Holy Toledo

Good morning from Scotland! I’m writing this early in the morning from apartment in Troon and I have to say it looks pretty nice out! I am keeping my hopes high that the weather cooperates for the Scottish Open this week.

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*Practice round vibes at the US Open with Elin Arvidsson, our caddies, and Coach Todd Kolb!

If you follow my season at all you will probably know that I had my best finish last week at the Marathon Classic. What you won’t know is that instead of celebrating I went from the 18th green to my car, drove 4.5 hours to Chicago, jumped on a 7 hour flight to London, then a short flight to Edinburg, and finally a 1.5 hour drive to my home for the week courtesy of Angela Stanford and was sleeping by 11 last night!  Why I was up at 4:45 this morning, nobody knows.

KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Round Three

*KPMG Women’s Championship 

I have had a good bit of time while traveling to reflect on these past 24 hours and could really sum them up as a tale of two tournaments! So, this morning I thought I would fill you in on how I feel I went from one of my worst performances to one of my best of the year in just 5 days.

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*Audrey and I hosted the LPGA player/caddie bowling tournament for the second year in a row. Caddie Missy is working on being a bowling model some day soon.  

The US Open is a tournament I have faired quite well in the past two years. I went into this year’s event with especially good vibes since I played the US Girls’ Junior on this course when I was 17. If you don’t recall, both the Boys’ s and Girl’s Junior Championships were played at Trump National Bedminster that year. The Boy’s was won by some kid named Jordan Speith and the Girl’s by some girl from North Dakota named Amy Anderson. Strange how I can remember both of those winners so well. 😉

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*Hot and humid in New Jersey, but when your best friend makes the US Open its all smiles here! 🙂

All in all I will probably look back and see the US Open as a turning point in my season. It was far from what I hoped for and no matter how hard I played out there my game just wasn’t in shape for that test of golf. I went to practice at the course both Saturday and Sunday (which is one of the hardest things to do when you have missed a cut), and grinded on the range while everyone else was warming up to play. I worked on some new drills from my coach and was instantly seeing some better results.  I knew I had a ways to go but 5 days of practice before my next tee time was enough time to figure it out.

Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic - Round Two

*A bug’s view of me during the Thornberry Creek Classic where I finished T36.

I left New Jersey on Sunday afternoon and drove to Akron, Ohio to play the Smucker’s LPGA pro am at Firestone.  I wouldn’t normally schedule a pro am the day after the US Open in the middle of an 8 week stretch, but you also don’t get the chance to play Firestone every day! It proved to be a good decision as I had a beautiful day to play and an even better group to enjoy it with.

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*A great group of guys at Firestone to help me forget about my week at the US Open. 🙂

I arrived in Toledo Tuesday morning and got to work. I felt if I had two good days of practice along with my good memories at this event then I could pull together a good week.  Apparently, my Thursday round wasn’t feeling my good vibes. I walked off the course and asked Audrey what in the world we were doing out there.  Like a veteran caddie should, she told me I was fine, that we needed to stop worrying about the outcomes we can’t control, and that our goal the next three days was to stay present in the shot at hand. I needed that reminder, and it made me feel better. I reset my mind for the next three days and did just that. I did a much better job of having confidence in the swing work I had done the past 5 days but left it on the range, and instead focused on the mental side that I could control on the course by using some of the Vision54 tools I had at my disposal.

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*Lots of young girls and boys are always helping out at the Marathon Classic, pretty sure I got two of the best to carry my score on Friday!

I would shoot 67 on Friday to make the cut by a shot, and follow it up with a 66 and 65 on the weekend. Everything wasn’t perfect but I stayed true to my goal of staying in the present and leaving technical thoughts on the range.  It allowed me to get in the zone and feel that I could make a birdie on every hole like I had in past years at this course. It’s safe to say I love playing in Toledo and will be back next year for more. 🙂

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*10:30 pm in Scotland last night. Beautiful place. 

I will play the Scottish Open this week and the British Open at Kingsbarns next week before coming home for some MUCH needed rest. Thank you all for the kind messages of support this week. It is ALWAYS appreciated!

 

KK

The Learning Curve.

