Time-Out

Good afternoon from Prattville, AL, everyone. I wish I could say I just finished my round here but instead I am starting my off week a little early. It’s been a very long 4 weeks since I last checked in and have had a lot of good and bad happen in that time.

Last time I wrote I believe I was en route to Hawaii for the Lotte Championship. I like Hawaii and have always played well there, but per tradition I woke up on Tuesday with my standard Hawaii illness. Sore throat, ear aches, and congestion. Every. Single. Year. l went straight to the doctor and got on a prescription to try and kick it. I had an afternoon start on Thursday which was helpful but on the 6th hole I was about 100 yards from my tee shot and I knew that I wasn’t going to make it. I was going to pass out. So, I learned a new rule that week in that if you need medical attention you have officially 15 minutes once the medics arrive. So, I chilled over in the rough under the shade of a palm tree while two groups were allowed to play thru and I waited for medics. At that time I thought to myself, there is absolutely no way I can get up and play 12 more holes. However, after a bottle of gatorade and the determination by medics that I was experiencing some serious dehydration (aided by the cold medicine and prescriptions) they gave me a strict fluid intake schedule for the remainder of my round. I got up, birdied the hole, and actually shot the best round of the week for me. Amazing what you can do when you just keep going.

The rest of the week seemed like a breeze compared to Thursday and I nearly sneaked into the top 20. However, I was happy with where I finished and felt my game was in a great spot. I was also extremely lucky to have a great friend along for the week who let me stay in her condo right on the course. So thankful for people like her in my life. Thank you, Tami!

I took the dreaded 6 hour red eye out of Honolulu Saturday night and arrived in San Francisco Sunday morning. After a quick nap I met Audrey and my friend, Kris, for some San Fran site seeing (a.k.a Operation: Don’t fall asleep before 8 pm). I finally saw the Golden Gate Bridge, from about 7 different angles in fact, and have to say it truly is a beautiful sight to see. Todd came out on Monday for a few days so we even snuck in Alcatraz on Wednesday afternoon. San Francisco is an extremely tough city to navigate and drive in and I don’t think I could ever live there, but for the week it offers us so many fun things to do.

I had an interesting week golf wise in San Fran. I played a pretty solid day 1 and went out on day 2 with zero game. The wind started to really blow and if your game isn’t sharp its going to be a long day. I walked off the course in 94th place, had lunch, cleaned out my locker, and called my friends in Dallas to tell them I was coming in early. Much to my surprise, the wind continued to whip and I continued to rise closer an closer to the right side of the cut line. Sometimes your game gets really hot when you’re sitting on the couch.😉 By the end of Friday I was T-65 and had an early morning Saturday tee time! Two days later I went from changing my flight to a T-27 finish. Moral of the story: don’t ever give up.

I left San Fran and my awesome new host family (and new friends) on another red eye to Dallas Sunday night. Who booked all these red eyes!? My mom also came in on Monday to spend the week with me. I hadn’t seen her since Phoenix so was looking forward to it. I had a busy week between preparing for the event and doing some apartment shopping for my move to Ft. Worth. In the end I succeeded at the apartment shopping part and failed at the tournament part. It was a rough week. The highlight was by far the all star pairing I had in Se Ri Pak and Juli Inkster. I had not played with either player before and with Se Ri retiring this year I’m very glad I had the opportunity. I stuck around Dallas for the weekend and played in the Angela Stanford “Shine Your Light” pro-am on Monday. I was so happy to be part of her cause this year and just had a great time hanging out with such a fun group of players.

