I have found out that finding homes for shelter dogs and competitive golf are two of the most addictive things in life. I could throw chocolate in there too 😉 Where have I been??!! My gosh..I went to first stage of qualifying school back in August! Well, there was a hurricane and I’ve been spending a whole lot of time finding homes for dogs!!! Don’t worry I’ve still been working on my golf game!
Quickly I want to talk about when I went to first stage in Palm Springs, CA. Paul and I drove cross country for the second time in my career. We did it back in 2014 with our dogs and we did it again. We stopped along the way so I could practice and as bad as a 26 hour road trip sounds…I kind of enjoyed it! You get to see our country and it’s many landscapes. Florida palm trees to Louisiana swamps to the tumbleweeds of Texas to the beautiful rock of New Mexico and finally the mountains in California. It’s definitely a geography lesson. I found a place on Airbnb that was only about 10 minutes to the three courses! I am going to provide the link here, because if anyone is ever looking for a pet-friendly place near Palm Springs this rental was awesome! Nestled right in the mountains and next to some hiking trails!
Cathedral City Pet Friendly Rental
There are three courses at the Mission Inn Resort. (Dinah Shore, Palmer, and Player) The Dinah course is the course you would be familiar with, because the LPGA plays the ANA Inspiration there. (formerly Kraft Nabisco) I got there three days before the actual tournament began, so I had one practice round on each course. The first day I played the Player. It was the easiest of the three. Shorter and more room off the tees. The second day I played the Dinah. A bit longer and would require a little more strategy off the tees and a lot more slope in the greens. Lastly was the Palmer. I actually thought it was the hardest. Lots of water and difficult par 3’s to navigate.
At first stage everyone plays each course once and then a 54 hole cut is made. They say first stage is the hardest, because there are a lot more people and it’s 120 degrees! I’m used to Florida humidity, but nothing really prepares your eyeballs for that type of heat. My 7 iron head actually melted and the head came loose in the last round! It was tough to get the dogs out for their walks too. I could only take them very early and very late!
Round 1- (Palmer) I was nervous! I hadn’t played all year and now I was teeing it up at tour school! And starting on the stakes and lakes course! I was lucky to have Paul on the bag, because he really got me through this first round. I surprised myself with some really great shots and was actually content to start with a 74. I hadn’t put myself behind the eight ball in the first round!
Round 2- (Player) My favorite course. After having round 1 under my belt, my swing felt loose and I actually felt a surge of confidence. I slammed the ball down the first fairway and stuffed my wedge only to miss the putt by a mile. That would be the theme in round 2. I hit the ball so well all day and never made a putt. I turned a 66 into a 73. That put me outside the top 120 and that meant I needed a solid third round to make the 54 hole cut. I forgot to tell you there were about 360 girls from around the world at first stage.
Round 3- (Dinah) Round 3 would be the opposite of round 2. Ball striking not so great, but I switched putters and picked up some strokes on the greens! It seemed like the hole back nine I was getting up and down every hole. I’m sure I was making Paul nervous! I was even with one to play. 18 is the famous par 5 with Poppy’s Pond by the green. I hit 3 wood off the tee and then my layup with my hybrid found the right bunkers. Yikes. Not the pressure I wanted on the last hole. I had the wind in to me and water in front of me. I prayed that I would just hit my 7 iron solid and it would somehow find the green!! I swung and I hit the most pure 7 iron I have ever hit from a fairway bunker! I threw my club up in the air and said “I’m done” and started laughing and joking with Paul. He reminded me I may need to make that putt to make the cut! The pin was tucked on the front right and I would now have a putt from about 30 ft coming from the middle of the green. I would go on to drain that putt, which would cause some more silly laughter…b/c it was just one of those days! I posted a 71 and would be two shots clear of the cut! Phew!
Round 4- (Dinah) Everyone played the Dinah on the last day. I don’t know if I was mentally exhausted, but I got on the bogey train from the very beginning and couldn’t stop. A 78 would ruin my chances of getting to second stage Even though I was disappointed my q-school journey ended there, I was still proud of myself for playing as well as I did without any real preparation.
I’m very thankful I got to compete. There was a long list of people who helped get me there. It felt great to be back in competition again. I was hoping I could play a few more events this fall here in Florida, but they were just too expensive. Even though I did not make it out of first stage, I will have conditional Symetra status. I’d like to apply for an exemption into the early FL Natural event, because I live nearby and love Winter Haven CC. After that, I will try and play any event that my status allows. If I play well enough, I will get reshuffled and won’t have any more problems the rest of the season.
But..as usual, this is all impossible without a real sponsor. I have a few ideas about some sponsors in the Sebring, FL area and I am working on packets of information to hand out. 2018 is right around the corner and it would nice to be able to plan a tentative schedule for once! If you know someone who would like to sponsor me or just get me started, please send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org
I will stay as connected to humane society as possible during the season. I became much more involved than I ever imagined and like I said at the beginning..once you start, it’s hard to stop! There was recently an article in the local paper about how my partner Cindy Dutton and I have increased the adoption rate by posting our dogs on Petfinder and Rescue Me. I have so much fun going out to the shelter and taking the dogs for trail runs. I get to take their picture and build their profile online. I establish a personal relationship with the dog and then the adopters. I love keeping in touch with all the wonderful families who have adopted from us. I have adopted many dogs out of state, the most recent one being from Maine! I have included a link to all of my dogs on Petfinder and the link to the newspaper article.
Current Adoptable Dogs
Recent story in newspaper!
I’m currently writing this from Daytona. Paul is playing in the Riv Open. He played a few weeks ago after having not played for two years. He shot 67-74-70 for a solid finish. Maybe he’ll win this weekend, so we can get a mini van so I can rescue more dogs
Alexandra, Tommy, Roxanne, Andrew, and Harley Quinn