Good Monday morning and Happy 4th of July, everyone! The 4th was probably one of my favorite holidays as a kid and now I seem to barely notice when it passes. Living on the road has a way of making you lose track of time. However, this year I will be spending the fourth at Lambeau Field in Green Bay (wearing purple and yellow of course) celebrating a new event we are playing in Green Bay this week. I’m betting I will get to see a few fireworks in Wisconsin this year. 🙂

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*My fan club for the Meijer Classic in Grand Rapids.  I finished the week T17! 

This is the start of my 4th week in a row out of 8! My body feels good and I’m still excited to get up and head to work in the morning. I’ve been disciplined in taking an extra day off here and there or just shortening my practice days slightly. Otherwise, I know my last few weeks will not be very productive.

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*I have to post a pic with my Arkansas pro-am group, Beto made a Hole-in-One from 186 yards!! The BEST shot I have ever witnessed in a pro- am! :))

We played our second major of the year, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, at Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago last week. If you would have asked me before the week started if I would be happy finishing T29 I wouldn’t have hesitated to say “yes.” I had not made the cut at the KPMG in the past two years and have struggled in major championships in general. However, when you’re in the top 10 or so heading into Sunday, T29 seems like a pretty great failure. If I would have written this blog last night on my drive up to Green Bay it would probably have had a sour tone and keys would have been flying. 😉 However, after a good night sleep, a morning facial and a latte, I can think more positively and objectively and tell you just a few of the many great things I feel I learned from this week.

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*An off day spent catching up at a trendy coffee shop in Bentonville, AK is the best kind of off day! 

1)I don’t need my best game to play my best. I can promise you, I did not have my best game Thursday and Friday (or Saturday and Sunday!). I was holding on for dear life trying to control my driver and my irons were a nonstop battle to find the middle of the clubface. My 3 wood didn’t even get to leave the bag. I know you think I’m being overdramatic, but honestly, my short game and scrambling held everything together. I made 3 pars from outside 60 yards on Thursday alone and didn’t let it phase me. Looking back I wonder how I made it to the weekend let alone at three under par at Olympia Fields! It is a great reminder that you don’t need your best game to play your best, you just need to know that there are other parts of your game that can pick up the slack. If we would focus more on the good instead of the bad going into each round we might see the round tilt towards the positive instead of the negative.

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*It’s going to be a good week when you show up twinning on a Tuesday with your caddie. 

2) Stick to your own game plan. My caddie, Audrey, happened to be watching a Golf Channel special on Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus at the British Open at Turnberry. She told me that Tom said “you don’t need to play your best to win a major you just need a good game plan.” We took that into the week and really stuck to our plan. Over 4 days I played with 3 girls that are top 5 in LPGA tour driving distance. So while they are bombing over some bunkers, here comes Kim with her hybrid to lay up and keep it in the fairway. It was tempting to pull out the driver to try and keep up, but we were disciplined to stick to OUR plan and I think it paid off.

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*The team getting after it on a Wednesday practice round. Nobody ever tells me when its black and white day. 

3) Golf tournaments are 72 holes. I know I have touched on this before but I can’t stress enough that golf tournaments are 72 holes. Not 18, not 36, not 54, not 71. They are 72 holes. They don’t give out trophies on Friday for a reason. It’s so easy to get excited and think “this is my week!” when its only half over. I once listened to Annika speak of her first US Open win. She said she was walking down the fairway in the middle of her Sunday round thinking “do I hold the trophy on my left side or my right side?” She laughed at the thought because she knew how young and naive the thought was because the tournament wasn’t over yet. It is easy for me to do do the same and I know its especially easy for my fans to as well. I just urge you to remember that golf is 72 holes and a lot of good or not so good can happen at any time. 🙂 My goal is to really take this in as to avoid the emotional roller coaster that comes with too much excitement early in the week.

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*A big thanks to my Dad for making the 11 hour drive from Clark and Johan all the way from Texas to be my fan club. 🙂

I am more than ready to tee it up in Green Bay this week. It is a brand new event with a new course and new city. I love playing in the midwest during the summer, it sure reminds me of home. 🙂

Enjoy the 4th of July and be safe!

KK

3 for 3

Hello, everybody! I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday evening. I am in Atlantic City enjoying a nice dinner and getting ready to head home for a week off. The tour is headed to Canada, but I will be busy with a clinic, practicing with Todd, and a relaxing weekend at Sutton Bay.

Today completed a three week stretch for me where I saw the weekend every time. While I am still pretty frustrated with parts of my game, I’ve seen some improvement in different areas and am doing a better job of simply getting the ball in the hole.

