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There is nothing quite like writing. I don’t mean posting something on Twitter, or shooting out a dozen emails. I mean writing. With a pen(cil). On paper. With your hands. In this day and age of technology, we have simplified so many things. You can pay your mortgage with the touch of a button. You can view concerts from across the globe live on your computer. We are always connected, ever able to get to anyone, anywhere in the world within 24 hours. But have we gone too far when after writing some ten lines on a notepad, my hand cramps from the weight of the pen I’m wielding? Granted, it’s a big ol’ heavy MontBlanc pen that I have had for years and probably shouldn’t be used for much more than signing away a billion dollar company, but still. And yes, I wrote that. I was sitting on a plane, day dreaming and doodling, when my heart suddenly sank at the realization of what I just wrote on that napkin.

The romance of writing is gone. Even to-do lists, a short love note, Hell, writing one’s flight information is available on our phones, tablets and computers. I wonder if children at school learn their QWERTY’s as quickly as their ABC’s. I remember the days hen I’d write a note to a friend, obsess over how I wrote my “a’s” or how I dotted my “I’s”, would fold the note into a shape, be it an envelope, a flower, or another bit of origami. Part of the thrill would lie in how my friends would respond. Would they be able to figure out how to refold the letter? What would she write? How would she write it?

There is emotion in how we write, whether in big, loops, or in a hurried fervor, hoping that our hands would be able to keep up with the speed in which our minds race. We wrote in script, we wrote in print, and sometimes we wrote in secret languages no one but the closest of friends understood or could possibly decrypt. We’d write in journals, in our textbooks, and we’d write on napkins, receipts, on anything that had a surface to scribble something on. But now? Now our hands cramp, our minds race at the speed of 100 words per minute, and we forget. We forget the importance of writing. Much of what we want to say comes off in how we write, and so we often give people only part of the story. Truly, the romance of the scripted word is dying. It’s time we brought it back to life. Snail mail needs to come back. Or else writing will fall by the way side much in the way word of mouth, the way stories used to be told throughout the generations before writing, had disappeared.

I am hereby rededicating myself to writing notes to people, as often as I can, when given the opportunity. Even if it’s to write my friend a note wishing her good luck in her next round, or to handwrite thank you notes. The world has become so digitized, we sometimes forget how important it is to take that extra minute to write a note, and three business days for the mail to arrive at the intended person’s hand.

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It’s 2003. I am eighteen years old, fresh off what would later be called the Symetra Tour, and a full time rookie on the LPGA. I am carefree, I am  young, I am precocious. I am lucky to be playing a sport that I had fallen in love with, and was getting paid based on how well I played. The first LPGA event of the season is the 2003 Welch’s Fry Circle K in Tucson, AZ. My practice round included teeing it up with Dorothy Delasin, one of my heroes growing up in Northern California, and Cristie Kerr, who would later on prove to be one of, if not the strongest American player on the LPGA tour for a number of years.

Though there is a slew of new faces, I see a lot of faces I recognize. Obviously, Lorena Ochoa and Miriam Nagl, who graduated with me from the Futures Tour, along with a littering of players that made their way through Qualifying School. There are a few players that I knew through the Junior Golf Association of Northern California like Natalie Gulbis, who was in her second year on tour at 19, and someone I always admired for her kindness to strangers and her work ethic. One thing that has always stuck in my mind was when I saw her in the locker room on Tuesday, making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and she looked over at me and smiled. I shuffled over and watched her in awe and said something massively dorky like “Wow. I can’t believe we are here together.” And with her iconic, dazzling smile, Nat looked at me and said “We really are living the dream, aren’t we?”

And then of course, there were the women I grew up watching on the television. Meg Mallon. Beth Daniel. Karrie Webb. Se Ri Pak, who is deemed a deity in the world of Korean golf. And of course, Annika Sorenstam, who was one of the first players to show mind boggling dominance in the modern era of golf. These were women I looked up to, women I idolized, and women I wanted to get to know. To humanize; so I would be able to treat them with the respect and reverence they deserve, but also so I would be able to maybe one day call them friend.

