Saturday, September 27, 2008

Road to the National Championship

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.

Friday, September 19, 2008

LPGA tour qualifying school is finally underway

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)

Friday, September 12, 2008

GCAT Tour Championship

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!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


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.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tour Championship Day 1

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!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

PGA Expo - Day 2

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: Royal, Bright White, Aster Purple, Chardonnay, Green Eyes, Granadina (red)

Patterns: None

Collection Name: Collection I

Colors: Royal, Papyrus, Jelly Bean (green) , Bright White, Malibu, Red

Patterns: Two Plaid Shorts, Fine lined Short, Plaid Vest,

Collection Name: Collection II

Colors: Aster Purple, marshmallow, Chardonnay, Golf grey, Highrise Plaid Shirt

Patterns: Striped Shirts, Plaid Shorts

Collection Name: Collection III

Colors: Granadina, Green Eyes, Crown Jewel, Peacoat, Chick Yellow

Patterns: Plaid Shorts, Striped Shirts

For whatever reason I don’t have the delivery dates on these, but they are probably the same as the delivery dates for the women’s collection, which was my favorite collection of the whole show.

Women's Collection

Collection Name: Collection I (Nov. 25th)

Colors: Blanco Trimmed with Yellow Cream, Blue Print, Blanco, Yellow Cream,

Patterns: Lined pants, Paisley Print Pant, Plaid Pant

Collection Name: Collection II

Colors: Emberglow Trimmed in Blanco, Angel Blue, Blanco, Bear
Pattern: Floral Print Short, Plaid Shorts, Lined Pants

Collection Name: Collection III

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

Collection Name: An American In Paris (April 1st)

Colors: Bayou (Turquoise), heather Grey, Black, Maize (Yellow)

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. :)