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*Final shot into the 18th at the Kingsmill Championship

This stretch started in Kingsmill where I saw my ball striking finally make a turn for the better. I actually felt like I was holding a golf club and not a hockey stick like I had the previous few weeks. I finished in the mid 30’s and was happy to make a check.

I drove 10 hours with a tour friend up to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Volvik Championship and I think I saw it all this week. I had some good holes, some bad holes, and way to many bogeys from the middle of the fairway. 😦 However, Ann Arbor is an awesome town to spend a week and regardless of my play I enjoyed the week very much. Every time I go my “must go restaurants” list gets even longer. There really aren’t enough meals in a day.

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*Caroline and I found two of the cutest hole volunteers in Ann Arbor! 

Finally, we come to Atlantic City! Always my favorite stop on tour. I’m just in love with playing this golf course. The poa greens were better than ever and we had some chamber of commerce weather the whole week. I was also paired with one of my absolute favorite playing partners, Pernilla Lindberg. I remember playing with Pernilla early in my career and thinking if I could have just half of the fight she has for every shot that I would have a great career. Having the opportunity to play with her is always a good reminder of that and I felt I found that fight in myself again today. It wasn’t the lowest round of the day, or even best round of the year for me, but I fought hard for every shot and climbed the leaderboard a few spots.

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*Good times tearing up the pro-am party with the Austad’s crew.  I hope they let them back in again next year. 😉 

I’ll go home this week and keep working on the parts of my game that are letting me down and decide on the rest of my summer schedule. Theres a balance between playing enough events to make a good living and taking off weeks in order to play “your best” when you are playing. I lean towards playing EVERYTHING but I know that in the end, it may not be in my best interest. I need to find the balance where I always have quality play over quantity.

20170604_141402*A couple good fans that always drive from Lancaster, PA to watch me play this week.  I have such great fans no matter where I play! 🙂

Have a great week and I’ll be back in action after this week in Grand Rapids for the Meijer Classic!

Best,

KK

Onwards, Upwards

Hello, everyone. I apologize for the delay in writing a new blog, I know this is long overdue. I’m in Indiana tonight for an outing tomorrow and thought it was time to put some words to paper. It has been a long and trying stretch for a few weeks now but I feel things are making a turn for the better (or at least I hope 😉

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*Hawaii’s cutest fans. I think they brought me my Sunday 66. 🙂

I remember writing a blog in August last year in the midst of what felt like the worst stretch ever. I was missing cuts by one shot in big events and felt that I was never going to find my way out. I was beginning to feel that way when I couldn’t find the driving range in Mexico. And no, it wasn’t the margaritas. Honestly, I was quite thankful it was a match play event and I was able to spare myself the humility of posting a score.

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*My fellow Sanford Health and Dakota girl Amy Anderson. Proud to represent both!
So, I come home from Mexico Thursday night after I played (the benefit of living in DFW) and I didn’t know where to even start. Sometimes you feel you work SO hard day in and day out and the game keeps giving you nothing. I took Friday off, cleaned the apartment top to bottom which serves as a strange sort of “lets start over” therapy, and hit the range on Saturday with a clear task from my coach to help get my swing back on track.

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*Team Kaufman working hard in Dallas. Apparently Todd said to keep your head down.

I spent a lot of hours on the “little nine” at Shady Oaks this week and slowly but surely I found the center of the club face again. I will be the guest at the Deaconess Golf Classic in Evansville, Indiana tomorrow and then fly to Williamsburg, VA on Tuesday for the Kingsmill Championship. The LPGA tour begins a 12 week stretch tomorrow, of which I will play either 10 or 11. THIS is when the season really gets going and I can say I’m ready to get after it.

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*A few of my absolute favorite people on tour in Dallas for the Angela Stanford Foundation Pro-am. 

I saw Ian Poulter finished 2nd at the Players Championship today. Whether you are a fan or not, to watch a Ryder Cup-er go from the top of the game, to nearly losing his card (saved by Brian Gay!) to finishing second in today’s event gives hope to anyone going thru a tough time. He is the definition of persistence and determination. As a player, I know how hard it is, and I commend him for his efforts and congratulate him for his accomplishment. Stories like that give hope and a reminder to any player going thru a tough stretch that a second place finish may be right around the corner.

