Fall 2015: Back to (golf) school issue

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FALL 2015

ELEVATE your game, style, gear & attitude



GOTTAGOGOLF FALL 2015 Photos, from left, courtesy of: Pine Needles Resort and Golf Club, Greg Norman Collection, Ping.

Back to school



Listings of golf schools for women................................. 11 HIS: Handling advice from your partner.......................... 23 VIDEO: Find balance..........33 LESSON: Transform your game with distance.............37

INTERVIEW: On Ping, pink and perfect fits

In search of a shirt that swings



A club fitting journey



POLL: Shopping for clubs................ 26


GAME: Chicago.................................. 42 GLOSSARY: 'Ham and egg'............ 33 OUR GAME: Shared inspiration... 61 LAST SHOTS: News & notes.......... 67

Make the Rules your BFF......... 19 Cover photo MICHAEL DODGE/GETTY IMAGES

Women's Golf Alliance Special Section Inside

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Susan Fornoff Founder and Editor-in-Chief Andi Bivens Designer Bill Burnett Copy Chief Cheryl Stotler 19th Hole Editor CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Keith DuBay, Gail Rogers, Kay Rae Chomic, Christina Ricci, Katherine Roberts, Judy Alvarez ILLUSTRATION Cathy Bowman

PHOTOGRAPHY USGA, Dreamstime, Shutterstock, Getty Images, iStock Photo For information about ad rates and sponsorships, call or email: feedback@GottaGoGolf.com 510.507.3249 All material ŠGottaGoGolf 2015 unless otherwise noted


SUBSCRIBE AND WIN Activate your FREE subscription to be eligible for random prizes Sign up here!

One reader won a golf bag from Birdie Babe just for opening her July newslet ter. FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 4

EDITOR'S NOTE Golf has power. It heals us, transforms us, renews us. It can make us laugh when we have been crying—and, on the worst days, make us cry when we have been laughing. We are calling this September Fall issue of GottaGoGolf Magazine the “BACK TO SCHOOL” issue because it’s that time of year when the golf season is winding down and many of us are prepared to shift from game playing mode to game improvement mode. Golfers know that game improvement ranges from the physical to the mental to the spiritual. And so we feature comprehensive “Back to School” LISTINGS OF GOLF SCHOOLS FOR WOMEN, just in case you are looking for one of those. In the introduction to that section, see what PGA of America Secretary Suzy Whaley has to say about what to consider when you’re shopping for your school. This might be the time to start thinking about for clubs for 2016, but have you taken the most important step, the one the experts all recommend: getting fitted? They tell me women fear this key to club buying, so I set out to find out what that experience is like. See the GEAR feature for some guidance. And while we're speaking of GUIDANCE, don't miss Gail

Rogers' report on four rules that can be your golf BFF. For just plain uplifting stories, see how KAY RAE CHOMIC rediscovers the game in middle age after 10 years away, and check out JUDY ALVAREZ’S transformational tale about an evening that changed her perspective on teaching and learning. And now it may sound shallow, but many of us would simply like to find a better look. I got tired of having a growing “golf” corner in my closet that seemed useless for all of the other things I like to do–working out, wine-tasting, shopping, having a nice dinner with my guy. So I asked a few clothing companies to help me ditch the shapeless, pointy-collared polo for a new look. One resulting new outfit–see the photo?–looked so dressy, my girlfriends asked if I’d been out all night before my tee time! Whatever your style, I hope my GARB quest inspires one of your own. Sometimes, alas, our “back to school” improvements efforts stall. And so this month our PRO SPOTLIGHT features Stacy Lewis, who tried to transform a pretty darned good golf swing and reached a somewhat surprising conclusion.


Thank you for reading and supporting GottaGoGolf, the only national golf magazine for women. —Susan Fornoff, Founder and Editor-in-Chief FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 5

SHOP NOW! FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 6



Sometimes even Stacy Lewis needs a trip back to school

Stacy Lewis

With nearly $10 million banked in her seven years on the LPGA Tour, 30-year-old Stacy Lewis hardly seems a pathetic figure. With more than $1 million won in 2015 alone, she hardly seems to be having a bad year. But Lewis didn’t win last year after the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship June 29, so she and Joe Hallett, her swing coach since 2009, hunkered down over the winter to fine-tune her game. Sometimes, it seems, even the pros could use a trip to golf school. Then when she hadn’t won in 2015 and missed the cut June 4 at the Manulife Classic, golfer and coach went retro—abandoning the tweaks to return to her fundamentals. Sometimes, it seems, even the pros get too far away from what makes them successful. After her third-place finish at the U.S. Open, the world’s No. 3 woman reflected on her 2015 journey.


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I think we're all searching. We all think we can get better... We're all perfectionists at an imperfect game.

PRO SPOTLIGHT ON U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN CHAMPION IN GEE CHUN: “Never heard of her.” ON HER OWN FINISH: “Wasn't disgusted. Just a little bit disappointed. You're out there to obviously win. You're not there to finish second or third, so definitely a little bit disappointed. “But if you would have asked me a month ago, ‘Would you take third place in the U.S. Open?’ I would've said yes.”

ON BEING THE AMERICAN HOPE AT THE OPEN: “I was proud of the way I handled myself, the way I handled the pressure. I think I had 80 percent of the crowd pulling for me there, so it was a lot of pressure. “Everybody wants you to win and do well, so it's not always easy to play in those circumstances... When people really want you to do well, you put more pressure on yourself.”

ON HER SWING FAULT: “The position at the top of my golf swing, my hands tend to get really high. Doing things in the takeaway, doing things in the order of the backswing, stuff like that, gets your hands down a little bit lower. “It's something I've fought since I was a kid, so it's not really anything different. But it's just a challenge. It's hard to work yourself out of



ON HER CALL TO HALLETT AFTER THE MANULIFE: “I said, ‘I need you to meet me in New York.’ It was prior to Westchester, and we really broke down my golf swing and said, ‘What has made me successful over the last two years?’ We need to get back to that. “We were experimenting a little bit too much in trying some things, and we were going the wrong direction. So I put a stop to it pretty quick and we got things back on track. Golf swing feels a hundred times better, and it's finally just going out there playing golf again, which I haven't been doing for the last six months.”

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PRO SPOTLIGHT something like that when you were doing it. The fact was the beginning of the year I was playing tentative golf. I was playing golf to not hit it a certain place instead of trying to hit it to a certain place. “It was just very defensive, and that's not the way I play my game. I eventually just got tired of it.” ON THE SEARCH FOR PERFECTION: “Well, I think we're all searching. We all think we can get better. As golfers, we're all searching for ways to get better. Mine was not a complete overhaul of my golf swing. There is a level of where my club can be at the top of the backswing, and it's not one specific spot. It can be in a range of spots. “But if it starts creeping to the high part of the range, that's when we need to dial it back and get it back in there. I wasn't looking for an overhaul. That's not anywhere close to what my golf changes have been.

“We all think we can get better. We're all perfectionists at an imperfect game. We're all searching, and sometimes you play some great golf and sometimes you just want a challenge, too.” ON THE 2015 SEASON IN GENERAL: “It's been really frustrating. I haven't felt like I've played my best golf at all. I felt like I'm in contention, but I felt like I haven't really played well. That being said, I feel like the last few weeks I've made some strides in that area. “But it's been frustrating. The golf game hasn't been there. I haven't had the confidence ...to just go out and play golf. I've had to, early in the year especially, it was kind of manufacturing every day and just kind of getting through each round, which is frustrating. “It's hard golf to play. It's exhausting golf to play. So I'm looking, I think I have about 10 tournaments left this year, and I still have a major. “I'm just looking to try to build on the next few weeks. Hopefully, what the good thing is I'm in a position where if I get a couple wins…a frustrating year becomes a really good year. So I like the position I'm in.”


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Golf legend Peggy Kirk Bell, teaching at Pine Needles.

Improve your game, and have fun learning PHOTO COURTESY OF PINE NEEDLES RESORT AND GOLF CLUB

Suzy Whaley has the inside track on the presidency of the PGA of America in four years. Actually, unless she resigns or screws up, she’ll ascend from her current steppingstone of secretary in 2018. Her game qualified her to play in a PGA

Tour event, the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, but it’s her teaching reputation that has put her on all of those golf tip shows we see on sporting channels. So when it comes to shopping for a golf school for women, who better to give us advice?

“I’m a huge advocate of anyone that wants to improve their skills going to a golf school, because I think it’s really intensive and inclusive,” she said from the PGA Championship. “You’re going to get a full range of activities of golf.” MORE

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SCHOOLS Why choose a golf school for women over a golf school in general? That’s partly to do with the left- and right-brain tendencies of the genders, partly to do with Venus and Mars language skills, and, mostly, marketing. Golf school teachers find their women’s schools have more appeal than even couples’ schools. Tara Lipanovich, LPGA instructor at Silverado Golf Resort, says men tend not to consider attending a golf school; her colleague, PGA teaching professional Michelle Busam, observes, “A lot of women are still trying to learn, and they want it to be more social. We find it easier to find women who want to go to golf school for women. Women get nervous around men.” But, which women’s golf school? Of course you have a budget of a certain amount of money and a specific window of time. Here’s more from Suzy Whaley: “You need to determine what you really want to do outside of the golf school. Do you want a spa? Do you want to be at a hotel where you don’t need to rent

a car and the golf course is right at the facility? Do you want great restaurants? Do you want great shopping?” “Geography: Do you want it to be really hot? Do you not care about the weather?” “You want to learn from a PGA professional or an LPGA professional and one who does quite a few schools, so that you know the school will be seamless.” “The biggest thing I would look for in a golf school is that you have an oncourse opportunity, every day. That you have a coach with you while you’re on the golf course... someone watching you who has worked with you in long game, short game, putting, strategy on the course, mental game, fitness.” “Finally, the most important thing is having fun with your friends, making new friends, being with people who are learning with you, enjoying the experience of getting better together.” So GottaGoGolf Magazine gives you this list of Golf Schools for Women.

• • •



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GENDER BIAS NOTE: In some cases, the words “ladies” and “women’s” are not used in the school names, generally so that the school does not appear to be exclusionary. GottaGoGolf also adheres to this policy. We’ve included all the schools we found that appear to be actively marketing to women.

Elite Women’s Golf School. 10 locations in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Nevada. 1-1 and 2-1 ratio. 2 days/2 nights up to 5 days/5 nights. Average of 5 hours instruction/day. Hotel, lunch included. Commuter rate available. 800.679.2916. Golf PROformance. Former LPGA Tour player Dodie Mazzuca teaches Mind Mechanics Golf School in Scottsdale, Ariz., in winter and Mindful Golf in Santa Cruz, Calif., in summer. Two-day programs include six hours of instruction and on-course time, starting at $250. 480.784.7376.


NATIONAL/MULTI-SITE Bird Golf Academy. Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee. 1-1 instruction; 3-, 4-, or 5-day school; 6 hours individual instruction and daily 9/18-hole playing lesson; daily access to golf courses and practice facilities. Includes lodging, unlimited practice and play at the courses, player evaluation and lunch with professional each day. $3,000– $5,500 depending on location and length of school. Buddy program also available. 877.424.7346.