Throughout my first week on tour, I got to know many names. So many I was overwhelmed, but was in such a daze that before I knew it, it was Thursday. I was paired with Miriam Nagl, whom I had graduated with the year before, and Dina Amaccapane, a player that I had seen on TV many times before. Both Dina and I missed the first green, and when I saw her play a soft lob shot and stick the ball to five feet from the hole, I just assumed I could too. Mind you, I had never really played a shot like that before. I was very much of the ilk to play flop shots when I had a perfect lie, and needed to spin the ball. I never thought to play the ball away from the ground when I had room to work with, but I figured “she could, so why can’t I?” Twenty five feet later, my dad was scratching his head and muttering about why I ever tried playing that shot, I never use that shot. Miriam was on a similar line for her birdie putt, and when I watched her ball miss on the high side, I was able to use her read and sank my par putt.

The remainder of the next two days seemed to go into a blur, and before I knew it, I made my first cut, and was playing with Deb Richard, a lady with grace and patience and encouraging words for me. The crowd that had gathered on the first tee made me cry because Saturday was my nineteenth birthday, and I went on to shoot an easy 8-under 62. Come Sunday, I was in the final pairing with the Canadian legend Lorie Kane, and briefly held the lead with birdies on my first two holes. Lorie was a fierce competitor, and she taught me a lot about how to deal with fans, how to deal with a just-turned nineteen year old and her pop lugging her bag around. We were a duo that loved being able to be on that golf course, and were eager to learn more about the way tournament golf at it’s highest level could be played. Though neither of us won (Long ball Wendy Doolan ended up smoking the golf course and us) I left the course a much more aware young lady.

In the weeks after that, I got paired with Meg Mallon, with Beth Daniel, and with Annika Sorenstam. They told me tales of how the tour used to be, how lucky we all were to be where we were. We were not only walking the trail blazed for us by the work and love of the game Babe Zaharias, Mickey Wright, Louise Suggs, and the ten other founders of the LPGA had. No, not at all. We were also walking along, trowel in hand, and paving the way for the future. The women I grew up idolizing taught me to make sure to leave the LPGA and the game of golf in a better place than I entered.

Ten years and two victories later, I feel like there has been a change of the guards. I have seen the women I idolized retire, starting with Beth Daniel, and most recently in the legendary Grace Park, who epitomized her first name. Though I am only 28, I feel like I am beyond my years, in both wisdom (which is probably a load of cow patties) and in stress on my body, my mind, my soul. The organization that I came into has been through some extremely difficult times, has risen from the ashes and re-emerged, as a new product full of gorgeous, young Americans that are business saavy and can bomb the ball.

Though I have been struggling through some physical ailments, depression, and the recession we have all been feeling, I have renewed hope in the future of the LPGA. In the last two weeks I have played with the beautiful Sydnee Michaels, Lizette Salas, and Danielle Kang. They are all gorgeous, beat the crap out of the ball, and have great heads on their shoulders. The combined age of the last three winners is 59, which is the lowest recorded score in women’s golf. 59. Granted, the lovely Kiwi Lydia Ko is only 15, but the other two winners, So Yeon Ryu and Mika Miyazato are both 22. And somehow, six years is a massive difference. Who I was at 25 and who I am right now, I can’t even begin to explain it. I just know I need to get my butt into gear, lose as much weight as yards I want to gain off my driver, and go find Juan Ponce De Leon and find me that Fountain of Youth he is reputed to have found. I will be around until the LPGA is in a better place than when I was a rambunctious 18 year old, but when I do, I know the ladies into whose hands I shall be placing the shovel and trowel will be able to continue on the path paved for them.

