Greetings from Amish country. Like some of you, I just finished watching an awesome finish to the Women’s US Open. Like any USGA event, it proved to be a true test of golf for the players and an exciting event for the fans. While its fun to watch it on TV, I can tell you its even better from inside the ropes. :) I’ve recapped all my US Open thoughts from the week right here, I hope you enjoy the insight.
Destination: Lancaster, PA.
Lancaster is situated a little over an hour north from Philadelphia and is at the center of the Amish culture. Fun fact of the day: there are more people in a 250 mile radius of Lancaster than anywhere else in the nation. Yep, that would explain the mass amount of people that came out this week. I didn’t spend much time in Lancaster itself, but instead enjoyed staying in a house I rented for the week with my dad and coach in rural Amish country about 20 minutes from the course. I can’t even tell you how many horse and buggies I have seen go by from my living room window. On Monday my coach and I were fortunate to go visit an Amish farm and have an Amish meal courtesy of Phil Lapp, a local Lancaster business owner and golf fan. I wouldn’t normally schedule much during a major week, but I’m so glad we did this. The idea of living “Amish” is to live simply; and sometimes we could all be reminded that less is more. Not to mention, they REALLY know how to cook. A couple more pieces of home made Amish bread and I would be thinking about how I would look in a bonnet.
Venue: Lancaster Country Club
When I think of the US Open I think of a long course, thick rough, and putting it off the green. Lancaster Country Club hit 2/3. The course played very long and with only 2 par 5’s the birdies had to come the old fashioned way with a good approach and a good putt. The rough was by far the courses biggest defense. If you were lucky you would have a shot to the green and with an extra club you could maybe roll it up, if not, you were forced to chip out to a good number and try and make up and down with wedge. The greens were very soft for a US Open but had an incredible amount of left to right and right to left slope. They definitely could have been faster, but I don’t think the field was complaining. The more great courses I play the more I realize how well they were built back in the day. No matter how much money you spend, you can’t buy the tradition and character that comes with the essence of a 100+ year old club.
Game plan: My experience
My game plan going into the week was to stay patient, stick to my strengths, and to just keep grinding it out every hole. I have to say I stuck to my plan and it worked out pretty well. It was vital to keep it in the fairway, so when I felt 3 wood gave me a better chance while not being left too far from the green I didn’t hesitate. I’ve been getting a little anxious to make a cut in a major, and doing it in my first US Open was pretty ideal. I had a rough patch in the middle of my round on Friday, but finished 2 under in the last 6 holes to make the cut on the number. I played some solid and patient golf on the weekend and would move myself up to T35. It’s 34 spots from 1st, but definitely a step in the right direction.
Besides playing solid, the overall experience was one of the best I have had in my career. I have played many USGA events, but never had they given my a Lexus courtesy car nor had 135,000 people come to watch. Whether you are a golf fan or not there is something about our United States’ Open championships that draws people. It is fun for the fans, and the fans are fun for the players.
I will leave Lancaster tomorrow and drive up to Toledo Ohio. My next three weeks will be Toledo, Grand Rapids, and Turnberry for the British Open. This is probably by far the toughest stretch we have this year, but I think I’ve started it off right. I have posted lots of photos from a couple weeks ago in Arkansas and, of course, this week at the US Open.
This whole crew came to Arkansas to watch me play! Thank you all so much!
(Elin Arvidsson, Mother Teresa, Tammie Paulson, Dennis, Diane and Jenna Varilek)
Jenna and I after dinner. :)
Sometimes the volunteers go above and beyond and insure the wildlife doesn’t wander onto the green while we putt on hole 10.
Sandra Gal, Hee Young Park, and I on our Amish field trip.
I even stole a photo with one of the Amish kids. He was too sweet.
I know South Dakota is full of farmland, but it just isn’t as scenic as Pennsylvania.
The whole Amish field trip crew. (Belen Mozo, Sandra Gal, me, Hee Young Park, Mariajo Uribe)
Best practice round group on the course! B. Lang, Mama Diaz, Lee-Anne Pace and myself.
Lots of long practice days Monday – Wednesday with these two paid off. Todd on the left and Worth on the right.
The Amish are pretty trusting!
Par 3 hole 8.
Great seeing this guy on the road again. Thanks for driving up Will! Friends from Heathrow are friends for life. :)
Lapp Valley Dairy for ice cream! We tried to go back for seconds but it was closed on Saturday. :(
The guy that thinks he is my lucky charm. Haven’t missed a cut when he has come out yet. Thanks, Dad. ;)