Hank Haney Golf Women's Golf Schools. California, Florida, Texas. 1-1 instruction from full swing to short game, or less expensive 2-1 ratio.


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The Golf Boot Camp for Women




Includes 9-hole playing lesson; optional add-ons. $955-$1775 1-day; $4,525-$8,650 5-day, depending on instructor experience. 2-1 ratio offered for slightly less. Email golfschools@hankhaney.com. LPGA Golf Clinics for Women. 1-day Monday clinics $400, nationwide. 617.206.9757. National Golf School for Women. Founded by Bruce Baird, with LPGA and PGA instructors, and concentrated in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Max 4-1 ratio. Offerings include 1 and 2-day Business Golf for Women, mixing business-networking classes with golf instruction. 800.894.9593. Susan Stafford Golf for Women. Florida, New York. 4-1 maximum ration.1- to 4-day schools. Greens fees, carts, lodging included. Spa available. $600-$1,740. 800.447.8894. Women's Executive Golf School. 11 locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida. 1-1 and 2-1 instructor ratio. 1- to 5-day schools. Call for rates and packages. 800.651.5058. ARIZONA Arizona Golf Schools Estrella Mountain Park, Goodyear. Former LPGA player Lori Atsedes. Accommodations at Best Western Plus Phoenix Goodyear Inn. Includes lunch, 5 hours daily instruction, 2 hours on course daily. 2- and 5-day packages $1,099 ($899 double room) to $1,549. 800.756.5052.


LPGA Teaching Professional Cathy Schmidt will customize a school that will bring out the golfer you always knew you could be! Join Cathy for a private 2-day school or bring your foursome for a 3-day school on dates you select. “Wow, best money and time I ever spent taking lessons from you! Played 18 today and really enjoyed myself. Thanks a million!” Sandy Forey

The Golf Boot Camp addresses all aspects of the game from putting, short game, bunkers and specialty shots to driver. Camp starts with individual assessments to tailor our work to your game. $500.00 per student GottaGoGolf special, bring a friend, 2-for-$900 www.thegolfbootcamp.com


Palmetto, Florida

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ARKANSAS Golf at the Inn, Bella Vista. Beverly Williams, LPGA golf professional. 4-1 ratio. $1,195 5-day school includes 4 nights at the Inn at Bella Vista, welcome cookout and “ask the pro” get together, classroom and range, course sessions, breakfasts, light lunches and 1 casual dinner. Couples $2,095. Email bwg@iabv.com. CALIFORNIA Carmel Experience, at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley. PGA Professional Katherine Marren. Max 4-1 ratio. Two-day school includes 3 hours of instruction each morning, lunch, 2 hours of playing instruction each afternoon, plus chef’s dinner the first evening. $550, or $499 with a friend. Oct 26-27, Nov 9-10, Dec 7-8, plus 5 2016 dates. 831.620.8859.

Ladies Fairways and Chardonnay Golf School at Silverado Golf Resort, Napa. Tara Lipanovich, LPGA pro and head of Silverado’s women’s golf instruction. 4-15 participants. 3 days, 9 hours of instruction, 50-minute spa treatment, breakfasts, lunches and wine tastings. Call for pricing. 707-257-0200. School of Golf Exclusively for Women, at Sycuan Golf Resort, El Cajon. LPGA instructors Kim Estep and Julie Day. Maximum ratio 5-1. Three days includes 16 hours of instruction and video, unlimited golf, lodging and meals. $1,197 pp double occupancy; $1,008 commuter. Monthly March-October. 888.764.4566. Southern California Ladies Only Golf School, seven Palm Springs area locations. LPGA instructors where requested and available. Max 4-1


GOLF Magazin e Top 100 Teacher

Elevate your game with Krista Dunton in the exquisite coastal Low Country of South Carolina

technology from V1 and Flightscope …A personalized profile of your golf swing and follow-up drills for improvement from Jim Hardy’s Plane Truth Player Profile…Daily V1 summary videos… Lunch each day at Berkeley Hall. 2015–16 dates: Nov. 6-8, Jan. 8–10, Feb 19–21, March 4–7, March 19–21, April 1–3. Or, bring a foursome and arrange your own dates. $1375 per player. Email

Spend three days at acclaimed Berkeley Hall, with two private Tom Fazio courses and an award-winning golf learning center and practice facility, just minutes from Hilton Head, S.C. Krista’s favorable 4:1 ratio promises you personalized attention, not a cookie cutter school. YOU’LL GET: At least kdunton@me.com 15 hours of instruction www.Berkeleyhallclub.com coached entirely by For information on Krista (2 full days, 9 a.m.cottage rates and 3 p.m., and one half day staying at Berkeley Hall, 9-1) ...Two-day on-course contact Keith Bradley situational learning ... FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 15 kbradley@berkeleyhallclub.com Cutting edge teaching www.kristaduntongolf.com www.berkeleyhallclub.com

SCHOOLS ratio. 1- to 5-day programs, with or without lodging. Packages range from $599 for one day/night for one golfer to $7,990 for four players, five days. 951.286.0027.

Golf Your Best School of Golf, the Villages, Oxford. LPGA Class A Sandra Chester. Max 6 students. Offerings include Newcomers Golf School of five days (Mon.-Fri.) with two hours of instruction daily and a picnic on the final day. Golf clubs included if needed. $399. 352.751.5122. Ladies Ultimate Golf Institute, Innisbrook/Palm Harbor. PGA Director of Instruction Dawn Mercer. 4 days/3 nights, Thurs.–Sun. 4-1 ratio or better. Includes 36 holes of golf, 9 holes of on-course instruction, all aspects of the game, breakfast and lunch, luxury suite accommodations. $1,260 single occupancy; $910 commuter. Nov. 5-8. 727.942.5283. Grand Cypress Academy of Golf, Orlando. LPGA professionals Barb Mucha and Mary Bryan. 4-1 ratio, 2 half-days, 8a-12p, 8 hours of comprehensive instruction, 2 nights at The Villas of Grand Cypress or the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, 2 rounds of golf on Grand Cypress Golf Club courses, breakfast, 2 lunches. Single rate $1,260-$1,610. Double occupancy, junior and commuter rates available. Schools may be scheduled to begin on any day and will run for 2 consecutive days. 407.239.1975.


FLORIDA Golf Boot Camp, Terra Ceia Bay Golf Club in Palmetto. LPGA teaching professional Cathy Schmidt. Max 4 students. 3-day customized school tailored to students’ needs, all recorded on video. $500. 941.720.9080.

Moxie Golf Academy at Black Diamond Ranch, Lecanto. Owner Barb Moxness, former LPGA player. Two-day golf retreat includes instruction, lunch with Moxness, nine-hole afternoon playing lesson with Moxness, cocktails. $950. 952.807.4621. HAWAII Fairways, Greens and Birdies in Hawaii, Hawaii Prince Golf Club, Ewa Beach, Oahu. Director Brian Mogg, lead instructor LPGA lifetime member Sandi Hamm. Max 4-1 ratio, 12 player capacity. 3.5 days, includes 10 hours of formal instruction and 12 hours of on-course play/instruction, reception, lunch. $1,400. 925.451.9494. MORE

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MASSACHUSETTS EduKaytion Golf at Cranwell Resort & Spa, Lenox. Director of Instruction Kay McHahon, LPGA T&CP Hall of Famer. Customized “Golf 8.5” workshops and schools can be arranged at various locations around the country. Example: two-day workshop splitting time between classroom and hitting balls, $439. 518.669.1551.

The Ladies' Golf School at Stow Acres CC, Stow (near Boston). Thomas Giles, Director of Instruction. Max 5-1 ratio. 2-day school with custom before and after video. personalized drills, workbook, 2 9-hole vouchers, 8 hours of instruction (4 hours each day), continental breakfast and buffet lunch. $325. Sept. 24-25. 978.568.1100, ext. 111.


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SCHOOLS MICHIGAN Treetops Resort Ladies Golf School, Gaylord. Judy Mason, lead instructor. Max 4-1 ratio. 3 days/2 or 3 nights. Lodging, unlimited golf on 5 courses, 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, welcome reception, lessons, $20 Spa/Pro Shop Certificate, gift and video. $549 two nights or $649 three nights; add a spouse for $299, he gets unlimited golf. 866.348.5249. Crystal Mountain Women-Only Three-Day Golf School, Thompsonville. Scott Wilson, PGA director of instruction. Max 4-1 ratio. 3 days/2 nights. Lodging, 3 rounds of golf, 11 hours of instruction plus oncourse play. Starting at $579. Commuter pricing available. 855.995.5146.

NEVADA Las Vegas Women's Golf Schools, Las Vegas. LPGA professionals Kerri Clark, Jennifer Alexander and Kristin Sunderhaft. Morning instruction, lunch, on-course afternoon instruction. Monthly selection of dates. 1-day $265, $499 2-day, 3-day $699. Contact through LVWGS website.
 Patti Marquis Golf Camp and School, Sandy Valley outside Las Vegas. PGA/LPGA professional Patti Marquis. Max 8 students. All-inclusive 4 days, 3 nights (Mon.-Thurs.) at historic ranch, with lodging, all meals and drinks, cocktail parties, social activities, favors, 27 holes of golf at Primm Valley. $1,600. 16 camps (3 co-ed), October through March. 509.993.7927. NEW JERSEY Martin Green Golf Academy “For Women Only” Golf School, Bogota. PGA pro Martin Green. Max 4-1 ratio. Lodging, 3 full days of instruction, golf daily with instructor, breakfast and lunch each day, resource library, comprehensive digital video swing analysis. $2,375; $1,835 commuter. 727.804.5412.

NORTH CAROLINA Women’s Three-Day Golf School, Dana Rader Golf School, at Golf Club at Ballantyne, Charlotte. Developed and operated by LPGA master professional Dana Rader with LPGA Class A Julie Cole. Maximum ratio 4-1. Three days includes 15 hours of instruction and video, two lunches, optional afternoon golf. $825. Lodging packages available. Monthly March-September. 704.542.7635.

Pine Needles Golf Learning Center, Southern Pines. Taught by resort owner and award-winning LPGA Master teacher Peggy Kirk Bell, LPGA pro Donna Andrews. Maximum 4-1 ratio. Five-day women-only Golfari covers all aspects of the game. Instruction, cart, lodging, cocktail parties, all meals and greens fees on Pine Needles course, starting at $1,845. Sept. 7-11, Feb. 15-19. 800.747.7272. SOUTH CAROLINA Berkeley Hall Golf School, near Hilton Head. LPGA and PGA instructor Krista Dunton. Max 4-1 ratio. 3 days with 15 hours of instruction, including on-course lessons and lunch daily, on scheduled dates or plan your own. $1,375. 843.290.8714.