I came to Prattville with some great memories from the past two years and was looking for a nice bounce back week. We had nice days to prepare and a great pro am on Wednesday. I had a late tee time Thursday with an early tee time Friday (my favorite) so it was setting up to be a good week. My swing felt better, and I put a lot of time into my short game early in the week. All was feeling good until I spent all of Wednesday night awake with food poisoning. If I would have had a Thursday morning tee time I would have WD for sure. Thankfully, I had several hours in the morning to get a little rest and manage to eat a piece of toast. I don’t think it was the lack of food that was the hardest but more the lack of sleep. Fortunately, I also had some good girls in my group that I knew pretty well so they didn’t mind when I just sat on the fringe unit it was my turn to putt. ha! I kept having these weird deja vu flashbacks to Hawaii and thinking, if this is karma for something I did I’m really sorry and hope I have paid my dues now. So we carried on. I finished at plus 3 after Friday’s round and really thought I had a pretty good chance to play the weekend but the cut line didn’t move a single shot on Friday. Incredible. I would miss by one. I know I had food poisoning, and I know I didn’t feel great at all, but if I am out there I fully expect to still compete. I expect to make the cut and to have a few good days to move up. If you’re out there, theres no excuses.

So I woke up this morning in Prattville without a tee time and without much purpose for the day. It’s always strange to wake up in a random city and not have a purpose. I thought I would go to the gym and practice but honestly am feeling a little mid season burn out right now so I took the day off. Maybe I’ll take a couple (rare for me). I have next week at home in South Dakota and am looking forward to the mix of down time and practicing at familiar places. I know Todd and I will have some good practice sessions and get things back in line. It feels like our entire season is crammed into these next two months so I know I need some good weeks. Perseverance is key, and as I learned in Hawaii, you just have to keep going.

Happy (early) Mother’s Day!
KK

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15th floor view.

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Last night in Hawaii.. great sunset.:)

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Thank you, Tami, for making Hawaii so much fun this year! Glad we didn’t only play six holes!😉

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GGB on a perfectly clear day.

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Swinging Skirts —-> Lots of artwork!

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Todd, me, and Kris.

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When your friend endearingly nicknames you “Camel.”

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Pro am Gala at San Francisco city hall with Joanna Klatten!

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Inside Alcatraz.

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Outside Alcatraz.

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So much fun with these guys! Thanks Clark, Karol, and Andee!

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Always make time for one of my best friends from college!  Will love being closer to the Hopes in Texas!!

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Last night in Dallas.  My cousin Tony and his girlfriend Jamie and my cousin Lauren with me and my mom. Couldn’t believe they came all the way to Dallas to watch me play!  Made me so happy! :))

Moving Forward

It was an early wake up call in Orlando today as I catch an early flight to Hawaii. As usual, my off week seemed busier than my event weeks. I can’t complain when the cause is getting up at 5 am to go to the Masters, though. I’ve had some ups and downs these past three weeks but one of the things I love most about Masters week is that even for LPGA players it provides a lot of motivation! I am more than ready to get to Hawaii and compete next week.

I played three weeks in a row starting with Phoenix and was pumped to notch my first top ten of the season. With an 18 under total I think it’s a new personal low scoring record. So many good things going on that week but most importantly I had tons of family and friends there to enjoy the great week with. I think Phoenix will become one of those pivotal weeks in my season every year. I like the conditions, I like the course, and I go there with such good vibes. I put a new Callaway XR driver and a new “A” wedge in the bag and needless to say they earned a permanent spot. I also did some work with my Vision54 coaches as they got to watch me play in competition for the first time. The more I work with them the more I realize how truly great they are at their craft and how thankful I am to have them on my team. Just one or two small suggestions can make a world of difference. I’m so excited to continue my mental training with them and to see where it can lead.

Even though I played some great golf I continued to work on a few swing and putting changes with Todd that I’ve been working on for awhile. The hardest thing to do when playing well is to not become complacent. After watching the Masters this week we should all know that golf is a funny game. A 68 one day can easily be a 78 the next! The score doesn’t determine how well the process is going, only you can decide that.

We played the Kia Championship after Phoenix and I made a conscience effort to get out and see a little more of the San Diego area this year. When I got there on Monday I went out with Audrey and some friends and hiked Torrey Pines. My GPS was obviously confused because it took me straight to Torrey Pines Golf Club instead; but even us die hards need a change of pace from time to time. It was a beautiful hike and a great way to reset after a long week in Phoenix. I also checked out the town of Carslbad a bit and if you ever get the chance be sure to go. It’s the perfect sea side village, a Coldstone included.