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*Sometimes you just need to relax and have a facial. #thingsyoudon’tseeonthePGAtour

I appreciate everyone’s support no matter how I play, but hope to give you something to cheer for in the coming weeks!

Best,
KK

Ft. Worth —> California

Hello from DFW! I got home to Ft. Worth late Tuesday night after a three week road trip and a final 19 hour drive home from Temecula, CA. So, its hard to believe I’m packed and ready to go again after a 3 day “off week.” However, I haven’t been on a plane since coming home from Singapore so I am thankful for that.

If you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll inform you that it is Masters weekend. My saturday flight to Hawaii today was specifically planned to I can wake up tomorrow and watch the final round instead of traveling on Masters Sunday and missing EVERYTHING!

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*Opening the ANA Inspiration with a traditional Japanese Sake drum ceremony. 

Before we get to the Masters each year, though, the LPGA kicks of the Major season with the ANA Inspiration (formerly the Kraft Nabisco) in Rancho Mirage, CA. I have two topics I would like to comment on before moving on from this for good. First, my own tournament play. In the past, this has been a tournament that has gotten the best of me. I have worked hard all year to change my thoughts and feelings towards the course and event. I played an even par Thursday round and felt I really turned a corner. I fought back from a 2 over start and was there to make birdies. Friday, on the other hand, was like deja vu. I felt anxious about the cut line and started pressing from the third hole on. It was one of those days when you start to question everything you’re doing.

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*Practice at Mission Hills.  

A couple days later, when thinking more clearly, I realized I had gone back to some old habits: looking at the leaderboard too much, trying to predict the cut line mid round, and comparing myself to other players. I know, more than ever now, that I absolutely have to stop. I have to live in my own world and not even open the leaderboard app. between rounds.  I have to focus solely on myself out there because thats the only thing I can control. This may sound super easy for some, but with my personality I know it is not. It is a very big challenge for me, but one I must take on and commit to every week. If I can learn to live inside my own little world week in and week out I know I will see some better and more consistent results.

*Lots of matching going on at the ANA last week with Kris Tamulis and Angela Stanford. 🙂

Second, the rules violation that occurred during the second round has been hot topic all week. As a player, I have to say first that my heart goes out to each player. Lexi was clearly running away with the event and had it taken away, So Yeon won fairly by the rules but everyone wants to put an asterisk by it. I’m sure both girls left the event with a funny feeling in their stomach; not the way it should be. So, here is my thought on the rule. We, the professional golfing community, need to get a hold on our own sport. I stand firmly against call ins from viewers at home for a couple reasons. One, not every single shot is shown on tv. Some players could violate a different rule on every hole and never get caught. Two, there is no other sport or competition in the world that allows anybody other than the referee to call the game. There are probably many times where replay would show that a player could also have gained more with a different ball spotting etc, but those aren’t every called in. Nobody ever gets to minus a shot or two or FOUR from their score. Finally, every round isn’t treated the same. If a viewer was to call in on Monday, it wouldn’t be reviewed once the tournament is closed. How is that ok? That’s like saying there will be no booth reviews allowed in the 4th quarter of an NFL game. What a laughable thought.

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*My pro am group from the ANA included two LPGA commissioners and Tommy Thayer of Kiss. Always fun playing with celebrities!

At the end of the day, golf was built on etiquette. Only the player knows if a violation is intentional or not. Only the players in his or her group are responsible for policing play. It’s not a perfect system, but there never will be. We need to take control of our competitions and stop allowing such fiascos to overshadow the incredible play and deserving victories. I sincerely hope I see a change in this policy very soon. At the very least, allow reviews to be made ONLY on the day of play, and then take away the penalty for an incorrect score card. That would at least be moving in the right direction.

 

*I made a quick trip to Temecula, CA for the Kore Am pro am on Monday before driving home.  The picture on the left doesn’t do this view justice.  Amazing drive from Palm Springs to Temecula.

I had two good days working with my coach in Ft. Worth this week. He decided to make a quick trip down to work out a few kinks before heading to Hawaii. I’m very lucky to have a coach that always makes the time and the trip when I need it most!

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*Working on some “miscellaneous shots” that I don’t often practice with my coach.  Let’s hope I don’t need to use them. 🙂

Here’s to lots of birdies in Hawaii!
KK

Up and Up!

