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The Good The Bad and The Ugly in Captain’s Picks!

The Good The Bad and The Ugly in Captain’s Picks!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

For a Team Captain, picking players who have not made the team on merit is a daunting task.  It’s one of those situations where if the pick plays well you look like a genius and if they don’t you look like an idiot!  There have been some picks just like that throughout the years of team play.  People tend to frown on choices where the player is a good friend of the captain, but when Tom Watson picked friend Raymond Floyd, Ray played great and made Tom look good.  Poor Lanny Watkins got all sorts of criticism when Curtis Strange lost all his matches after Lanny picked his buddy in 1995!   Thanks to   of Golf Digest for putting this interesting list together.  We all love the Ryder, Presidents, and Solheim Cup matches, and some of these pictures brought back great memories, even in the years the USA lost!

The Good The Bad and The Ugly in Captain’s Picks!

Davis Love III’s selections (so far) have been pretty conventional, but that hasn’t always been the case with captain’s picks through the years.

Raymond Floyd (1993 Ryder Cup)

 

Cannon/Getty Images)

 

Curtis Strange (1995 Ryder Cup)

 
The Good The Bad and The Ugly in Captain's Picks!
 

Paul Azinger (2000 Presidents Cup)

The Good The Bad and The Ugly in Captain's Picks!
 
 
 

Pictures: Golf Digest

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Inbee Park is the best putter - male or female in the world.

Inbee Park is the best putter – male or female – in the world.

Inbee Park is the best putter – male or female – in the world.
 
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Inbee Park is the best putter, male or female, in the world. Period!  

Her display of putting over the last few years has put her in a class of her own when it comes to the flat stick.  Bring on Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth or Jason Day, this girl will beat them all!  Her recent display at the Rio Olympics has silenced even her harshest critics. Thanks to Golf Digest you can now have insight into how she does it and incorporate it into your game.  
 
Inbee Park is the best putter - male or female - in the world.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

 

Injuries and fine seasons from some of the LPGA’s other younger stars might have made you forget about Inbee Park, but her performance at the Olympics brought the 28-year-old’s talent back into focus.

Despite sitting out the previous two months because of a thumb injury, Park put on a ball-striking and putting display in Rio. She made almost 100 feet of birdie putts on Sunday on the way to shooting a 66–which put her five shots clear of silver medalist Lydia Ko.

You might not be able to conjure up tour-caliber ball-striking, but you can copy one of Park’s key putting fundamentals to get some of the seven-time major champions’ ball rolling magic.

“Inbee Park is one of the best putters in the world–on any tour–because of her body connection,” says top New Jersey teacher Bill Schmedes III, who is based at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster. “It starts at address, and it continues through the stroke.”

To find out more about how to incorporate Inbee Park’s putting stroke into your game, go here!

Source: Golf Digest

Pictures: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

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THE WOMEN’S OLYMPIC GOLF COMPETITION LOOKS STRONGER THAN THE MEN’S!

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The Women's Olympic Golf Competition looks stronger than the men's!

The Women’s Olympic Golf Competition looks stronger than the men’s!

The Women’s Olympic Golf Competition looks stronger than the men’s!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Today kicks off the Olympic Women’s Golf Competition, and on paper looks to be even more exciting than the Henrik Stenson/Justin Rose showdown we saw on Sunday!  Team Korea looks very hard to beat, but I’ll be pulling for Team USA. (obviously)  Thanks so much to  of Golf Digest for breaking this down for us!

If you paid attention to even one minute of the Olympic men’s golf coverage last week, you probably know that Justin Rose won the first golf gold medal in 112 years. But you probably don’t know that someone will end an even longer drought on the women’s side this week. American Margaret Abbott is the only woman ever to win the Olympic golf competition, doing so in 1900. Abbott was also the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal. Well, sort of.

Abbott actually took home a porcelain bowl for winning the nine-hole event in Paris, because there were no Olympic gold medals yet. Bummer. But fast forward 116 years and we’ll finally see another Olympic champ in women’s golf. And to prepare for the tournament, here are seven other things you actually need to know.

