course for spectators. It was very walkable and easy to view the players for every shot. My big sis for the women’s 18 hole group at my club was volunteering at the tournament and she was the chairman for the sign-bearers or something so she got to walk on the course with Lorena Ochoa, so it was great to see her out there. My parents and I watched Lorena’s group as well as Paula’s group, and we followed them up until hole 9 and then we went over to hole 14 and watched Jeong Jang’s group, Christi Kerr’s group, Susan Petterson’s group, all the way until Paula and Anglea came through and then we made our way to the 18th hole and tried to get into the grand stand so we could watch the rest of the groups come in. The grandstands that were provided were really small, but of course the sponsors tents were twice a big and not even half full, which was quite annoying because my dad and I had to stand by the cart bath and the green was above us, so I couldn’t really see the hole from where I was standing. Plus, there were volunteers watching out for people taking pictures and keeping people quiet, so they were standing in the way and I had to ask them to move so everyone could see. It didn’t do much good. The big guy moved closer to us, but was still blocking our view. So we just dealt with it and once Lorena was in sight she hit her second shot into the green side bunker right next to us. So we got to see a close up of Lorena hitting an amazing bunker shot, but I think she ended up with a bogie. We got to see Paula come through and make her par putt which was awesome. The majority of the people left the grand stand and my dad and I rushed up there to get a seat next to my mom and hopefully see the awards ceremony from a better view. I tried to take some pictures and a video of the presentation ceremony, but one of the volunteers told me to put my camera away so the video I ended up taking was a bit crazy. The awards presentation was over and we made our way to the restrooms before we had the long drive home and we ended up standing next to the line of people waiting for the golfers to come out and get their autograph. The volunteer controlling the crowd kept saying that you could not take pictures, and I could not believe it! We were away from the course and I understand why you can’t take pictures on the course because gettyimages has the rights to taking pictures on the course so spectators cannot since there is the possibility that they could sell those pictures and benefit from them. But how could the LPGA even think to not allow spectators to take pictures of their favorite players once they are off/away form the course and signing autographs. How unfair is that for the spectators? California only gets two tournaments a year and there are tons kids that really look up to the ladies on the tour and bring flowers, write notes, and bring gifts to give them and it is unfair to allow those kids to not have a picture with their favorite golfer. After the pit stop we walked towards the shuttle stop in order to get back to the parking lot. It was quite a long line, but I think we only had to wait for 30-40 minutes before we could get onto the bus. We didn’t want to wait in the long line of cars to get back over the hill, so we decided to get some dinner at Barbara’s Fish restaurant. It was a nice dinner and it gave us plenty of time to let the traffic pass and have an easy ride back home. I had an awesome time and the tournament pumped me up for the national championship. Up next...The Longs Drug Challenge at Blackhawk.
I am very happy that the LPGA scheduled two tournaments in Northern California which are an hour or so each from my house. The first up is the Samsung World Championship. I missed the first two days of competition because of a conference, but I am really excited to be going to the tournament on Sunday. I checked this morning and three Americans Juli Inkster, Angela Stanford, and Paula Creamer were at the top of the leader board, as well as Lorena Ochoa. I can’t wait to go and watch them and I think my dream twosome to watch would be Lorena Ochoa and Paula Creamer. I will be keeping my fingers crossed for that. I will take as many pictures as I can and post them as soon as I can.
There are only two and a half weeks left until that national championship and my preparation for the tournament is underway. I have isolated what a really want to work on and accomplish before the tournament and here is my list and how I intent to conquer it.
