The Spring has Arrived!

Hi KWG followers,

It’s hard to believe that 2014 is already in full swing. We have been practicing since mid- January and have been busy ever since. We kicked off the year with our yearly trip to Tampa. It was another successful event and we are so happy that it keeps growing. It is truly amazing how many UK alumni we have down in the Tampa area and we really can’t thank them enough for taking some time to play golf with us. As in the past years we flew down after our classes on Friday which allowed us to practice and play all throughout the weekend. It was great for us to get some rust off and play a lot of golf.

Once we got home from Tampa it was time to prepare for the UCF Challenge in Orlando, FL.  We had a few weeks to get ready and the girls did a good job of preparing both physically and mentally. We have been to this tournament in the past, but this year it was played at a different golf course closer to the city.  We didn’t really know what to expect from Eagle Creek, but the course turned out to suit our team well. It was a good confidence builder to start the year and the team enjoyed the event overall. We ended up in 4th place as a team and two of our players, Cylia Damerau and Sarah Harris finished in the Top 14 individually.  And as a surprise for the team, we took them to the Magic Kingdom! We had a great time (even though splash mountain was closed) and went to the most known rides in the park.  I must say, as a coach, I love seeing pure joy and surprise on my players face.

We also had a lot of UK support this week as most of the girls had their families there, me included! My parents came to watch us play and it’s so much fun to see how many traits I have from my parents. Apparently I stand like my mother and I get my love of nature from my dad!!

Once we got home it was time to prepare for the official opening of our golf house. It was an exciting event and we had a great turnout!  We are so very thankful to have this building and it is still somewhat surreal that we have this amazing facility. The building is a great tool for us and our teams now have a place to call home. Success doesn’t come overnight and our past and current players have worked incredibly hard to get Kentucky Women’s Golf back to the National stage of women’s collegiate golf. This facility will help us prepare to get to the the next step of our journey of competing for Conference and National Championships.

To the left is the front of our golf house. To the right is our 5,000 sq.f putting and chipping area.

Below is two of our former players Ashlee Rose and Betsie Johnson as well as our Director of Operations and former Coach Bettie Lou Evans.

It’s a GREAT time to be a KWG Wildcat!!!

 

Happy New Year!

As we ring in the New Year, I thought it would be good to reflect on what a great 2013 Kentucky Women’s Golf had! So, here are a few highlights from this past year:

In the spring our fifth year senior, Megan Moir was selected as the Brad Davis SEC Female Community Service Leader of the Year.  As a team we had our best SEC Championship in 20 years, finishing in a tie for 5th and on top of that, one of our freshman Sarah Harris finished runner-up! With that she tied our best individual finish by a Kentucky player at the SEC Championship.  We were also recognized by the NCAA for our APR score as we placed in the top 10 percent of Division 1 Schools in women’s golf.

As for this fall we got off to a great start.  We won the ”Mo”Morial at Texas A&M by 11 shots, our freshman Haley Mills took home the individual title and our sophomore Sarah Harris finished tied for 2nd.  Liz Breed, our senior has had an outstanding fall. She finished T7th at the “Mo”Morial, T13th at the Mason Rudolph Championship, and broke her personal-best low round with a -6, 64 to finish runner-up at the Schooner Fall Classic.  She rounded out her fall season with a 36th place finish at the Stanford Intercollegiate and is currently ranked 34th in the nation in Golfstat and Golfweek.

As for team rankings, our Wildcats finished the year ranked 17th in Golfweek and 21st in Golfstat. That is our highest ranking at the end of our fall season in three years. We also did a good job in the classroom and had a team GPA of 3.31.  And lastl but not least, we opened our own golf building which will benefit both the men’s and women’s programs. We are very excited as this building marks a change in how our teams can practice and prepare, in all conditions, all year round.

Overall it was a solid year for us both on and off the golf course. This team is continuting to climb and they continue to get better. It is tough to reach greatness; it takes a great deal of work, love for the game, determination and patience and I know this team has what it takes to get there!

We grew and matured a great deal this fall. I knew we would as we had three freshman join our two sophomores and our lone senior. We are a young team, but I am thankful because I have six individuals who give me everything they have each and every day. Not just on the course, but in the classroom, the weight room and in other areas of life.  Because of that, I know that they will continue to reach for greatness! The spring season will be here before we know it and I am looking forward to us continuing to committ to the process of reaching new levels for Kentucky Women’s Golf!