1. The women’s field is much stronger than the men’s.

Whereas six of the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking didn’t play in the men’s event, the top nine players in the Rolex Ranking (which uses a similar calculation) will tee it up in Rio this week. That number would be even more stout, but No. 10, Ha Na Jang, wasn’t eligible because she was only ranked fifth among South Korean women. Further evidence of the strength of this week’s 60-woman field is how much more valuable this tournament is worth. Whereas the men’s event actually awarded fewer world ranking points than the Travelers Championship the week prior, there are a lot more points at stake for the women.

The Women's Olympic Golf Competition looks stronger than the men's!

A hectic summer schedule was part of the reason for poor attendance on the men’s side, but the women are in the midst of arguably an even busier stretch of golf. With the U.S. Women’s Open, Women’s British Open and next month’s Evian Championship, the Olympics competition sits in between three majors in a two-month stretch. Plus, there was also last month’s International Crown in which most of the top players competed. By the way, unlike the men’s event, the Olympic women’s golf competition starts on Wednesday and ends on Saturday to avoid Sunday’s closing ceremony. Again, the tournament ends on Saturday, NOT Sunday. Set your DVRs accordingly, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.

The Women's Olympic Golf Competition looks stronger than the men's!

2016 Rio Olympics – Golf – Women’s Individual Stroke Play – Olympic Golf Course – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 18/08/2016. Inbee Park (KOR) of Korea. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque 

3. South Korea is the only country sending four players.

South Korea is the U.S. of the women’s competition, sending the maximum number of golfers. The team is led by Inbee Park, although her status is a bit up in the air after an injured left thumb forced her to sit out the past two majors and the International Crown. As mentioned, the race to make the South Korean team was so competitive that Ha Na Jang, currently ranked 10th in the world, didn’t qualify. Neither did World No. 12 So Yeon Ryu, No. 13 Sung Hyun Park, and No. 16 Bo-Mee Lee. Not a bad B-squad.

To see the rest of this interesting article, go here!

Source:   Golf Digest

Pictures: Getty Images

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How Brooke Henderson can improve your golf and not change your swing!

How Brooke Henderson can improve your golf and not change your swing!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

To say that golf is in great hands is an understatement!  And young hands at that!  We have Spieth, Day, Fowler, and McIlroy and more exhibiting great sportsmanship along with their stellar play.  But the women on the LPGA Tour are furthering their own brand of spectacular golf and winning with a joyful, yet humble demeanor.  Great examples include Lydia Ko, who applauded when opponent Brooke Henderson holed the winning put in the Women’s PGA Championship and also, Henderson herself.  This young Canadian displays quiet confidence, rather than self-congratulatory fist pumps.  Brooke also never fails to acknowledge the caddies and volunteers.  Thanks to John Haime of Golfwrx for this insightful article on the state of women’s golf!

Copy Brooke Henderson.

No, don’t copy her swing or her putting stroke (but that may not be a bad idea either); copy her attitude, because the wonderful self-expression and joy she brings to the game is worth celebrating and showcasing for young players … or any player.

Young golfers today look to Jason Day, Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy (for obvious reasons), but they may want to model their attitudes after the 18-year-old Canadian on the LPGA Tour. Brooke Henderson seems to have a great recipe for both enjoying the game, remaining humble and playing some pretty spectacular golf that is generating great results.

In a time where everything seems to be overstated, Brooke Henderson won the Women’s PGA Championship in an understated manner. No fist pumping, no running around, no over-the-top drama: just hitting shots like she is capable of, enjoying the experience, connecting with the audience and matter-of-factly finishing at the top of the leaderboard.

No Fear

Brooke Henderson pic
Photo Credit: Joe McLean, Flagstick Golf Magazine/FlagstickGolf.com

Fear is a major interference in golf. We can look forward and consider all of the “what ifs” that could potentially happen, and most of the what ifs you might consider don’t have a positive effect on your game. Then there’s bringing the past forward. The tendency is to bring those things that really didn’t work out to the present moment, and those thoughts and feelings don’t help.

Brooke Henderson plays without fear. As an example, while most players at the recent Women’s PGA Championship highlighted the narrowness of the Sahalee fairways and that drivers wouldn’t be the play, Henderson stated to the media early in the week that driver would be the play for her. It’s her strength, and narrow fairways would not be a problem, she said. In a very self-aware manner, similar to Dustin Johnson in the U.S. Open, she used her driving as a weapon at the PGA, played to all of her strengths, leveraged her advantages and fully expressed herself.

