Member Spotlight: Molly James

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Current position/work: 

“Teaching Professional at Windsor Golf Club.”

LPGA Class A Member since:

“1995. PGA Member since 1995.” 

What does your day look like?

“A normal teaching day for me consists of a playing lesson from 8-10 am followed by 3-4 private lessons. I take a break from 2-4 pm when I get into “mom-mode” to pick up the kids from school. I live across the street from the course so I usually walk back to teach my group classes from 5-7 pm.”

Who was your idol growing up?

“My idol growing up was Babe Didrikson Zaharias. In fact, I dressed up like her for Halloween one year and I am pretty sure none of my friends knew who I was. “Babe” was an amazing athlete and successful not only at golf but other sports as well. I played many sports growing up and truly believe she is one of the greatest female athletes of all time.”

What are you obsessed with right now?

“Right now I wouldn’t say I have any obsessions but I am very interested in fitness and keeping myself healthy and strong. I turned the dreaded 50 a couple of years ago and started Cross-Fit and absolutely love it!

I walk my two dogs every day and I also play indoor soccer. I played soccer in college and it is great to be back competing in my first sport. I feel so my stronger in my 50s than I did in my 40s because how active I’ve become. It certainly helps to hit the ball farther and I love to pass on my strength tips to my students.”

What was the last time you tried something new?

“I am a creature of habit so I don’t try a lot of new things. I still have the same clubs I bought for myself when my youngest daughter was born in 2004. I love them and they work great! Why change? I joined the coaching staff at Sonoma State University a few years ago and absolutely loved it. It was a huge change from teaching and I look forward to going back someday when I have more time. Right now it is too challenging to try to juggle kids and the travel schedule of a collegiate team.”

What books would you say have had the biggest influence in your life? 

“I am embarrassed to say I’ve never been a huge reader! Sorry Mom! I love to watch movies and I read a lot of articles on just about every subject. When I first started teaching golf, Dr. Dede Owens gave me her series of golf instruction handbooks and I read them cover to cover. She signed them for me and wrote a great note inside… I will treasure them forever!”

What do you most want to be known for?

“I am really passionate about what I do and sometimes take on too much of the emotions of my students, but I would really like to be known as the golf teacher who truly cared.

I love what I do and will never stop trying to help someone succeed. Balancing my schedule with being a wife and mother has been a juggle at times. Raising kids is a team effort. My husband is also a coach and we work great together. Our daughters are growing up to be very strong and independent women and this is partially due to the fact that they see the passion I have for my profession.”

What’s next for you?

“The “magic question” is what’s next? I have been in the golf business for almost 30 years and don’t see an end to it anytime soon! I love what I do and don’t think I can hangup my spikes anytime soon! I really look forward to when my husband can retire and the kids grow up so we can travel and play golf!”

 

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Member Spotlight: Erin Menath

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Current position/work:

“Assistant Center Manager, ClubFitter and Coach

GOLFTEC Bellevue WA”

LPGA Member since:

“2008”

What does your day look like?

“My typical work day consists of 10-15 scheduled lessons either indoors or out.  During the winter months I mostly focus on large swing changes with my students.  Throughout the Spring we are working on transitioning the new swing to the course; as well as tightening up the short game.  This is when I also make sure each student has a solid set of clubs and that each club in their bag is not hindering their improvement or success.  Most of my club fitting fits into this portion of the year.  Throughout the summer we work on managing emotions on the course and PLAYing the game.  Outside of work I am kept very busy chasing after our 2 year old son.”

Who was your idol growing up?

“Gabrielle Reece, professional Beach Volleyball player.  She championed women’s strength and wellness.”

What are you obsessed with right now?

“Mountain Biking is certainly an obsession of mine!  Its a wonderful escape, seriously good exercise and an effective and powerful outlet to blow off steam.  It’s all about being present in the current moment. Rolling with it.  Going with the flow. Everything else, all the crap that life can throw your way, is magically blurred out.”

What do you wish you would have known 10 years ago?

    • “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Life and it’s challenges are all uncomfortable.  So get comfortable with that.
    • Rest before you are tired! (lessons of life with a 2 year old)
    • Dont take yourself too seriously (working on this).  At the end of the day we are all ants trying to chase the same things.  Lighten up and have some fun.”

What was the last time you tried something new?

“I broke my back, compression fracture, snowboarding 16 years ago and have been fearful of getting back on the slopes.  My wife is an incredible skier and she wanted our son to learn at a young age.  This year, he and I both got up on the hill skiing.  I’ve fallen back in love with snow sports!”

What books would you say have had the biggest influence in your life? What book have you gifted the most?

“Influence: Malcom Gladwell’s books: The Tipping Point and Outliers.”