With that, I want to thank all those who followed us in 2013 and I hope you will stay with us through 2014..it’s going to be an exciting one!

 

Success and Challenges

So by now it’s fairly obvious that it is not one of my strenghts to write a blog. The last time I wrote this was in June and a great deal of things have happned since then. It would be almost impossible to talk about everything, but I will share some of my highlights!

I spent most of my summer recuiting all over the country and the world. I got to see a great deal of talent and I am excited about the future of Kentucky Women’s Golf. There is no doubt that the junior players are getting stronger, which is a great thing for college golf.  People always ask me what I look for in a recruit and that is a good question. Golf is a tough sport, how can I tell that a player will continue to improve and push herself beyond her comfort zone to get to that next level? How do I figure out if she has what it takes to play at the highest level of college golf ? I look at her talent level, technique level, but also how she carries herself. Does she push through when things get tough, does she walk tall and play with a great attitude? How does she treat the people around her?  There are so many things that go into recruiting a player, but those are some of the things that are the most important to me. We want players that fight for every single shot, play with a great attitude, that are there for their teammates in good and bad times, and most importantly, that can kick it into another gear when things get tough!

This summer flew by and once we hit the end of August it was time to get started with our new Kentucky Women’s Golf Team! We lost four players in May, but we added three new players in August. It’s always tough to handle change, especially when you talk about the make up of your team.  But change is a good thing and so far, good things are happening! We went to our first tournament at Texas A&M and won by 11 shots! We had one of our freshman, Haley Mills, win the tournament as an individual and our sophomore, Sarah Harris, tied for 2nd! Senior Liz Breed also finished strong and tied for 7th. I couldn’t tell you when the last time was that we won a tournament as a team and had the individual winner along with two other players in the top 10! It was a special feeling and it showed that we have some great talent on this team. This is a special group that push each other and it was certainly a great start to the season.

This past weekend we played at the Mason Rudolph Championship in Nashville, TN.  And as I just mentioned, we came off a very exciting win a week and a half ago, so I was curious as to how the girls would react to this quick turn around. The Mason is played at the Legends Golf Course, a challenging course that has hosted an LPGA event and an NCAA National Championship,  so it’s a great test to your game.  Unfortunately, the golf course got the best of us this week. But despite that, I think we learned a great deal about our strenghts and weaknesses and this means that we can focus on what we need to work on and move on to prepare for our next event.  We ended up in 10th place, fighting back from 14th after day one and our senior Liz Breed led the way with a 13th place finish!

Our next event is in Oklahoma and I for one can’t wait to play in some windy conditions!!

Thank you for reading and for supporting KWG!!

 

 

 

The End Of A Great Year…

As I sit down to write this blog, it’s hard to decide on what exactly to write. I have so many great memories and emotions from this year and it makes me both sad to know it’s over as well as excited to know what’s ahead for this team.  This was an up and down year for us. We won our first tournament of the year at Old Waverly, had our best finish in 20 years at the SEC Championship, finishing T5!  Which also included having our freshman Sarah Harris finish 2nd and our junior Liz Breed finish 6th individually!  We qualified for the NCAA Regional Championship for a third year in a row, finishing 12th ; that is our best finish since I’ve been at UK. And then Megan Moir became the first Wildcat since 2006 to win the Brad Davis SEC Female Community Service Leader of the Year!

We have also continued to climb in the rankings. We started the year being ranked 43rd by Golfstat and we finished it in 34th! I don’t know when Kentucky Women’s Golf was ranked this high, but I do know that we haven’t been ranked this high since Golfstat began their ranking program in 2002.  We also broke another team score average record with a 301.10, improving upon our average of 304.73 from last year. Ashleigh Albrecht also broke the individual
scoring average record from 2007-2008 with her season average of 75.07.

As a coach, I am so very proud for what my team accomplished this year. Although we didn’t reach our end goal of qualifying for the National Championship, we accomplished a great deal of other things. Those things didn’t come easy, nothing ever does. It takes hard work, determination, and the willingness to let yourself be pushed beyond your own comfort zone. This is something that my four seniors, Heather, Megan, Betsie and Ashleigh, have done for the past three years. When I first came to UK in 2010 I had no idea to what kind of team I was walking into; three years later I couldn’t imagine anything else. It has been an unbelievable pleasure to have been their coach and we would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for them. They have been the core of this team and they have all led the team in their own way.

