I am feeling refreshed and ready to go after this week off. It was much needed after a busy couple of months. I spent the week at my host family’s house in Indianapolis. They were on vacation in Wisconsin at their family lake house, so I was in charge of looking after the house, and the plants! It was great to have some time to catch up on life and get some things done, but mostly importantly, rest. My last week off was spent in California working with my coach, so I didn’t get much time to rest. But this week was quite the opposite. The first half was very laid back and relaxing. I watched quite a few movies and caught up on my shows on Netflix. It was amazing to be able to do nothing, and not feel guilty about it!
I managed to get some things done that had been on my to-do list for quite a few weeks, like getting a new phone. However, like always, these things are never easy. Everything was fine when I left Sprint, then I plugged my phone into my computer to restore everything on to the new phone and it wouldn’t work. Let’s just say 12 hours later, another new phone, and new software on my computer, things were finally all sorted. Technology is great for the most part, but it can be a real pain in the butt at times too.
I also did a little bit of shopping. Not my favorite thing to do, but sometimes its nice to just have time to walk around the mall or outlets with no time limit. Of course, it was not difficult to find some new things to buy. I have been in need of a new purse, so I was able to find that also this week.
My least favorite thing about off weeks is sorting my receipts. It is so tedious, but needs to be done. I learned, after my first couple of years on tour, that it’s much easier to do your taxes if you keep up with receipts throughout the year, instead of leaving them all until the end. I’m much better at keeping up with them, but I still find it very boring!
This week was also good to be able to get back into my workouts on a more regular basis and to increase the intensity a little bit. Its tough on a 3 or 4 week stretch to stay motivated in the gym, but also, to have the energy to go and workout after playing 18 holes or practicing. But I was able to go 3 or 4 times this week and continue working on the correctional exercises and strength work I have been doing with my trainer.
Towards the end of the week I started practicing again. I always think it is important to go back to basics when I have time to practice. So I make sure to check alignment, ball position, grip, stance and posture. For the most part this really doesn’t get too out of place, apart from ball position and alignment. When we play so much tournament golf, small habits start to creep in. I will also remind myself of the things my coach and I have been working on since the offseason. For me, old tendencies start to creep in after a few weeks of tournament play, so it’s good to have the opportunity to get all those things straightened out again. And of course, my focus is primarily on the short game. I did lots of chipping and putting over the weekend, just to keep things sharp.
And most importantly, I was able to hit a lot of balls with my new driver shaft. What a difference it has made. I’m surprised really. I didn’t think it would feel so different, but it definitely does. With my old regular shaft, I started to notice that I was really struggling to feel the club head at the top of my swing and on the downswing. This would explain why I was struggling to keep the ball on the fairway. With being a feel player, I was able to smooth my swing out enough to lower the club head speed and to feel the club head. However, I don’t need to worry about that anymore. I can go back to swinging how I want, which is exciting. It finally means all my work in the gym and on my swing, will start to show in the driver. I could definitely see a difference when I used it at the last event, but I just didn’t have enough time to get used to it. So there was a little too much thinking going on. But now I’ve hit enough balls and adjusted the settings so that it fits me perfectly. I’m excited.
Indianapolis is one of my favorite cities in the US. I would definitely live there, if it didn’t get so cold. It has so many great restaurants and things to do. I met up with a few friends this week and we were able to spend some time downtown and other fun things around the city. I believe it’s always important for us, as professional golfers, to get away from golf and do ‘normal’ people things every once in a while. It helps us clear our minds and remind us that we are just like any other person. We are just very lucky to be able to play golf for a living.
This week we will be in Rochester, NY for what I think is one of our most special events of the year. This event was setup in honor of Danielle Downey, who lost her life, in a tragic car accident a couple of years ago. I know a lot of people knew her and loved her. She played on the LPGA Tour for a number of years and had been coaching at the University of Auburn at the time of the accident. She had touched many people’s lives and it is an honor to be able to play in the event for her. It is also very special because one of our biggest ambassadors for women’s golf is the main man running this event, Mike Vadala. I have had a pleasure of knowing him since I won the event in Syracuse, NY in 2013. He was behind that event too, and a number of others. The support and encouragement his gives us all, to pursue our dreams as professional golfers, is priceless. He is a very special man and I feel fortunate to call him a friend. He cannot be thanked enough for all his hard work.
I’m excited about the week ahead. I love the golf course this week and I’m feeling good about where I’m at mentally and physically. My game has been trending in the right direction the last few weeks, I just have remain patient and know that the results will come soon. Patience is a virtue, as my mother always likes to remind me. J