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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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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!!!!!

Let’s dive right in! I have worked on myself, both the inside and out, and feel like I will soon be ready to take on the entire world!
Now, mind you, I am a huge fan of playing at ANY and EVERY event that I am given the chance to play, be it because of the actual venue, the region of the world, or the people. Hell, sometimes it is because of the shopping, I won’t lie. And while there are truly no favorite golf tournaments in my opinion, there are several places I will be visiting that just pretty much blow my socks off, be it my first or tenth visit.

5.France/United Kingdom
Every year the LPGA visits these two stunning countries to play in the Evian Masters and the Ladies’ British Open. The regions are amazing, with the Evian Masters on a course that overlooks Lake Geneva, and this year the LBWO is in the north of England, at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, located between Liverpool and Manchester. Every year I visit Europe, and every year I leave with a greater appreciation for the region. The food, the culture. It’s amazing… Also, like all the other foreign countries we visit, the players get to know one another in a new light. Friendships are formed, or strengthened, and there is always some mischief that takes place.

4 Thailand/Singapore
Exotic. Hot. Balmy. Lush. Spicy. Anything and everything you can imagine a place like faraway Southeast Asia to be, only shadows the magic and beauty of the area. I love traveling to places like Thailand and Singapore, where the sun beats down on your skin, where the air covers you in a sweet and glistening layer of sweat and humidity, and adventure is just a car ride away. Last year I rode an elephant, and I also saw Jason Mraz in concert. It was an amazingly exotic region, and I might try to visit the area a few days early and go scuba diving in Bali. What adventures await for me this year, no one knows.

3 Dubai
Seven-star hotels, some of the world’s finest dining, sheiks, belly dancers, camel back rides at sunset, (in my case, anyway) a driver available 24/7 with his BMW 750li, awesome clubs, beautiful people of every shade, and incredible shopping. The architecture of the buildings, both inside and out, is unreal. After visiting places like Rome, where the ancient architecture would take my breath away at every instant, the modern architectural designs of nearly every high rise building in Dubai makes me appreciate the science behind every structure. So much, in fact, that when I go back to school (which I plan on doing), I want to get a degree in architectural design.. Standing at the brink of an untouched and pure piece of Earth has never been more apparent to me than when I drove from my resort to the deserts of the Middle East in a matter of minutes. The starkness in which the modern-day world can be removed is astounding. The silence is deafening, and you can feel the beat of the Earth in the sands. Oh, and the golf and hospitality of everyone is unsurpassed! Everyone smiles, and being treated like a superstar is not a bad perk, either…

2. Australia-Sorry, no photo insert here yet. This year, I will have experienced my first trip to Aus, and I can not wait! The Ladies European Tour hosts tournaments in Aus every year, and since I have gained membership, I decided it’s a mere 8 hour flight to Brisbane from Singapore, so why not?! I anticipate seeing kangaroos, frolicking on the beach, listening to accents, and falling in love with the region, as I always do when I come across a new place. Oh, and seeing the toilets flush is it COUNTER clockwise down there? I can’t recall.
1. JAMAICA-I am biased. I love the tropics, anything exotic, anything close to waters for me to snorkel and scuba dive (when I become certified, anyway), and I love reggae music. The vibe I get from what I expect the people to be like draws me, with a very soothing, relaxed, and fun-loving attitude. Oh, and the fact that I am going to be taking part of the MOJO 6 is waaaaaay cool. It is a new, innovative golf tournament, with Raceway golf format, excitement, pure energy, and a new perspective on golf and the LPGA. I personally believe that this tournament is going to help the LPGA make leaps and bounds. I love to push boundaries and forge into something new, especially when I am involved with it personally and have faith in it, and I truly think that the Mojo 6 Tournament is the way of the future of golf entertainment. Golfertainment, if you will. Again, no pics, I’m afraid to say. I will be making the trip over, though, and can not wait to share every exciting, thrilling moment with you all.

The last few days have been so amazing. So many experiences, both new and revisited. Every time I think about the last 72 hours, a big dopey smile spreads across my face. And yes, even in the midst of the tragic 7.0 earthquake that has struck and devastated Haiti. (Happy, Maureen?)

Tuesday started off with me waking up after only getting 2.5 hours of sleep and driving to the West Palm Beach airport. I only brought one bag with me, as well as my carry-on. When you have a 17″ MacBook Pro, as well as a Canon 5D with extra battery grip, a big purse just doesn’t cut it. It felt so great to finally travel in an airplane without having to lug around my Club Glove. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking my cubs wherever I go, I just find it difficult to carry two suitcases, golf clubs, my purse and whatnot. I am lucky to travel for work, though! 🙂