It is difficult to explain exactly how tough it will be for me to see these four players leave our program.  However, this is the nature of the job and it is a privilege to be able to coach a student-athlete for four years. Sometimes you are lucky enough to run into players who will touch your life forever, just as these four amazing individuals have done for me. They have challenged me, supported me, but most importantly, they have all believed in me and the direction that I am wanting this program to take.

As sad as I am to see my seniors leave, it is also with excitement that I look ahead to the future of this program.  Two strong freshman and our lone junior will be joined by three new freshman in the fall who will help to continue to bring this team to new heights as we work towards competing for SEC and NCAA Championships.

At the end of this year, our Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart  gave all of our student-athletes a t-shirt that said “Almost isn’t Good Enough.” It truly speaks to every team and every student-athlete. For us, we’ve had some success this year, but it is important to remember that we are far more capable of anything and can be pushed beyond what we believe is possible. There are great things happening for KWG and I for one cannot wait for August!

New Year and New Spring

Hi Everyone,

I don’t know if you all feel this way, but I still really can’t believe that it’s 2013! Last year went by so fast and now it’s almost time for March Madness! We are off and running here in Lexington and we have already been to our first tournament of the year which was in Puerto Rico. It wasn’t a bad place to start the season as we had great temperatures and the ocean right outside our windows.

But before we talk about our Puerto Rico trip I thought I’d share a little bit about what we have been doing in town leading up to then. The team came back to campus during the second week of January and not long after that is when we headed to Tampa, FL, for a weekend of practice and a UK Alumni fundraiser. We went down there over the Martin Luther King holiday which gives us a three day weekend. Due to NCAA rules we cannot miss any classes for practice so it was nice to be able to get three days of playing time down in Florida before we headed back to Lexington. We play in the fundraiser on the Sunday of our trip and during the other two days we are able to practice in the mornings and play in the afternoons. On this trip we also had our first experience of team bowling. We divided the team into two teams of five and things became rather competitive so it was probably a good thing that both teams won once. I must say, this team is surprisingly great at bowling!

Once we got back from Tampa it was time to prepare for our tournament in Puerto Rico, which was hosted by Purdue. We were able to qualify and even though we had some tough conditions I was proud of the girls for how they handled themselves when things got tough. So, on Feb 7th we headed south to San Juan in Puerto Rico. We were able to leave a day early so we got a couple days of practice before the event which was very helpful to the girls. On the first day of practice we had a good practice session and then we played nine holes on the Ocean course at the Rio Mar Resort. Once we were done practing we took a trip up the mountain which was across the street from our hotel and headed to a waterfall. It was beautiful and the water was very cold, but despite that everyone got in and had a great time!

We got off to an ok start the first day, but halfway through the round we started to lose some steam. Fortunately the girls rallied and several of them made some strong birdies during their final holes. We had a good practice after the round and I felt like they were ready to make up some ground the next day. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. We got off to an ok start, but then we started to compound a lot of mistakes. We struggled throughout the day and it was becoming obvious that we were trying too hard to make good things happen instead of just trusting in our games and LETTING good things happen.

Once the round was over we talked with the team and it had become clear to me during the round that their expectations were just too high that day. So when things started to go wrong, they became tense and tried harder instead of being able to let their bad shots go and move on to the next shot; instead, they needed to stay patient, stay aggressive and continue to give themselves opportunities. As we talked about the round you could see their attitudes changing and as I told them that one round of golf does not define Kentucky Women’s Golf, it’s how we come back from a bad day of golf that defines us! So we went to practice and then to the ocean…not  a bad way to end a day.

For our last round we tried to get more relaxed and the girls seemed more comfortable. They all got off to ok starts and we played with more trust and confidence on this day. They were better at letting the bad shots go and they continued to stay aggressive throughout their rounds. They paid attention to the small things and they stayed patient. This resulted in a better round and we had the seconod lowest team score that day.  As a team we ended up in 8th place out of 15. It wasn’t our best tournament, but I believe that we learned a great deal. We have to continue to work on our mental toughness and we have to get better at letting great golf come to us. We cannot expect great golf to just happen, we have to put in the time, create opportunities, stay patient and know that every round will prepare us for when we are going to the National Championship in May!

So with that said, we are now back to working hard and working on getting mentally tougher. I am excited about the next few tournaments and I know that we will be ready to compete on March 15th!

Have a great weekend everyone and GO CATS!!