My swing was solid for the Tour Championship, but I felt that it was time to get better overall and just make my swing more efficient and just bring it up a notch. Even though nothing is perfect with my swing I still felt I had a good handle on it and small changes could be made. I took a lesson with Kris, one of the pros at my club, and told her that nothing was really wrong with my swing and I just wanted to make it better. What was great is that there was only one thing she wanted me to start working on because she felt it was time for me to start implementing it in my swing, and it was hitting against a strong left side. We worked on it for the rest of my lesson, did some drills, and in the end I understood what she wanted me to do I was just having a hard time implementing it in to my swing. A few days past and what we talked about wasn’t working. I went to practice after work and I asked Kris if she could stop by after her last lesson for a few minutes so she could help me with my swing. She came over and said that I should keep my chest behind the ball and that will help me hit on a solid side. Ding! It totally worked. Whenever I can relate what I need to do in my golf swing to whatever my body needs to be doing then something clicks in my head and I get it. Otherwise I get completely lost and frustrated. The second thing I wanted to work on it my short game and getting really comfortable with the basics as well as hitting the spots on the green that I aim for. Feeling more comfortable with hitting over bunkers, hitting high shots, as wells a low running shots. I talked to Kris about this and she shared with me her train of thought when it came to her short game. She said she walks the length of the chip all the way to the hole on both sides, divides the entire length into sections and then picks out the spot where she wants the ball to land and calculates how much roll the ball will have. She then walks back to the ball and visualizes the ball hitting the spot she had previously picked out and executes the shot. I don’t know my carry to roll ratios and for me it ends up being too complicated and because I just want to keep it plain and simple I decided to have my own version of her routine. It really helped me to walk the length of the chip, stop in the middle, stand back from my line and make a triangle between the ball, the flag, and where I was standing. Then I would pick out my spot, walk back to my ball, take five practice swing while staring at my mark, and then execute the shot. This has really helped me visualize the shot as well as making me feel comfortable with the spot I have chosen, and I don’t really thing about how far I take the club back or how much roll there is going to be. The fact that I am visualizing the shot while I am taking my practice swings tells my brain how far to take the club back in order to accomplish what I want. This really works for me for shots just around the green as well as just off. The last thing I wanted to practice as well as probably the most important to me that I get better at is in between yardages. Yardages such as, 88, 45, 117, etc... I noticed at the Tour Championship there were quite a few holes that were Par 4’s and around 288 yards. I have the advantage of being able to hit it about 200 yards which would leave me with 88 or so yards left to the hole. At that tournament I wasn’t really good at judging what my swing would be in order to take advantage of those yardages and put my self with a fairly easy putt, and this lead to par’s or bogies, instead of birdies. The short Par 4’s is where I can really gain a lead on the rest of field and I will need as many opportunities as I can get in order to make the cut. I have no idea how the other players in my flight play and I really have to make a game plan and refine my game as much as possible.
I found a golf course about 10 minutes from where I work where I will be able to practice on bermuda greens and just really get a feel for how the ball reacts out of bermuda rough and what the putting surface is going to be like. I am very lucky that in a few days I will be playing golf in Naples and I will be able to get a taste of real florida golf and hopefully I will be able to make a bunch of notes and implement those into my game plan.
LPGA tour qualifying school is finally underway. For those of you who are not completely familiar with how q-school works here is a non-detailed description. There are two Sectional Qualifying Tournaments. The first one is September 16th -19th at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, where Michelle Wie and Stacy Lewis are participating. The second is in Venice, Florida at the Plantation Golf and Country Club September 30th - October 3rd. The top 30 players (including ties) from each sectional tournament get to play in the Final Qualifying Tournament which takes place in Daytona Beach, Florida December 1st - 7th. Those who finish in the top 20 will receive priority status in Category #11. The top 20 players will alternate with players 81-90 on the 2008 LPGA Official Money list. In addition, qualifiers who finished #21-30 will receive priority status in category #16 and qualifiers in position 31-40 in category #20.
The last day of the tournament is very exciting and very emotional for each player. Hopefully they will be broadcasting it and once I find out where and when I will let you know.
Stacy Lewis and Michelle Wie are playing in well in the first sectional qualifying tournament and should be on their way to the final round in Florida. There are also a bunch a international players who make their debut at this tournament and it is great to see the players who are the future of women’s golf. Michelle Wie and Stacy Lewis are playing in the final threesome for Friday's round, which will be really exciting to watch. (article)
Day 1 - Saturday was finally here and I was really excited to get the tour championship started. I have never played in a tournament where I was so nervous the first few holes. I had never played this golf course and I was in the first group to tee off. Which was great since I could get back home earlier than usual, but I was nervous playing with guys that were so good. Two people in my group had very low handicaps and they could hit the ball a very long way, which was a bit intimidating. After a few holes I started to get comfortable, thanks to my cart buddy who was really nice and we just tried to have fun. The course was quite long and I wasn’t use to hitting my three hybrid into the green, but looking back on the day I probably should of had a strategy going into those par 5 and I should have just laid up and given myself easier chances for par. Overall I was semi-happy with my game. I was happy with the fact that my attitude has really improved and I’m not getting as angry at myself anymore, or at least holding onto the anger. I do get angry when I made a mistake, but after the ball lands the anger goes away. I feel a lot better after I play and mentally I am approaching golf in a different way. I wasn’t getting a feel for the greens so it was hard to make putts and and keep my score down. At the end of day 1 I ended up with 100, which was five shot off of the lead for my flight. I drove home and just relaxed and prepared for the next day.