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“I prefer the mystic clouds of nostalgia to the real thing, to be honest.” –Robert Wyatt

To me, there are very few things that can evoke memories the way that music can. Sure, the smell of Colgate sends me straight back to the days when I was a child, learning to brush my teeth. Standing over the sink with my mother, her mouth merrily frothing like a rabid animal, as we laboriously scrubbed at the germs in our mouths with our toothbrushes. Or the sharp bite of perfectly pickled kimchi that brings me back to my childhood house, mom and dad both cooking dinner for the family. Mom, with love. Dad, with flavor, also known as salt. The warmly lit house, before the days of harsh halogen lights, but the warm yellow glow of 75 watt bulbs…
But I digress. Music. Just the letters placed together form more than just a word. To me, music is the ultimate form of art. You can feel the life of the song pulsating into your bloodstream like an IV. The instruments call to you, reach into your soul and tell you of things you have yet to discover. MUSIC.
And while I can go on and on about music today, and how it has evolved since I started to appreciate it (was not too long ago, in the grand scheme of things. My history on music goes from my reading about the lives as well as listening to classical artists like Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and the like, to several Elvis tunes, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, then leaps to the mid to late 80’s. Apologies to the decades I missed!!) I am choosing today to reminisce on the artists that influenced me as a youngster, in no particular order.
1. Gin Blossoms (Hey Jealousy, Until I Fall Away, Found Out About You)-This band I first heard when I was nine years old or so. Thanks to my mother, I had been mostly brought up on learning the lives of the classical artists, through illustrated books that depicted the lives of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and the like. The other music I came across was courtesy of my older sister, whom I would catch playing Vanilla Ice and working on her Running Man in the backyard, or MC Hammer. Hearing Hey Jealousy for the first time on the television took my breath away, because there was a yearning in the voice of Robin Wilson, the lead vocalist that I had never encountered before. I still feel that yearning, all these years later, and every time I hear that song, I’m nine again.
2. TLC (Baby-Baby-Baby, What About Your Friends, Red Light Special, No Scrubs)- Now, these sisters had something special. They got me jumping, dancing, and begging my parents to deck me out in fluorescent colors, wear scrunchies, do that whole loop your shirt under and over your collar, and though their careers were tragically cut too short with the passing of Left Eye (in my posse, I was Left Eye, so I was especially distraught over her passing while filming a documentary in Honduras), they released albums from when I was seven till sixteen. They were with me when I learned how to play golf, when I started junior high and high school, and those three beautiful women were like my friends. RIP, Left Eye.
3. Gravity Kills (the ENTIRE self titled album)-This band will always be one of my favorites. I was technically a tween when I went to my very first live musical shindig, and with my older siblings, we drove all the way to the Shoreline Amphitheater to partake in KAMP KOME. The summer of 1996 will always be a great one, because there I learned the joys and magic of moshing, I saw my sister crowd surf, and thanks to the wonderful bands there like Poe, 311, Dishwalla, and Gravity Kills, I learned that letting loose, screaming like a crazed lunatic, thrashing limbs everywhere, and music could really, and truly HELP people feel better in a physical way. I couldn’t do the Running Man to save my life (I think I can tread water somewhat nowadays), I couldn’t actually hold a tune, and I had no skills with instruments. My poor mother must have been so devastated when she found out that I had a tin ear and was (still am) essentially missing a knuckle and my stumps for fingers couldn’t glide across the piano the same way hers could. But I had MOSHING. And oh, how it changed me. I still haven’t been in a physical fight with another human being, but moshing had given me an outlet that I still use to this day. THANK YOU, KAMP KOME!!!!
4. Better Than Ezra (Good, Porcelain, In The Blood, Southern Girl)- In 1995, I was really getting into music. The mainstream bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam never really touched my soul the way they did most people. I liked bands that had voices that didn’t sound like they were doped up (which, sadly, I came to find was the exact case for Kurt Cobain, RIP) and though the band hasn’t reached the heights I imagined, I still listen to In The Blood, and am back in the sixth grade, where we were king. Mrs. Smith, Matt Rogers, Derek Hansen, Tiffany Combs. Hot summer days, where everyone seemed to have a birthday party, a pool party. But more than anything, Better Than Ezra remind me of the days when I first started playing golf, where my parents would drop off my siblings and me, and we would play 54 holes a day in the summer and learn tp hone in our skills. Those were the days…
5. Nine Inch Nails (too many songs to list, but Closer, Hurt, March of the Pigs, to name a few)- Trent Reznor. WOW. What a human being. While a lot of my friends were listening to Marilyn Manson (don’t ask, I don’t know why), Rob Zombie (again, no clue), my brother introduced me to some amazing musical groups and artists, like NIN, Deep Purple, Underworld (oh, how I wish Underworld were still together!!), and I was introduced to dark ambient, industrial metal, and a whole new world of music that was created in ways most bands didn’t. I learned about Shinjuku Filth, the entire score to the movie Strange Days filled me with wonder over what the next millennium would bring. Sadly, we don’t have chips in our brains, live like every day is the end of the world, or have access to the internet in our minds. Though I think our smart phones are pretty damned close, and I DO love to wear me some black leather boots and dramatic eye makeup!!! Because that’s just what you did when it was the end of the world!!!
I could truly go on for hours more about the things that bring me back, but these were some of my biggest influences when I was a (pre)teen. Leave a comment and let me know what songs bring you back to your childhood!!!

