Women's Golf Report Apr2012


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Rick Woelfel is the Editor/Publisher of Women's Golf Report where this /these articles) originally appeared. To obtain a copy via e-mail, contact him at rwoelfel2@verizon.net.

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Women's Golf Report Apr2012

  1. 1. April 2 0 1 2 PHILADELPHIA, NY, MASS WOMEN’S GOLF REPORTThere really wasn’t much of a winter in theNortheast but, in any event, the approach of theteam match season is a sure sign that spring hasarrived. In This Issue:This month the Women’s Golf Association ofPhiladelphia will conduct its Interclub Matches WGAP Preview/Rostersfor the 112th time while, a bit to the north, the ---Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association will kick WMGA Team Matchesoff its own Interclub Team Match schedule, ---another series that dates back more than a century. Tseng PrevailsIn an earlier era, before there really was such a ---thing as women’s professional golf, some of the Founders Cupfinest players in the country would spend a good ---chunk of their spring playing in team matches, Na Yeon Choiwomen like Maureen Orcutt or Glenna Collett ---Vare. Philly AmThat’s not necessarily the case today but that’s ---almost beside the point. The team matches serve a Book Reviewnumber of useful functions apart from allowing ---the participants a chance to get the rust off their Book Exerptswings.First and foremost, the matches are all-inclusive.All are welcome, whether they carry a handicapof five or 15 (or higher).For some of the participants, the team matches arethe only serious form of competitive golf theywill partake in all season. Even if they are unableor do not wish to take part in tournaments during founding members of the LPGA Tour, Marilynnthe bulk of the season, the team matches provide Smith, Shirley Spork, and Louise Suggs were onthem with a taste of competition. hand and we fortunate enough to visit with themSecondly, the matches offer a connection to the all. These three women, along with the 10 othersgame’s history. Today’s players walk the same who founded the Ladies Professional Golfersfairways that the greats of other eras walked Association 62 years ago were and are possessedbefore them. of not just athletic ability, but indomitableIn our view, the game is more enjoyable if the courage.player has an appreciation of the history that goes It’s vitally important that their achievements, onwith it. and off the golf course, are never forgotten orWhich brings us to the subject of the Founders overlooked.Cup.We had the privilege of attending the RR Rick WoelfelDonnelley Founders Cup in Phoenix. Three of the Editor/Publisher
  2. 2. PHILADELPHIA WOMENS GOLF REPORT April 2012 Page2WGAP Preview Kerry Rutan was a fixture in the lineup atBy Rick Woelfel Philadelphia Country Club before moving to Philadelphia Cricket, where she played on aThey began in 1897 when women’s golf was team that won back-to-back Philadelphia Cups.more a recreational activity than a competitive “Everybody wants to win," she says. "There’s asport. More than 11 decades later the Women’s lot of passion. People give their all. It’s veryGolf Association of Philadelphia’s Interclub emotional because there’s so much historyMatches endure and the players who participate involved."in them are as passionate as ever. Rutan points out that preparations for theThe competition will commence for the 112th matches begin well before the opening tee shot.time on Tuesday, April 24th, and will continue “It goes on all year,” she says. “As soon as oneon Tuesdays and Fridays through May 8th. set of matches is over you’re thinking about thePlayoff and challenge matches are scheduled next one. You’re always thinking about how tofor May 15th and 17th. put together the strongest lineup.”The first matches, which were played on May The format of the matches is simple. Seven6, 1897, featured two teams each from four players represent each club and compete overdifferent clubs, Philadelphia Country Club, 18 holes of match play with one point at stakeMerion, Belmont (later Aronimink), and in each match. Matches are decided via extraPhiladelphia Cricket. Each club fielded a first holes if necessaryand a second team. A second set of matches Merion regained the Cup