Day 2 It was a bit tough driving back and forth to Sacramento both days from San Francisco, but it had to be done because of my dog and in a way it gave me time to think about the first day and on the way back to Sacramento I got to relax and calm myself for the days round. On Saturday when I arrived at Lincoln Hills I gave myself plenty of time to warm up and get use to the greens and a feel for chipping. But, I probably gave myself a bit too much time to warm up because I start to fix my swing instead of just warming up my back and my body. So Sunday, I didn’t leave too much time for warm-up and went to the first tee about twenty minutes early and just talked to the guys who were in the groups in front of me and I just stayed relaxed until it was time to tee-off. I had a great day and my tee shots were going right down the fairway and I actually had some puts that dropped. Since I was feeling really good with my game the last two holes on the front nine were par fours and I told myself that I really wanted to par both of them. I did and I shot my best score for 9 holes, which was a 44. I was feeling really good for the rest of the day and I was on my way to having a round under 90 and in order to achieve it I had to par the last three holes which where a par 3 and two par fours. I pared 16, had a chip in for birdie on 17 and I was putting for par on 18. One of the members in my group was putting on about the same line I had so after he put I stepped in to read what the ball did. It broke from left to right, which was the complete opposite of what I read. For whatever reason I did not believe what I saw, and I thought he might have put a bad stroke on the ball which made the ball react differently. So, I trusted my instinct and I played the ball with a right to left break. WRONG! He read the put right and I didn’t believe his read. I was so ready to slap myself after that put because I should have believed what I saw, and I ended up missing my bogey putt to leave the 18th hole with a double bogey. I had a chance to accomplish my goal and I blew it, but at least I gave myself a chance to accomplish that goal and even attempt to make up the five shots I had to in order to catch up to the leader. At the end of the day I ended up in second place with a 90 for the second day and a score of 190 for the two days. The winner shot a 186 for the two days and he won the personalized cart bag, which at first I wanted but after I saw it I didn’t because it was so manly looking. :) But nonetheless, I learned a lot from the tournament about what I have to work on for the National Championship in Florida in October and there were also a lot of things that I was really happy with. I can’t wait to start preparing for the National Championship and making a list of what I would like to accomplish before and at the tournament. Next up...the Women’s 18 Hole Ladies Mystery Trip!
Wow I never thought that Michelle Wie would actually take her medicine and go to q-school and be just like everyone else. It is about time that she made this decision and I think good things will come from this. If she gets her tour card she will learn a lot about herself as well as how to mentally deal with different situations. Even though she has played in LPGA events and pressure from the media, the pressures of q-school are quite different. I have never been to q-school, but I have heard that it is one of the most stressful times for a golfer who wants to be on the professional circuit. I hope her father is not on the bag and allows his daughter to experience the pressures of q-school on her own. Everyone pretty much knows that she will qualify, so this is the perfect time to grow and understand how your golf game fairs under the pressure.
It is the time of the year where golf season is coming to an end and The Golf Channel Amateur Tour has our Tour Championship. It is two days of competitive golf at Lincoln Hills Country Club. I have never played there, but I am feeling good about my game and my goal is to just minimize the mistakes and shoot one day an 89. I know I am more then capable of doing it and I just have to make it happen and trust my instincts. Wish me luck!!!
Today we had a few meetings with the clothing companies and we went through all of their collections for winter, spring and summer. Clothing companies mostly categorize each collection by their delivery date, so most of the delivery dates were from Nov. to May. Our first stop was at Tail and they had some interesting colors for their Nov. to Jan collection and I wasn’t to excited about that collection, but the colors for the rest of the collections coming at the beginning of the year and for spring are great. I will do a breakdown of each companies color schemes for each season with pictures so you can see what I am talking about.