Classic Swing Ladies Only Golf School, Legends Golf Resort, Myrtle Beach. Lead instructor LPGA Class A Natalie Cruse. Max 3-1 ratio. Full package includes tuition, use of practice facility, 4 nights lodging, 3 rounds of golf, 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches at Legends. Starting at $999, single occupancy. Commuter packages also available starting at $369. 843.903.5560. TEXAS Barton Creek Ladies Only Two-Day School, Austin. Taught by Barbara Puett. Limited to 12. Daily instruction, lunch. $595, not including lodging. 512.306.5805. FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 18


Gail Rogers recently retired as a USGA rules official. She now serves on the Northern California Golf Association Board of Directors.

By Gail Rogers

4 great reasons to cultivate a friendship with the Rules of Golf The golf season is in full swing—literally and figuratively. Working with a golf professional at this time helps us refine swing path, bunker techniques and other physical aspects of our game. It is also time to work on the mental side of our game by finding ways to control tension during a critical shot in the round, to learn to let the negatives go and focus on the shot at the moment. MORE



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GUIDANCE Clear thinking and decision making involves not just club selection and target, but making the best choice available when the Rules of Golf can rescue a hole and save a par or give us a “good” bogey. Knowing as much as possible about the rules prevents unpleasant surprises during a round that can turn into major distractors and tension builders in a heartbeat.

REASON 1: RULE 6-3 At the 8 a.m. starting time, Player X thought she was on time when she arrived at the tee ready to play just prior to her name being announced. She, however, was listed as the third player in the group, and all the players listed at the same starting time need to be at the tee ready to play at the tee time listed for the group. Because this was a stroke play event, she began her day with a two-stroke penalty that the starter explained just after she played her tee shot. Understanding Rule 6-3 could have saved her two strokes and started the day on a happier note. REASON 2: RULE 26-1 Yellow-staked water hazards give us simple options if we cannot play the ball as it lies. I have watched players line up the hole location with the spot on the hazard margin where the ball last crossed and drop the ball on that line. While this is one of the two options a player may select as



Follow along for four reasons the Rules of Golf should be your friend.

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GUIDANCE she incurs a one-stroke penalty under Rule 26-1, the spot for the drop is frequently selected without much thought. Dropping on a down slope or in high rough certainly does not showcase the strength in most of our games. Because the rule allows us to go as far back on that line as we wish (as long as we stay within the bounds of the course), let’s think about dropping where we have a level lie, good grass and/or a yardage that we prefer for the next shot. This careful execution of the Rules can give us the confidence to make our next stroke a good one. REASON 3: RULE 20-2C At a recent tournament a player worked with her caddie taking proper relief from a cart path. Because the ground sloped back to the path, her two drop rolled back onto the path. Now she had to place the ball. I heard her say to the caddie, “Now I can place the ball on the spot I like best within the club-length.” Unfortunately the answer to that is, “No.” The time for thinking about the perfect spot where you want to place the ball is before you drop. Analyze the contour of the ground, and when you think you will likely be dropping twice and then placing, identify the best lie possible within the dropping area allowed and aim for that spot when you let go of the ball. If you are lucky the ball will strike that spot when you drop the second time and it now is THE SPOT where you will place the ball. Rule 20-2c gives us examples of the times when we must drop, re-drop and then place. REASON 4: RULE 24-1 At a Northern California women’s tournament, players waved me over as one player had her ball held in position on the steep slope of a bunker by the bunker rake. “She just moves the rake and if the ball moves plays it from the new position,” one player stated emphatically.


You control “ everything until

the ball leaves the clubface. Then you control nothing but your reaction.

—Maverick McNealy

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GUIDANCE “We might get there eventually, but we have a procedure to follow first,” I responded. Because she could mark the ball with a tee before entering the bunker, I had her do that and then carefully remove the rake. The ball did roll down the slope. Then I asked her to think before walking into the bunker as she was going to need to try to replace the ball on the original spot without pressing it into the sand. If it did not stay after a second attempt, she would be trying to place it down the slope, not nearer the hole until we finally found a spot where it would come to rest. We did not want that spot to be one of her footprints. After a number of tries, the ball finally came to rest on a gently up slope. The player made a terrific up and down. The Rules are her friend! Remember a rake is a movable obstruction. That means something man made on the course that can be moved without unreasonable effort, without causing undue delay to play, and without causing damage to the course. Rule 24-1 tells us how to remove a movable obstruction when our ball lies next to or against it. Look carefully at Rule 24-1: There are no EXCEPT words of caution. That means everywhere on the course we can remove movable manmade objects. Cigar butts (ugh), pop cans, directional signs for cart traffic, abandoned golf balls, even WATER HAZARD STAKES whether your ball is lying inside or outside the water or lateral water hazard. Yes, put that last thought on movable water hazard stakes in your thinking. You will be amazed how few people understand that and how often it can help you. THE LAST WORD A recent tweet from Maverick McNealy, Stanford golfer, said, “You control everything until the ball leaves the clubface. Then you control nothing but your reaction. Act accordingly.” Employing the Rules to your advantage as you act on this next shot is your best reaction.

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HIS By Keith DuBay

He's trying to help— should you listen?


Hey “ girlie,


IN OUR GROUP of guys, if someone starts giving unwanted golf swing instruction mid-round to another, the would-be instructor is ostracized from the group. He will be shunned. No one will play or partner with him in competition. He’s a black sheep to be avoided and ultimately banned from the group. Why is that any different for couples or partners? Most commonly it’s us men, who tend to be the know-it-alls, giving our wives advice. That includes the guy who hits a 175-yard slice with his driver to no particular place. Never mind that he can’t make a putt to save his life, or stop from releasing his wrists on chip shots that result in constant skulls. Somehow the guy who can’t play dead transforms into the next Butch Harmon, just because he’s the spouse-in-charge-or-at-leasthe-thinks-so.

have I got a tip for you!

” FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 23

Giving swing advice to a partner or spouse is almost always a bad idea, unless you are a teaching pro and you’re not on the golf course. Your guy is just not qualified. He doesn’t know what you are doing wrong or how to fix it. His mind isn’t like yours, nor is his language. The entire psychology of the situation is set up for failure, even if he’s the one asking you for advice. “For wives it’s important to be appreciated,” says Tara Lipanovich, LPGA Professional and head of Silverado Resort’s women’s golf instruction. “Guys are fixers. If you ask a guy for help or advice, be careful what you ask for. You guys are trying to fix and we hear it as criticism and get resentful.” Silverado offers women’s schools and will even allow husbands in them, but not husbands and wives together. Lipanovich says: “We would not teach them together. Golf schools for couples can be very difficult. You literally hear women tell men, ‘Would you shut up?’” Silverado PGA Professional Michelle Busam says men use a language foreign to many women, such as “open the clubface.” “You can’t generalize, but men tend to be more left




Silverado Resort teachers Tara Lipanovich and Michelle Busam. FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 24


brain,” Busam says. “Women are more right brain and need encouragement and empowerment.” It doesn’t even work the other way around. When Busam tried to teach her husband—she is qualified, after all—he rejected the help because he wanted to figure it out for himself. The most common piece of bad advice the pros hear men say to their wives? “Men say to their wives, ‘Don’t look up.’ The minute women follow that, all you see is nothing but an upper body swing with no lower body motion,” Busam says. It can be a little tricky telling your man to butt out of your game. A couple of suggestions are to say, “Thanks for the advice but I’m working with my instructor on my game.” Or, “I don’t want to get too technical today; I’m just enjoying the round and the company.” If he keeps pressing, a firm “I’ll let you know when I have a question” should suffice. So forget about the advice. Instruction ruins the golf experience. Stay in the present. Hear the birds, think only of target, ball, swing. Enjoy the company. The best advice is not to give any advice.



Three tips you absolutely should share with your spouse 1. Unless your spouse is a golf pro, don’t ask for advice. 2. In some rare cases, if you are asking him or her to watch for something your pro has you working on, feedback is OK. But make it clear all you want is one particular shot, otherwise it will snowball into a roundlong nuisance.

'back to school


3. Don’t make the experience mechanical. Enjoy. The best advice is no advice.

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Gotta Ask: The Poll


Great weather

More than 18 holes

Fun golf, not hard

Lots else to do

Great spa/ fitness

Luxurious lodging

Lots for kids to do

Famous course

25% 28% 27% 7% 5% 4% 2% 2%


We also found out that GottaGoGolf readers are unimpressed by famous courses and don’t care about keeping their kids busy. You want great weather, more than one golf course, and golf that’s fun more than hard.

If you didn’t vote, visit the poll now. Who knows—the golf resorts might be listening.

What influences you when you shop for golf clubs?

Do you look to see what British Open champion Inbee Park, right, is swinging? What the shop has on the sale rack? What your teacher, husband or friend suggests? What looks good with your golf bag? GottaGoGolf wants to know. Give us your answer in the one-question poll here.



In our Summer edition we asked readers where they want to go next and what’s important when they choose a golf resort. And we found out: Bandon Dunes (Oregon), the Boulders (Arizona) and the Broadmoor (Colorado) top your resort bucket lists.

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By GottaGoGolf Staff

Perfect playing partners in the NAPA VALLEY YOU ARE IN the wine country of Northern California to enjoy the scenery, sample and buy world-class wines and even learn a thing or two about winemaking. If you’re a golfer, why not combine two pleasures, wine and golf? Your golf course and winery visits should complement each other in terms of style, location, price and even sense of history. Turn the pages for some ideas from our travels for your perfect Napa Valley wine country day. MORE


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ou came here for some flash and you’re not going to be disappointed on this spectacular golf and wine day.