last year afterwas played that fall. Philadelphia Cricket prevailed in 2009 and ’10.This year, a total of 143 teams from 71 clubs Kim Simmons will serve as Merion’s captain inare expected to compete, divided into 25 Cups, 2012. She started out on the club’s third teamor brackets of six teams each. and gradually worked her way up to the firstMerion will field five teams this season, while unit.DuPont, Old York Road, Aronimink, Depth is an asset in the team format andPhiladelphia Cricket, Huntingdon Valley, Simmons notes that Merion has a number ofWilmington, and Waynesborough will each quality players in its lineup.have four. “We have a lot of depth,” she says. “We haveThe participants come from throughout the strong players really, all across the board.”Greater Philadelphia area. Some are serious It goes without saying that Merion has atournament participants. Others are primarily significant home-course advantage playing onrecreational golfers looking for a taste of its historic East Course, but Simmons notes thecompetition beyond the realm of their own closeness of the players contributes to theclubs. All share a connection to the history of team’s success as well.the game, for the traditions surrounding “I think we get along well as a team,” she says.women’s golf along the Eastern Seaboard run “We get together a lot, not just during teamdeep. matches.”Most of the attention will be focused on the top All told, Merion has won 65 of the 111 Cupsbracket, where six teams, defending champion that have been contested, including 23 of theMerion, Sunnybrook, Philadelphia Cricket, last 31. The other five clubs in the PhiladelphiaHuntingdon Valley, Gulph Mills, and Cup bracket have won just 30 among them.Manufacturers will compete for the Merion captured a record eight consecutivePhiladelphia Cup, one of the oldest trophies for Philadelphia Cups from 1981-88 and sevenwomen in all of American sport. more from 2002-2008.The intensity surrounding the matches has not Huntingdon Valley Country Club has won 18diminished with the passage of time. Cups, the last in 1998.
  3. 3. PHILADELPHIA WOMENS GOLF REPORT April 2012 Page 3Gulph Mills Golf Club Manufacturers Golf & Country ClubCaptain: Hattie Laveran Captain: Kathy PlattChampionships: (3) 1968-70 Championships: 0Tentative Roster Handicap Index Tentative Roster Handicap IndexAlexandra Frazier 2.1 Tracy Albertelli 5.0Ellen Miller 7.2 Pat Hughes-Gelardi 6.5Hattie Laveran 8.9 Sue Klauder 9.8Molly Connell 9.5 Kathy Platt 10.1Dina Gibson 9.9 Nancy Hopkins 10.6Missy Wietlisbach 11.6 Ann Gilmore 11.9Cam Peake 11.8 Anne Marie Lewis 12.3 Tricia Delaney 12.5Merion Golf Club Jeanne McKenney 12.5Captain: Kim Simmons: Betsy Quinn 13.0Championships: (65) 1898-1902; 1904, 1906-07;1909-12; 1914, 1916, 1918-20; 1924-26; 1929, 1934, 1936, Philadelphia Cricket Club1940, 1946, 1948, 1950-54; 1956-59; 1961, 1963-66; 1971, Captain: Kerry Rutan1978, 1981-88; 1990, 1992, 1995-97, 1999-2000; 2002-08, Championships: (8) 1913, 1915, 1917,2011. 1921-22, 1930, 2009-10Tentative Roster Handicap Index Tentative Roster Handicap IndexCatherine Elliott +1.2 Kerry Rutan 0.3Liz Haines 1.9 Melana Regan 3.3Kim Simmons 3.2 Marji Goldman 3.9Loraine Jones 3.8 Alison Shoemaker 5.1Nancy Porter 3.9 Cynthia Clough 5.5Katie Sibel 4.2 Jan Albert 5.9Vinny West 6.9 Carol Cowhey 5.9Lindsay Forgash 7.6 Becky Sanderson 6.5Katrina Ogilby 8.2 Sunnybrook Golf ClubHuntingdon Valley Country Club Captain: Maisie BarlowCaptain: Hilary Mainka Championships: (1) 2001Championships: (18) 1903, 1905, 1908, 1923, 1927-28;1931-33; 1935, 1937, 1941, 1947, 1955, 1962, 1967, 1989, Tentative Roster Handicap Index1998. Lisa McGill 1.5 Cathy Sibel 3.8Tentative Roster Handicap Index Lynne Thomson 7.1Tina Gregor 3.5 Kim Whetzel 8.0Bonnie George 4.0 Lisa Moulton 8.2Yvonne Kukora 4.4 Debbie Maine 8.8Hilary Mainka 6.0 Courtney Robertson 9.7Maureen Koerwer 6.3 Maisie Barlow 10.2Tierney Sadowl 7.8 Meg Packer 10.3Amy Holman 9.0 Dorrian McGill 10.4Leslie Lewis 10.4 Nina Talbot 13.3Sue Sayer 11.1