Golda

 

 

 

 

Fall 2012 Review

Hi Everyone,

As we all know it’s been a while since my last post, it’s been two months to be exact. I do apologize for this and I will fill you in on the entire fall in this blog. Overall, we had a successful, yet up and down semester. We got off to a great start and won our first tournament at the Old Waverly and then we had three Top 12 finishes in the rest of our tournaments during the fall.

Our first tournament of the year was to the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational which was in West Point, MS. We had a great time traveling down there and it was the first time in my career at UK that we were able to take a sleeper bus due to the length of the trip. During the eight hour ride we were able to catch up on sleep, study or watch movies.  We even stayed on the course in a house for the tournament so it was a good bonding expericence for the players as well. The team really loved the golf course and it showed in their scores. Two of our players, Ashleigh and Cylia finished in the Top 10, and Liz, Heather, and Sarah also finished in the Top 16. During the last day of the event we knew we had positioned ourselves well for an opportunity to win.  However, we got off to a rough start that last day but I think it was the best thing that could have happened to us. I believe it got the girls to relax and becasue of that they were able to capitalize on some birdie opportunities which lead to a great team score of 290 (+2) and that was good enough to beat a great Tulane team by two strokes!

I could not have been prouder of my entire team at that moment.  And even though it was early in the season they came together, they fought for each other and they showed an immense amount of heart when they were faced with adversity that last day. It showed that we are headed in the right direction and that we have a special group of players.

The next two tournaments were the Mason Rudolph Invitational in Nashville, TN and the Ruth’s Chris Invitational in Chapel Hill, NC. Both of these events had a National Championship feel to them and we finished 8th and T12th respectivally. But even though we struggled at these events we learned a lot and I learned a lot about my team. We had some valuable lessons about our games and what we needed to work on for the last tournament of the fall which was the Alamo Invitational.

So at the end of October we headed south to San Antonio, TX for the Alamo Invitational. We had been to this event last year and had a great experience so I knew that the team really enjoyed San Antonio and the Briggs Ranch golf course. All the girls could talk about was how great last year was and this year was no different. We had another great experience even though Ashleigh and Heather’s clubs didn’t show up to the course until an hour before their tee times! But at least they showed up in time for the tournament and everything worked out in the end.

After the first two days we were sitting in 10th place and I think we all knew that we had more to give. We had a great talk after the second round and we weren’t that far away from playing great. It was just a matter of paying attention to the small details and to keep creating opportunities, good things would eventually happen! And they did! The team had an eerie calm, yet fired up attitude the next morning and it showed in their games. They all got off to good starts and were able to finish their rounds that way as well. Ashleigh, Liz, and Cylia all shot -2 and Sarah shot even which meant that we shot -6 as a team and broke the current team low round at UK! And what an accomplishment by this team! It was a great way to end the fall semester and this will only help fuel the motivation to continue to get better through the winter so we are ready to go come spring time.

Overall we had a successful fall, we moved from being ranked 40th in the country to 29th and we will continue to climb that ladder through the spring. We are continuing to work hard over the winter months to improve our games so that we can compete againts the best teams in the country come May!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Great to be a Kentucky Wildcat – Part 1

Hi Everyone,

Welcome back to my blog! I realize that it’s been a while since the last update and because I have a lot to tell you I have decided to split the blog into two pieces.  This blog will be about our team bonding trip and the second part will be about our two tournaments that we have played in.

As we started this year we knew the team chemistry would be different. Having three new players ususally changes the dynamic of any team.  Throughout the summer I had thought about how I wanted to help the freshmen find their place on our team and how we could help them create relationships with our returners. After we did some research we found a ropes course in Monticello, Kentucky and it looked to be the exact thing that we had been looking for.

We got on the road during the first weekend of school and once we got there we spent the first night getting to know each other. This involved a big camp fire,  playing the Heather game and making delicious smores. The next day we spent the morning playing some fun games which made the team work as a unit and it also showed who on the team were vocal leaders and who were more leaders by example. The morning flew by and I was impressed by how well this team worked together to solve whatever problems were thrown our way. We then had a quick lunch before it was time to climb 55 feet in the air!

After lunch we headed back down to the course and throughout the morning we had all stared at the climbing structure that we were to conquer during the afternoon.  I wasn’t quite sure how many of the girls would make it to the top and I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t myself due to my fear of heights. It turned out I have a fearless team because almost all of them made it up there. From the freshman to the seniors, they all just kept climbing. There was screaming and tears involved, but one way or another, they all kept going and found a way to the top.