“I used to get a bit nervous but then thought, ‘What’s the point of that, really?’”

In a recent interview, Henderson was asked about nerves and anxiety and her response was: “I used to get a bit nervous but then thought, ‘What’s the point of that, really?’”  Makes sense, doesn’t it?

What was most refreshing about Henderson and watching her win the PGA was the overall environment she creates within herself: a relaxed joy that produces great smiles after good shots, some disappointment after bad ones and a self-awareness that she understands her unique abilities and uses them. There was also a complete clarity following the winning putt in the playoff. She was determined to congratulate playing competitor Lydia Ko with a genuine embrace and acknowledge caddies and volunteers.

To learn from Brook Henderson on how to become a better player through a better attitude, go here!

Source : John Haime   Golfwrx

Pictures : Joe McLean  Scott MacLeod  Flagstick Golf Magazine

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The 10 Biggest Blowups on the PGA and LPGA Tour!

The 10 Biggest Blowups on the PGA and LPGA Tour!

The 10 Biggest Blowups on the PGA and LPGA Tour!
 
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!
 
Entering the final round of a PGA or LPGA Tour event, you know there is going to be drama somewhere on the back 9.  Particularly if the leader is in that position for the first time in his/her career.  It’s tough to win on Tour, but closing out that first victory or first Major Championship is even more challenging. (just ask Phil, Rory, Greg, and Jordan)   of Golf Digest has put together a great list of the top 10 blowups in PGA and LPGA Tour history.  Enjoy!
 

Getty Images

MAMARONECK, NY – JUNE 18: Phil Mickelson stands on the 18th green after his last putt in the final round of the 2006 US Open Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club on June 18, 2006 in Mamaroneck, New York. Geoff Ogilvy won the championship by one stroke. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour Twitter account routinely posts a “Golf is hard” segment, in which bad shots are showcased. The idea is that, hey, those chunks and slices and three-putts that are prevalent among us amateurs? It happens to the pros, too.

Kevin Na at the 2011 Texas Open.

At the ninth hole at TPC San Antonio, Na lost his drive into the woods, a shot which, while rare, is not unheard of in the top ranks. What garnered attention was the next shot — and the shot after that, and the shot after that, and the shot after that:

The final damage for Na was a 16. Frankly, the fact that he finished his round with an 80 is astonishing.

You’ll see that highlight at some point during this week’s coverage of the Valero Texas Open, which got us thinking: What are the worst single-hole blow-ups in golf history?

Yes, Na’s misadventures were the thing of nightmares, but it also came during his first round. For our list, we compiled meltdowns at critical moments, as the heightened stakes amplified the severity of the collapses. Moreover, we limited the field to just the last 20 years. Keeping those parameters in mind, here are the picks for the biggest single-hole disasters:

Jean Van de Velde, 1999 British Open

The English vernacular can’t properly capture the Grand Canyon’s majesty or the orotund beauty of Adele; these entities need to be seen, felt, experienced. The same applies to the glorious mess of van de Velde’s 72nd hole at Carnoustie:

Dustin Johnson, 2010 U.S. Open

Mishaps don’t have to come at the finale to submarine a round, as Johnson proved at Pebble Beach. DJ’s one-shot Saturday lead quickly evaporated on Sunday thanks to a triple on the second hole. An ensuing double at the third booted Johnson from the leader board, and he eventually finished in a tie for eighth.

Sergio Garcia, 2013 Players Championship

Sergio’s game is filled with numerous attributes. The “clutch” gene is not one of them.

Garcia was tied for the Sunday lead heading into TPC Sawgrass’ infamous par-3 17th. The Spaniard put his tee shot in the drink; his drop attempt fared no better:

Garcia left the island green with a quadruple bogey. He would also double the final hole, giving the 2013 tournament to Tiger Woods.

To see the rest of these spectacular blowup holes on the PGA and LPGA Tour, go here!

Source:   Golf Digest

Pictures: Getty Images

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A PGA and LPGA Alliance makes so much sense for the future!

A PGA and LPGA Alliance makes so much sense for the future!

