Stay Present, Stay Positive.

I wake up today celebrating my 23rd birthday.  I was truly hoping to be celebrating on the golf course, but once again I will be headed to the practice facility to prepare for next week after an early Friday exit.  After rounds of 74, 76 I missed the cut by 4 at the years fourth major.  However, my string of frustrating golf actually started last week in Michigan when I missed the weekend by only a single shot.

The Meijer Classic held in Grand Rapids, Michigan was a new event held at Blythefield Country Club. A traditional, 85 year old club that was perfect for an LPGA event.  There were so many good things going on last week.  My coach and his wife came up to celebrate their anniversary by watching me golf, I had a friend from Florida and a friend from Clark come to watch, and I had a fantastic host family.  On top of all that I was hitting the ball great.  After shooting even par the first day, I was in great position to have a solid week.  However, golf can so quickly turn good or bad and for me it went south in a hurry with two 3-putts on the back nine.  It was the first time that I missed by only one shot and it was truly gut wrenching to not wake up and not play on Saturday.  I knew that all aspects of my game were good, but I began to think about the cut line a little too much, and under that pressure I became too tense and tentative.  One of my biggest focuses right now is learning to play the same whether I am six under or six over.  The week in Michigan validated how valuable being able to stay in the present and sticking to an aggressive game plan will be one of the keys to me being successful out here.

So, I came to New York feeling good about my game and excited to be competing in my second major.  By the time Thursday rolls around I am usually very positive about the start of a new week again. However, during Tuesday’s practice round I started hitting the ball pretty poorly.  I didn’t want to think too much of it and make a problem where there wasn’t one, so I took it as the result of being  a bit exhausted and losing some focus in the treacherously long practice round.  The next day I played was Thursday, and when I hit it equally as terrible I knew that something was going on.  One of the benefits of having the same coach for 17 years is that I can send him some videos and he immediately sends one back with directions for what needs to be done.  I won’t get into the boring details of the mechanics of the golf swing, but I had worked back into an old habit that was not beneficial to my ball striking.

After three buckets of balls after Thursday’s round, I decided it was probably best for me to go home, get some rest, and then come back out on Friday morning to do a little swing work before my actual warmup for Friday’s round.  There is a find balance during playing days to practice enough, but not so much that by the time you hit the back nine you aren’t physically or mentally exhausted.  I would have preferred to stand there like a robot and hit until a better swing path was grooved in, but it wasn’t the time.  I still had to focus on being ready to play.

If you followed live scoring, you know that Friday was a tough day and I actually shot worse than Thursday.  With that being said I actually hit more good shots than Thursday, just didn’t make as many long putts.  At this point, just hitting some solid irons into the green was probably more important than “luckily” shooting a good score.  I definitely saw some better shots on Friday over Thursday, but still have a long ways to go before I tee it up this coming Thursday in the Canadian Women’s Open.

While I really wish I was playing today, it is still my birthday and my mom and our friend, Tami Nelson, are here and I know they will help me celebrate.  After some good hours on the range I know we will find something fun to do.  Tomorrow I will leave for Canada via charter bus (living the dream, eh?) and get ready for a good week.  I feel it is getting harder and harder to stay positive when I have only made 2 of the last 10 cuts.  However, I know better than anyone that one good week can change a lot of things.  My goal next week is not only to find a better swing, but to stay positive and enjoy the opportunity I have to play against the best in the world.  I feel I am doing all the right things, and if I don’t run out of patience I think I will see it pay off.

I know its not fun watching those bogeys, but I thank everyone for their continued support. Here’s to a great birthday and to better week in Canada. 🙂

KK

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Megan, Danny, and I during Monday practice round.

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Our fantastic host mom for the week, Holly! 🙂

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We meet some great people on the road.  Before our pro-am party, a friend of our host family, Mr. Workman, took us to the upstairs of this awesome wine and liquor store.  Very cool experience!! We then continued on to the pro am party in his motor home!

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Wine for days…

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If you grew up in the 80’s, I thought you might enjoy a little “Back to the Future” flashback.

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My longtime coach and his wife Susan.  Thanks for spending your anniversary weekend with me!  You guys are truly the best!! 🙂

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Birthday celebration in New York.  Lots of good friends and family out here on the road.  Thank you guys for sticking out the hour and a half wait to enjoy some good food with me!