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“Advice is the only commodity on the market where the supply always exceeds the demand.”  -Anonymous

So there I was. Sulking on the practice putting green at Evian Golf Club, trying to sort out what was going on with my stroke. I struck the ball adequately, but missed far too many putts in the first round. Missing putts while striking the ball well left me with a score of 73, ten shots behind the leader Stacy Lewis. Suffice to say I was rather despondent.

I was working on reading my putts better, especially with the left to right, downhill, touchy sliders heading toward le Lac Leman, or Lac Geneve, depending on which side of the lake you were on. After having been to the Evian for ten years, I thought that I had a pretty good indication on how much the lake would effect the speed of the putts. Plus I was working ferociously on my stroke, both at the golf course and in the hotel room, and finally felt comfortable with it again. Until teetime came. Then I was trying too hard. I made a few birdies, including an awesome birdie on the first hole, but could not convert the crucial par saving, momentum swinging putts I needed. I asked my caddy to let me be, to let me sort my putting on my own, mostly so I would be able to cry my frustrations out on my own. I am not the biggest fan of crying in front of others, and I hated the idea that I needed to cry, I needed to putt, and was going to have to combine the two together.

And there I was. Working on putts ranging from three to fifteen feet, with varying amounts of break, when up comes Andrew Dearden. He caddied for me in the past, and he is without question one of the finest caddies I have ever had the honor of working with. We spent the better part of nine months working together, and the better part of ten years becoming and staying friends. We can always laugh at things, he can always help me to focus or to get over a bad shot, and moreover, he knows what he’s doing because he truly cares. Not that other caddies I have had in the past didn’t care, but Andy and I have one of the best relationships of anyone on tour. He’s one of my best mates, and so between sniffles, he came over and started chatting. He said he saw me standing by myself (whereas most other years, I would be sitting with a crowd of folks having a few at the infamous Beer Garden next to the practice green) and we just talked. About everything. And anything. He mentioned he read my blog entry on my depression, and gave me a much needed slagging for having not talked to him about it, instead of the usual coddling I had been receiving from most of the people I came across. He told me how he didn’t understand what I was going through exactly, but he would always be there to provide a shoulder to lean on, an ear to jabber into, or a hand to smack some sense into me, if need be.