Collection Name: Pythonic Games (Nov. - Jan.)
Colors: Navy, Cream, White
Patterns: Cream Python Print, Black Python Print
Collection Name: Tropical Punch (Jan. - Mar.)
Colors: Pink, Cream, and Orange Sherbet
Patterns: Tropical Print, Ombre Stripe
Collection Name: Citrus Infusion (Feb. - Apr.)
Colors: Apple Green, White, Midnight Navy, Sunburst
Patterns: Plaid (Apple Green and Navy), Tee Print Shirt
Collection Name: Opposites Attract (Mid Feb. to Mid May)
Colors: Black, White, Azalea
Patterns: Dash Jacquard Shirt (Black and White)
Collection Name: Free Spirit (Mar. - May)
Colors: Red, White, Midnight Navy
Patterns: Red and White Graphic Spheres Print Shirt
Collection Name: Frosted Glacier
Colors: Frosted Blue, White, Sandino (khaki)
Patterns: Abstract Foil Print, Pinstripe Pants
After Tail we wondered around until we had an appointment at Penguin. We went through the Men and Women’s Collection so we will first go through the Men’s collection for all of my male readers out there. There is some great stuff and this week I will try and put some outfits together to give you an idea of various color combinations. :)
( No Picture) Collection Name: Original Penguin Ultra-Basic Pique Collection
Colors: Blanco Trimmed in Angel Blue, Blue Print, Angel Blue, Angel Blue trimmed in Blanco
Patterns: Swirl Print shorts, Plaid Shorts
There were so many great things I liked from this collection that I had a hard time choosing exactly what I wanted to buy.
Lija was the next collection we went to go see and there were some cute things and Lija decided to put together a fun collection of dresses that were not necessarily for golf, but all of the pieces reminded me of the Stella McCartney Golf Collection. I did not take any pictures of that particular collection, but if anyone is interested in seeing it just let me know and I will take some.
Collection Name: High Society (Feb. 1st)
Colors: Regatta (Light Blue), Sunset, Pewter
Patters: Patterned Skort and Short, Plaid Skort and Short
Collection Name: Barefoot In The Park (March 1st)
Colors: Daquiri, White, Espresso, Margarita
Patterns: Plaid Skort and Shorts, Olive patterned Skort and Shorts, Polka-dot Shirt
Patterns: Plaid Skort and Shorts, Ziggy patterned Skort and Short
Collection Name: Roman Holiday (May 1st)
Colors: Magenta, Bermuda (dark mint green), Amphora, Lavendula Patterns: Plaid Skort and Shorts, and Rosebud Skort and Shorts
I love this skirt!
It was a really long, but exciting day. I had a really good time looking at all of clothes and matching them and comparing notes to the buyer at our club Michelle. If anyone has any questions on the brands that I saw or you want to see more pictures just let me know. There are more brands to come. Our last day at the Expo we saw the collections for Under Armor, Sport Haley, Jamie Sadock, and a new company call Jaxon. :)
Arriving in Vegas was a really exciting. Our Taxi ride from the airport was quite short because we stayed the first night at the Luxor, which was a 10 minute ride from the airport, so I did not get to see much of Vegas on the ride over, except for all of the tall buildings and the Sphinx as we arrived at the Luxor. We arrived at 8am and we could not check into the hotel until 11am, so my mom and I grabbed some breakfast and explored the hotel and eventually made our way over to Mandalay Bay where the expo was taking place. We got our badges and boarded the bus and headed over to one of the golf courses where a golf tournament for the PGA Expo was being held as well as demo day. I was expecting to see all of the big club manufacturers there showing off this years equipment and I was hoping to find some new clubs for my mom, but sadly this was not the case. I was really surprised that the only big club manufacturer there was Callaway! There were probably about 30 tents total on the driving range, with the Ogio trailer in the parking lot, a few putter companies on the putting green, and some random golf companies selling spikes, golf tees, training aids, etc... We first went to the putting green because I saw a demo of a putting training aid that help you practice the arc of the putting stroke.