Gifted: My mother-in-law, S.J. McCormack, authored a book called NightWitch.  “Farm girl to aviator in the heroic WWII Russian flying unit the Germans called the Night Witches…” 

What do you most want to be known for?

“At the end of my life, I hope that people think of me as being a kind and loving individual, mom and wife.”

What’s next for you?

“My individual career long term goals are to continue growing as a coach/mentor and furthering my knowledge on Biomechanics and Golf Science. “

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Member Spotlight: Sofie Aagaard

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Current position/work:

“Head Coach Women’s Golf at Cal Poly” 

LPGA Member since:

“2015. Currently Class B Member.”

What does your day look like?

“As a college Golf coach Monday looks like any other day! Variety is one of the great things I appreciate about my job. At some point during the day I will see my team in practice, at workouts, and/or in a meeting. When I’m not with my team, I spend my work day in the office planning and scheming for how to support my players individual growth. I help them develop skills and use the tools they already have.”

Who was your idol growing up?

“Annika Sörenstam”

What are you obsessed with right now?

“Essential oils.”

What do you wish you would have known 10 years ago?

“That everything will be OK and if it isn’t, I have the energy and power to make it OK.” 

What was the last time you tried something new?

“I tried a group fitness sculpt class a couple of months ago.”

What books would you say have had the biggest influence in your life? 

“One more day- Mitch Albom”

What do you most want to be known for?

“Positivity and making people around me happy.”

What’s next for you?

“Finishing up level 3 and become a class A member!”

Member Spotlight: Debby King

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Name:  

“Debby King”

Current position/work:  

“Co-Owner/The Kingdom of Golf Experience School”

LPGA Member since:

 “1995”

What does your day look like?

“My days are quite different now. I used to operate a 9-hole golf course for the city for the past 10 years. My last day at that job was December 31st. Now I am operating my golf school full time, even though it has been in existence for 5 years.  It  was basically dormant as my job as Head Professional & General Manager at the golf course took precedence. I have to humbly say my golf school is probably the most unique golf school ever! It is located on the bottom floor of my home. Each day has been different so far in 2018: Mondays are usually filled with a local tournament or pro-am, Tuesdays are attending to marketing and social media; Wednesdays & Thursdays will be teaching private and small group lessons for my golf school and Fridays & Saturdays I have partnered with a local public golf course in which to teach my larger group lessons, PGA Junior League, LPGA*USGA Girls Golf and other programs of that nature; and Sundays are usually my day off.”

Who was your idol growing up?

“I never really had an idol. I had many influential people throughout my life who I admired along the way. I have been very blessed with the many people golf has introduced me to.”

What are you obsessed with right now?

“Building a golf simulator for my golf school.”

What do you wish you would have known 10 years ago?

“How literally almost everything works out for the best, so quit worrying!!!”

What was the last time you tried something new?

“5 years ago my business partner and I designed and built a home business golf school from the ground up. We are on a 1/4 acre piece of land. We live upstairs and the golf school is downstairs which includes 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, wet bar and a living area and a golf studio. Our backyard has a 1,500 sq.ft. putting green, 3 target greens and a bunker. The studio is equipped with work-out equipment, pro-shop merchandise and soon to have its own golf simulator. This adventure was built with finances and love acquired from family members we lost to cancer. It is a true memorial to them.”

What books would you say have had the biggest influence in your life? What book have you gifted the most?

“Most recently I have enjoyed “The Impact Zone” by Bobby Clampett and “Be a Player” by Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilson. Other books I enjoyed which are more philosophical would be “Days of Awe and Wonder” by Marcus Borg and “You Gotta Keep Dancing” by Tim Hansel. The book I have gifted the most would be “Golf is Not a Game of Perfect” by Dr. Bob Rotella.”

What do you most want to be known for?

“Fun-loving, generous and a great golf instructor!”

What’s next for you?

“To be more involved in charitable organizations. An organization close to my heart is St. Vincent’s Home for homeless teenage girls.”

Member Spotlight: Jenn Holt

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Jenn Holt, Class A LPGA since 2012. 

Independent Teacher at Murrieta Valley Golf Range (home of Rickie Fowler).

My average day: I have morning private lessons with varied adults and few hour lunch break. I then go back to teach private half hour lessons with kids after they get out of school. On Friday mornings I volunteer teaching golf to the adults who have developmental disabilities, which I really enjoy. On Friday afternoons I take a group of high school girls out on the course for 2 hours. Weekends are my busiest time with loyal students who have had the same time for a few years. I work 7 days a week but keep Monday mornings to myself.

My idol growing up was Bjorn Borg. I found him to be so strong and stoic. Every time I was in a golf tournament as a child and wasn’t happy I had a picture of Borg in my bag and would remember his stoicism and fashioned myself after him. No crying for me!