For those of you that have read my book, you know a bit about Andy. He’s from Manchester, England, has a foul , mouth that I love, and through his rough edges, is more loyal to his friends than anyone I have ever met. He has been there with me through thick and thin, and he has always known when I needed a joke or a hug. He is an unsung hero in my world, one who asks for nothing (though I do owe you that Scotty for wee Mark… Resend me the deets, por favor) but for the respect any human deserves.

Suffice to say, Andy’s chat had me from crying due to frustration to spewing tears of laughter in a matter of minutes, and my mind and soul felt cleansed again. Andy is such a wonderful man, and I am so damned lucky to have entered his small circle of friends. The next day, my stroke felt so much freer, with no burden of me “having to make the cut” or anything, that I managed to one putt my first seven holes enroute to a 67. I can’t recall the last time I shot 5 under. Most people probably can’t. And though a lot of it has to do with my diligence to work on my stroke after my poor round on Thursday, there is no question that Andy’s (mostly) kind words allowed me to release a little of what was still battling inside of me. And for that, I salute you, and I thank you Chief Dearden!

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Below is an essay my friend, Jessica, wrote for her English class back in England. Please read this and think the next time you want to say something harsh about someone, be it for their looks, size, orientation, or for no apparent reason. This beautiful young lady is a free spirit, who has been there for me in some of my dark days. Jessica, you are a star, shining bright in this world, and I am grateful to have you in my life. May yours be a life full of joys, and I hope we stay friends forever. I am here for you always, day or night.

“For part of our English GCSE we had to devise a persuasive speech on any topic we wanted, then perform it to an audience; mine being my class. We were told the facts didn’t have to add up, as long as they seemed plausible- the main focus of the speech being on polishing up persuasive techniques and making it as compelling as possible. It turned out everyone did very well, and we were all pretty much in favour of every speech that came out. Unlike some of the other speeches though, all these facts are true. Because this is an area very close to my heart, I wanted to research it very thoroughly and bring up the raw facts. After all, what can be more compelling than the harsh truth? I wanted to shock people.. Make them realise that it does go on, and that with the growth of the Internet it’s only getting worse. I wanted people to look at this from a different perspective. Stand in someone else’s Converse for a change. And shake them right to the very core. Because in this matter, sugar coating is not what’s needed. The world needs to be taken by the shoulders and given a King-Kong-esque shaking. Otherwise they won’t wake up and see that something needs to change. If this affects one person. Saves one person’s life, or even from being given a wedgie one time.. Then I’ve made a difference. And that to me is better than sitting back and hoping someone else will do it for you. So I’m grabbing the bull by the horns, and along with millions of others, campaigning to eliminate bullying. Not necessarily make it against the law as I wrote in my speech (we had to create a steadfast case for something and this was a good option) as my good friend pointed out – illegalising it would open up a whole can of worms in terms of the extent of the bullying, what could be classified as bullying, the fact that even though bullying is a more than horrific ordeal it can make you stronger, some people don’t even realise what they’re saying and the impact it’s creating, and that it’s kind of wrong to lock up a six year old for breaking your toy train.. ” -Jessica