First hit the links early at Silverado and prepare for battle on the tight but fair layout. In Troon management-style, plenty of attendants will greet you and help you about the place, where you have to be a member or resort guest to play either course. The North Course, home of the Frys.com Open PGA tournament, is a true parkland course that winds between the oak trees, with perfectly manicured tee boxes, fairways and greens and some rolling contours. Co-owner Johnny Miller’s 2011 remodel added bunkering, and once in them, those forward tees start to feel a lot longer than their 5,200 yards. Have a drink either on the tasteful patio or the dramatic bar and then head up Highway 121 through 4 miles of winding, hilly roads until you get to the Shangri-La of wineries, Jarvis Estate. You’ll have to make an appointment and pay $80 a person but there’s plenty of wow factor as you walk past the water gardens to the entrance of the cave complex that is home to Jarvis. Winemaker Alex Castillo was our charming guide through the 45,000-sq-ft cave complex, replete with its own waterfall to ensure the right humidity for aging, and Cuvee Gallery, a collection of one dozen massive oak vessels assembled in the cave by French coopers. The small bottling area includes space for hand waxing bottles from crock pots full of red wax. Finally you reach the tasting room, where six glasses await each guest, and the fun begins. We learned about the big and buttery Finch Hollow Chardonnay 2013 ($115); Cabernet Franc 2011 ($95); 2012 Merlot ($95), my personal favorite Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 2010 ($140), and more. There’s an element of fun involved if you still haven’t finished all your tastings: Just pour them into one glass and make your own blend, albeit a rare one. —Keith DuBay http://www.jarviswines.com http://silveradoresort.com MORE


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his day will contrast with your splashy, expensive resort experiences. You’ll meet a lot of nice, down-to-earth people who really want you to relax and enjoy yourself. There’s no flash at Aetna Springs as you drive through bucolic Pope Valley and up to the clubhouse and little nine-hole golf course. Forget the circular bag drop and uniformed attendant with a name badge. There’s a small parking lot where they leave some carts for guests. Grab one and drive it up to the large, new clubhouse. You’ll encounter the friendly face and manner of Steve or Joel. Given the current vibe of the place, its opulence—it has the only elevator around and small but luxurious locker rooms and main rooms – is incongruent because the owners had planned an upscale private club with a new 18-hole course and estates. That’s on hold and so deal-hunters can find golf with cart going for as low as $30. The course on the historic property—non-native folks have trekked up here from San Francisco for the healing hot springs since the 1800s—was built in 1893 and reworked by Tom Doak in 2007. The layout plays jumbled and confused as several holes share fairways or cross each other but overall is good in terms of condition, shot values, and quality tiered greens. Short hitters have a choice: 2,041 from the greens, 2,369 from the reds. After your quiet, fun round at secluded Aetna Springs, drive a few miles down the road to equally laid back Pope Valley Winery. That’s ten bucks for some decent pours of subtle yet interesting wine built by winemaker David Eakle, and you get your money back if you buy a bottle of wine. There’s nothing harsh or brash about Pope Valley or its wines. You won’t see fancy paintings or statues or million-dollar tasting rooms with a team of 50 wait staffers. The head greeter is Gus the lumbering Labrador. They do tours and offer packages, but we skipped those and concentrated on the wine. We bought a bottle ($20) of the butterscotchy 2014 Chenin Blanc and enjoyed the tasty Sangioveses, Cabs and Merlots. —Keith DuBay http://www.aetnaspringsgolf.com MORE http://www.popevalleywinery.com


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or this golf course and vineyard pairing, we’re going group. Eagle Vines Golf Club and Jamieson Ranch Vineyards are just a couple miles apart, a competent, no-mistake choice for your corporate or gal-pal outing. For swing oil purposes, start at Jamieson Ranch, known formerly as Riata. The relatively new indoor-outdoor tasting space is big enough for a large group. The wine is good, too, both white and reds. Our favorites—no skimpy pours for your $20 and $35 tastings—were the 2012 JRV Single Vineyard Cabernet ($65), which reminded our hostess and wine educator, Kara Sweet, of her grandpa’s sweet tobacco pipe with a marvelous dusty finish, and the 2013 Estate Viognier ($40). Enjoy the expansive bay views from the covered outdoor deck, which has portable heaters for winter. Go on Friday-Sunday noon–4 p.m. and pet the miniature therapy horses that mingle with guests in the tasting room. Really. Now that everybody’s feeling good, it’s time for some golf at Eagle Vines, which winds between precious vineyards that sell for $300,000 an acre and up. General manager Mike Sterling told us Eagle books 350 groups per year. Hopefully your gang is warmed up enough from the wine tasting, because the first hole is a par-5 bordered by ponds. The course is an amalgam of nine older holes and a newer front nine (with Johnny Miller’s stamp). The course can play long from the back tees, but most will play either the member’s tees (6,670), whites (6,371) or reds, long for the average woman player at 5,587 yards. The most dramatic hole is the par–4 13, with a pinched fairway around a pond to an uphill green that has sloping tiers and is protected by bunkers left and right. The prettiest hole follows, the par-3 14th. The vineyards play as a red hazard, but sneak a taste of the grapes if in season. Conditions of the tee boxes, fairways and greens are excellent, and the clubhouse is large, newer and adaptable for business groups. Close to San Francisco and Oakland, this pairing adds up to a no-risk, high-pleasure group outing.—Keith DuBay MORE


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he local rule you’ll want to know before you tee off at Chardonnay Golf Club: Vineyards are “environmentally sensitive areas,” to be played as lateral hazards by taking a drop on the course. In other words, golf doesn’t mix with grapes. Stay out of the vineyards to be successful at Chardonnay. Originally a 36-hole public-private setup, Chardonnay now offers 18 holes on a semi-private plan, with members getting preferential rates and tee times. Practice facilities are exceptional, with a grass driving range, regularly scheduled schools, and spacious short game area. Choose a friendly tee option among the five (shortest: 5,219), because the course features six par 5s. They are offset by six par 3s, but you won’t remember those when you are slogging through a 500-yard trek to a fast green with subtle breaks. Do try to enjoy the views as you go. Miles of vineyards and a big skyline make for great wildlife and bird watching. Once you’ve played Chardonnay, it seems logical to taste some. Fortunately, just a short chip shot from the course lies Carneros, the distinctive cool-climate appellation where the best Napa Valley and Sonoma Chardonnays are produced. Where to play this 19th hole? For a leaderboard Chardonnay, head over to Cuvaison Estate Wines, across the road from Domaine Carneros up Duhig road. A reservation is recommended to visit the small, modern tasting room with impressive architecture that features large glass doors with phenomenal views. Outdoor seated tastings are also offered on the hilltop patio surrounded by vineyards. Cuvaison crafts three stunning Chardonnay wines: The 2012 Estate with pronounced stone fruit flavors is bright and refreshing and overdelivers at $25 a bottle. Elegant yet ample-bodied, the 2013 Kite Tail Chardonnay ($44) exemplifies the exceptional vintage and the 2013 ATS ($56) is complex and rich with a long, remarkable finish. The Flight of Four wines is $20, or nosh on a trio of Estate Series wines expertly paired with artisanal cheeses for $35. Plan to linger awhile with the friendly staff and comfortable, relaxing surroundings. Or, especially f you have a hole-in-one to celebrate with bubbly, add a stop at Domaine Carneros.—Susan Fornoff and Cheryl Stotler chardonnaygolfclub.com MORE cuvaison.com FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 31





ere in the heart of Napa Valley, land holds more value for grapes than for golf. So there’s not an 18-hole championship course, and GottaGoGolf suggests there’s no need for one. A couple of hours at the Vintner’s Golf Club satisfies the golf jones and leaves time for other essential indulgences. Don’t be fooled by the Vintner’s par of 34. Yardage choices range from 2,243 to 2,929, and water sneaks into play on five of the nine holes that wind up and down a gentle hillside below the Veterans Home. Vineyards surround the layout, and it’s impossible to forget that you’re in the middle of one of the wine capitals of the world. Conditions are excellent and prices a bit high, at $25 for a weekday nine and $30 on the weekend, not including cart—but after 2 p.m. one can play unlimited golf for the same price. PGA and Senior PGA Tour long hitter Bob Boldt redesigned the 1999 course in 2003 and remains on site to give lessons and go along on the wine-tour-and-golf package offered by the Vintner’s. The Lakeside Grill patio beckons for a leisurely, stomach-fortifying lunch. Now, for the reason you’re playing only nine. Exchange the spikes for sneaks and embark on a “downtown” Yountville wine crawl. Start at Priest-Ranch, where the decor is Western-chic, the vibe is cool, and comfy couches beckon. Now re-energize with the Wine Pairing ($45). Grenache Blanc pairs with Mt Tam Triple Cream, Syrah and aged Gouda while Coach Gun teams up with Vela Dry Jack. A wonderful finale of Petite Sirah coupled with Sea Salt Dark Chocolate completes the experience. Mosey on down the street to Hill Family Estate, where Fender guitars, antique furniture and framed jerseys of professional sports athletes create an eclectic scene, and sip on the $20 bar tasting of whites, reds, blends and dessert selections. End the day in style at the fashionable Hestan Vineyards Tasting Salon and Showroom just a few steps away. Stanley and Helen Cheng offer their winery’s limited production wines as well as Ruffoni Italian gourmet cookware from Stanley’s global company. Seating is limited but tasting at the upscale bar is a treat. Nap time. —Susan Fornoff and Cheryl Stotler www.yountville.com/category/wine/ vintnersgolfclub.com FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 32


The favored meal of the Solheim Cup:

By Katherine Roberts

‘ham and egg’

Cultivating balance, in swing and in life

When the Solheim Cup comes to your TV set from Germany in the wee hours of September 18-20, prepare to hear “ham and egg” become a verb during the fourball matches. The announcers will not be referring to the breakfast you may be preparing in a few hours or the Dr. Seuss story you may be reading your wee one. They probably will be complimenting two teammates who are complementing each other, perhaps because ham (particularly in the form of bacon) and eggs work so well together on a plate. But, specifically, in a match where the best ball of two counts, they’ll mean this: When one player has a bad hole, the other one has a good hole.

As women we are constantly challenged with creating balance in our lives. Multitasking is our "mantra" for each day. The truth is we are more effective when we allow time for ourselves, take the time for a deep breath and clearly establish our intention and focus. Golf is the game that teaches life lessons. Golf offers us the opportunity to regain our focus with each shot. In the practice of yoga for golfers, we use balancing poses as the conduit to train the mind and cultivate the process of "onepointed concentration." Redirecting our mental focus from the external chatter to the task at hand helps us on the course and in our life.

Enjoy the process!


A bit of Googling on the origin of the term revealed a mystery. According to one site, the term “ham and egger” refers to an ordinary, regular, or even incompetent person. Urban Dictionary lists a variety of meanings for “ham and egged,” including being fleeced or taken advantage of. But it seems that the golf meaning has morphed into other sports to mean that players are picking each other up. In any case, if you catch the announcers saying, “They’re hamand-egging it well,” know that they’re being redundant. In golf, ham and eggs are always good. —Susan Fornoff



My closet needed trimming, and I could see the culprit: a golf wardrobe full of those boring polos that were encroaching on the dresses and nice tops. Pretty soon I’d no longer have room for that nifty space-saver, the one that was holding my underwear. Uh oh. So I emailed a few friends of GottaGoGolf to say I was doing a shirt makeover. Enough of the sleeveless collared polo—there must be something different, feminine and versatile, something that could belong to my everyday wardrobe yet still qualify for golf. It would swing with me on the course. And off the course it would swing with all of the things I do—dinners and ballgames with friends, meetings with clients, dates with the honey. A swing shirt. Read on for the surprises that came my way.



By Susan Fornoff

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Greg Norman. I made a face when polos arrived. But then I saw my man’s face when I tried them on. Norman shapes their polos for a woman’s figure so that they’re flattering, not too baggy or too tight. (You can’t tell by looking at pictures of skinny models wearing them.) The curved hem works tucked in or not, and Benjamin Moore would envy the color choices. The one I would wear on outings with friends comes in a beautiful lavender. XS–XL, MSRP $69.

Puma. What’s this—a sweater? Well, yes, it’s the Color Block Sweater in a light grey heather with beautiful small blocks of teal and azure and a bit of black trim. Nice colors, but what made this a winner: a long cut, including luxuriously long sleeves, and silky feel, so you wouldn’t want to confine it to the golf course. Brand ambassador Lexi Thompson would wear it well. XS–XL, MSRP $75.