  4. 4. PHILADELPHIA WOMENS GOLF REPORT April 2012 Page 4Team Matches to Kick off WMGA ScheduleBy Rick Woelfel The team matches serve as a prelude to theThe Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association’s tournament schedule, which features more thanInterclub Team Matches series is one of two dozen championship events for a variety ofspring’s most enduring rituals. ages and ability levels.The season’s annual kickoff gets underway on Early highlights include the Senior ATuesday, April 24th and continues each Tuesday championship at Spring Lake May 22nd andand Thursday through May 8. Challenge 23rd and the Metropolitan Amateur on June 5thmatches are scheduled for May 15th and 17th. at Stanwich. At press time, a total of 179 teams from 140 The WMGA Match Play Championship will beclubs were scheduled to participate. played for the 109th time at Trump National-The clubs compete within their respective Colt’s Neck, where Phoebe Timpson isdistricts, with each district divided into a series scheduled to defend.of brackets that customarily contain six teams The Stroke Play Championship will follow oneach. Each club hosts one date during the July 18th and 19th at Rockaway Hunting Clubcourse of the season, with the exception, by with Denise Martorana defending.tradition of the club that won the series the The Met Women’s Open, a joint effort betweenprevious year (that tradition is a mandate in the WMGA and the Met Section PGA, is setSeries One). for August 8th and 9th at North Shore.Each team fields a five-player lineup. Thematches are 18 holes at match play, with threepoints at stake in each match.The New Jersey District will have 12 seriesthis season, while Westchester/ConnecticutDistrict will have 10, and Long Island eight.At season’s end, the Series One championsfrom each district will collide in the annualInterdistrict Playoff, which this year isscheduled for May 17th at Fresh Meadow.Here is how the top series sets up in eachdistrict, with the defending series championlisted first.Montclair is the defending Interdistrict Playoffchampion. New Jersey Westchester/Connecticut Long Island Montclair Woodway Meadow Brook Spring Lake Sleepy Hollow Bellport Rumson Wee Burn Huntington Crescent Basking Ridge Winged Foot Piping Rock Somerset Hills Greenwich Glen Oaks Cherry Valley Round Hill Southward Ho
  5. 5. PHILADELPHIA WOMENS GOLF REPORT April 2012 Page5Tseng Prevails in the Desert “I’m just very proud of myself,” Tseng said said,By Rick Woelfel “because after nine holes I was three shots back. I just hung in there and do my best and tried notPhoenix, AZ – The RR Donnelley LPGA to worry about other people.”Founders Cup is a link that connects today’s Tseng got a chance to refocus when play wasplayers to their forebears of yesteryear. called for the second time with the final groupOn this occasion, three of the top players in the approaching the 10th green. Miyazato held aworld put on a memorable three-shot lead at the time.performance. “I think it was a good break forIn the end, Yani Tseng prevailed me,” Tseng said, “because Iover Na Yeon Choi and Ai finished nine holes, was one overMiyazato with an effort that was a (for the day) and I had a birdieblend of excellence and resolve, chance on Number 10 but then weTseng, the top-ranked player in the have a break. So I took a little bitworld, was the best player in the of time to come back here to relaxfield all week, but it took a late a little bit and rethink, and restartcharge to collect her 14th LPGA the day.”victory. She trailed by three shots The strategy worked; by the timewith nine holes to play, but birdied the players got to the 16th teefive of the first six holes on the Tseng had a two-shot lead. Choiback side at the Wildfire Golf Club and Miyazato both birdied 17 butat the JW Marriot Desert Ridge to Yani Tseng couldn’t close the gap at the finish.get under the wire one stroke ahead of Choi, the “It was really difficult,” Miyazato said. “Thesecond-ranked player in the world, and most difficult thing was no warmup for us (afterMiyazato, who at one time held the number-one each delay). You’re suspended and back to theranking herself. golf course and suspended and back to the golfTseng, who had at least a share of the lead after course again. So it was a little bit difficult for meeach of the first three rounds, completed 72 holes because all my tempo comes from the warmup.”in 18-under par 270 while Choi and Miyazato “She’s amazing,” Choi said of Tseng. “She playsshared second place at 281. so well. I mean, she never looks nervous or likeThe matter wasn’t settled until the final green, she