Golf For Women
I flew into El Paso and stayed at the hotel for only one night. My travel partner, Kelly and I were introduced to a very gracious host family who welcomed us into a beautiful home for the entire week of the tournament. So I just want to send out another thanks to Bob and his family for their generous hospitality. It sure beats hotel life week after week.
Numbness in my left side
Thursday during my practice round, at about the 11th hole, I set up to a shot and felt a burning tingling pain shoot straight down into all five of my fingers and I couldn’t even grip the club. That really freaked me out. I had been having some issues with my left side for about 5 days and ignored it for too long. Amanda, the local massage therapist was excellent. She stretched, iced and massaged my upper back. Most of my pain was gone the next day and actually stayed away throughout the weekend. That was a huge relief. I will keep up with my stretching from now on and hopefully stay pain free!
The weather was gorgeous all weekend, with a few wind gusts up to 20 mph. That was nothing compared to McAllen last week. I started off the weekend with a 75. I struck the ball very well all day but had issues with my putting – 3 footers to be specific. I missed 4 of them. It was difficult to give up 4 shots that way just because it makes such a big difference on the leader board. But because of how well I was striking the ball I felt that I could make up for it on Saturday.
No peeking! Thx Doc!
After having a conversation with “Doc” Parent, my mental coach, and doing the drills that he suggested, I was a lot more confident about those 3-footers. I found out that part of the problem was mechanics but the main problem was that I was moving my head. So if I keep real still and feel my arms travel more down the target line, my percentage of making those short putts gets much higher. So no peeking!!!
Can’t I birdie them all??
Saturday was the complete opposite of Friday. I actually started off with a birdie, and I thought back to what my friend Andy always says to me when he witnesses me with an immediate birdie. “You can’t birdie them all if don’t birdie the first one!” So I was excited after the first hole and was ready for more. Unfortunately, that was my only birdie of the day and had to put up with my awful ball striking for the rest of the round. But contrary to Friday, I putted great!!! So the conversation and drills from Doc definitely helped. This game is all about staying consistent. Physically and mentally. I bogeyed the last hole by going for a par 5 in 2 and hit it in the water. I missed the cut by 1 shot and definitely learned a little something about course management from that.
I tried to get a flight home Sunday but nothing was available, so I kept myself busy by going to my favorite group exercise class, spinning early Sunday morning at a local gym. I went shopping at the mall and finished the day at a Barnes and Noble bookstore doing some research on Switzerland, France and The Netherlands since I will be traveling there for a Month to play 3 Ladies European Tour events.
Yeah I missed the cut, but this is only the beginning. I have a lot more opportunities. I am flying out to Switzerland on Thursday and have already set this weekend aside to visit and play tourist around Lugano before the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open next Thursday.
Megan Heckeroth, On Tour
If you keep the 100 degree weather and add about 90% humidity, that’s what it was like walking out of the McAllen airport on Monday afternoon. So I decided to stay indoors for the rest of the afternoon and just relax. The next day I slept in and watched ER television which is one of my morning routines. Checked out the area a little bit and then headed for the golf course.
That’s Texas golf for you!
Once I discovered that the Palm View Municipal golf course was one that you could take advantage of to score low, I was excited to start playing on Friday. I was 3 over through 6 holes and then the wind picked up and I actually started to play better. To give you a sense of playing in the wind, I shot a 7-iron with 110 yards in and still was 10 yards short. That’s Texas golf for you! I finished the day with a 75 which I was very satisfied with because it seemed like most of the girls in the afternoon were struggling with the wind. I was very fortunate to have had one of the morning tee times to start the tournament with.
Stand back and take a deep breath
The next day I came in with another 75. I didn’t make one single birdie on Saturday which was very frustrating because it seemed like the ball was lipping out of the hole or burning the edge every single time. I will have to admit that my round on Saturday was one of the most annoying rounds I think I have ever played as a professional. But you just have to stand back, take a deep breath and accept the fact the some days they go in and some days they don’t.
I am hungry for birdies
I made the cut and finally a couple of birdies as well on Sunday to finish tied for 54th. Not my best finish but I am still learning and improving with every tournament. I am getting more consistent and I am hungry for birdies. So I am headed to El Paso for one more tournament in Texas. The only thing that I am going to do is to stay patient and wait for those birdie putts to fall.