I have a love-hate relationship with Aviara Golf Club, the course we play the Kia Championship on. I think it sets up well to my eye, has plenty of birdie opportunities, and is a beautiful walk. However, I have found myself hovering at the cut line both years I have played. It’s funny how you can go from the excitement of being in contention and finishing top ten the week before to the excitement of finishing birdie-par to make the cut on the number. A two putt par doesn’t usually receive such a celebration. Needless to say, I was happy to get two more rounds in and salvage a solid event. I think Aviara is a course that you have to play enough times to figure out. I am up for the challenge, though, and look forward to getting better there every year.

I drove up to Palm Springs on Monday feeling great about the first major of the year. I was hitting it well, putting well, and was just generally excited to keep playing. Unfortunately, I had a lot of negative thoughts about the course after my experience last year and played very scared on Thursday. It was the first time this year I really feel that I took a couple steps backwards. After Thursday’s roundI reassessed some of the things I was doing out there and made some Vision54 changes for Friday. I saw the benefit in my putting but still just didn’t get the ball in the hole. I left early on Saturday morning and if nothing else I at least new that next year I must rethink how I approach this event and this course and will call in the help of Vision54 to retrain my brain on how I think about this event. I actually believe this course sets up well for my game, I just have to retrain my mind to fully commit to what I believe.

Per tradition I drove straight to Georgia when I got home and spent a couple of days at the happiest place on Earth: Augusta National Golf Club. My friend, Emily, and I are quickly becoming expert patrons. We are thinking of publishing a spectator assistance pamphlet. Best parking, best chair placement spots, when to shop, when to eat, what to eat- we really are nailing this thing down. This year a good friend of mine was back at Augusta as a caddie manager so we were extremely lucky to hang out with him and learn so much about the property and the tournament. We even hung out in the caddie house to the right of the range. My goal for the week was to meet Smylie Kaufman (no, there’s no relation). I did one better when he just happened to be sitting there with his caddie and family as I was taking his caddie bib out to take a picture. Needless to say I was caught red handed but he was more than happy to chat and get in on the pic with me. It made for a great story and I think I brought him some luck. Cheering hard from 30,000 feet today for Team Kaufman!

Well my plane is boarding soon and I think I’ve been rambling long enough. Game feels good, I’m ready to compete after a nice break, and Hawaii is calling my name!

Until next time,
KK

 

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Sat between 11 and 12 for a long time on Tuesday.  Watched Paul Casey make a hole in one!

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These flowers…:)

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So great to catch up with good friend and great caddie, Brodie Large.  Hope we can make this part of our Masters tradition.

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My Masters partner in crime.. couldn’t imagine attending with anybody else!

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Little Phil and Webb action on the putting green.

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Jack playing his final Par 3.  Was trying to keep the Ohio State grad from storming the fairway at this point.😉

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Team Kaufman finally united.  Probably my favorite pic from the week!

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Bri and Ashley down in Phoenix.  Been awhile since this group has been together.:)

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Hiking Torrey Pines with some of my faves!

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Had to get a little yoga action in with these views.😉

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Surprise of the week at the Kia.  Former college teammates Alex and Deb surprising me on the range on Friday!  Miss these two a lot!

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Love when my best friend come and spends the week.  So many good times with Elin at the ANA and can’t wait for her to be on the LPGA full time.

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Around the World (in 24 days!)

Hello from 40,000 feet. I can’t tell you exactly where I am but we just left Germany and since there is some wifi on board I thought I would update my blog.:) I’ve travelled a lot of miles these past three weeks and am finally home bound. T-8 hours to JFK.:)
Australia is quickly becoming one of my favorite places I travel to. We spent the week in Adelaide this year and its just hard to find something to complain about. The city is fun, the weather is warm and dry, and the golf course is always fantastic. If this tournament had a higher purse it might actually get the credit it deserves. It is by far the most underrated event we play all year. Yes, when I boarded that flight from LAX to Brisbane I had 14 hours to wonder why I thought it was a good idea to make such a long journey for such a small purse; but, when I get there its totally worth it. We had a strong start on Thursday but by mid round Friday I was fighting to stay alive. I birdied my 16th hole and finished with two pars to make the cut on the number. The week ended and although sad to leave such a great place I was ready to go to Thailand where I had played the course before and had seen some success.