has pressure on her. I think she has a lot ofwhen Tseng lagged a 40-foot birdie try to inside confidence right now.”two feet before eventually tapping in for par. The Founders Cup is the LPGA’s equivalent toChoi followed with a 30-foot birdie try that came the PGA Tour’s Memorial. It honors the 13up short while Miyazato’s 25-footer burned the women who founded the LPGA Tour in 1950.right edge before stopping five feet past. Three of the four surviving Founders, MarilynnTseng’s closing 68 was a remarkable Smith, Louise Suggs, and Shirley Spork were inperformance, given the conditions. After two attendance all week although they had left thedays of perfect weather and a Saturday that was golf course by Sunday evening in deference toovercast but comfortable, Sunday dawned windy the conditions.and chilly with storms on the horizon. The Tseng made it clear their presence wastemperature never got out of the low 50s, the appreciated by today’s players.wind blew throughout the day, and play was “We wouldn’t be here without the Founders,” shehalted three times because of weather issues. said. “ I just really thank them for giving me andThe leaders took 8 hours and 4 minutes to finish all the junior girls a big opportunity to come heretheir round and darkness was closing in by the and play on the LPGA Tour. I really appreciate ittime they finished in front of a band of hardy and it’s my honor to be a part of this.”souls that waited for them at the 18th green.
  6. 6. PHILADELPHIA WOMENS GOLF REPORT April 2012 Page 6 Yani Tseng 65-70-67-68 270 -18 Na Yeon Choi 67-69-67-68 271 -17 Ai Miyazato 68-68-66-69 271 -17 So Yeon Ryu 68-71-68-68 275 -13 Hee Young Park 65-72-73-67 277 -11 Caroline Hedwall 70-71-67-70 278 -10 Jennifer Song 69-70-69-70 278 -10 Cristie Kerr 68-73-66-71 278 -10 Hee Kyung Seo 67-71-69-71 278 -10 Chella Choi 71-70-71-67 279 -9 Mindy Kim 68-71-70-70 279 -9 Stacy Lewis 68-70-70-71 279 -9 Karin Sjodin 69-68-71-71 279 -9 Haeji Kang 70-71-70-69 280 -8 Se Ri Pak 70-69-69-72 280 -8 Hee-Won Han 69-70-68-73 280 -8 Karrie Webb 68-69-70-73 280 -8 Jiyai Shin 66-71-75-69 281 -7 Jodi Ewart 70-71-69-71 281 -7 Paula Creamer 69-68-70-74 281 -7 I.K. Kim 70-66-69-76 281 -7 Anna Nordqvist 72-68-73-69 282 -6 Katie Futcher 68-71-72-71 282 -6 Julieta Granada 70-68-73-71 282 -6 451 3305 320 1805 355 Lizette Salas 74-69-68-71 282 -6 Jee Young Lee 74-70-70-69 283 -5 Na On Min 70-70-72-71 283 -5 Mika Miyazato 69-67-75-72 283 -5 Kristy McPherson 73-65-72-73 283 -5 Suzann Pettersen 69-71-67-76 283 -5 Inbee Park 68-69-69-77 283 -5
  7. 7. PHILADELPHIA WOMENS GOLF REPORT April 2012 Page 7A Moment in Time “We just don’t celebrate our FoundersBy Rick Woelfel enough,” she says. “I was lucky. Karrie Webb and I spoke quite a while ago and we said wePhoenix, ARIZONA – The moment epitomized were lucky to be rookies in 1996 because somewhat the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup the legends of our era were still playing, likeis all about; 38-year old LPGA veteran Sophie Patty Sheehan, Pat Bradley, and Joanne Carner.Gustafson chatting with 82-year old Marilynn (Nancy Lopez) and I became very goodSmith, LPGA legend and Founder, during a friends.wait on the eighth tee at as gallery members “So I think the Founders, the people who madelooked on. the LPGA Tour what it is, need to beThe exchange symbolically connected Smith recognized on a regular basis, not just once aand the other women who founded the LPGA year.”in 1950 with today’s generation of female Amanda Blumenherst is in her third year ongolfers who may or may not be aware of all the LPGA Tour. A magna cum laude graduateSmith and her peers did to give the sport of Duke, where she double-majored in historycredibility. and English, Blumenherst says meeting theThree of the four living Founders, Smith, Founders is akin to getting a lesson in herLouise Suggs, and Shirley Spork, were on sport’s history.hand in Phoenix (Marlene Hagge was unable “It’s amazing to hear their stories,” she says,to attend). “and what they used to do to promote golf.The trio spent time on the golf course, signed They would put turf down on the diamond atautographs for fans, and occupied seats of baseball games and hit shots into the outfieldhonor adjacent to the 18th green at Wildfire to draw a crowd at whatever tournament theyGolf