After everyone had climbed it was my turn to put the gear on and start climbing. The pressure was on and during my first try I didn’t get very far. I probably got up about 15 feet and that was it, I was ready to come down. Once I was on the ground I talked to Megan (our captain) who got herself to the top, and Sarah, one of our freshman and we decided we would try it again and see if we could get higher. Sarah and I picked a spot on the climbing structure that we would try and get to and then we tried again. Sarah got higher than her original climb and then came down safely on the ground.  Then it was my turn. I had Megan’s words in my head and if my team could do it, then I could as well. I had to Run to The Roar for my team (our team motto this year), and boy did I ever try to  run to it. I have no idea how I got to the top, but I did. It took a lot of encouragement from everyone, including Heather who was climbing with me and Megan who was my belayer (she had my life in her hands, literally). Once at the top I was shaking and terrified to come down… and let me tell you, going up may be difficult, but getting down may be even harder because you know someone else has control of your entire body weight.  It’s a scary thought and that was probably what everyone struggled with the most.

The last element of the trip was “the swing”. You got hoisted 55 feet into the air and then you had to let go of the rope and you basically swung back and forth in the air. It was like a makeshift roller coaster ride. Once again everyone did it and they all looked to me..”coach, you’ll regret it if you don’t do it” “coach, you can’t be the only one who doesn’t try it”. Talk about peer pressure! So again, here I went, legs shaking and all.

We ended up surviving it all and it was an experience of a lifetime.  I believe we came home a stronger more empowered team. It certainly showed me that we have a fearless team, a team that will try everything and a team that will be there for each other no matter what.

I think that’s a pretty great way to start a year, what do you think!?

 

NCAA Regionals

So I am now back in the office after an emotional week at the Ohio State University where we played in the Central Regional. We had a good week of preparation before we headed to Columbus, even though the team was taking all their finals. We also had one of our girls, Megan Moir, graduate. We are very proud of her and excited that we will have her back for one more year of golf before she heads out into the real world.

Before we headed to Columbus we came up with the idea to have a team challenge, Blue vs. White. Or it could also have been Team Golda vs. Team Lucy, or East vs. West, or depending on which side you were on Good vs. Bad.  The teams were: Golda, Betsie, Liz and Ashlee vs. Lucy, Heather, Ashleigh and Megan. We played with three different formats: six holes of best ball, six holes of two ball best ball and six holes of scramble. It was a hard core match and I am proud to announce that the winning team was Blue! This is something we will try to do every year and it will be fun to see how the teams will shape up next year. See below for the team outfits :)  (if you click on them you can see a larger version of them)

We left for Columbus on a Tuesday and on the way we just happened to make a pit stop at an outlet outside of Cincinnati. We gave the girls an hour and then we had to get moving so we could get to the course and get some practice in. The next day was the practice round and the team really liked the course; believe it or not, I think it played to our strenghts. You had to be straight off the tee and have a solid short game to be able to score well. But as in all tournaments, you have to be able to make good decisions and play smart to be able to post the numbers. For the first round they had some tough pin placements and some pretty strong winds (some around 20mph and gusts around 25mph). Usually we are able to handle the wind pretty well, but I believe the moment became too big for my team to handle. They wanted to play so well that they tensed up, got stressed and started to make some bad decisions. Unfortunately we dug ourselves into a deep hole that first day and we were never quite able to get out of it. Despite having a tough first round the team worked hard after the round to get ready for the second day. We left the course feeling better about ourselves and we realized that it wasn’t our swings that got out of contol, it was our minds, how we made decisions, and how we reacted to bad shots or holes that got us in trouble.

We improved during the second day, but it wasn’t quite enough to get us into contention to make it to nationals. Of course we were all dissapointed at this point, but there was no way that we wouldn’t give it our all the last day. When you are in the bottom 12 at regionals you play in the afternoon so you have all morning to think about your coming round. To get the team up and moving we decided to go and check out the OSU campus and take a walk around. We got some excersise and even found a frisbee to toss around. Knowing that this would most likely be Ashlee’s last round we talked a lot about how to handle it and how to go out with a BANG!

