Hello, everyone! I am sitting on my flight from Phoenix to Houston and couldn’t be more excited to get this blog written! These past two weeks have flown by and have been very eventful. I’ve gone from Orlando to Phoenix, Phoenix to Los Angeles, back to Phoenix, and will end up in Orlando tonight. I know you all already know that I took home the trophy from the Volvik Championship out in L.A., but there is so much more that has happened over the past two weeks. I could take this blog in so many directions, so I’m going to touch on a little bit of everything. The good (winning in Los Angeles!), the bad (my play in Phoenix, yikes!) and the ugly (mudslides in California?).
Lets start with the bad. We opened the Symetra season in Phoenix at Longbow Golf Club. Weather was perfect, course was in great condition, I was ready to go. After three days of fighting for par on holes where I had a wedge in my hand, I was less than enthusiastic and even a bit bewildered by my +1, T41 finish. When I say it was bad, it was BAD. I won’t even discuss the wedge shot that I shanked the first day. However, the tournament finished and there was absolutely nothing I could do to change how I played or the result. I had to move on and start thinking positively for the Volvik Championship in L.A.. Short-term memory loss is a golfer’s best friend.
On the bright side, I had a ton of fun in Phoenix staying with some good family friends. I’ve known the Totman’s since I was a young girl and it was great to spend some time with them. They were fantastic hosts for my first week on the road! My coach was also there with some girls from Team 605. No matter how you play, it’s always nice to see some familiar faces following you around. I hope they had some fun and were inspired to keep working hard. I have no doubt that each of those girls can be inside the ropes some day!
So I leave Phoenix in a bit of a funk, and head to sunny L.A. in hopes of making something out of this west coast swing. I had never been to southern California and was really looking forward to seeing what all the hype was about. To make a long story short, it took 54 hours for the field to complete the FIRST round of play. Sunny, dry, perfect southern California decided to host the biggest rainstorm of the century during out tournament. Thank you, California. Every morning we turned on the news to hear more about mud slides, water spouts, and house evacuations. What is going on? Are we playing golf in India? Nonetheless, the tournament was quickly cut to 36 holes when it became obvious that 54 holes was out of the question. After playing 18 holes on Saturday, and my final 18 on Monday, I’m not complaining.
Yesterday’s round was one of the best rounds I’ve played in a long time. I hit some great shots that lead to tap in birdies, made a couple of long ones for birdie, and scrambled to save some good pars. I think any great round of golf generally contains a mix of those three elements. This win was so different from my win in Michigan last year. I played in the second to last group, and at the turn I knew that the leader was at -6, I was at -4, and a couple girls were at -2 and -1. However, there were no scoreboards on the back nine. I had no idea where I stood. I got to the par 5 18th hole at -7 and figured it would be a good idea to make one more birdie. As I walked up to the green to look at my 30 yard approach I was pleasantly surprised and even a bit skeptical to see myself with a four shot lead. However, it made my pitch shot into the green and routine two putt a bit less stressful.
My plan for the day was to stay in the present and the phrase I kept reminding myself of on the course was that I was there to just “play good golf.” You can’t control the leader board; you can only control the shots that you hit. I told my coach on Friday that regardless of the weather and the shortening of the event, somebody was still going to walk away with a trophy and a check. I’m glad that person was me.
To put this round and this win into context, about 4 months ago I started working with my coach on what felt like a complete swing overhaul. Changing major parts of your swing can be extremely frustrating and sometime even make you question if you belong on the tour. I was essentially trying to retrain muscle memory that had been grooved in for years. Nonetheless, we kept at it and believed in our plan. Most people are always looking for the “quick fix.” Sometimes, there is no quick fix. If you truly believe that what you are doing is right, you just have to put in the time and be patient. I feel this week and this win really validated what we had been working on for the last several months.
A big thanks to everyone who I know was following along via live scoring this week and for all the nice messages, tweets, and emails. A big thanks to Volvik for sponsoring this event and to everyone who made it possible including the Symetra Tour staff and the Pacific Palms Resort.
I will be home in Orlando for a few weeks before playing again in Lake Wales, Florida in the middle of March. Enjoy all the photos below; I owe you from last week.
Team 605, Todd, and I at the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic
All the Kolbs!
Great view of hole #4 at Industry Hills in L.A.
Love those big cardboard checks!