I’m obsessed with my new Run Keeper app that allows you to track how far you walk, run or ride a bike. You make your goals and it keeps track. I am on a walking team with my mom so even though we live far apart we have a team goal to walk 1,000 miles in 2018. It sure gets me out walking!

Who I wish I knew 10 years ago: My best friend Chris Vatcher. I met her 5 years ago at the LPGA Level 1 training in Florida. I would of really appreciated her friendship 10 years ago as I was a newly divorced and a struggling single mom with three kids. I enjoy talking to her often as we are both teaching professionals in Southern California.  We help each other out and talk about how to improve our lessons.

The last time I tried something new was when I went to the Blast Certification Training to learn about using Blast in my lessons. That’s new to me since I am not a techie. Blast is a great tool for golf!

The book that is been most influential to me is called Soul Survivor by Phillip Yancey. It opened my eyes, my mind and my heart at a time when I was very regimented in my thinking towards my faith. It pointed me into a new, more freeing direction in my life. However, when I gift books I really try to think of that person and what would appeal to them, so what book I gift is different each time.

I would like to be known and remembered as being a kind, patient and gentle person that really cares about each person she encounters. I really try hard each day when I teach to be in the present and figure out what each student needs individually that would make their day happier. I want to be there to listen to them.

What’s next for me: I will continue to teach golf, and if I’m really inspired and the stars align I would like to have a kids intensive golf training academy.

To learn more about Jenn and book a lesson, check out her website.

 

 

Quiet the Chatter for Peak Performance

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The amount of chatter we have going on in our brains during a round of golf can truly limit us in attaining a peak performance state. Even when I’m giving golf lessons, the student will reveal how many thoughts and conversations they have running through their mind. We use different parts of our brain when we switch between conscious thoughts and executing athletic motions. That’s why I’ve experienced so many players who have just hit a ball out of bounds, then proceed to rip their next one straight down the fairway. They often are so irritated and mad that they just make a good thing without thought which results in a wonderful outcome!  Be aware of the chatter you have running through your mind before your shot, during your shot, and after the shot.

Sometimes the chatter can turn into negative self-statement which may lead to self-doubt. Before your shot is a great time to use neutral statements and facts in regards to target, distance, and club selection. Over the shot, quiet the chatter and let your body perform the athletic movement. Feel what it is like to just swing the club around your body with judgment or analysis. After the shot you can become analytical and assess how to make the next shot better or take in data for future learning.  Monitor your brain chatter to get into a peak performance state.

Alison Curdt is a PGA Master Professional and LPGA Class Professional at Wood Ranch Golf Club. She is the 2015 LPGA National Teacher of the Year. For golf instruction and mental coaching contact her at alison@alisoncurdtgolf.com or visit www.alisoncurdtgolf.com.

Building Your Golf Confidence

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At some point in our golf career, we have all felt a lack of confidence in a certain aspect of our game. Perhaps after a few poor putting rounds we lose confidence over three-footers. The chipping yips is a sign of a loss of confidence also. We have even seen professional tour players lose confidence right in front our eyes when we spectate in person or watch their performance on television. Although confidence may be temporarily lost, it can be restored. It will take some work and mental effort, but rebuilding confidence is a possibility.

Create a confidence profile of 12 aspects of your game. List out these aspects such as driving, putting, sand game, punch shots, driving, etc. and evaluate how confident you feel in each area. Using a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the most confident you feel and 1 is the least confident you feel, complete your profile to examine your areas of confidence.

The aspects that you have ranked 5 or less in are the areas you want to begin rebuilding confidence. Start with one area, such as putting. Now, devise a practice plan to make you feel good about improvement. This may include taking a lesson to improve your skill set, adding additional focus during practice time, or creating challenging interval practices to make the time spent practicing more golf course relatable. Create tasks that are challenging, yet allow you to achieve goals. For example, if you want to build confidence in your three-foot putts—make 25 putts in a row from 2 feet. Progress to two and a half feet and attempt the same exercise. Next move back to three feet. While you see yourself succeed, and you put yourself in opportunities to make progress, make sure to reinforce your efforts with positive self-statements. You must be your own best cheerleader during this stage.

Lastly, when you are back on the course and are faced with a shot you are working to build confidence in, remind yourself of the hard work you have put into improving this area. Take a deep breath, relax, and attempt the shot. Be kind to yourself as you work on the course to avoid being overly critical during this building stage. If you feel your confidence has been lost, start with a confidence assessment to begin building it back up.

Alison Curdt is a PGA Master Professional and LPGA Class Professional at Wood Ranch Golf Club. She is the 2015 LPGA National Teacher of the Year and 2016 SCPGA Teacher of the Year. For golf instruction and mental coaching contact her at alison@alisoncurdtgolf.com or visit www.alisoncurdtgolf.com.