So I landed in Dallas on Monday, got my luggage, took the escalator downstairs to catch the shuttle to pick up my rental car and was hit by a wall of 102 degree weather as soon as I walked outside. This made me instantly appreciate the weather back home in Southern California. I got on the shuttle and was welcomed to Texas by Shania Twain which was the ring tone of the woman sitting next to me.
After discovering that the Dallas airport is a city of its own, I got lost on the way to the hotel. The next morning, I got lost on the way to the golf course for a practice round and got lost on my way to the gym after that. Sure enough, that evening I got a little turned around again on my way back to the hotel. Iâ€™ll admit that I am not the best at directions but the road system here completely baffled me.
So Friday rolls around and the weather had actually cooled down to the low 80’s. I shot 75 that day which put me in a tie for 87th place. I feel that I played well but just had one hole that gave me some trouble.
It takes a lot of self motivation when you are out here on your own.
After being confident in my pre-swing routine, I hit my 4 iron on the par 3 hole #6. I look up and it was headed left. It hit the top of the mound left of the green and I watched it kick dead left out of bounds. I hit another 4 iron and landed short and couldn’t get up and down and made triple bogey. Of course I was a little upset but I pulled myself together and played great for the rest of the way in.
Can you do the math?
The next two days I played well. I shot 70 on Saturday which moved me up to 42nd place and had a rollercoaster of a round on Sunday but still came in with a 71 which put me in a tie for 28th place. If you didn’t get a chance to see my scorecard for Sunday, by rollercoaster, I mean I had 6 birdies for the day and only 2 pars on the back nine. You do the math.
Can we transfer birdies?
I am very satisfied with my tournament in Frisco. It’s my best finish as a professional so far and I believe I am getting more comfortable being under par which is a big step for me. Let’s see if I can keep all those birdies for McAllen this weekend and leave the bogeys in Frisco.
Until next time,
Keep it inbounds.
I kicked off my trip by celebrating with some friends Friday night at Malia, my favorite restaurant in Santa Monica. After a few hours of sleep, I caught my 8am flight to Las Vegas to have some fun for a few days and to participate in a Corporate Invitational for my Tour Sponsor.
For four days, I saw two spectacular shows, Cirque du Soleilâ€™s Le RÃªve (The Dream) at the Wynn and the new Bluetopia by Blue Man Group at the Venetian. Wow! Breathtaking. The acrobat dancers of Cirque du Soleil were beyond amazing. And the three Blue Men from Bluetopia had such a great energy and music going throughout the show, you can hardly stay still in your seat.
Oh, and I forgot the food. Since my hosts knew I love Thai food, they took me to the hot and trendy Tao restaurant at the Venetian. Delicioso! During the weekend and during the invitational, I played Reflection Bay and The Falls at Lake Las Vegas. Great courses. High elevations, lots of water hazards, and 10-30mph winds from 1pm on. You can see Celine Dionâ€™s mansion off the 18th green at Reflection Bay.
You may have noticed a post with a pretty face on it a couple of weeks back. That pretty face obviously wasn’t mine, it was that of Megen Heckeroth. Megan is an aspiring golf pro. She’s on the road to the LPGA Tour and playing an extensive schedule in the US and in Europe.
“Meg” has already played rounds of golf with the likes of Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie and gave me some nice insight on what it’s like to play a round with Annika. Very cool.
Here’s a quick profile:
* Winner of the 1997 Oregon State Junior Championship First Flight.
* Winner of the 1997 Oregon State High School Championship.
* Four-time winner of the Oregon State High School District Championship (1995-1998).
* Competed in the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open Championship.
* Member of the Ladies European Tour (LET) (2006).
And…Megan will be playing in the 2006 US Women’s Open!
Megan has a very well done and extensive web site with info about her, her schedule, swing videos, lessons, photo galleries and more. Check it out. Her site even tells you what’s in her iPod and what PDA she’s using. How cool is that?
Megan will be posting occasionally RIGHT HERE on HOG as a contributor so everyone give her a warm welcome. She’ll even be doing some Q&A. Megan’s schedule is very busy so there won’t be a specific schedule for her posts so you’ll just have to watch for them.
Photo credit: www.megangolf.com