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LIJA. I thought, “Golf? Really? You’ve got to be kidding!” but the Fuse Match Point Tee met golf dress codes by having cap sleeves. (Generally, even stuffy country clubs waive the collar requirement if tops have sleeves.) It had sexy mesh inserts, and side gathers that made the fit even more feminine. The hibiscus color: stunning. XS–XL, $85 (but seen online for as low as $35 if you can find it).

Kevan Hall. This high-profile L.A. fashion designer has been developing a golf line of quality clothing that’s not to be found in many golf shops. The Montecito shirt the company sent along, in a solid red, had flattering half-sleeves and a zip Mandarin collar style. Fit is on the snug side, but the movement and structure of the heavy Dry-Tex fabric inspires confidence in the wearer. XS–L, $96.



Iconic Sport. This lesser-known brand makes wicking, high-UPF and beautifully draping apparel in Northern California. These shirts skirt the collar code with mocks and bands and cowls. Believe me, no one will kick you out wearing Iconic Sport. I love the Kate sleeveless mock (XS-XL, MSRP $55) and also the Olympia boat neck top (2-14, on sale for $37.50), one of those pieces that in black can go anywhere. Note: Order one size larger than you wear.


Editor's Choice


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By Christina Ricci

Transform your game with distance


We all want more distance. Especially when we see our pals blowing it by us or getting that beautiful high launch that is elusive to our clubs. Understanding the power principles, we’ll get you striping it, sooner rather than later.

Tips & techniques by golf author CHRISTINA RICCI | GolfSurvivalguide.com

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Get solid at set-up! First things first: We need to ensure that your set-up is rock solid, and this includes your thought process on the tee box. Chin up, not pinned Arms hang down without tension with shoulders over toes Shaft pointing to belt buckle ensuring I am the correct distance from ball The right bend from hip joints, not waist, creating good angles in my hip crease and knees Pressure points in feet

• • • •

The takeaway! All together now

Keep your arms and hands close to your body as you take the club away with your shoulders. YES As you take the club away, your back elbow will begin to fold. Let it.


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Backswing key points LOAD WITH A PURPOSE TO RIP IT! arm is still • Left connected to my chest facing opposite • Chest of fairway, confirming

stretch through my • Big back. I feel tightly coiled.

Club not even to parallel, but my shoulders have turned significantly. I feel like I sit into my back hip, almost as if it heads back toward the target. I feel pressure on the inside of my back thigh.

• •


I have made a full shoulder turn Hip and knee crease still intact, confirming that I have stayed in my posture. Many players lose this at the top of their swing

• My feet are gripping the turf. This is your power source. Use the ground as leverage. Grip it to rip it!

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The L of my right elbow is still intact. My legs are driving the downswing with my hands and arms following. Pressure point moves toward front toe


My shoulder plane is still intact. Once I reach hip height, I release the L hard through impact. Using the ground as leverage, I am driving into the ground with my front leg


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Release! Let it go! My right arm crosses over my left. My left palm is facing toward the sky and my left arm is STILL connected to my upper chest. YES A good release is a result of doing everything else right!

Finish for POWER! Aggressively getting to your finish is the secret to power, assuming you have loaded in the backswing. right shoulder has • My completely rotated

through the shot! Belt facing left of target! Pressure point on the outside of my front heel!

• •


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GAME Maybe Frank Sinatra invented the golf game named after one of the towns he loved to sing about. Or maybe "Chicago" originated with a ’70s band famous for its horn players. In any case, you’ll sing the creator’s praises once you try this one with your favorite foursome. To start Chicago, everyone adds her course handicap to the number minus-39. So if you’re a 10, 10 plus minus-39 equals minus-29. From there, the game is like Stableford in that players win points for bogey or better: 1 for bogey, 2 for par, 4 for birdie and 8 for eagle. (If anyone scores an albatross, just give her all your darned money and tell her to buy a lottery ticket for the group.) Worse than bogey, no harm done. The object of the game: to get your number into positive territory. In most golf games, the handicap system equalizes players from the beginning. But the fun thing about Chicago is that the high handicappers start out with the lead—your 36 handicap becomes a minus-3!—and the low handicappers have to play catch-up. It works as a tournament game, too, but is most fun in a foursome, where players can see exactly what they’re up against and attack accordingly.    —Susan Fornoff


Bet your bottom dollar you'll lose the blues... 'Chicago'

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Golf’s in the family, but she doesn’t play with hand-me-downs

Stacey Solheim Pauwels says the Rhapsody line (right) isn't for all women; some should use clubs made with men in mind.

When your maiden name is “Solheim,” you learn to play golf. Stacey Solheim Pauwels’ grandfather Karsten Solheim invented a putter in his garage in1959, heard the sound the ball made off the face, and named it the Ping Putter. Her father, Allan, took his little girl to a park where they hit so many balls and churned so much grass, one day they were greeted by a sign that said “No golfing.” Her handicap dropped to a single digit when she was a high school senior. Today Pauwels, 47, is executive vice president of Ping, presiding over everything to do with women’s clubs and women’s golf. Naturally, the handicap has taken a hit. A 12.4, she’s hoping to return to a single digit by the end of the year, and is taking full advantage of the Ping labs to get there. In this interview with GottaGoGolf, she shares her thoughts about clubfitting, the upcoming Solheim Cup and the color pink. MORE

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We call it 'Tropic.' It's a teal.


a little, but mostly she drove me around from tournament to tournament. My grandmother played a little bit. She had a really sharp short game, used to drive my brother crazy when he would outdrive her all day but she would beat him with her chipping and putting.” ON GETTING FITTED FOR CLUBS: “We would say, ‘You deserve it.’ We would encourage women to get fit for equipment so they can enjoy their golf to the fullest potential and not settle for hand-me-downs. I’ll probably spend my whole life on the message to go ahead and take the trouble to get fit.”

business, which makes it feel less awkward. We’re also working on some technology, things you can put on the shaft and get some records, so that it’s not a lengthy process and maybe you can do it in your living room.” ON PING’S WOMEN’S CLUBS: “What we try to do is offer this wide array of products that are designed to appeal to the majority of customers. So we have some clubs for lower swing speeds (the Rhapsody line) that have prettier design to appeal cosmetically for women but that also have performance built in. These are designed not so much for the competitive players who are a little more serious; our regular line works for them.” ON WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE FITTING STATS: “Of course if I talk to the

intimidated by the fitting process. The fitters tend to be men. Maybe we don’t want somebody looking at our swing. And we have different features and sometimes things get in the way. It’s a little awkward.”

engineers, they’ll analyze every number on the printout. But for me, you want to look at distance. This is helpful to see, even on the clubs you already own. Maybe I’m spoiled, but when I’m going to play somewhere I have access to technology that gives me my club distances at different elevation. But if you’re not someone who’s really into stats, the things that are important are shaft, grip, length. Lie is adjustable later, and can be adjusted again when your swing changes.”



ON WHY MORE WOMEN DON’T GET FITTED: “Of course a lot of women are


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like pink and purple, but I know some women are absolutely ‘NO!’ Some women need to feel like they’re being taken seriously on the course. You should not not be taken seriously just because of the color of something you’re using, but we opted for a more neutral color and everyone seems to like it. We call it ‘Tropic,’ it’s a teal.” ON THE COURAGE TO LOVE PINK: “In my senior year of high school I was the No. 3 player on the guys’ team, and in all my practice rounds I played with the pink and white balls Ping was making. I get to my first competition, playing with our No. 1 player, and I’m playing a yellow and white ball because I’m trying to be more serious for competition. “He pulls me aside and says, 'Stacey, what are you doing? You have to get that pink and white ball out.' I said, 'You want me to play it?' And he said, 'Yes! It’s bad enough to get beat by a girl, but to get beat by a girl with a pink and white ball is the worst. This is our strategy: You’re going to intimidate everyone.' “Ever since then, I thought, I’m going to embrace my femininity. I like pink. Why not? I’m a decent player and there’s nothing wrong with playing pink. I have the confidence.” ON THE UPCOMING SOLHEIM CUP: “We’ll have about a dozen family members there. Not my grandmother (Louise), she’s 97 years old and she went to the last one and that was hard. But I guarantee you, she’ll be watching. She and Karsten had a routine. They’d go through the newspaper and highlight all the Ping players and root for them. What we’ll root for at the Solheim Cup is a really strong, close competition (pause) and then we’ll root for the Ping players.”


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By Susan Fornoff

Club fitting— it's no worse than shopping for a bra. Really. You hated getting fitted for a bra? Ha! Try club fitting. I did—and, luckily for you, I came away with scoops and advice to make the process a little less torturous. It’s a process you do need, by the way. Just as you need a good-fitting bra to function in all the ways that suit you—minimizing or maximizing the girls, lifting, separating, stabilizing, maybe even just preventing nipple chafe while your skinny, rockhard bod runs a marathon—you need properly

fitting clubs. The right fit will serve to optimize distance when you make a good swing and offset disaster when you don’t. Women tend not to get fitted for golf clubs however, which is a shame, because the equipment companies have stopped pigeonholing us as women and started viewing us as golfers. Jose Miraflor, director of product marketing for Cobra Puma Golf, says, “We know that generally


the swing dynamics of women are different. The swing speed is different, attack angles are different, even the preference of colors is different. But there is a minimum of two different women golfers— the one with minimal swing speed who needs help getting the ball in the air, and then the strong woman who plays men’s specs. We recognize they all exist.”


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According to one of the experts, D’Lance, “Less than 10 percent of the female golfers we fit could use standard ‘lady’ clubs.” Some need longer shafts, some shorter. Some need stiffer shafts, some maybe the lightest of the lights. Others need adjustments to the grip. Yet many women try their friend’s club, hit it flush, then go buy one just like it. Then they do that again, and pretty soon they’ve got a bag full of different lengths, flexes and grips. Get fitted for your whole bag and you won’t have to come up with one swing speed for your driver, another for your hybrid and another for your wedges. But, how many of us really do that? I had three club-fitting experiences that I hoped would help me build around the clubs I really love. Come along with me—and, remember, be just as assertive as you would be shopping for a bra. Really, would you even stay in a shop where the saleswoman directed you to the training bra section?



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The (free) online fitting Most of the golf club companies offer some sort of online tool to ensure that we don’t order misfits. For these, get out your tape measure. I used Ping, because I knew I would also be going to a Ping demo day. So I had to measure my height, the distance from my fingertip to the floor, the length of my longest finger and the length of my whole hand. Then I was directed to the driver module, where I was asked how far I hit my driver and what is my ball flight. Do you know if you draw or fade or hit it straight? And if so, do you know what it is you want to do? Here’s where you tell the “fitter,” who will then recommend a driver. Next you go to the fairway woods module, the hybrid module, and so on, all the way to putter. And when you are finished answering questions, the e-fitter recommends 14 clubs, not because you need 14—I certainly don’t—but because you can legally carry that many, therefore you can be encouraged to buy that many. Much to my surprise, I was fitted for Ping’s new Rhapsody line of clubs for women, from driver, to 5– and 7–woods, then to 4-iron to 9-iron and pitching and sand wedges, then to the Glide 58–degree and SS wedges. My favorite clubs in my current bag? My three hybrids and my 60-degree lob wedge. I thought I must have answered a question wrong somewhere. Just for kicks, I try Callaway’s online tool and receive three recommendations for irons and hybrids—all for women’s clubs.