Thailand was the same as always. It’s like a cultural shockwave the minute you step out into the airport and you realize we aren’t in Australia anymore. I got in late Monday night and got out Tuesday to play the back nine and practice as early as I could. Practice, gym session, foot massage, dinner. The daily routine doesn’t usually change much overseas. However, my caddie did drag me out to see the floating market in the afternoon and it was totally worth it. It’s hard to describe Asian markets but its really a whole bunch of stores selling hand made things or knock offs. I wouldn’t say it is pretty or clean, but its real. Sometimes you need to get out of the resort and see what real life looks like in these countries. There’s also food vendors that sell local foods (some edible and some not so edible), and this particular one is placed on water, thus the term “floating.” We ate, shopped, and after we had enough we took a tuk tuk back to the hotel. 20 min of going 50 mph down the highway in the back of a pick up truck for 3 dollars a piece. What a deal.

Thailand was a bit of an up and down week again, which seems to be a theme this year. However, a solid Sunday round pushed me into the top 15 for my first top 20 of the year. I was really proud of how me and Audrey stayed patient and waited for the good play to come. I think we are making a great team and I look forward to getting out there and working with her every day. I thought I would take some momentum from Thailand into Singapore, but golf is a funny game and had different plans for my final week in Asia.

I arrived in Singapore with high expectations. I had heard SO much about this country and how wonderful it was. As usual, the girls didn’t lead me wrong; this city was amazing. We played early Tuesday and didn’t play the pro am Wednesday so I had some time to check out the city. We took a ride on the Singapore Flyer (equivalent to the London Eye), and checked out the Muslim quarter and Little India for dinner on Wednesday night. I felt there was so much more to do and see so I hope I get the privilege of coming back for many more years.

If you followed live scoring you know that you didn’t find my name at the top of the leadeboard on Thursday. An opening round of +6, 78. Ugh. You see, the beauty about a normal full field event is that there is a cut. So when you shoot 78 on Thursday you more than likely only have to play one more round on Friday and then the tournament puts you out of your misery by sending you home. In a limited field event, no matter what you shoot on Thursday, you got three more days of play staring at you. How do you refocus? How do you not let it spiral completely out of control? I could blame that 78 on many different things: new course, hot weather, slow greens, etc. But, more important than looking at all the things that didn’t go our way my caddie and I decided to make a birdie bet each day (for donuts, of course) and then decided if we finished the week at even or better that we would be happy. That is only -2 the last three days, but after shooting 78 on Thursday climbing Mt. Everest seemed easier. I sent a bunch of videos to my coach and told him how I was feeling about each part of my game. As usual, he simplified a few thoughts into some techniques that I could try out on the course.

So, we continued our week and decided to use these three days for putting these few things we were working on into practice. I saw some improvement with my putting right away and the irons came and went. I managed to shoot even both Friday and Saturday and although I didn’t improve my place much, some of the field moved closer to me. I went out on Sunday and after opening with two birdies thru three holes I had a failed up and down from the bunker followed by a three putt on the following hole for consecutive bogeys. I stood on the 6th tee and thought to myself “I’ve played this course 4 times now, it’s not that difficult.” Something clicked and I would make 5 birdies in those last 13 holes to move up about 7 places. Wow, sometimes the LPGA is tough.😉 Most importantly, though, I felt I had some of my game back and a final round 67 makes the long trip back to the US much more enjoyable.

After making my way around the entire globe these past three weeks we will now stay in the US for the next couple of months. We have this week off and then play in Phoenix, Carlsbad, and Palm Springs. I’m excited about where this season is headed and am looking forward to Phoenix and seeing a bunch of South Dakotans there!