Hi everybody! I’m writing this blog from windy Palm Springs, California. It isn’t often we get windy days here, but when it blows it really blows! This is the site of our first major of the year, and I thought I would take you thru what my plan is to get prepped for the week.
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*My fan club in Phoenix.  We celebrated 3 birthdays that week! 

The best thing about this week is that it is only a two hour drive from our last event in Carlsbad, CA, so I was here by 6:30 last night. I knew the forecast was calling for wind so I was up and at the course before 7, and on the range by 7:30. I really wanted to “chart” my wedges and we need minimal wind. Charting wedges merely means I’m going to hit 5-6 balls with each grip and/or swing length and take the average of those shots. It’s the one time my caddie stands willingly on the range and lets me hit balls at her. 🙂
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*Dropping the puck at the San Diego Gulls game last week. 
We headed to the course shortly after I finished my wedges and played the back nine. I focused a lot on chipping and bunkers because I feel that is not well represented in the practice area this week. After I finished playing I did a little swing work and some putting, but the wind really picked up so I felt it wasn’t worth it to stand on the range and beat balls.

 

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*My San Fransisco host family moved to Carlsbad! I’m so lucky to have these guys cheer me on!

After I left the course I actually went and got a facial. Yes, we often do random things like that on the road. It’s relaxing, and if I don’t do it on the road I probably never will! It is always important to do things away from the course to get your mind off of golf. Perhaps even more important during a major.

 

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*LPGA photo shoot for new head shots and sponsors. 🙂

I plan to play at least 9, maybe 18 tomorrow, practice after and then attend the pro am party tomorrow night. It’s a full day but I’m looking forward to it. Wednesday I will play 9 holes of a pro am and get some good practice hours in. I am really looking forward to this week. My game feels as good as it has all year and I’m ready for it to reflect in my scoring. We were close last week; I’m excited to keep building on that!

Send some good vibes to California, please!

KK

Honda LPGA Thailand - Day 3

CHONBURI, THAILAND – FEBRUARY 25: Kim Kaufman of United States plays the shot during the Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on February 25, 2017 in Chonburi, Thailand. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)

 

Mindset

Hello from Singapore! I have just finished a partial practice round but unfortunately was rained out! Thankfully I have a great caddie that has walked the course and knows what we need to do even if I haven’t seen every hole.

On my last flight I was loaned a book about blogging from a friend on tour and if I learned only one things its that my blogs are probably too long! So, I’m going to start taking a different approach and write shorter (difficult task for me), but hopefully more often.

I just finished a very up and down week but for as many things that disappointed me I know that there were many positive to take aways as well. I write to my mental coaches at Vision54 every other week and thought maybe I would share with you what I wrote to them. A completely unfiltered look at what goes thru a tour players mind when they finish an event (or at least my crazy mind ;).

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*Dinner with the Fraser’s in Australia.  So great to see them every year!

So I started off by making a list of the positives:

-Bringing round 1 back from +4 to +1
-Making 7 birdies in round 2
-Making balance/tempo/tension practice a part of my daily routine (I could write a whole     blog about this, but just go with me here).
-Playing my first three holes of the day on the range
-Letting my “swing feel” come to me in the moment instead of deciding before the round (something I strive for).

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*Quick tuk-tuk ride to dinner for Audrey’s birthday in Thailand. 

Then I expressed what I felt where two areas I needed to improve on:

-I need to get my putting together. I feel I am all over the map. I find myself trying to “steer” my putts and become timid. I am focused on my stroke, even though I don’t want to be, and it results in a stroke that isn’t very fluid or natural. How can I step up and putt on the course as I do on the practice green?
-I found myself struggling to decide between my gut instinct and the “disciplined” shot. How can we work out which is the best time to use each?

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*Honda LPGA Thailand gala dinner with my roomie Angela and good friend Alena.

From here I will likely receive answers from them in the form of practice plans, ideas to try, and questions to ask myself in order to get to the bottom of it. While I know we can often make the game look easy its a forever learning process that requires assistance from coaches in the technical and mental areas. As a players, I think one of the easiest ways to help yourself get better is being able to distinguish when you need help technically vs. mentally. It is way to easy to call up your swing coach and blame it on him or her, when in reality you might just need to look in the mirror and face what’s going on inside your own mind. 🙂

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*Bitters and Love in Singapore. A must go if you’re ever in the city. 🙂

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*Breakfast with orangutans at the Singapore Zoo with Alena and Brittany!

I hope you enjoyed the insight today!

KK