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The measurements the Ping man took were different from the measurements my at-home man took. And the Ping man never handed me a Rhapsody club. He did show off the latest and greatest Ping irons, the G30s. He handed me a 7-iron, and when I said, “You know, in my bag, that’s the club I use least,” he said, “That’s because you’re using irons that don’t fit you.” Bingo! Loved it! Straight, high, long. Then we went down to 9-irons, a more comfortable club for me. And we discussed my ball flight and the way the clubs felt to me. I didn’t understand everything he was saying, so I just bluffed along. We settled on an older line of irons, the Karstens, in a senior flex shaft. (Senior flex is not as stiff as men’s regular but not as bendy as women’s or L.) I liked that I wouldn’t have to spend top dollar. But I couldn’t help but ask: “You never showed me the women’s clubs. Why not?” I will edit and extrapolate his response: “Women’s clubs are too sissy for you.”


The (free) demo day fitting

For most of us, fitting at the range feels more natural than hitting indoors in a cage.

He noticed two things that quickly took him to that conclusion: One is that my irons had a regular men’s shaft. The other is that I go after the ball. As renowned teacher and writer Harvey Penick liked to say, I kill the snake. My swing speed and ball swing are slow, but I still make strong contact at the bottom. The fitter said he would not ever want to recommend clubs that required a player to swing easier. My fitter recommended I buy the 6-8-P-U of the Karsten set, and the 5 hybrid, and then call him in a month or two with my yardages so that we could fill in the gaps. This made so much sense to me— but, I asked him, how could I really get my yardages? He told me to go out to the golf course at a quiet time and figure it out, and then get the FlightScope readings at the driving range on my best shot with each club. I decided I should do that on my current clubs. I went away with homework.


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The ($49.99) in-store fitting The big golf store offered three levels of fittings—the 30-minute freebie with the launch monitor, the 45-minute $50 fitting (with a refund on the fitting cost if you spend $200 on equipment), and the $125 fitting with different shafts and heads that seemed like too much information for me. I click the $50 fitting, and then have to choose between driver, fairway woods/ hybrids, irons or putter. I choose irons. And I choose a guy (they were all guys) who has been at it 10 years. When I show up and start warming up in the freezing cold store, I tell him I don’t plan to buy clubs. I want a completely unbranded, unbiased club fitting. Immediately, he is bringing me Callaway, Ping, TaylorMade— the big brands with high margins. I say, “What about Cobra? I love my Cobra hybrids.” So he grabs some Cobras. And, “What about Mizuno? Don’t they make good irons?” So he brings some Mizunos. It is a grueling hit-a-thon, where I am hitting balls off a certain point on a mat, aiming at nothing in particular but a screen


in front of me that looks like a driving range. Numbers flash on the computer screen. The fitter gives me a swing tip. I’m getting tired. At some point I have lost my swing, so I rest a bit while he goes off and does something else. Then I resume and swing better. He decides I should use senior flex clubs, because although my low swing speed qualifies me for women’s flex, that seems too big a jump from the regular men’s flex I have been using. Plus, I have some senior flex clubs in my bag. Plus, I hit them straight. After all this, I walk out of the store with nothing in hand except his card. When I ask if I could have a printout of the numbers on the screen, he says, “You can take a picture.” I do—but, I have no recollection of what clubs I was using at various points in the reading. I say, “Give me a call when some of these clubs are on sale.” He tells me these are the latest greatest clubs, and it will be at least six months before prices drop, and then it will be harder to find them. I go home and start writing my tips for MORE readers of GottaGoGolf.

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You can start the fitting process in your living room, ideally with a tape measure and a friend. Here are a few online tools to guide you. Note that some of them have not kept pace with hybrid technology—they might ask how far you hit your 5-iron. “Huh?” is not a valid answer for those who carry nothing longer than a 7–iron. And some might ask your glove size and not give “Ladies Small” as a choice. BRAND SPECIFIC Ping nFlight Web matches you with

driver, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges and putter. Callaway fitting tools match you up with a driver, irons/hybrids, fairway woods. Wilson Golf’s questionnaire doesn’t ask your gender or swing speed and creates a full set of 12 clubs for you. TaylorMade Golf asks three easy questions and recommends the best irons for you.


The home shopping network for clubs


y k c S u e L v e


FIT TIPS: Wear your golf shoes to your • fitting. Did you go shopping

for a wedding dress wearing tennis shoes? Warm up a bit before your appointment and drop your inhibitions about being watched. You got fitted for a bra with a measuring tape that touched your boobs, so what’s so terrible about someone seeing you swing a golf club? You don’t just go into Victoria’s Secret and say, “I need a new bra.” Tell the fitter what you want. “I really love Callaways and need new irons from 7 down to L.” Or, “I don’t want

to buy clubs today, I just want to be fitted so that I know what to look for.” Or, “I’d like to get more uniformity in my bag.” Or, “I really want something pretty.” Bring along a friend to listen and trade notes when you are done—or even to jot down tidbits while you are huffing and puffing over yet another golf ball. Otherwise, your memory may be selective. Some club fitters may look at averages for a given club model. But averages are useless—mostly we make a good swing, or we make a bad one. Look at those numbers,

CUSTOM OR NON-BRAND SPECIFIC Hireko Golf has several calculators to

help you order the proper length, loft and weight, and then they’ll build to your specs. Golfsmith also has calculators, but they are really designed for the shopper who has chosen a brand and is ready to order.

especially the distance on a good swing and the centeredness of a bad one. When your swing gets away from you, stop and rest. The process can be grueling. For the sake of comparison, you want to have the same swing when you hit the Pings that you had when you hit the Mizunos. If you are paying for a fitting, make sure you walk away with your specs written down. When I couldn’t have a printout at the big golf store—why not?—the fitter suggested I photograph the screen. Thank you!

Beware: Once you disclose your gender, Golfsmith's SmartFit will be recommending so-called women’s clubs exclusively. At the GolfWorks, you fill out a detailed form designed for men and they’ll email you back with specs, only as good as the information you input. FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 52

President’s Message:

Success of girls’ golf takes more than money—what can you do to help? By Mary Pomroy

INSIDE 2 Alliance members go all out for junior and high school girls' golf 4 The 411 on the Aliance's 20 member associations 8 Who is the Women's Golf Alliance and what is it up to?

Courtesy of PWGA


The success of a girls’ high school golf team hinges on support from the players’ families and coach. Learning good sportsmanship and what it takes to be part of a team is also critical. The more successful school programs have made this part of their culture. Unfortunately, not every player has the good fortune to have a strong support system. This is where you come in. Suzy O’Hara, the Arizona WGA Junior Grants & Assistance Committee chair, says, “The joy and satisfaction I have received through working with the girls has far surpassed my expectations. It is a wonderful way to give back to the game and promote success in our young people.” High school girls’ golf teams could use your support. Become an advocate for a school in your area—adopt a team, become their friend/golf buddy/mentor, go to their matches and cheer, donate slightly used equipment, hand out water, make these girls part of the women’s golf community so they will want that throughout their life. It costs you some time, but pays you back with the knowledge that you have made a difference in a girl’s life and maybe helped to make golf a part of her life forever. You don’t have to do this alone. Get your whole golf group involved! Make a difference in someone’s life through golf. And read on for some of the ways women’s golf associations are giving back. FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 53

Alliance members go all out for girls’ golf ARIZONA

Build-a-TEAM touches lives through golf Do you ever wish you had started playing golf sooner or had lessons when you first started? Many of us do. The Build-a-TEAM program administered by the Arizona WGA helps make that possible for high school age girls around the state. This program is the responsibility of the AWGA’s Junior Grants & Assistance Committee, chaired by Board member Suzy O’Hara and supported by staff member Julie Fenn, the Player Programs Manager. It supports eight high school girls’ golf teams across the state. The support requires each team to spend a large percentage of its grant money on lessons

taught by area PGA and LPGA golf professionals. The grant money also purchases team golf bags, uniforms, pull carts, quality golf balls, etc. The program also connects the coaches to local sources for golf clubs and club fitting services. Many of the girls on the golf teams at Arizona high schools are athletes recruited from other sports who had never touched a golf club before. Two schools in the program have a team member with special needs. The lessons and coaching that the program has funded have enabled these girls to have access to the game and gain insight into equipment modifications that allow them to participate fully and find success. One plans to use her new skills in upcoming Special Olympics. Funding comes from individual donations, proceeds from 50/50 raffles, grants and AWGA membership fees.



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Getting ‘Girls to the Tee’ The WMGA Foundation hosted 120 junior girls Aug.3 for Girls to the Tee at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y. Thanks to Gary Weir and Monique Thoresz, PGA Professionals, and Diane Mock, WMGA Junior Chair, for organizing this great day. At least 15 local golf professionals conducted a free clinic that mixed quality instruction with high energy.

Ridgewood Golf Club already has offered its range for 2016 Girls to the Tee New Jersey. Ridgewood will be hosting the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship next year. Thank you to all who believe in our mission of supporting junior girls’ golf and awarding college scholarships to young women who have an interest in golf. Without support to the Foundation, we could not accomplish our goals.



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The Arizona WGA (AWGA) is the voice of women’s golf in Arizona. We offer programs for members and the golf community that encourage and provide opportunities for women to learn, play, compete and administer the game for themselves and their clubs. Programs include information and outreach, player programs, USGA programs, and volunteer development.


The Colorado Women’s Golf Association (CWGA) is a nonprofit amateur golf organization established in 1916. We promote women's golf in the state and preserve the integrity of the game. We represent 17,000 individuals and 250 clubs and we serve as a regional operating partner of the United States Golf Association.

The Kansas Women’s Golf Association promotes the game among women and girls by maintaining strong relationships with member clubs and individual members; conducting annual championships and other events; and offering a range of programs that develop and enhance the golfing experience for all.

The Missouri Women's Golf Association promotes women's golf by holding annual competitions for female juniors, amateurs, mid -amateurs and seniors. Scholarships are awarded each year to graduating high school golfers through the MWGA.

Founded in 1952, the Delaware Women’s Golf Association shares a mission to promote interest in golf for women and junior girls in the State of Delaware and surrounding areas. The DWGA reaches golfers of all abilities through tournaments, travel, social events and education.

The Maryland State Golf Association-Women’s Division was formed in 1995 to promote amateur golf for women of all ages and abilities. The MSGAWD is dedicated to providing a full range of services for more than 9,000 members including competitions, handicapping, course rating and rules seminars.