Enjoy all the photos!,
KK

 

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The Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel – Singapore

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Practice round for the Australian Open with Joanna Klatten.

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Kris Tamulis and I volunteered for a Penfolds wine tour and photo shoot.  We found it pretty comical.

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Crepe time at the floating market.  Peanut butter, bananas, chocolate. Very American😉

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Massage time with the gang in Thailand.

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Floating market with Kris Tamulis – Thailand.

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Fish Spa!  Very funny feeling but would recommend!

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Girls in black!  With Pernilla Lindberg and Azahara Munoz – Thailand.

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Selfie with the puppet.😉

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Birthday dinner for Janet Lin and Audrey!  Famous place in Thailand that I would highly recommend.  There is a story behind the name, I promise.😉

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Third tee in Singapore.  We play alongside one of the worlds largest shipyards.  Amazing views!

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Singapore

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That’s a boat on top of that hotel and you never get tired of looking at it.

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Kris, Missy, Audrey, and me at the top of the Singapore Flyer.

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View from the top.:)

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Muslim district in Singapore.

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Here’s a good pic of the floating market in Thailand.

 

 

 

New Places

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well and enjoyed following along the LPGA as we got our season started these past two weeks. As I often do, I am writing on my flight from Orlando to LAX tonight. A 5 hour flight that seems like quite a journey but is only just the beginning! I will leave LAX on a redeye that takes me all the way to Brisbane, Australia before a final flight to Adelaide where this years Australian Open is played. This will be the first of three week over seas for me, but first lets look back at how the first two weeks unfolded.

I’m always pleased to report when I go 2/2 on cuts made. I played solid on Thursday and Friday when the wind was howling, and they struggled on the weekend when it calmed down. Strange how that works. Golf is weird. While I made the cut and cashed a check (always important) I went to Ocala and knew that my swing was not where I needed it to be. I sent a video to my coach on Monday afternoon in Ocala and he replied within the hour. One of the many benefits of having the same coach for 18 years and counting. To put it lightly, my swing looked horrendous. What had I been doing in the Bahamas? I might as well have been using a croquet mallet, it probably would have yielded better results. Now, I know what you’re all thinking, you’re thinking that as a professional on the LPGA we don’t struggle with our swings and they never look “horrendous.” Well, trust me when I say we have just as many struggles as any golfer and when compared side by side to a good swing of mine, it can be horrendous. So, I got the drills I needed from my coach and a direct plan of action and went to work. Luckily it was something I had worked on before but had never quite mastered; but while standing there on the range in Ocala it just seemed to click. I had one of the best ball striking weeks that I had had in a long time.

The weather was the main story in Ocala for the second year in a row and even gave me a day off on Thursday (our second day of play). While it was a very rare treat to spend a Thursday watching it rain and watching a movie, it didn’t seem like a treat when we had to squeeze in 54 holes in 2 days. I swear they lost count and we played a fifth round. I played 30 holes on Friday and would have gladly played into the night. I had it going and was trying to play as many as I could before it was called for darkness. Unfortunately I came out on the final day with 24 holes to play and just couldn’t get any momentum. However, I walked off the course and have probably never felt better about my game after shooting 5 over in my life. Sometimes the score just really doesn’t tell the whole story.

My coach came down to Orlando for a short trip on Tuesday and Wednesday and in traditional Florida fashion we enjoyed practice in the worst weather possible. This time instead of rain it was blowing 35 and cold. Cold as in 4 shirts and two pairs of pants. Yes, I know its probably 3 degrees in my home town right now but go with me, people. Most Floridians were hibernating in their basements while Todd and I beat balls on the range. Sometimes you just do what you have to do. I had a new set of irons and some woods I needed to try out and I had to make sure everything was ready for these three weeks. We got two good days of work in and I made a promise to myself that I will NOT complain about the sweltering heat in Asia in a couple weeks.