 

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20 thoughts on “Stay Present, Stay Positive.

  1. Kim…you are going to be JUST FINE! I can only imagine your frustration, but remember you are a VERY talented golfer and success will come. You’ve got fans from all over the country…even here in North Carolina…we’re all with you in spirit. Congrats on your birthday…enjoy! You’ll be hoisting a trophy soon. Go Tech!

  2. Hope you had a very happy birthday Kim. You probably don’t remember me but we talked after one of your Spring lessons with Todd last year (hitting into the snow!). Sounds like you’re doing all the right things to be successful. Just keep in mind that even the great Phil Mickelson has struggled big time this year but stayed positive when all the “experts” questioned his ability, and through persistent patient work and guidance from his coach corrected some problems and almost won the PGA Championship. Enjoy the journey!

  3. Kim, first of all, happy birthday, I hope you can enjoy today with friends and family. I know is hard wanting to play well and having the pressure of performing at the highest level, but you have the talent and the skill to be one of the best (I saw it first hand) stay positive and motivated, these are tests, I know you will conquer…trust yourself and trust your swing (which is great) after being your caddy I know you are special and you have the gift, continue to believe in yourself and continue to practice hard, it will surprise you when you least expect it, again happy birthday!!!!, take care and God bless.

    Louie

  4. Kim, first of all happy birthday, I hope you enjoy your day with family and friends, I know it’s hard to play and perform at the highest level but you are special and I know you have the game to be one of the best (I experienced it first hand) like your title say stay positive, trust yourself and stay committed, continue to practice hard and let your skill flow, it will surprise you when you least expect it, take care and God bless, again, happy birthday, your friend always….Louie, sending you much Aloha from Hawaii.

  5. Happy Birthday, Kim.
    Hang in there, Kiddo! You are a great golfer and although you might be in a little slump, you will turn things around. Geoff Ogilvy is a friend of mine and he was feeling frustrated from not winning and then a couple of weeks ago, he won on the PGA. Everyone who plays this crazy game goes through it.
    You are so smart, you will figure it out! Good luck in Canada.
    Diane Nichols

  6. Happy Birthday Kim!! We know you are going to make it with your golf game. We are rooting for you big time from Clark!! Good Luck in Canada and safe travels. The Hulschers

  7. Your honest account of the challenges you face is refreshing and another example of why your long term success is guaranteed. Really like your comments about playing the same regardless of the score. Many of us weekenders need to remember that too!

  8. Happy Belated Birthday, Kim! Hope you had a marvelous time with family and friends.
    I carried the standard for you at the ShopRite Classic this year in Atlantic City, and I saw things in you that tell me you have the goods, you have the drive, and you have all you need to become a winner on this tour. There is no doubt in my mind that you will one day be at the top for a good long time, enjoying your game, yourself, and your surroundings. It is all there, so hang in there, relax and have a great time. I look for you every week, and know that once again I’ll see you in the limelight on the Golf Channel. Stay strong!

  9. Happy number 23… what a grand year it will be… love your approach to the task at hand… remember, play with a smile on your face and in your heart and good things will continue to happen… believe…keep the faith!

    Peace out.. best wishes..

    Mutt Helms

  10. Kim,
    Congratulations on making the cut at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open! Woohoo! You have everything you need to compete with the very best (you’re tied with Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko)! Keep on fighting!
    Kirk

  11. I’m so very happy for you,Kim. Making this cut is a giant step forward for you. Stay smart stay focused. And Have Fun!!!!

  12. Kim, way to finish the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open with a SUPER STRONG 6 under 66 (with no bogies!) to catapult yourself into 4th place! Among 87 LPGA golfers you had the best round of the day! No doubt about it you have a world class game. Congratulations!

  13. Happy Belated Birthday! Excellent job in Canada…nice of you to stop and chat with me – best of luck for the remainder of the year!

  14. Way to finish the Portland Classic so strong, Kim! Over the last 3 rounds only 2 players did better, and that was by just 1 stroke. And in the final round only 1 player shot better than your 67, and that was only by 1 stroke (plus you parred 18!). Definitely world class!

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