When the team arrived (as shown here, a lot of, but not all of the photos are provided courtesy of Mitchell Layton. Thank you, Mitchell!) we got to visit the Senate building and get a tour, courtesy of US Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), and even got a chance to stand on the Senate floor. I tell you what, the Senate floor is much smaller than I thought it would be, and we were not allowed to take any photos on the floor, but it was incredible to be in the same spot where debates and decisions are made.  (Here’s a shot of Michelle Wie and me at the very center of the Senate Building doing the Captain Morgan Stand-Off. She’s so silly, and I love her more than I love mozzarella cheese. And believe you me, I LOVES me some good mozzarella!)
After the visit to the Senate, the group of us (everyone, minus Juli Inkster, she had a wedding in Hawaii she was unable to miss out on) trudged on ahead in the cold (I failed to mention that there were piles of snow everywhere. It was brisk, no doubt, but it was an amazing feeling!!! Truly was a wonderful day to be alive!), crossed a few streets, and were at the entrance to the White House!!!
It was an amazing feeling, to be back with the girls (again, minus Juli 😦 So sad…), and catch up with one another after the holidays, after everyone had time to be home, to be with their loved ones for an extended period of time, and to not feel the obligation to go out and practice. And to be able to meet the President of the United States, with some amazing women, that was the icing on the cake. Anyway… We had a tour of the White House, visiting the Red Room, the Blue Room, the East Room, and nearly every other room of color imaginable. There were paintings of every president, of the first ladies, everyone. And there were a lot of photographs of President Obama, and his family, which gave the White House a “homey” feeling indeed.
Meeting the President was something I had the honor of taking part in once before, in 2006, during the Bush administration, but this visit was amazing in a different way. To meet the first black president, a man who is working to have health insurance for the entire country, and many other things that I will not get into, because everyone has a political view and I try to focus on the good, and not the bad, intentions. Anyway, spending time with President Obama is something I will always cherish. He told the team how he hit a 2-iron from 250yds to 8 feet and made the putt for birdie while he was in Hawaii. Someone mentioned how we need to get him into the 21st century and take that 2-iron out and slap a hybrid in his hand, and we all laughed. He was so gracious and it was so wonderful to spend time with him, especially considering he is such a busy man. Immediately after meeting with us, President Obama had to go into a meeting about, I’m assuming, the crisis in Haiti. 

After the Presidential meeting, Natalie Gulbis, Brittany Lincicome, Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer and I had a quick (and cold!!!) press conference with various media outlets. Before going on, I pulled my hands slowly to my face and said “I don’t know what to do with my hands” ala Ricky Bobby. No one really got it… I am just dying to know what I said to make everyone laugh in this shot…

Don’t worry, I was behind the rope. Natalie took this photo and what a great photographer she is! I love using angles to make things seem different than they are. Honest Abe n me, we go waaaaaaay back!
Next post will be about my trip to the Pentagon, which was emotional, touching, inspiring and also made me thankful of everything I have. Till then…. Be grateful for all that you have, and join me in sending prayers and donations to those in Haiti and all of those that suffer in the world.

Dawn of a New Era

I’m having 2010 be the start of a new era for myself. I will be going to Thailand! Singapore! Australia! Beautiful SoCal! JAMAICA (new tournament, The Mojo 6 being held in Montego Bay!!!!)! Mexico! And that is all taking place from mid-Feb to the first few days of May. I know it sounds insane, but I seem to feel at home in airports, on airplanes, and single rooms, with a king bed, of course. I know I am one of the blessed ones to have the opportunity to have pages added to my passport every couple of years, and I plan on making 2010 the best year yet!
Last year I rode elephants and camels, ziplined across concrete, visited temples, cathedrals, and ancient ruins. I hosted clinics, danced the night away on the tops of bars, went to amusement parks in foreign countries. I saw my first NHL hockey game (go Rangers, though the Sharks are my team), traipsed about on the beaches of the Middle East, and jumped in pools.
I went to a few concerts (Jason Mraz in Singapore was the shiznit, undoubtedly), partied like a rock star, sang like a diva (in my opinion, anyway), as well as sat and meditated in parks, and met countless people, with a select few that have truly inspired me. I’ve watched some incredible sunrises, ones that have welcomed the world to a new light, as well as some amazing sunsets, where the end of something beautiful and awe-inspiring just means the moon shall rise on the other side.
2010 will be a year to remember, indeed, and I can not wait. As Charles Muntz said in the Disney Pixar movie, UP, “Adventure is out there!”

Happy New Year, indeed. I’m so sorry, I just found this picture to be too cute to not post. For those of you who have seen the movie UP, this is my “I do not like the Cone of Shame” look.
Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR, and yes, I know… For all of you who follow me on twitter, FINALLY, my blog is up! Thank you for haranguing me to get off my booty and get on this!
So I woke up on New Years Day (barely, as you can see… Staying out with friends until 5:30 in the morning makes things like “waking up” take longer than usual…), and the realization that the season is a mere six weeks away filled me with bubbling excitement. So much in fact, that it left me frothing at the mouth! Damn… The start of a new decade (though I know that in all honesty, the new decade starts next year, but whatever….), a new era.. Very exciting times in store for everyone, I hope. We are entering a new time in our lives!!! Let us enjoy it, relish in it, and thrive!!!
For me, the 2009 season was a fascinating year of internal growth, and I feel like the hardships of nearly winning two majors, as well as the multi-tasking required to play golf at a competitive level, live a full and adventurous life, and write a book (out in the spring of 2010,  pre-order here) has made me stronger, wiser, and more patient with everything in life that I encounter. What may come in 2010? Who knows, but I can’t wait to see!!!