I do have to say that I am super thankful to have started the season with so many friends out to watch in the Bahamas and Ocala. It’s a small world when the parents of one of your best high school golf friends just happens to be in the Bahamas at the same time and gets a spot to play in the pro am with you! I also had many friends come out and brave the cold in Ocala and couldn’t be more thankful. It was an awesome way to bring in the new year!
After the Australian Open this week I will play in both Thailand and Singapore this year (both limited field events) before coming back stateside.  I played Thailand last year but we have a new course in Australia and Singapore will be a new event for me as well. First big travel stretch of the year, let’s do this!

KK

 

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Lee Brice concert in the Bahamas.  Very good show!!

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Pro am group in the Bahamas featuring South Dakota’s own, Todd Hanten!

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At pro am parties we wear black (and jackets).  – with Kris Tamulis:)

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Wouldn’t be Ocala without a Betty Cake! Thanks Steve and Phyllis!! :))

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Our locker signs, just had to share. Made by local school kids.

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Was soooo happy to drive down to Orlando after finishing play on Saturday to see Mr. and Mrs. Grambling.  Can’t wait to live within driving distance soon!!

Crunch Time

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe we are in the third week of the new year and the LPGA season is starting next week! Luckily I have found time to relax, spend time with friends and family, work on my game, and, of course, do some traveling these past two months. I leave for the Pure Silk Championship on Monday in the Bahamas but thought I would check in with everyone to let you know what I’ve been doing and tell you what is coming up.

I started the off season doing more traveling than I would have liked, but when you aren’t lugging that golf bag thru the airport it all just seems so much easier. I went and visited friends in Austin and Ft. Worth and am happy to announce that I will be relocating next fall to Ft. Worth. While I have loved my time in Florida and think it was the absolute best place for me to spend my first three years out of college, it is time for me to move on. While I know I can’t live in South Dakota, becuase, you know, its probably -12 right now, I can live in Texas and it is as close as I can get to feeling like home.  I have so many of my best friends there and being close to the Texas Tech family is a big draw.  Logistically it is centrally located in the U.S. and it doesn’t get much better than the DFW airport; direct flights nearly everywhere including Sioux Falls. I’m joining a fantastic golf course that I think can play a big role in improving my game with both bermuda and bent grass greens. (FYI: I am not going to miss those sand based bermuda ranges. I prefer to practice my fairway and bunker shots separately.) I can also drive over to Lubbock and catch a football game if I am lucky enough to be home in the fall. I will dearly miss some extremely good friends I have made in Florida, but I know I will be happier in Ft. Worth.

I spent the Christmas holiday at home in Clark and did a whole bunch of nothing. My goal over break was to take some good blog photos but a photo of me and the family fighting over the best cookies and playing cards isn’t exactly riveting. While it may not have been an instagram worthy holiday I could’t think of a better place to spend a week away from the golf course and the craziness that will begin again this coming week.

I’m currently on a flight from Phoenix to Orlando. I spent the past week in Phoenix first at a Vision54 training camp for three days, and then two days working with my coach. I was first exposed to Vision54 in college and have used it to work on my mental game quite often from then on. I have a couple really good friends that are very into it and have always bounced ideas off of them but decided it was time that I finally go and do the entire course myself. I’m really excited to add these coaches to my team and equally excited to see it pay off this year.

Since I was already in Phoenix, Todd decided it was easier to just come there and do a couple days of fine tuning before the first event. We put in some long days but got a lot of things done. Everything is always a bit rusty when first coming back, but after this 5 day golf bootcamp I think I am officially ready to go.

I have to thank all of my sponsors for sticking with me for 2016. Sutton Bay, Metalloid, Sanford Health, Callaway, Titleist, Footjoy, and Animo clothing. I truly couldn’t do this without all of your help!

I hope everyone is excited to follow along this season! If you have a cell phone and don’t have the LPGA app, you need to get it! If you live in the stone age, I’m sorry, but you can still follow along on the LPGA website.😉  I also started an instagram account over break to help share my journey through photos: @KimKaufmanGolf. This is the same as my Twitter account, so feel free to follow either!
Upcoming travel: Bahamas, Ocala, FL, Australia, Thailand, Singapore.