This is written in speech format, so if it sounds a little different to classic prose, that’s why.. And being told we could write about anything stunned me for a little while.. I was honestly lost. But then I thought. So many children, and hell, adults out there can’t speak or don’t have anyone to speak for themselves. And I’m being given an opportunity to do it for them. So I did.
There will always be that someone you would do anything for. Picture their face in your head; study it, and relish it, be it father, sister, or a friend; that face you’d climb Everest to make smile. But some are better than others at concealing things beneath their seemingly calm and collective veneer, and ever-present smile. Bodily scars are visible, etched on the skin for a given amount of time, but they soon fade away, with little evidence of their existence. Emotional scars are harder to find, and can be much more damaging. Unlike those of the physical variety, these make themselves scarce, but they are always there; not something you can patch up with some tape and an eye patch. They are there for life, irreversible, all-consuming, all-knowing; hidden to the naked eye with as little as a smile. The line between banter and bulling is one that is frequently crossed, but because it is so frequently crossed, it’s hard to judge when it’s been overstepped. This is why, especially in this school where corridors are rife with careless comments, it’s hard to pinpoint, and cork. But feelings are much harder to bottle up than champagne.
‘It’s this hollow feeling that starts at your heart. A stabbing pain takes over the hollowness and you cry in anguish. It’s nothing compared to the death of your grandfather. Because your best friend is around the same age as you. You don’t expect them to leave so young. The pain is like a rusty blade, piercing your heart repeatedly, over. And over. And over. Your mind goes through all the memories you’ve had since day one. The tears overwhelm your eyes and you cannot see. Your eyes sting with the pain. Crying over and over. This pain is so unbearable. You cannot breathe anymore… Is this how he felt? Finally, you can fly away like you always wanted, for you are in the arms of the angels now. I love you always.’
The words of Colleen Chavalier, writing a blog to break the news to the world of her best friend, Jamie Hubley’s suicide on Friday 14th October 2011. If anyone would listen. But they did. Jamie’s death made headlines around the world, and more and more teenage suicides are making the news. He was just 15 years old. His crime? Being unashamedly gay. Through this, the Trevor Project was created, which is a suicide prevention organisation for the LGBT community. But I believe more should be done, because campaigning and detentions aren’t enough. Do you really believe a time-wasting detention, bereft of any significance in the grand scheme of things will deter a bully from their next victim? You may think suicide is a bit far-fetched for the average bully victim, but in 2004 there were 4,599 teenage suicides, the overriding cause being Depression, due to self-hatred, thanks to bullying. And that’s only the reported ones, before people cottoned on to the idea of using social media on the internet to victimize and humiliate. If you sit down and think about it, we are all born differently; no two of us are exactly alike, so if we choose to live our lives or act differently, why does that make us a bad person, abused for simply being who we are? In 2007 the rate of teenage suicides increased to it’s highest jump in 15 years, with a 119% increase in the method of hanging and suffocation. That increase was in girls aged 10-14 years. Do you have any little sisters or friends? You just can’t imagine it. It rips you apart. And official reports state the LGBT community are 2-3 times as likely to attempt suicide. This is why Bullying needs to become an official crime and therefore illegal. PSE talks and trips to the Headmaster simply aren’t effective enough. Action needs to be taken now, before it becomes too late. But the extent to which some are abused goes beyond what is socially or morally acceptable. 14 year old Jamie Rodemeyer wrote on his blog “i always say how bullied i am but no one listens. What do I have to do so that people will listen to me?’’ Found by his parents, just hours after his death. After his wake, the bullies at his school were found chanting ‘we’re glad you’re dead’ and yelling hateful chants. Being bullied after death. When will you finally leave them alone? Is beyond the grave not far enough? You wanted them gone, and now they finally are yet you still persist to slur the names of boys and girls who just want to live their lives free from oppression and labels and just be themselves. Is being an individual, what we are all born, for none of us are truly the same, such an offense? The openly gay student posted a video on YouTube months before his death, when the bullying for a while slowed down, saying ‘it gets better’, quoting the foundation set up with the same name in response to the growing number of LGBT suicides, in which successful adults post videos to troubled teenagers assuring them that there is a huge amount of respect for them out there, and that people are listening, and there is hope. In the video he promised others bullied like him that things do improve, and that friends had a huge impact on him feeling secure and safe, leading parents and friends to believe his future was bright. . Unfortunately, though things did not get better for Jamey and he took his life 4 months after the video was posted after the culmination of years of merciless bullying online and playground taunts from peers.
Friendship and love though do help so much with cases of bullying; the knowledge that there are people out there who love you and accept you for who you are gets you through the day, and a lack of this is what leads to desperate measures like suicide which are taken purely because they want to feel loved, and that they do have a place in this world. Stepping out of your comfort zone to stand up or help another may do more than you know. But I am now, being given a chance to speak, so I will speak for those that aren’t given the chance to. For those that find themselves shouting, with no-one to hear. For those that were and still are being ignored, which is the ultimate killer. If we don’t step back and realise the consequences of our own actions, it may be too late. Don’t let that someone you love suffer what Jamie Hubley and Rodemeyer, and the thousands that took their own lives suffered. I will fight. So I can be broken. I will fly. So I can be shot down. And I will speak. So they can be heard.
It gets better. I promise.