It was made by Momentus Golf, which I found out is created by Butch Harmon. I have been wanting to get a putting training aid for a while even though the towel between my arms works well, but sometimes you just need something else to practice with. My next stop on the putting green was at Hot Rod putters.
The rep explained to me that all of the good putters on tour have a blade putter and blah blah. I didn’t really understand the concept of the new putter design and how it would help you putt better. It didn’t work for me, but my mom liked it and was putting well with it. I don’t really believe that just because a pro uses a certain type of club that is it the best club for me. Everyone learns as well as feels/sees different things with equipment and no matter who is playing with whatever clubs they may not be the correct club for me. So when the rep told me that all the great putters use a blade putter it didn’t mean much to me. Annika used a two ball putter her entire career and only just switched to a blade putter a few months ago. We moved on to the driving range and tested out some drivers from companies I have never heard of as well as tested some cool training aids. Probably my favorite demo was more of a golf fitness training aid. It was called the Power Reactor. This awesome machine was featured on Fore Inventors Only on the Golf Channel.
I tested this machine right after I hit some ball with a new driver and my shots didn’t look so good, and when Marcus, the inventor of the Power Reactor, asked me to throw the ball at the trampoline and I kept hitting the padded area of it instead of the center. He told me the reason why that was happening was because I wasn’t keeping my head down, which I occasionally forget to do when I haven’t touched a club in a while. But overall I thought this was a great golf training aid that can be used as a fitness tool as well. It really worked my core and all in all felt really good. There are other exercises that can be done with the medicine ball and trampoline to work your core as well as help with your cardio. I hope we can get something like this when my club builds up the new gym. Here is the website for this amazing exercise tool and on this website you can view videos on youtube on how it works.
After we tested the machine my mom and I went back into the club house since it was so hot and that there wasn’t much else to see and we boarded the bus back to the Mandalay Bay Hotel. We walked back to the Luxor hotel through a walkway they have between the two hotels and in it there are all kinds of shops and restaurants.
My mom and I were walking through and we saw this awesome golf bag. There were two, one was white and a full cart bag, and the other was black and more of a cary bag. We went into the store and saw the black bag up close and it had small skulls on it in gold.
We thanked the people at the store and continued walking back to our hotel and I read that there was a dinner that night for the PGA expo at the House of Blues with a concert by Dennis DeYoung and music from the Styx. The Styx was a band from the 70’s-80’s before my time, so I wasn’t that enthusiastic about listening to them, but I wanted to see what the House of Blues was like so my mom and I went back to the room and took a nap before we prepared to go. At about 5pm we made our way back to Mandalay Bay and when we arrived at the house of blues no one was there.
It turned out that the concert was the next day. So we went to have dinner at Stripsteak and we decided to split some chicken with truffle mac and cheese and have some nice wine.
They brought us this amazing appetizer which was three different kinds of seasoned french fries each paired with its own sauce. The first one was garlic fries paired with ketchup, the second was fries seasoned with truffle oil and a truffle cream dip, the third was paprika seasoned fries with bbq sauce. They were all so good that I could not pick a favorite and I could not stop eating them. Thankfully they only gave us a little bit of each. The chicken arrived and the truffle mac and cheese was unbelievably delicious. If you ever have the chance to go there you must try the mac and cheese. It also comes as a side order so you can have it with the stake as well. But, one thing to be weary about is that for our chicken we were charged twice for the chicken even though we told the waiter that we wanted to split the chicken since we understood that it was a whole chicken. But, in fine print it said that they charged $29.99 per person,and it was only half a chicken, which I think is ridiculous, but it’s Las Vegas what can you expect. But, in the end we only ended up paying $85 or so with tip for dinner which is a great price in Las Vegas. After dinner we walked around the Mandalay Bay a bit and we played one of the poker slot machines and after a while I was so tired of it because we would never get a good hand. But again, I guess that is how the slot machines are. We went back to our room and prepared for the next day.
