Honestly, I’m not exactly sure but I’m on a journey to find out. When the USGA announced last fall that they would be hosting the Inaugural US Senior Women’s Open in July 2018, I was very intrigued. So much so, that I made the trip last month to see it in person at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, IL. I went with curiosity to see if I’d be totally intimidated or very inspired and actually came back feeling both . Those women played amazing golf and the USGA hosted an awesome event! The field was made up of active LPGA Tour Players, former Tour Players, former US Open Winners, female Golf Professionals and highly skilled amateurs. Every competitor out there was impressive to watch.
I set my goal to be inside the ropes playing in the 2019 US Senior Women’s Open at Pine Needles in North Carolina in May. There, I’ve said it out loud and in print. It’s quite uncomfortable sharing a big, ambitious goal with others. You think to yourself, “can I really do this?”, “will I embarrass myself?”, “will I stay committed?”, and most significantly….“what if I fail?” When I asked myself that last question, I recalled a FB post from Michael Hebron that stated the definition of FAIL as: the First Attempt In Learning. Wow! What an encouraging perspective. And I’ve been further encouraged by family, friends, students and fellow golfers to keep them posted.
So, this is my first post of the journey.
Here’s what I know so far:
- To be eligible to apply, you must be at least 50 years old (Yep, that’s ½ century) by the date of the event (May 16, 2019) and carry a handicap index of 7.4 or less
- And then you need to qualify at a sectional site (which will be announced at a later date)
The field will include 120 players from the sectional qualifying events and through an exemption category. So, it’s too early to tell how many qualifying spots will be available.
I know that I have a lot of training and learning to do before the qualifier. I did not grow up playing golf and have limited experience in competitive golf. I spend most of my time teaching golf. It’s one thing to help someone improve their golf games and a totally different experience to be the one standing over a 3-foot putt to save Par.
How am I preparing?
- The Ladies group at Springfield Golf Resort in Chandler, AZ allowed me to join their Wednesday morning league. (Thank you Ladies!) This will enable me to establish an official USGA handicap and get out to play the game.
- I recruited (maybe even begged) Dr. Debra Pentz and Peggy Briggs, LPGA Teaching Professional to help me with a golf fitness program. (They are also co-authors of the book called: Smashing Balls) Stay tuned for more details on my physical training program. I have no doubt that they will push me !
- I’ve read Vision 54’s “Performance in Golf” books: Be A Player, Play Your Best Golf Now, Every Shot Must Have a Purpose and am defining my PTMESS performance map. PTMESS stands for Physical + Technical + Mental + Emotional + Social + Spirit of the Game. Their formula is that Technical Skills X Human Skills = Performance Skills.
- Exploring options for equipment evaluation and fitting – from gloves to shoes to a complete club review
- Making time to play and learn what to practice
- Finding opportunities to compete
- Asking others to help with me learn what I don’t know, that I need to know, which is probably quite a list