Once we got to the course I talked to the team about playing for Ashlee and putting everything on the line for her. We all love Ashlee very much and she means so much to this team, so I knew that the team would take that and run with it. They all wrote Ashlee’s name on their wrists and they all played for her that last day. When things got tough, they thought of her and how they wanted her final round to end; I think that propelled them out of any negative thoughts that they would have and they kept fighting for her.  Ashlee herself finished her collegiate career on a high note and shot even for the day, she even birdied her last hole from the trees!! It was amazing to watch and I could not be prouder to have had the chance to coach this great player and person that she is.

All in all we finished Regionals in 17th place. Could it have been better, yes. Should it have been better, yes. But we are getting there and everytime we get in this situation we learn something and we are able to bring that with us if we are ever to face that situation again. I will leave this blog with this: during this season we moved up from being ranked 57th to 41st in the nation; we won our home tournament as a team and we also had the individual winner; we had three top 4 finishes as a team and on an individual note we had eight top 10 finishes and three top 15 finishes.

 

The most important thing from all of this is that we continue to learn and continue to grow; becasue at the end of the day our motto stays the same – Never Let Good Enough Be Enough!

GO BIG BLUE!

Golda

 

 

 

 

End of the Season

As usual it’s been a while since I last wrote on this blog so I thought I’d give you all an update on what is happening in the world of Kentucky Women’s Golf. After we came home from Gainesville and our spring break we took a little mini break and we gave the team a couple of days off to catch their breath. That gave them some time to catch up on their school work and to take a short break from golf. You will find that there are a lot of pictures in this blog, a couple of them have been “photo bombed” by Lucy…:)  Enjoy!

We had about a two and a half week break before we flew to the Bryan Collegiate which is co-hosted by UNC-Greensboro and Wake Forest. In that time we got back to working hard and we continued to focus on our shortgame and putting in particular.  Once it was time to leave I felt like we were ready to go and since Lucy and I knew the golf course fairly well we felt good about the preparations that we had had leading up to this tournament. At the event we did not get off to a great start, but with two days left we knew we had a chance to move up the leaderboard. I wasn’t very concerned with what we shot the first day, we foucsed more on us and what we needed to do to play better the second and third day. The girls all worked hard after the round and we left the golf course feeling pretty good about ourselves. During the next day we struggled again and I felt like we gave away a lot of shots due to some course management issues and due to some mental struggles. We had a long talk after the round and the girls once again got after it on the putting green and range. That night we also were invited to go to the minor league baseball team in Greensboro. We went for about an hour and had a great time, I bought a mini baseball bat so that was kind of exciting!

The next day we had a good feeling and again we were close to playing well and beating some higher ranked teams. Unfortunately we didn’t quite finish the round and made some mistakes on the finishing holes to finish in 13th place.  After this we came home and immediately started to prepare for the SEC Championship in Fayetteville, AR. We knew it would be a challenging course, but again we had an advantage in Lucy since she played for the U. of Arkansas. We went through the course and we tried to simulate a lot of the shots that we would have at the Blessings golf course.

Knowing the difficulty of the Blessings we talked a lot about having a good attitude during the rounds. The team that stayed the most patient, had a good attitude and played smart would eventually win this Championship. We had a good practice round that took over six hours, after that it was time for the rules meeting/welcome dinner where we had one of the best meals that I have ever had during my time in collegiate golf! It was amazing! And thankfully, someone had put our table closest to the buffet so we got to eat first! You should have seen the dessert table at this dinner, I haven’t seen anything like it since I was vacationing in Egypt!

As you probably saw from the scores from the SEC Championship, the course was pretty tough and we knew we needed to battle on every single shot and on every single hole. Our team did a good job of that, but unfortunately we didn’t quite play as strong as we would have wanted and we finished 9th. However, before we left for the event, I did say that if we could finish Top 9 then that would be good. It would be an improvement from last year and we would possible beat a couple more teams ranked ahead of us. We did just that, we even beat Tennessee who are ranked 15th in the country. At one point we had Vandy and LSU in our reach and that says a lot about this team and the talent that we have!

After we got back the girls were mentally exhausted and again they got a day off as soon as we got home. The next day we spent just having fun, we had a chipping match play competition and a putting one as well. Our well deserved winners were Betsie and Liz and they had to fight hard for those wins!

Now we are waiting to hear where we will get sent for regionals. The sites are, Penn State, Ohio State and Colorado. I am not quite sure where we will go, but PSU would be nice because half of Pennsylvania would be out there watching since my husband is from there.

