Q school week at La Manga Review
I apologize for the length of time its taken me to update my site. I’ve taken time to reflect on last week’s Qualifying School performance. It has been eye-opening, difficult and an amazing experience. I have learned more from this tournament than I have from any others. Unfortunately as I have been told before you don’t learn anything from good experiences.
I came to Murcia, Spain to qualify for the Ladies European Tour (LET). A tour that takes you all around the world where you meet different people, play different golf courses with different grass and conditions. I feel that in order to push myself and evolve as a player I would have to learn how to compete in any and all circumstances. I would like to share with you my perspective of my daily tournament rounds.
The week before……..
The weather reminded me of a typical Southern California day in November. It was sunny, breezy and just perfect. While playing the courses I learned how to convert yards into meters, which only helped me on the tee because there weren’t any sprinkler heads with the distance. For practice I spent a lot of my time on the putting and chipping green. All was in place for a good week with the exception of the heavy cold symptoms that kept me in bed the weekend before the start of the tournament.
10:00 am South Course Tee #10.
The hardest nine of both golf courses. The weather forecast was rain, rain and just a little more rain along with swirling wind. The temperature was 7 degrees Celsius with the wind chill factor making it around 3- 4 degrees. My brand new Dry Joys didn’t hold up that amount of rain for the entire day, I was soaked. Wet, blue hands is not recipe for a good putting day. My putting was absolutely atrocious. I couldn’t feel the putter head at all the feel of everything I worked so hard was gone. I really needed a caddy that day, just someone to help me organize my equipment and myself. There weren’t any caddies provided at the tournament. Most tour stops have caddies available. To say the least it was a very tiring, rough first day. It was mentally and physically exhausting especially with the amount of strokes I took.
Day 2: 11:15 am North Course Tee #1.
The weather was not quite as bad as the previous day but was by no means a pleasant day. The second day did bring about the same problems from the previous day with the flat stick but it was BETTER.
Day 3: 10: 55 am South Course Tee #10
The third day of the tournament brought a very pleasant surprise. If anyone was following the tournament
online you may know that the biggest buzz of the event was No. 1 European Tour Golfer and World Ranked No. 3 Martin Kaymer caddying for this girlfriend Allison at Q-School. I was paired with the couple for the 3rd round and at five minutes to eleven I was first to tee off saying to myself swing back slow and commit. That was my mental note for the entire round. At first I was nervous with Kaymer in our group but he was a total gentleman, complimenting good shots and being very personable. Not to mention he was the best ball cleaner in town. The day brought about a whole new experience with photographers, people following us and asking questions.
The weather was sunny but very windy. The way La Manga is designed the wind seems to always be a cross-wind. Rarely is it ever straight into or behind you. The challenge that I found with that the wind is that if you miss hit a shot in anyway it is exaggerated by the wind. Also depending on your shot shape the wind could either help you or hurt you. As you could imagine I had some trouble with my club selection. Along with the weather conditions I also found myself striking the ball a lot better in a way that I was hitting it farther and producing a lot more spin that I normally do. I couldn’t even understand how to stop the ball from spinning so much even up to my mid irons. I did putt better and drove the ball nicely, it was just everything in between.
The best day of the tournament. The weather was nice sunny with mild wind. My cousin Mike caddied for me and we had a great time. It really helped having someone on my bag. After three-putting myself to 5 over on the front, I followed it up with 1 under on the back nine rounding out the end of the tournament. I know I’ll never hear the end of it if I don’t mention that Mike did help me with a couple of club selections on the back nine.
My week at La Manga was an experience that showed me what I need to incorporate into my golf practice. I was prepared and did prepare for this event there is no question about that. What I didn’t have was the experience coming to a new place with different weather conditions and grass. Playing golf in California has spoiled me with our sunshine 12 months a year. When I return home at the end of December I will be back to the drawing board to see what I’m going to do for the 2011 season. I will have some status on the LET so I will see what events I will get into. Look for an update in the next couple of weeks for my 2011. Thanks for your support!