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I’m baaaaaaaack

I know it’s been a long ass time since I posted anything on ANY of my blogs. Trying to figure out where to begin. Ugh. Sorry if my writing skills have disintegrated since I posted last, but for some reason, life doesn’t pause when something blogworthy brings attention to itself. Hmmmm, where to start, where to start. I’m probably going to start in the middle, add some stuff from the beginning, and then sprinkle in some recent stuff toward the end. Because, that is how I roll. Anyway..
A back injury at the end of 2010 introduced me to being scared to hit a shot for the first time in my life. Thankfully the injury went away as far as I can tell, but in those six months or so I was in agony, I ended up building some pretty nasty habits in my golf swing, and my back has still not been the same since. Once my back healed, my bad habits brought on pretty severe tendinitis in my left forearm. LOL. Reconstructing my golf swing has taken a definite mental toll on me. Even though my swing was getting into better, more consistent positions, not being able to fly a 6-iron 165 with little to no effort since I was 13 was a pretty substantial blow to the old ego. Seventeen or so years I have been playing this game. SEVENTEEN YEARS, and fourteen of those years I never had to question how far my irons went. I turned into a veritable basketcase. This was the first time I ever truly understood the meaning of the phrase “Getting old SUCKS”
Summa summarum, my golf has gone to shit in the last two years. And to make things better, I have people haranguing me about my poor performances. Gee folks, as if I had NO idea I have only made 2 cuts this entire season. That I have missed more cuts this year than in any other year. That my stats blow, I get angry much quicker, and I need to get my ass in gear. I feel like I drowning in a black sea with a life saver inches away from my grasp, yet the tides pull me away from salvation. Many thanks to all the haters and the d!@ks out there, but even more thanks to the people that have stuck by me. Your words have made the bleakness of the season (up to this point, mind you!) seem less dark, and I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. So thank you for the love, thank you for the faith, and lets hope that by my occasional venting and releasing of negative energy, my cortisol levels will fall, my smiles will force their way through, and my putts will drop. Because….
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2010 essentials, Part 1