Club. Legendary teaching professionals were at.Peggy Kirk Bell and Barbara Romack were “It’s great to hear just what they’ve done foralso in attendance, along with LPGA Hall of golf, and how far it’s come for us and howFamers Patty Sheehan and Pat Bradley. we’ve benefited from it.”And if not everyone attending the tournament Blumenherst says she’s particularly impressedfully comprehended all these women did to by the idea that the Founders worked to createmake the LPGA a viable entity, the players something that has withstood the test of time.Women’s Golf Report spoke with certainly did. “For people to have that love for the game,”Lori Kane didn’t turn professional until she she says, “and the foresight to think thatwas 28 after a distinguished amateur career. someday it might really be a big deal. TheyShe believes it’s vital that today’s players had amazing foresight and dedication, andunderstand the contributions their forebears passion. Not many people have that towards amade. sport or toward anything.”“Without them we wouldn’t be here,” she said.“ I don’t think it’s any fault of the younger Look for more from the RR Donnelley LPGAplayers for not knowing the Founders but it Founders Cup in the May issue of Women’srequires us as a tour to maybe educate them Golf Report.better. I look at other sports and they celebratetheir builders.”Kane grew up in Canada appreciating hockey,a sport that embraces its history as much asany other and more than most. She’d like tosee the LPGA adopt the same mindset.
  8. 8. PHILADELPHIA WOMENS GOLF REPORT April 2012 Page 8A Thankful Na Yeon Choi “The first time I played with her I felt veryBy Rick Woelfel weird and happy, and honored, all mixed up. I was very nervous the first time I played withNa Yeon Choi missed the inaugural edition of her (but) I could see how hard she worked. Itthe RR Donnelly LPGA Founders Cup. But she motivated the younger players.”made quite an impact at the second. Choi points out that if Pak had not beenChoi was playing in a tournament in Japan successful on the LPGA Tour, her failurewhen the inaugural Cup was played last year, would have discouraged her countrywomenbut she tied for second this time around. She from attempting to fulfill their own golfingtied for second with Ai Miyazato one stroke ambitions.behind Yani Tseng. Choi missed a 30-foot Pak was successful of course, and is today anbirdie try at the final green that would have iconic figure in her homeland.forced a sudden-death playoff. But Choi is aware that it all could have turnedAlthough she grew up in Korea, Choi out differentlyappreciates the efforts of the women who “If she couldn’t make it we never would havefounded the LPGA 62 years ago. tried to play on the LPGA Tour,” Choi says.“I’m very thankful to (the Founders),” she “But she did, and Grace Park and Mi Hyunsays. If they couldn’t make this work how Kim, they all did. That’s why we had dreamswould we play on the LPGA Tour? I think all when I was young.LPGA Players should be very thankful to them “I’m playing on the LPGA Tour and someand I’m honored to play this tournament.” younger player I hope is looking at me.” Choi has made quite an impact on the LPGATour herself. As a rookie in 2009 she won theSamsung World Championship and finishedsecond in the Rookie-of-the-Year race,The following year she won the money titleand the Vare Trophy for having the tour’slowest scoring average.Last season she was a model of consistency,winning once and finishing in the top 10 a totalof 12 times.“I don’t feel much pressure,” she says. “I triedmy best every time out and tried to have fun. Ijust tried to follow what (the Founders) did.”While the 24-year old Choi is too young tohave seen any of the Founders compete, sheunderstands what it means to follow in thefootsteps of a legend.Around the time Choi was first taking up golfat age 11 Se Ri Pak was launching her ownHall-of-Fame career and changing women’sgolf forever in the process. Choi revered herthen and now.“When I was young I watched her all the timeon TV,” Choi says. “When I was 13 or 14 shewon all the time. Na Yeon Choi