A PGA and LPGA Alliance makes so much sense for the future!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

This is the most exciting news I have heard in a long time.  

Talk of an alliance between the PGA and LPGA Tours!  Here are some of the huge benefits:  Cost of covering one tournament instead of 2, the LPGA benefits from the PGA Tour’s strength in advertising. Plus, people can attend a tournament and see both PGA and LPGA players at the same venue.  And, I think the crowds will be larger.  Would love to see Jessica Korda and Jason Day paired together!

Thanks so much to GOLF DIGEST and  Ron Sirak for this interesting story.  I cannot wait!

A PGA and LPGA Alliance makes so much sense for the future!

Imagine this: A mixed-team, better-ball, match-play event in which Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson meet Jordan Spieth and Lydia Ko in the global television final of what would be an official PGA Tour and LPGA tournament. While the logistics of pulling off such an event would have enormous obstacles, last Friday’s announcement that the PGA Tour and the LPGA have entered into “a long-term, written strategic alliance” is reason to believe it might be part of golf’s future.

To read the rest of this very exciting news, go here!

Source: GOLF DIGEST   Ron Sirak

Pictures: Zimbio   Pinterest

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Golf Fan should have been Wearing a Cup - Ouch!

Golf Fan should have been Wearing a Cup – Ouch!

Golf Fan should have been Wearing a Cup – Ouch!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie Gulbis in 2014 when she was a representative for a large group of courses in the Myrtle Beach SC area.  Natalie visited Pawleys Plantation, which she called her ‘home away from home’ and which has hosted my golf school for the last 25 years.

After a full day of filming promos and sharing our favorite golf jokes, I decided that Natalie was a truly charming LPGA Professional.  However….I did not take a nap in her presence!

Check out the way my sweet Natalie wakes up a napping golf fan in the bleachers!

Watch the beautiful pro golfer Natalie Gulbis hit some poor schmuck (me) sleeping in the stands during a practice round with a golf ball. Amazing shot!

Source : Bill Von Fumetti

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The Top 10 Stories of the 2015 LPGA Season - #2 was epic!

The Top 10 Stories of the 2015 LPGA Season – #2 was epic!

The Top 10 Stories of the 2015 LPGA Season – #2 was epic!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

What a great season for the LPGA!  In a year where two new stars emerged, the current #1 player upped her game and some of the older players showed their grit, it was a standout year!  Read on as Beth Ann Nichols writing for Golfweek, gives us her take on the last 12 months.

From left: Gerina Piller and Juli Inkster at the 2015 Solheim Cup

From left: Gerina Piller and Juli Inkster at the 2015 Solheim Cup ( Getty Images )

From Lydia Ko’s historic season to a memorable – and controversial – Solheim Cup, here are the top 10 moments on the LPGA in 2015, according to Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols:

The Top 10 Stories of the 2015 LPGA Season - #2 was epic!

10. Kris Tamulis won in her 186th start on the LPGA, in her 11th year on tour, at the age of 34.

On a tour dominated by youthful storylines, Tamulis’ victory gave hope to the grinders. It proved especially heart-warming given that her caddie, Thomas Frank, aka “Motion,” lost his home in a fire earlier this year while he worked for Tamulis in Hawaii. They’re easy to root for.

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Here is the Good and the Bad for the 2015 LPGA Season!

Here is the Good and the Bad for the 2015 LPGA Season!

Here is the Good and the Bad for the 2015 LPGA Season!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Dottie Pepper, writing for ESPN W, gives us her insight into the year that was, 2015!  There were a lot of great things that happened on the LPGA Tour.  But, according to Dottie, there are things that could have been better!  Things like poor attendance to LPGA events and the performance of the Americans. (definitely, a link here as Americans like Americans to win!)  Of course, there are such a lot of positive things happening on the LPGA Tour right now, and I for one cannot wait to see Lydia Ko and Inbee Park go head to head in 2016.  Let’s hope that some American women can step up to the plate in the coming year!

For the third consecutive year, we’ll take this time to look back at the good, bad and the ugly of the LPGA Tour’s season. And, just as last year, there’s much more good than either bad or ugly.

The Good

1. Youth movement:

Among the 31 events on the 2015 LPGA schedule, 11 were won by a player under the age of 21 at the time of her victory and nearly half (15) were won by players under 23.