 

Happy New Year!

KK

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This kid was cracking me up.

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Bahamas trip for the LPGA.

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The whole crew!

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Yeah, these pigs are swimming.

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Yoga in Austin is like eating Mexican food in Mexico.

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Joe T. Garcia’s with the best crew ever…

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I did find some snow over break eventually..

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Fun dinners in Winter Park.:)

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Coach Emily even made a pit stop in Orlando this offseason. :))

2015 – Done!

After 28 events and endless weeks on the road I can finally say I have completed my first FULL season on the LPGA tour.  I write this blog from a Starbucks in Florida where I am enjoying a nice day off after a long and grueling season.

Last time I wrote I had just had my best finish ever on the LPGA.  I have since played two more events; one in Japan and the CME tour championship in Naples, FL.  A lot has happened in the last few week sand I have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks as well.

We left windy China and headed to the small resort in rural Japan where we play the Toto Japan Classic – a three day event co-sanctioned with the JLPGA.  We were fortunate to have amazing weather and great course conditions, which after the previous four weeks of terrible heat and wind I think we deserved a pleasant week.:) I played relatively solid and finished the week at 6 under par.  It sounds good, but in Japan that finished me about middle of the pack. It’s just a course that provides so many opportunities for birdies.  The winner is always nearly 20 under par.

After five straight weeks in Asia I made the trek back to America and enjoyed a few days in Florida adjusting to the time change, and then a very fun weekend in Lubbock, TX with some of my favorite former teammates.  We played some golf, took in the football game, and just enjoyed being back in Lubbock where we spent four good years playing golf and going to school.  It was some much needed R & R after the Asia stretch.

I drove to Ft. Meyers on Monday morning and picked up Todd from the airport on the way.  I met up with my  new caddie and played a quick nine late that afternoon. I hired a new caddie for the week of CME after Worth and I parted ways in Japan.  Sometimes you just need a change and I felt that was the case in Asia.  I had a great time with my new caddie and I hired her to start the season with me next year.

I didn’t play as well as I would have hoped, but I wasn’t hitting the ball very well so I probably shot about what I should have.  Nonetheless, it is an amazing feeling to walk off that last green on Sunday and know that we have a couple of weeks of no golf!  As much as I love the game and playing for a living, a few weeks off is such a treat after a long year.

Overall, I felt it was a great year.  I worked very hard on changing my putting and after months of work I finally feel very comfortable on the green.  My short game stats have all improved immensely from the beginning of the year.  My focus next year will be my ball striking and my mental game.  No matter what level we are at, we are always striving to be better!

I will spend Thanksgiving in Florida with my adopted family, the Truslows,  and then was fortunate to be asked by the LPGA to spend a couple days in the Bahamas shooting some promotional video for the Pure Silk Classic.  Upon return I will head to Texas to visit some college friends in Austin and Ft. Worth.  I don’t mind getting on a plane during the off season when I’m not taking my clubs!

I hope everyone has a truly wonderful holiday season and want to thank you all for your support this year.  I gain new fans every week and see more and more people out watching at events that I know all the time and it makes me so happy.  Thank you again and I hope to see you all out on the tour next year!

Happy Thanksgiving!

KK

 

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Beautiful fall day in Japan with Alena Sharp and Kris Tamulis!

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Got a little lost in Japan with Kris, but saw some cool houses along the way.😉

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Of course we found a rice field!

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Little Korean BBQ for those that think I don’t eat any asian food!

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Class of Japanese kids that came out to practice their English.  So cute.

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TT golf reunion with Elin Arvidsson and Deb De Villa

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The Rawls course was looking good! Friday fun match underway here.

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It was cold, but we won!!

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Alex Gibson and myself after the game… going to find some warmth!IMG_1206

Team Sutton Bay!!

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All the family that came down to watch.  Thank you all!