  9. 9. PHILADELPHIA WOMENS GOLF REPORT April 2012 Page 9 Riverton to Host Philadelphia Women’s Amateur By Rick Woelfel Riverton Country Club will host the 112th edition of the Philadelphia Women’s Amateur Championship. The Women’s Amateur is the showcase event of the Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia’s tournament schedule. The championship will be held in its traditional mid-July window, from July 16th through the 20thth. Lauren Bernard from Aronimink is the defending champion. The Farnum Cup, the WGAP’s stroke-play championship, is set for Aronimink on August 28th and 29th. It will be the first Farnum Cup since 2010; last year’s championship was cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Irene. Other feature events on the schedule include the Dorothy Porter Tournament at Riverton on May 17th, the Barlow Cup at Merion six days later, and Philadelphia Junior Girls Championship at Old York Road July 24-27. The WGAP will also host this year’s edition of the Griscom Cup matches; they’re scheduled for May 30-31 at Gulph Mills.Quinn to Head GCSAASandy G. Queen, CGCS, manager of golf operations for the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kan., was elected presidentof the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) at the associations annual meeting March 2 in LasVegas.The annual meeting was held in conjunction with the GCSAA Education Conference (Feb. 27-March 2) and Golf IndustryShow (Feb. 29-March 1).Queen has been the manager of golf operations for the city of Overland Park (Kan.) since 1984. Previously, he served assuperintendent for the city of Overland Park. A GCSAA member for 34 years, Queen is a member and past president of theHeart of America GCSA, a member of the Kansas Turfgrass Association and The First Tee of Greater Kansas City. He alsooversees operations for the award-winning Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead and the Overland Park Soccer Complex,regarded as one of the top facilities of its kind in the nation.Patrick R. Finlen, CGCS, director of golf course maintenance operations at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, was electedvice president. Finlen will be the host of the 2012 U.S. Open in June. Keith A. Ihms, CGCS at Country Club of Little Rock(Ark.) was elected secretary/treasurer.Rafael Barajas, CGCS at Hacienda Golf Club in La Habra Heights, Calif., and William H. Maynard, CGCS at Milburn Golfand Country Club in Overland Park, Kan., were elected as directors. Darren J. Davis, GCSAA Class A member at Olde FloridaGolf Club in Naples, Fla., was appointed to the GCSAA Board of Directors, filling the remaining year of Ihms term, createdby his election to secretary/treasurer.John J. OKeefe, CGCS, director of golf course management at Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, N.J., and Peter J.Grass, CGCS at Hilands Golf Club in Billings, Mont., remain on the board with one year remaining on their two-year directorterms.Robert M. Randquist, CGCS at Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton, Fla., will serve on the board for one year as immediatepast president. James R. Fitzroy, CGCS, director/superintendent at Wollaston Recreational Facility/Presidents Golf Club inNorth Quincy, Mass., retires from the board after serving the last year as immediate past president. PGA professional Matt Esposito is available for lessons at Makefield Highlands Golf Club in Yardley, PA as well as the Golf Galaxy facility in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. He has had a distinguished career as a golf professional, most recently at Yardley Country Club. For further information or to schedule a lesson, contact Matt at: 215-808-4898 or rmesposito22@gmail.com
  10. 10. PHILADELPHIA WOMENS GOLF REPORT April 2012 Page 10Book Review: Swinging for Success relate to. I help them work through theirLife Lessons I Learned on the Golf Course situations.”By Kristin Sunderhaft Sunderhaft’s book (excerpts of which appear in© 2012 Bexsi Publishing this issue of Women’s Golf Report) is divided113 pgs. into 19 short chapters, which are perhaps best read separately rather than absorbed at oneKristin Sunderhaft has been a golf professional sitting.for more than 20 years. But her book, They cover topics such as dealing withSwinging for Success doesn’t provide a anxieties, having the courage to make aformula for success on the golf course so much decision and then act on the decision, and theas it offers a recipe for dealing with the downside of multitasking.challenges