Well everybody, we’re nearing the end of the 2016 season. I honestly can’t believe it. Halfway through this year, I thought it was never going to end, and then boom, it is almost over in the blink of an eye. It just shows you, you can’t wish time away because you can’t get it back.
The last third of this season has been intense, with a lot of driving in between events, and 3 out of the last 6 events will be 4 day events. I’m really glad the Symetra tour has started to add more of these into the season as it mirrors the LPGA a lot more. I never thought starting on a Thursday would make that much of a difference, but it really does. Having one less day to practice or play the course makes the week more compact and efficient. You have to structure your weeks better in order to be as prepared as possible. Now that I’ve adjusted to it, I like it a lot more than the 3 day week. There’s a lot less time to hang about and waste time, and more time working on my game and using my time wisely.
There is no question that my game has become a lot more consistent this year, and I’m really happy about that. I’ve made more cuts in a season than I ever have so that’s a big positive and one of my goals I had set for myself this year.
The conditions in South Dakota and Kansas were pretty tough with the wind really blowing hard. They even had to suspend play on the Friday evening in Kansas because the wind was gusting up to 45mph. Thankfully, I was not in that wave. These few weeks required a lot of patience and knock down shots. My coach and I had worked on ¾ punch shots the week I went to see her and they were so good for these few weeks in the wind. The shots I hit were much more in control in the tougher conditions. For the most part my patience was also very good, but it does wear on you shot after shot. I just had to remind myself that I hit the best shot I could, and that there were going to be bogeys out there, I just had to minimize the mistakes as much as possible. I feel like all the parts of my game are there, it’s just a matter of it all coming together at once. We have 3 tournaments left in the season and I’m feeling good about having a strong finish.
The golf course this week in Arkansas is definitely the toughest we play all year. Last year Jackie Stoelting won and she was the only player under par. Tee to green the course is so nice and not too challenging, but the greens are crazy. They are upside down bowls and fast. Let’s just say it’s possible to putt the ball off the green. Not that I would know!! ;-) It is crucial to be on the correct part of the green, and if you miss the green, to be in the right area to give yourself the easiest up and down. This course definitely tests patience, but also requires sensible course management. I’m looking forward to playing it again to see what challenges it brings this year, and to see if I learnt anything last year.
We had a week off last week, which was much needed. I drove my car from Garden City, Kansas to Orlando, Florida, which was a total of 27 hours driving. It was brutal to say the least. Thankfully, I had a friend drive it with me and we stopped for a couple of nights in Nashville, Tennessee. I had never been but always wanted to go. I absolutely loved it. It’s a really cool city with lots to do and see. When I told people I was going to Nashville, everyone had mentioned the Bluebird café and how it was a must see. You usually can only get tickets online a week in advance, and they sell out in a few minutes. But on Sunday/ Monday it is a first come first served basis. The doors open at 5.30pm so my friend and I showed up at 3pm to get in line and there was already people waiting! I couldn’t believe it. The Bluebird Café is featured in the TV show Nashville, hence why it has become so famous. It is also a place that a lot of well-known country artists have started their careers. Monday nights are open mic night and, I have to say, it was definitely worth the 2 ½ hour wait. There were 24 people who sang original songs and there were definitely some names that will be in the limelight soon enough. There was one young girl who was in town to record a song at Reba McEntire studios. I thought this was really pretty neat.
I spent the rest of the week off in Orlando, Florida. I’m hoping to move there this offseason so I was trying to get a few things organized. Having no luck in finding somewhere to live at the moment. It’s always a little tricky with it being peak season for Florida with everyone moving south away from the colder weather. I’m hoping something will come up soon. I’m looking forward to spending the winter there, as it’ll give me more opportunities to play and stay competitive throughout the offseason.
Alright time for some rest. Big day of practice and workouts ahead of me tomorrow. Be sure to keep an eye out on live scoring this week. It’s always interesting to see how players tackle this tricky course in El Dorado!