The Montana State Women’s Golf Association is devoted to promoting educational, social and recreational advantages for women and girls in golf. They do this by encouraging sportsmanship, amateurism, skill and respect embodied by the honorable traditions in the game of golf.

The Desert WGA was formed in 2000 as a regional association for Southern California desert clubs and their approximately 700 members. It issues course and slope ratings as well as handicap indexes to its members. DWGA also sponsors golf tournaments, team play competition and other events for members.

The Michigan Women’s Golf Association was established in 1986 to help promote the game and provide competitive play and education for female amateur players of all ages and skill levels. An on-going MWGA goal is to give back to the community through our successful LPGA-USGA supported junior program.

The Nebraska Women’s Amateur Golf Association is an organization of golf clubs and individuals governed by amateur women golfers and formed in 1973 for the purpose of promoting and conserving the best interests and true spirit of the game of golf for all women in Nebraska.

The Women's Golf Alliance encompasses 20 state and regional associations across the U.S., from California on the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast and South Carolina, home of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort shown here.




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Founded in 1916, the Women’s Texas Golf Association encourages and promotes women's golf in Texas. We also raise funds for college scholarships and educate others about USGA rules.


The New Hampshire Women’s Golf Association (NHWGA), founded in 1923, is a nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer 15-member board. We offer our 750 members more than 40 golf events: weekly tournaments, mixed events, specialties, juniors and championships. We conduct rules clinics and annually award college scholarships.

The WGA of Northern California promotes and serves the interest of women's amateur golf in Northern California. We provide services for more than 100 member clubs' women's organizations from Tulare County north to the Oregon border, with a membership of more than 11,000.

The TRANS Amateur Championship began in 1927 and in 1992, the TRANS Senior FourBall Championship for women was added. Among past TRANS Amateur champions and/or competitors are Brittany Lang, Paige MacKenzie, Nancy Lopez, Lorena Ochoa, Grace Park, Judy Bell, Carol Semple Thompson, Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Patty Berg.

Pacific WGA was founded in 1947 to promote the best interest of amateur golf for women. PWGA supports women golfers playing at public and semi-private courses in Northern California. In addition to funding several benevolent projects, we provide educational, competitive and social opportunities for our members.

Founded in 1899, the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association is the second oldest women’s golf association in the U.S. and has a membership of 201 clubs and more than 2,300 individuals In Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. The WMGA annually conducts spring team matches and more than 30 competitions, including a USGA Championship qualifier.

The Women’s South Carolina Golf Association was founded in 1949. The WSCGA membership consists of women’s golf associations throughout the state: 140 member associations with more than 12,000 women golfers receiving USGA handicaps. The WSCGA is licensed by the USGA to provide handicapping and course rating services.

Founded in 1934, San Diego County WGA is a nonprofit organization, chartered to promote, supervise and conduct competitive golf for SDCWGA members in accordance with the Rules of Golf of the USGA as modified by Local Rules determined by the Board of Directors.

The Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association began in 1915 at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club with the goal of crowning a Women’s Oklahoma State Amateur. Its mission is to support, promote and grow the game of golf for women and junior girls in Oklahoma.

The Women's Southern California Golf Association, established in 1922, is the largest regional women’s golf association in the U.S. Its goal is to promote and foster interest in women's amateur golf through friendly organized competition.

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Uniting to create the future of women’s golf

The planning committee led by chairperson Joan Cleland included Sara Wold, Janina Jacobs, Tonia Laird, Shirley McClain, Terri Pearce, Francine The Michigan WGA teamed Pegues, Laura Winch, Debbie Stout, up with the Executive Women’s Shelly Weiss, Susan Bairley, Jeanne Golf Association Metro Detroit and Myers and Cindy Obermeyer. the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Zamboni, co-founder and Director Association to organize the Women’s of Events for Nancy Lopez Golf Golf Summit in April. Adventures, gave details on her “Play The day, sponsored by the Golf Happy Golf” program and her mission Association of Michigan (GAM) and Team Rehabilitation Physical Therapy, to educate golfers on how to balance playing golf at their personal best drew about 150 women golfers and while also enjoying every moment of supporters. the game. Activities included breakout The goal of the Summit was to sessions on golf rules, putting, provide a forum for women golfers chipping and full swing tips and at all levels of the game, whether drills, physical therapy and exercise competitive or recreational— information and demonstrations, gathering to encourage women to mentoring, and etiquette. Former take up the game, to learn more about LPGA National Teacher of the Year Teresa Zamboni and a panel of leaders the game, and to feel confident and comfortable playing golf at whatever in Michigan women’s golf gave their level. —Joan Cleland presentations.



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in this area for girls to play competitive golf and these women’s associations provide that, which is really nice, so we Back to school and back to golf appreciate it.” season PWGA Executive Director Caroline O’Brien said PWGA and its sister In Northern California, two golf organization WGANC felt that the associations come together every year prospects for junior team competition to support high school golf for girls. were too sparse. “Giving the high The Pacific Women’s Golf school teams an opportunity to play Association (PWGA) and Women’s with other teams outside of their Golf Association of Northern regular league provides them another California (WGANC) host two 18-hole occasion to come together as a team tournaments for high school girls. The and collaborate for the win,” O’Brien Valley Tournament in the Sacramento said. Region is in partnership with Rocklin This year the WGANC and PWGA High School, the Central Coast in the will collaboratively host 180 girls from Bay Area with the San Mateo High 30 area high schools for the annual School. For some of the high school tournaments, named for Helen girls competing in the Helen Lengfeld Lengfeld, founder of the PWGA and a memorial tournaments last year, it was former President of the WGANC. their first real opportunity to play in an O’Brien said she thinks Lengfeld, 18-hole match. who began taking golf lessons at “I think it’s a testament to the the tender age of 8 and went on to need and demand for this type of become the youngest member of the opportunity, clearly since last year we now Peninsula Golf and Country Club had 20 teams submit and only enough of San Mateo in 1912, would have been room for 15,” said former Rocklin HS proud of the competition held in her Coach Susan Espana. “There is a need honor. FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 59

Incaseyouwere wondering... FULL-SWING INSTRUCTION AT CLINIC

SOUTH CAROLINA Raising funds to lead girls to golf

the WSCGA Junior Foundation contributed over $28,000 to the growth of junior girl’s golf in South Carolina. The WSCGA’s Junior Foundation “High school golf is where it held two clinics for area high school begins for many of these girls, and girls’ golf teams in August. it can be really tough to do well Cobb’s Glen Country Club in and get into the game without Anderson hosted 6 schools and 29 girls Aug. 11, and then Par Tee Driving instruction,” Robinson said. “We are so fortunate to have such a Range in West Columbia hosted 4 schools and 20 girls Aug. 12. The three- great community of golf leaders in South Carolina and the support hour clinics were coached by PGA Professionals who were volunteering. from the Carolinas PGA to be able to put on clinics for these girls.“ The WSCGA Junior Foundation The Foundation provided strives to expose as many girls to the each girl with a T-shirt, lunch and game of golf in South Carolina as beverage, and each high school possible. “We want to help provide team received a Classic Swing quality instruction to these girls in Trainer. hopes they will enjoy and continue “We wish we could do more, playing the game,” said Cathy Robinson, WSCGA Junior Foundation as a 501c3 charitable organization we’re still looking for a corporate Trustee. sponsor to help us reach our goal The Foundation has stepped of providing each high school up its fundraising over the last few team in South Carolina with a years to offer this type of assistance swing trainer,” said Robinson. to area high school teams. In 2014,


What is the Women’s Golf Alliance?

Formed in 2009, the Women’s Golf Alliance represents 20 state and regional women’s golf associations comprised of 120,000 women golfers. Its goals are: to increase the voice and visibility of women golfers; to enhance the benefits and services provided by member associations; and to offer marketing, management and governance resources and tools for member associations, staff and boards. Who can join the Alliance? The Alliance has various levels of membership. Please contact your local women’s golf association if you are interested in joining the Alliance. How can I get more information about the Alliance? Go to www.womensgolfalliance.org Why am I receiving this magazine? Because you are a member of a state or regional women’s golf association that belongs to the Alliance, you are entitled to receive a free subscription to GottaGoGolf Magazine.

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By Kay Rae Chomic

10 years later, she's out of her cave and onto the course F Seattle writer Kay Rae Chomic's debut novel, A Tight Grip, includes a lot of golf action that came from Kay's competitive golf experiences. Some highlights: played at the local, state, college, and national level; best round: 73; one hole-in-one; life-long friendships.

or the past 10 years, I didn’t drive a ball 200 yards down the fairway, didn’t hit an iron shot tight to the pin, didn’t sink a putt for par, and didn’t blast out of sand. For one good reason, to trade golf time for creative time to write and publish my debut novel. Done. Back to golf. Today I feel like a time traveler. Golf, 2015, has led me to some embarrassing moments but also brought me new friendships, a few pars, and lots of fun. Ten years ago, golf carts had two wheels, and were pulled. Now golfers push three- or four-wheel carts. How silly, I initially thought. During the first 40 years I played golf, the only change to the golf cart was the widening of the two wheels, ostensibly to protect the course from wheel indentations, but really to sell more carts. Carts of today looked like modified jogging strollers mothers push as they run for “me” time. I asked a playing partner why the change? She said four wheels gave the cart more


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OUR GAME: CHOMIC stability going downhill, and three made it easier to turn. But really, it was to sell more carts. At one tee box, I saw a cart rolling down a slope by itself. In the second I held back from instinctively rescuing this runaway cart, I noticed its owner calmly watching it. She had intentionally let it go on its own, like a sled. I had yet to purchase a cart for my comeback year. A rental cart, the ugly stepchild to the updated “cool” carts, still had two wheels. These unwieldy tractor-type wheels caused the cart to slide around like a car on ice. I could relate; the rental-cart was like me—it had a mind of its own, which made it difficult to control when pushed. It swerved if I wasn’t concentrating on the push motion, so the other three players learned to keep their distance or play bumper carts with me. It's a bird, it's a... In the middle of my inaugural round, engine noise of an airplane caught the attention of my foursome—all eight eyes turned to the sky. Someone asked what kind of plane is that? A player pulled from her bag’s pocket what looked to me like mini-binoculars, pointed them toward the plane, and said, “It’s a Boeing cargo plane coming out of Everett.” I, with infinite lack of golf gadget wisdom asked, “Are you a birder?” She said, “No, this is a yardage scope.” OMG, where was that cave I had come from? Lucky for me, EWGA golfers were not only welcoming to all, but also kind to a naive returning golfer. I enjoyed hearing the long-term friends chide each other with comments like “great putt” when the ball rolled less than half-way to the cup; or after a bad slice, “hey, the green’s over here.” All clean fun.