of life. Sunderhaft touts strategies she has used to deal“It’s not a golf instruction book,” she says. with challenges in her own life, which have“It’s a collection of lessons I’ve learned on the included divorce, a near-fatal golf-cartgolf course.” accident, and a battle with depression. SheSunderhaft has applied many of those lessons often utilizes golf-related analogies to makein her own life. her case.A member of the LPGA T&CP, she spent most “Golf really is so much like life,” she says.of her childhood in Syracuse, New York before “We have our ups and downs but I’ve learnedsettling in Columbus, Ohio. She attended to turn them then around and try to make themUpper Arlington High School, the same school positives. Life and golf have a lot ofwhich produced Jack Nicklaus a few years similarities.”ago; during her college years she spent hersummers working on the grounds crew at To order a copy of Swinging for Success, go toScioto CC, the course where Nicklaus grew up. http://swingingforsuccess.comSunderhaft started playing golf at age 8 butlike Nicklaus, who was an outstanding all- Sunderhaft can be reached ataround athlete growing up, she was drawn to kristin@healthysports.comteam sports, particularly softball. She playedcollege softball at Division III WittenbergUniversity, because the school had no golfteam at the time.After college Sunderhaft worked briefly as anaccountant before going into the golf industry.While she played the mini-tours and theFutures Tour for a time, the bulk of her careerhas been spent on the lesson tee,predominantly in Las Vegas, where she’s beenfor a total of 14 years. She’s also taught onMaui, as well as in Cleveland and Chicago.Sunderhaft often finds herself filling the role ofcounselor and advisor to her students as muchas that of golf instructor.“Sometimes my students don’t hit a whole lotof balls,” she says. “They want to talk about Kristin Sunderhaftthings that are happening to them, things I can
  11. 11. PHILADELPHIA WOMENS GOLF REPORT April 2012 Page 10chapter Two not going to get into the background, cure or source of anxiety. However, recognizing anxiety and how it affects your swing and overall game is paramount to improving your gameWhat to Say When You Talk to and enjoying the course.Yourself When we are anxious, our muscles tense up. Blood pressureThe average person has 30,000-50,000 thoughts per day. and pulse rates can increase and perspiration can jump. WhileCertainly, some of these thoughts repeat themselves! Who many of these physiological symptoms could actuallyhasn’t mulled something over again and again in their mind, improve our game, most do not. Golf is a game of smoothnot coming movements, relaxed states and accurately trained muscles.to a conclusion, but weighing the pros and cons of a situation? The less anxiety we have, the better ourOur brains constantly gather, filter and file away everything muscles repeat the trained movements we practiced over andwe hear, see, taste, touch and experience. However, nothing over again on the practice facility.compares to the Anxiety is often caused by the fear of an unknown outcome.thoughts we create irrespective of the external stimuli Human beings have a need for certainty in their lives. Just aspresented to us every day. a very young child enjoys watching the same movie over andOur thoughts guide us to make decisions, both minor and over again, as adults, we feel secure knowing the outcome ofmajor. When we “talk” to ourselves, we have the proverbial a given situation.angel and devil on our shoulder telling us the advantages anddisadvantages of a given situation. Fortunately, we can Anxiety is born from a disconnect of our need for certainty.actually control and guide these thoughts to our advantage. When we don’t know the outcome of a situation, it createsWhile it often seems as though thoughts simply anxiety. “What will happen now?” we ask ourselves. To makepop into our head, our intelligence is strong enough to seek matters worse, our imaginations often paint a bleaker pictureout and acquire the mental discipline to put empowering than necessary. Studies have shown that in over 97% of thethoughts into our own brains. cases, a perceived negative outcome is worse than the actualOur brains are the most powerful supercomputers in outcome itself. Our