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The whole group this year! Always fun in Naples.:)

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My Aunt Sheryl made the trip from Rapid City. First time watching me play in a LONG time.

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My Grandma Jeanette made the trip from South Dakota as well.  After following me for years as a junior, this was her first time watching me play a professional event on the LPGA.  :)

 

 

Blue Bay Success!

I thought I would write a blog after I finished up in Japan, but with a six hour layover in Shanghai and not much else to do I thought I would catch everyone up after an awesome week in China!

Last time I wrote I was waiting around in Korea and unfortunately never got in the event. It wasn’t a bad place to stay and practice but it got a little long and boring. By the time we arrived in Taiwan the next week I was more than ready to play.

The Fubon LPGA event in Taiwan was my best Asia event last year and after a solid week of swing work in Korea I was feeling good heading into the week. Taiwan is an exhausting week both mentally and physically. We stay in downtown Taipei which is fun, but that means we have a bus ride that can be anywhere from 40 min to an hour and 20 minutes each way. We were fortunate to find a Texas Roadhouse a short cab ride away from the hotel so that was something to look forward to every night.

We waited all week for the typhoon to come and make a mess of the week, but only saw rain on Sunday. However, the wind is relentless and with thick bermuda rough everywhere it was key to stay in the fairway, which I did not. I had a decent day on Friday but just never got in the groove. It was a long week and it starts to get frustrating when you feel that you traveled thousands of miles to play golf and nothing is going right. If you’re going to travel that far and be away from home for five weeks you at least hope you play well enough to make it worth it.
So we head to Hainan Island to play the Blue Bay LPGA. This is the second year for this event and the one I missed last year due to a friend’s wedding. I had heard really great things about the hotel and resort and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The course was in good shape but it honestly had the hardest greens I had ever played. Not hard in a way like the U.S. Open, but more like goofy golf (got to be honest). However, we all play the same golf course so I went in with a good attitude and decided that I would just accept whatever breaks I got – good or bad.

I also knew that it was going to be very windy, much like Taiwan and therefore needed a better game plan mentally. If you play golf you know that as players we often try and “steer” or “guide” the ball in tough weather conditions. This really just boils down to a fear of hitting a bad shot and failing to commit to a good swing. In reality though, these types of swings usually just worsen the problem exponentially. Therefore, I dug out my Vision54 book, “Every Shot Must Have A Purpose,” and refreshed myself on some of the mental techniques we can try to use to play better when such problems arise. I will be attending a Vision54 camp in January anyways, so it was good to get back into working on the mental game regardless. Fortunately, I read it at precisely the right time. Not only did I have a better game plan to play in the super windy conditions, but it also helped me when I was right in the hunt coming down the stretch.

I had my chances but shooting -3 on Sunday on the back nine to finish T2 is never a failure. It was exciting/nerve racking/stressful watching the final group putt out for birdies on the last hole.  Although it was tough to watch Sei Young Kim drain a 6 footer for birdie to win and to avoid a 4 way playoff, it was a great position to be in.

Most importantly, this event jumped me up on the money list to give me a really great chance to play in Singapore and Thailand at the beginning of next year. Two events that are a great jump start to the season for those in the field.

We are on our way to Japan today for our final event in Asia. The countdown is on! It is only a three day event this week which is a nice break from the usual 4 rounds. I’m excited to get this going, to play well, and then to come back home to America!

Thank you for all the kind messages this week and for those that were up in the middle of the night refreshing their live scoring! Truly appreciate it.

Happy (late) Halloween!

KK

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Pro am party in Taiwan.  Myself, Caroline Masson, and Julieta Granada.

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Pro am party functions..

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Finally tried the ever famous Bubbletea in Taiwan.  Not bad when you get it in chocolate flavor.:)

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Great room and great view in China!

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Looks great when you can’t see the wind!

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Pro am party in China.  Julieta Granada, Caroline Masson, Myself, Mina Harigae, and Lizette Salas.

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Favorite photo from the week?:)