So my promise of a Tuesday post was smashed, but I will blame it on our Tour Director for taking so long to get the pictures to me. :) Nevertheless, I got my pictures and here we go. This was the first time I had played this course and there has always been talk amongst the players that this was the hardest course on the tour and most people didn’t play in that tournament because they had a bad experience. I was told I wouldn’t like the course because I had to drive it straight in the fairway, and before I got my clubs cut down that was a bit of a problem for me a times. This tournament was farther than I had ever driven to a tournament and it felt even longer. Towards the end of my drive up I was getting really tired and I had to make a stop at McDonald’s to just get the blood flowing in my legs and get something in my stomach. After I ate I got back on the road and made my way up towards Lake Tahoe to Camino. As I got closer the navigation in the car said that it would not be able to complete the directions because it had not mapped out all of the roads. I began to panic a bit, but thankfully I remembered the exit off of the freeway and after I got off I turned into a parking lot and got on my iphone and I got the rest of the directions from the Apple Mountain website. So, in a sense MY BELOVED IPHONE SAVED ME!!! I got there safely and warmed up and mentally prepared myself for the round to come. There were a lot of ravines on the course, so knowing my yardages and where I could layup was key, and my Sky Caddie played a very big role that day. I felt really comfortable the entire day with my driving and iron shots. Probably the only thing I would change was that after my first mistake with my hybrid clubs it didn’t click that I was standing to far away from the club until the 18th hole, which caused the ball to have a slight tail right. This caused me to have quite a few shot where I could have been on the green in two, but because I started to top it or have the tail I just couldn’t get the yardage I wanted and it would end up in the hazard. But, what I was the most proud of was that the tournament before I was uncomfortable with yardages between 70-80. So I practiced those week before the tournament and they really came through for me and I was so happy that I practice a shot like that.
One great example was on a par 5 I hit my third shot to about 70 yards away, and it was uphill and I could only see the top of the flag. I felt comfortable with this shot and I took aim right at the pin and the ball came off really nicely and the ball ended up hitting the pin and landed a foot a way. I was so happy that I took a picture (left). My ball is the closer one. :)
The second time it really came in handy was on a par three, some of the men on the tour have been complaining that I get to hit from the first tees so I have been moved back, which isn’t a problem, but on this par three I had 70 yards exactly to the hole and I was practicing my short pitch shot with my pitching wedge and the rest of my group was standing on the tee and one of the guys under his breath, but loud enough I could definitely hear said, “there is no way she is going to make it with that shot!” It shocked me quite a bit since I was already over the ball, and I just said to myself yes you are yes you are. You are going to make it, this is a shot you have practice and you can do it. I calmed myself and hit the ball. I caught it a bit thin, but it ended up being the closes to the pin out of my group, and I just picked up my tee and said “and you said I wasn’t going to make it.” I missed my birdie putt, but made par so I was happy about that. The entire time I never thought once that I was going to win, I knew that if I just played my game that I would post a good score and that was all that mattered. We finished and I ended up with a 92 and I wasn’t sure how that would hold up. I had a 92 in the last tournament and I was badly beaten by and 87. On this tour you never know what is going to happen. So I walked in to turn my card in and one of the other guys who outplayed me last time said, “you have to beat a 104.”
I happily smiled and said, “ I think I got it.” I went to the car to put my clubs away and change my shoes and then made my way back to where everyone was and kept my fingers crossed that no one one had beaten my 92. As I walked in to the grill everyone in my flight stood up and applauded. It made me feel really good and then our tour director Phillip presented me my award and said that I had beaten everyone by eight shots. It felts so good to win especially since I drove so far to play in the tournament.
I earned enough points with this win to put me in third place for the points standings for the National Championship. The top four from each flight get to go, so hopefully I will keep my spot after this weekends tournament since I am taking a break and I hope to go into the tour championship feeling even more confident with my game and ready to win. A win will guarantee me a spot to the National Championship in Florida, which has been my goal this season. Up next I will be attending the PGA show in Las Vegas!!! I am very excited about it and I can’t wait to get there on Monday and I will be taking tons of pictures so stay tuned.
The tournament this weekend went really well. I will get into it in more detail, once I get pictures for it, but I will say that it was a great course and a huge boost in my confidence level. I ended up winning and beating the other players in my flight by 8 strokes! I promise I will have the rest of the story up asap!
First off I have to apologize for not keeping up with all of the happenings in the golf world, but I will do my best in the next few days to catch up.