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In other rounds, I discovered some GPS range finders spoke with a Siri-like voice, while others looked like a watch with a face as big as a “Hillary for President” button. Mid-summer, imagined peer pressure made me order a Golf Buddy Voice GPS. It has information on 40,000 courses! Ah, the elusive par Even though the courses provide 200- and 150-yard markers, and with the precision of my new gadget—knowing when I’m 170 or 70 yards away—pars remained rare treats. As golf accessories changed, so had my game and attitude toward it. My initial comeback did not meet expectations. Weekly, and weakly, hitting my huge-headed driver no more than 150 yards frustrated me. It pinged softly, and I wanted a WHAM. Was it my age? Maybe. Or my timing was off. I hoped for the latter. I dubbed this driver, Bad Boy, and locked him in the trunk for weeks. My 3-wood went just as far, and I had low expectations for it. Later, not able to shake the desire of sending the ball into another universe, I sought professional help. Joe, my pro, videotaped my swing with the Bad Boy, measured the club, noted my height, and concluded the club was too long for me, and my balance could be improved. He recommended two things: choke down on the Bad Boy, and hold my follow through for a few seconds. A strong follow-through forgave a horde of sins. This half-hour lesson brought my power and balance back.

I can’t let go of the expectation of making pars and birdies. The past haunts me—I started playing golf when I was 9, tournaments at 12, and played competitively as an amateur through age 27, then socially and infrequently until I turned 50. What's the score? Who cares? Ten years later, my swing forgot its tempo, so I knew I was in trouble with the score. Knew if my focus was on the score, my enjoyment in playing golf would be low, and I might walk away from the game I fell in love with as a kid. Like a dieter, focused on pounds, who quits the diet when the scale doesn’t meet expectations. Golf, 2015, I don’t keep score. Maybe next year I’ll take up the stub of a pencil to fill out a scorecard. Superb golf weather in Seattle this summer sustained my commitment. I was thrilled to feel the sun tan my arms, to walk the course, compliment shots, make divots, replace divots, break tees, cringe, fist-pump, explode out of sand. At the end of one round, a player took a selfie of the four of us. I tweeted it later, and the picture made me realize my golf attire needed an upgrade. Maybe a fitted polo top to replace my camp shirt, and lightweight, spikeless golf shoes to replace the clunky pair I bought online before I saw variety in style on the course. Always learning, always improving.

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By Judy Alvarez

Lesson for a teacher, from guys in chairs T

PGA/LPGA Master Professional Judy Alvarez teaches at The Florida Club in Stuart, Fla. This is an excerpt from her Broken Tees and Mended Hearts, which is available in eBook.

hree of them came rolling at me, their arms pumping their wheelchairs and their forefingers pointing in sync. “We need you.” It was as if an Uncle Sam recruiting poster had come to life. I turned around because I knew they weren’t... Nah, they couldn’t be talking to me. But sure enough, they were. The threesome needed a fourth to even out their side in an eight-person wheelchair basketball pick-up game. So, like a reserve coming off the bench, I hustled. I ran down the bleachers, hurdling over a pile of prosthetic legs. The eager team helped me strap my two legs into an amazingly colorful high-tech sports wheelchair. My heart was pounding. What an adrenaline rush! The thought of playing basketball with these guys was certainly unique to me as I’d never done anything like this before. I mean, I’ve played basketball but not from a seated position. Without legs, the challenge was daunting.


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OUR GAME: ALVAREZ Just moments earlier I was semi-daydreaming, catching up on some e-mails and returning phone calls. Waiting to catch a red-eye back to the East Coast, I had tucked myself high up in the corner of the metal bleachers of a very bright indoor basketball court at the Naval Medical Center San Diego in California. I was in town for 48 hours, training several golf professionals called upon to teach golf to the men and women returning from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as other combat theaters. Hoops on wheels? Even harder than golf When I awakened that morning, it never occurred to me that I would be getting a “crash” course—literally, as wheelchairs collided with each other like bumper cars—on playing wheelchair basketball from some of the brave men who had gone to war to protect my country’s freedom. In that game, I was transformed—from being their golf instructor earlier in the day to serving as an “official fill-in sub” at night. I had no idea how hard this was going to be. I was breathless, my fingers became entangled in the spokes of the chair as I attempted to alter my direction and speed. Coordination became paramount. The art of maneuvering a wheelchair while playing basketball was just as difficult as playing golf blindfolded. Halfway through the game, the other end of the court started looking as far away as a marathon finish line. I had all these strong men who became my “teachers”—giving me


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advice “Push the wheelchair like this.”…“Stop and turn like this! Speed up this way and slow down this way”…“Shoot! Block!” With all these tips on how to roll the chair, get the ball, block the shot, or steal the ball, I was reminded what my golf students go through when they are trying to learn something new or different from me. Making five birdies in a row seemed easier than attempting a free throw from a seated position. I just didn’t have the upper-body strength to throw it that high and far. I wanted to impress the guys. If they came out to the golf course earlier in the day exposing their vulnerabilities, the least I could do was show them the same respect. At the buzzer, one person got up Sitting in that wheelchair, trying to keep up with these men who had been playing wheelchair basketball for a few years since losing either one or two legs, was one of the special adventures of my life. I was reminded just how powerful golf is to someone in recovery. It underscores the essence of staying active to someone who had lost a part of their body and is forever a changed person. As we rolled over to the sideline, I had a reality check when I just got up and out of the chair. Unlike my teammates, I didn’t have to reattach one or two legs as we headed for the exit. This was a profound reminder to be thankful for what I have in my life. I embraced this life lesson as I flew home. Although my team lost the game that evening, I came away with a renewed sense that when push comes to shove, you really CAN do anything if you put your mind to it. Just ask the guys in the chairs!

All of the year’s top stories compiled in one big, downloadable issue, with holiday shopping ideas for golfers. Now taking ad space reservations. FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 66 advertising@gottagogolf.com | 510.507.3249

NEWS LAST SHOTS By Susan Fornoff

News for and about women who just love to play golf T

here’s just one difference between the U.S. Solheim Cup that got trampled on its home turf two years ago and the one headed to Germany Sept. 18–20, and that is rookie Alison Lee in for Jessica Korda. But captain Juli Inkster—assistant to Meg Mallon for that 1810 European triumph—seemed to be calling for a difference in attitude when she named her two picks August 24. “I really like my team,” said Inkster, who made Brittany Lang and Paula Creamer the final two picks. “I think we’re tired of losing. I think they’ve got a really good mindset. I’m pumped up that these girls are willing to change a few things over there and start fresh.” A few glances at Twitter the week before the Cup should be telling. Before the Colorado debacle, the players were all over social media as they worked on their red, white and blue nails. Then there was time devoted to artistic, patriotic face paint.


The captain’s salute

Here’s what Juli Inkster had to say about her U.S. Solheim Cup roster.  Stacy Lewis: “She had the most qualifying points ever, and she’s the leader of the team.”  Lexi Thompson: “She goes for it. She never holds back.”  Cristie Kerr: “She can roll a rock.”  Michelle Wie: “She says she’s ready to go, and I believe it.”  Brittany Lincicome: “You can probably play her with anybody.”  Morgan Pressel: “Worked hard in the offseason, and it shows.”  Angela Stanford: “Solheim Cup is what she is all about. She lives for this.”  Gerina Piller: “She’s a rising star.”  Alison Lee: “I don’t think there is any stage that is too big for her.”  Lizette Salas: “She has really come on in the last part of the year.”  Brittany Lang: “A great lockerroom person... Everybody wanted her on the team.”  Paula Creamer : “A great match play player... She likes to go mano a mano.” FALL 2015 I GottaGoGolf I 67 PHOTO BY 123RF.COM

The U.S. team is, of course, the only one with a true team flag and nation; captain Carin Koch’s 12-woman team will represent eight European nations. As such, maybe the Euro players find it easier to focus on the golf and joke about the Americans’ preoccupation with stars and stripes. Inkster—never considered one of the must-have-makeup girly girls on the pro golf circuit—seems inclined to shift her team’s focus for the 2015 Solheim proceedings. “I like a little rah-rah,” she said. “It’s great, the teamsmanship, but I think sometimes it can go over the edge. I think we just need to play golf and maybe be a little more humble.” The U.S. will have to win 14 ½ points to bring home the Cup; Europe needs just 14 to keep it. Here’s a look at the Golf Channel schedule, for those inclined to catch up on their sleep at the office: SEPT. 18-19: Live coverage starts at 2 a.m. Eastern and continues until noon, with alternate shot first and then four-ball (better ball of the two) after that. SEPT. 20: Live coverage of the 12 singles matches starts at 4:30 a.m. and runs to 11:30 a.m. A pre-Solheim ‘Slam’?

Inbee Park’s British Open victory completed her traditional career grand slam, which has meant victory in four LPGA majors —the former Kraft Nabisco (now ANA Inspiration), the U.S. Open, the former LPGA Championship (now KPMG Women’s PGA Championship) and the British Open. This year, we have a fifth major, the Evian, which starts in France Sept. 10. The LPGA has scrambled to figure out whether a four-major grand slam is still a grand slam or whether one must now have five majors to have a grand slam. The latter would be very odd, considering that a grand slam is



JULI INKSTER AND PAULA CREAMER WITH THE CUP IN 2009. a baseball term referring to four runs, not five. And so the LPGA is now promoting the “Super Slam," accomplished by winning five different majors available in a season or career. Why? The official word: “The LPGA did not add a fifth major championship to change history, alter discussion or make the accomplishment of a ‘grand slam’ more difficult. We added a fifth major to create an incremental opportunity for the women’s game." Family theme for U.S. Women’s Amateur

Hannah O’Sullivan defeated Sierra Brooks 3-and-2 to win the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Portland Golf Club last month. Afterward, both 17-year-olds talked about their caddies. For O’Sullivan of Chandler, Ariz., that was Kyung Hwa Hur,


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better known to the champion as “Mom.” And when this caddie gets behind O’Sullivan to check her alignment, she’s really just there to offer support, because her only comment, every shot, is, “Very good, yeah.” “She never says it's wrong, but it's more of like she wants to check my alignment so maybe if it's off she can tell me after the shot or for future reference,” O’Sullivan said. “I almost don’t hear her, but it’s definitely good to have her there.” O’Sullivan won on the Symetra tour earlier this year with Mom on the bag. “If I'm getting a little frustrated, she tells me -- she makes me tell her one positive thing before I move on to the next shot," Hannah said, "and I think it can be a little frustrating at times, but it helped me a lot overall.” It’s most frustrating when O’Sullivan knows she’s hit a bad shot. But, there’s Mom urging her to say “I made good contact,” or “I used the right club.” Brooks’ caddie, Brent Brooks, is better known to his daughter as both “Dad,” and “Coach.” He’s coach at her Lake Mary Prep in Sorrento, Fla., and has taken over as her own personal golf coach after a rough 2014 swing on the junior circuit. The two often go out and play or practice together, but as caddie Brent’s role shifts away from golf. “One thing I’ve learned... I definitely have to get my mind off of golf in between shots,” Sierra said. “We have kind of talked about that, and when I'm out there with my dad, we talk about random things, what we're going to eat later for dinner or what we're going to do the next day. Just trying to get my mind away from the situation, away from the golf.” Neither girl is eyeballing pro golf just yet. O’Sullivan is headed to USC in 2016, Brooks to Wake Forest.




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