2. Balance:

Cristie Kerr won twice this year, at the KIA Classic while still a 37-year-old and the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship as a 38-year-old, crossing the $17 million mark in career earnings in the process.

3. Momentum and the 2016 schedule:

Commissioner Mike Whan now has what he considers the perfect number of official events on the LPGA schedule: 33. That has increased by a whopping 10 events in five years, and total purse money has been upped by more than $20 million to a record $63.1 million in a time that many would argue the Great Recession is still not over.

North American events have increased from 15 just five years ago to what will be 23 in 2016, including a new event in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and another new tournament beginning in 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Total televised hours have nearly doubled in that same five-year span, while network weekend coverage has tripled from two to six events.

Here is the Good and the Bad for the 2015 LPGA Season!

Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

If you thought the men had a youth movement in golf, the LPGA Tour’s champions in 2015 got younger and then some with nearly half its winners under the age of 23, including five-time champion Lydia Ko, who is only 18 — and world No. 1.

4. Drama:

The formula and format of the Race to the CME Globe is absolutely top notch with the season finale not only contested over a quality golf course at Tiburon GC in Naples, Florida, but with a points reset that rewards both season-long consistency and playing a full schedule.

The format infuses just enough drama for players to endure to finish out the season in top form, as witnessed by this weekend’s event. Lydia Ko, Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis each could have won the $1 million bonus with a win at Tiburon, but because none of them won the actual golf tournament, it brought a hard-charging Lexi Thompson into the bonus mix.

During the final round, Ko, Park and Thompson were each, at various points, projected to take home the seven-figure haul. The two biggest LPGA awards, the Rolex Player of the Year and Vare Trophy (for lowest scoring average), were also undecided until the final hole of the year with Ko taking home the first award and Park winning the second, thus giving her the final point she needed to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame after she completes her 10th year of membership in 2016.

To see what Dottie Pepper thinks of the good and bad things on the LPGA Tour for 2015, go here!

Source:  ESPN W  Dottie Pepper

Pictures: USA Today  Depositphotos.

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The less glamorous side of tour life - One girl's epic story!

The less glamorous side of tour life – One girl’s epic story!

The less glamorous side of tour life – One girl’s epic story!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Tour life on the Web.com or Symetra Tour is not as glamorous or as lucrative as the PGA or LPGA Tour.  

In the bottom, half of these tours are players who are sometimes struggling to make ends meet. I worked recently with a player who was playing the Canadian Tour, was a super ball-striker, hard worker, but didn’t quite have the short game to push him over the edge! After 2 years on the mini-tours and two years on the Canadian Tour, he called it quits and is going back to university to get his honors degree.  He found it hard to make ends meet, just as Alejandra Llaneza did on the Symetra Tour.  Here is her story brought to us by Golf Digest !

The less glamorous side of tour life - One girl's epic story!

These girls now have the opportunity to play on the LPGA Tour in 2016! Congratulations!

From borrowing clothes to driving cross country, one female golfer shares the less glamorous side of pro golf.

Some people just can’t handle life on the road,” Jim Carrey says in Dumb and Dumber. Alejandra Llaneza is not one of those people.

Llaneza, 27, wrote about her experiences of playing on mini-tours for The Players Tribune, exposing the less glamorous side of pro golf than the one fans see through Ian Poulter’s Instagram feed. You should read the entire piece, but here are some of her main points in case you’re thinking of pursuing a tour pro life:

Playing pro golf is expensive:

Llaneza said entry fees on the Symetra Tour are $500 per tournament. A caddie costs an additional $500-800. And if you’re lucky enough to make a cut, there’s no guarantee you’ll even break even for the week. “The old joke on the tour is, ‘My caddie made more than me this week. They’re buying dinner,'” Llaneza said. Llaneza’s piece is titled “Let the Rattlesnake deal with me,” a reference to the former Arizona Wildcat risking her health to go into the desert to retrieve golf balls. And then there are travel expenses. Speaking of which. . .

To read the rest of Alejandra’s story of whether she made it to the LPGA, go here!

Source: Golf Digest 

Pictures: Golf Digest     Scott A. Miller

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Tiger talks about his past and his future in golf and life!

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