Now onto the art of club fitting. I have always thought that going to a club fitter was only meant for players who had a handicap of ten or below and not for a "beginner" like me. When Taylor-Made had a demo day at our club I tried out all of their new clubs and I found a set I liked and the guy watched me hit balls with a launch monitor and recommended changing the lie about one degree and having the length a bit longer than regular woman's clubs. I agreed even though I thought it was a bit long, but he is a professional so he should know more than I would about what would improve my game. I had a lesson once I got my clubs and my coach (Kris) said that they might be too long, so I asked our head club pro and he watched me hit some balls and he thought that the length of the clubs were fine. So, I just adjusted to them and I played a few tournaments with them and had good results, so I did not think much about it until just recently my coach suggested again that my clubs might be too long since I was struggling with my swing. I gave in and went to The Golf Lab / California Golf Technologies and had the guy check me out on several machines with tape on the club and then he checked the stiffness of the shaft, and came to the conclusion that all of my clubs were too long and he would take off about an inch from each of them including my wedges. I got them back on Wednesday and of course I was eager to play with them, so I did, and I ended up shooting my best round at my course! I shot a 44 with one bad hole that I got an 8 on. I felt so much better with each one of my clubs, especially my driver. The clubs felt so much shorter, so I felt at address that I could get through the impact zone without having to use my hips or anything else to make it happen. Since I am short having my clubs fitted for me was something really important and I expect some great and new things to happen with my golf game because of it and I can't wait to share them with you once they happen. The moral of the sroty is that no matter how good or bad you think you are once you understand the concept of the swing you should get clubs that are fitted to fit your natural swing! Up next is another golf tournament for the Golf Channel at Apple Mountain Golf Resort, which I have never played before so it will be exciting to see what happens.
I apologize for the late posting, but here is how Michelle fared against the men last week at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open.
The first day Michelle shot a great round of 73 which put her in a good spot to make the cut on Friday. However, her round of 80 on Friday blew her chances of making the cut. Thursday Michelle carded 3 birdies, 11 pars, and 4 bogeys. Friday she carded 2 birdies, 11 pars, 3 bogeys, 1 double bogey, and a 9 on a par 4. Her driving accuracy for both days averaged to about 68% and driving distance averaged 301 yards, with an average of 25 putts per round.
Even without her 9 on the par four she would not have made the cut. The cut was at even par, which meant that Michelle had to have a great round of at least 3 under to have a chance to play on Saturday.
I think the media put too much pressure on her to play better than the first day and to make the cut. Even though after her round on Thursday she said in her interview that she was not focusing on making the cut and just focused on playing solid golf, I think the idea of making the cut had some effect on her. I am definitely not criticizing her decision to play on the PGA since she was feeling really good about her game and she had a great showing at the State Farm Classic on the LPGA tour, and I think she thought it would be OK to play in a PGA tournament because she was feeling confident about her game. But, She is also running out of options at this point since she is only allowed six sponsors exemptions per year and she is trying to make enough money to gain LPGA status. My one problem so far is that she refuses to play on the Duramed Futures Tour or go to Q-school and take the path everyone else has to take in order to receive her LPGA Tour card. She may be a professional, but that doesn’t mean that she is too good for either option. If she thinks she is so good than she should be more than happy to go to q-school and kick everyone’s butt and show every one that she can play some awesome golf! And as we saw at the State Farm Classic she is more than capable of doing so.
For those of you who do not know what happened at the State Farm Classic, Michelle had a great two days of golf, but was sadly disqualified because she did not sign her scorecard before she left the scoring tent after the first day. The tournament director allowed her to play the second day and informed her of the DQ after her round. You can see her first round scorecard here.
I truly think Michelle just had a bad day of golf last Friday at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open and she just needs to keep playing golf and refining her game and just suck it up and play at q-school so she can get her card and we can all move on.
I am a twenty-something golfer who just joined the obsessed golfers club. I love playing different golf courses and meeting new people. I work at ATR International as a Marketing Specialist! Feel free to make comments (good or bad)about what you think and what you want to see on my blog. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on this blog are those of Andrea's personal opinions and do not represent the views of ATR International or any of its clients.