With the 2010 LPGA season almost upon us (try in 13 days, AHHH!!!) I have decided that I am going to spend more time blogging. I mean, come on, I have not blogged in weeks! Shame on me! Tragic, I know. It doesn’t help that I do not bust out a new entry in like two minutes, either. There are a lot of thought processes that go into a somewhat decent entry… So today, we are throwing that out the window! Let us see what kind of nonsense I am able to toss out in the twenty six minutes I have until my 90 min massage!
I have spent the last few weeks honing in on my skills, tinkering with new clubs, trying different ball configurations, and the whole lot. I (as of now) am fairly set on the current sticks in my bag.
I have gone through a few changes in my bag this offseason. Having had a good amount of success with my beloved TaylorMade r9, I called it quits, and now I have a Callaway FT-9 driver, set with a 7.5 degree head, opened to something along the lines of 7.2 degrees. It has taken Callaway a bit of time to get a head to set comfortably at 7.5 degrees, and I understand completely, as it is a loft of the old regime. I kick it old school still. With punch shots with everything, driver included. This thing is pretty damned hot, I won’t lie. My favorite driver ever was an FT-3 that I used from 2006-2009 (I’m extremely loyal, my irons used to be HGs that I used for nearly a decade), but it broke when I touched down in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in Jan of 2009 and I had been fighting to find one that fits me since. I think we have a winner, though!
I still have the 3-wood that I picked up in France in 2008, a Callaway X 3W set at 13 degrees. It’s been my baby forever, and as of right now I am thoroughly pleased with it. Hybrids are still from TM, a 4 and a 3 hybrid, which I finally broke down and tried out during the US Women’s Open in 2009. They are almost like cheating. I do miss my TM r7 5Wood from like, 1966, but times had changed and I had to whiddle down the gaps I had in my long irons and my wedges. It took me years to admit it, but HYBRIDS RULE!
My new Titleist ap2s are fantastic. I got them a few weeks back, and had my boy Randall work and tweak them to perfection. I mean, he weighed every grip and added shavings of lead tape to the heads so that the clubs were all within a thousandth of a swing weight of one another. Mad skills, and now my irons are lethal. I used to use and loved my TM TP racs, but now I truly feel like I could stand over a ball, with a huge gorge between the green and myself, and damned near hole out. Mad props to Randall!
Wedges… Oh the battle, it still continues. I have my TaylorMade racs, with the new 2010 conforming grooves, but I have to decide (still, I know..) whether I should go with 54/58 degrees as I have done this last season, or if I should go back OLD SCHOOL with my 52/56/60 configuration. The groove regulation has not affected me to any great extent, but I think a lot of that reasoning is because the wedges are new, and heck, I used to use wedges that were nearly grooveless bc I loved them and refused to get new ones.
I still have my Callaway White Ice Sabertooth putter (used to be called the White Hot, but they went with a gunmetal finish and black accents, unlike the satin silver and red trimmed White Hot), with Cotton Candy written in pink on the sole. Long story, nicknames… hahahaha!!!!
Still pretty set on using my Titleist ProV1X ball, as I thought about and tinkered with the regular ProV1, but I am not sure yet. Either way, so long as the ball says Titleist on it, I will be comfortable. It truly is amazing what something as simple as a few letters can do to someone’s comfort level. I tried the Bridgestone ball, and as much as I loved it, for some odd reason, the fact that Titleist wasn’t staring back at me,  during many a crucial shot in a tournament, my mind would flip out. There’s a lot to be said for change, and in many ways, I love change. But at the same time, certain things mean comfort, and comfort can guide you to security and success. Might be something to think about. Anyway, this took me 13 minutes to type, I am feeling proud of myself, and so having said that, I am going to head to the sauna pre-massage. More in-depth entries to come, I promise! But the thought of flushing toxins is just too tempting and my body demands it! I’m out! Hugsies to all!!!
P.S. I have a mad tweetlebrity (pretty sure that’s not a word, but whatever) crush on @johnraser as well as @ebassprod. John is a great guy, supremely witty, and such a cutie. Oh, and he grew out long luscious locks of hair to donate to Locks of Love. I did a similar thing for the P&G Pantene ProV Beautiful Lengths in September, so I think that calls for him to be even more awesome. He is on the road to the PGA Tour, and I have no doubt in my mind that he will succeed and then have to fend off all the hot little girls that watch PGA tour events in miniskirts and high heels (in grass.. I mean, really ladies? Sinking into the mud wouldn’t seem like a “hot” thing to do in my opinion, but what do I know). I will just crush from afar. He is great and his website is insightful, witty, and besides, he is just so cute!!! Hugs to John!
And Eric Bass is the bass player for the amazing rock band Shinedown. He is a writer, a musical genius(knowing how to play the bass, guitar, piano, and trombone. Trust me, if I knew him back in high school when he played, I’d be all over that!), producer, uber hot, and plays to a 6 handicap! AMAZING!! He said we should play a round in Charleston when he has some downtime, but I find it hard to believe one of the hottest bands in this day and age would find any downtime to go hit the links with lil ol me. Still… A girl can dream! Massagey time!!!!!

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