anxiety affects our physiology, ourexistence. attitude and our lives.Our ability to swing a club at a little white ball and pretty Monitoring your breathing will help to reduce your anxiety.accurately determine the ball’s speed, arc, distance, along More importantly, removing or reducing the source of thewith the lay of the course, winds and dew point of the grass, anxiety, of course, is the best short and long-term solution.all within a millisecond, demonstrates that the most powerful One method, or trick, I have used to reduce my anxiety is tocomputing put the source of my anxiety into perspective. For example,system in existence is the one between our ears. there were many times when I was so nervous before a golf tournament, that I couldnt even eat anything until I wasAfter a ball goes into the rough, hazard, out of bounds or we already on the course and was actually playing. I workedmiss an easy putt, many golfers become frustrated and the myself up with so much anxiety it made me physically ill.next shot or two declines even further. Who hasn’t seen a During my high school days at Upper Arlington in Columbus,professional Ohio (UA Golden Bears, Jack Nicklaus’ alma matter) and myskater fall during a routine and the rest of the routine is college days at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, Isubpar? What happened? was a very successful softball player; a team sport. As IStrangely enough, with all the power we have in our brains, began myour sense of time isn’t always linear. The little voice in our tournament golf experience, the anxiety was horrible and inhead is beating us up over the missed putt; long after the putt golf, its not a team sport, you are the only one in control! Theis over. anxiety I would have with tournament golf was related to thePunishing ourselves with negative thoughts or trying to final score that would be posted at the end of the round. I was“redo” a putt in our brain long after the event is over is so focused on what my score was and what people wouldcommon, but rather defeating. You can’t put toothpaste back think of me when they saw that score, it made me sick! As Iin a tube and there are no began to play more, I learned“do over’s” in professional golf. how to truly focus on one shot at a time. If it was a bad one,The same is true in the game of life, of course. When we take accept it and move on to the next, I cant do anything abouta course of action in business, relationships or associations, the past shot.there isnever a second chance to make a first impression. Play out Over time I learned to take it as a learning experience andexactly where you want a conversation to go before you start move forward. I began to enjoy each shot, and just deal withone. Practice the current situation I put myself in, at the present moment.your short game BEFORE your round. Once you are on the Now thatcourse, execute what you have practiced. Once the game has I focus so much on one shot at a time, my focus improves mybegun, your self-talk must be 100% focused on the present- score. More importantly, I don’t care what my score is at thenot the past. When end of the round or what people will think of me. This, ofyou make a mistake, in golf or in life, acknowledge it and course, makes me more relaxed and the anxiety has all butinstantly move on to the next shot. Replaying the mistake in disappeared from my body.your brain only trains your brain to repeat the mistake, not the Focusing on one shot at a time, has done more to help my golfsuccessful shot you practiced. game than almost any other tactic. Focus improves the only thing I have control over…the shot I am making right now.chapter Fourteen My relaxedAnxiety: The Doubt Creator body vibration reinforces that focus and creates seeminglyI used to have huge anxiety. effortless, world-class drives and a very respectable shortThere was a long period during my life where anxiety, game. The same is true in business and in life. It is impossibledepression and self-medication were the norm. In fact, I was to change the shot you just took. All you have is the presentso used to living with anxiety, I never appeared anxious. It moment, so focus on THAT, not the past. Your relaxed focuswas a normal state for me. This isn’t a medical report, so I am WILL make you more effective.