So please cross your fingers or hold your thumbs for us next week when we travel to regionals and I will be sure to write the blog right after to give you an update on how it went.

GO BIG BLUE!!

Golda

Spring Break Marathon

Hi everyone, it’s been a few weeks since my last update and a lot of things have happened since then. We have played in two tournaments and during this time we also had our spring break.  Our first stop was Baton Rouge, LA for the LSU Golf Classic. This is a tournament that we go to every year, it has a great field and we love coming to Louisiana. They changed the course two years ago and made it more of a championship style golf course. It’s extremely tough around the greens and you have to have a strong and creative short game to be able to play well there.

I felt confident going into the event because I knew how hard we had worked and I felt that the girls were playing well. We got off to a decent start the first day, but before we left the course we worked on some things so that we would feel more comfortable and positive leaving the course. The second day was better for us; we improved on our score a great deal. I think they still felt like they left some shots out there, but it was very important for me that they understood that we as a team had had a great day.

During this event we have a host family, so after the first round we had dinner with them. It was delicious! We had lasagna, salad and dessert of course.  And then after the second round we were invited to Heather Lott’s house for dinner. She is from Baton Rouge originally and was excited to be back home if only for a few days.  To add to the excitement, Heather’s mom had rented a Frozen Yogurt truck to come to her house. This team is addicted to Fro Yo and we have it on every trip at least a couple of times so it’s needless to say the whole team was ecstatic!

During the last day of the tournament we got off to a rough start, we were able to pull it back together in the middle of the round, but unfortunately we lost some shots coming down the stretch as well.  It was a disappointing day for us because we were very close to beating some great teams and we were close to breaking through. This team can be great, we just need to keep believing and let it happen. It’s easy to start to force things when this becomes a reality so we just need to keep doing what we are doing, relax and play some golf.  In the end we finished in 7th, beating two teams that were ranked ahead of us, one of them being Purdue who won the National Championship two years ago and was runner up last year.

After the tournament was over we had a couple of days to spend in Baton Rouge for spring break. Unfortunately the majority of my team is
injured so we spent the Monday in the LSU training room getting treatment, then we went to Edwin Watts to buy a putter and then we headed to practice. There were thunder storms all day that day, but thankfully we got a break in the afternoon so we could get some quality practice in. During the second day we got to play Baton Rouge Country Club, it’s one of the most exclusive courses in town and it was the perfect preparation course for the Florida tournament. Tighter off the tee and smaller greens with lots of trouble around them. We had a great day there and the girls really loved that place. Instead of playing for score we played for points and they could hit however many shots they wanted for practice.

On Wednesday it was time for our next trip and we were headed to Gainesville, FL.  Once we got to the day of the practice round it became very clear that Ashleigh Albrecht could not play for us. She had been checked out by a Dr. at LSU for her ankle pain and he suggested we shut her down completely. A part of me and her were still hoping that the ankle would heal miraculously in a couple of days, but that was not the case and she couldn’t put any weight on it or shift her weight to her left side in her swing.  It was a tough decision to make, but when a player can’t walk, you really don’t have a choice.  I still felt very confident in my five players and I knew that we could still have a great week despite not having one of our best players.

And just that happened on the first day, we played great! We were in fourth place after the first day and I told the girls that this is the team that we can be. This is the golf that we are capable of playing, we just need to stick to our game plan, focus on ourselves, relax and play golf. Unfortunately we weren’t able to do so the next day, the team was tense and the attitude was different on the course. We were playing tense golf instead of relaxing, knowing that we had nothing to lose. Despite us having a bad day we didn’t lose much ground and we were in 6th place after the second day. After the round we had a great talk as a team and I think we all felt ready to finish the tournament on a strong note with a good attitude.

On the last day the team was in a great place in the morning, everyone was positive, had a good attitude and a great focus.  Despite this we got off to a rocky start, we started on some tough holes, but we also made some poor swings and we carried those with us instead of letting them go.  During the middle of the round we did better, but we weren’t quite able to finish out the day. We just weren’t able to stop the bleeding that last day and that led to an 11th place finish at the Lady Gator Invitational.   Again, we were very close to breaking through as a team and I wanted the players to realize that. The bad swings wasn’t about technique that day, it was about our minds and believing that we could be that
underdog team that could be successful.  We will continue to work on our confidence, trusting our games and believing that we can be great.

Before this semester is over, we will have our breakthrough tournament!

GO CATS!!!

Golda