LPGA Qualifying Tournament continues

The LPGA Qualifying Tournament is wrapping up, and the contenders are Christine Song and Jennie Lee as round 3 concludes. The Qualifying Tournament finishes up December 4 at the LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Florida. The field criteria are all eligible LPGA members, 15 exempt players from 2011 LPGA Futures Tour, and all players who successfully completed Qualifying Stage 2. The top finishers get their LPGA cards, and the others that make the cut receive LPGA Futures Tour status.

A notable competitor at this tournament is Birdie Kim. Birdie Kim was the U.S. Women’s Open champion in 2005 at Cherry Hills Country Club near Denver, Colorado. She hit a greenside bunker shot on the 18th hole that holed out, winning her first LPGA tournament.

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Birdie disappeared from golf after a serious car accident in 2009. The accident smashed the bones in her face, forcing her out of golf until the 2011 season. In 2011, Birdie played 11 tournaments, missing nine cuts with a season best tie for 56th. Her 142nd finish on the 2011 money list forced her back to Q-school for the first time since 2004.

Her current standing is 62nd after 4 rounds. Playing well tomorrow qualifies her to play on the LPGA tour in 2012. She’s still playing with some pain in her shoulders and arms but she’s determined to return to the Tour. After all she’s been through, let’s hope she can still compete at the highest level.

Cold Weather Golf

Here in the Denver area, it’s been a beautiful, sunset-colored Fall. Then trees have been shots of color down the fairways, looking like a rainbow of orange and red. The temps have been very reasonable as well; usually warm enough to wear shorts and short sleeves. For the Colorado golfer, this won’t last. The days cool down and cold weather golf begins.

Cooler weather brings some additional challenges to golfers. Here are a few tips for playing when the temps drop.

Layer, layer, layer. Many of us have trouble playing with clothes restricting our movements. Thanks to thinner, more insulating fibers it’s easy to find slim t-shirts and turtlenecks. A large coat won’t allow the freedom of movement that’s necessary to swing through. Use a wind breaker or wind shirt for greater agility.

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Hats and Gloves. It’s important to keep extremities warm. Keep warm gloves in your bag, along with a hat or headband. Change out the gloves when you swing the club. Keep your head and ears covered. Socks made of newer fibers can be just as warm as wool. Wool is great natural insulator and can absorb large amounts of moisture without feeling clammy. Playing golf with cold feet and hands isn’t fun.

Low Compression. According to Golf.com, cold weather is not kind to golf balls. Golf balls tend to become harder with the cold, making mis-hits harder on the hands. Keep the golf balls you plan to use in the house, not the car or garage. On the way to course, keep the golf balls in the car for warmth.

Dense winter air. Cold air is denser than warm air. High compression balls won’t go as far or spin as well as the lower compression, or softer, balls. Golfers may need to use more club to get the same distance.

Stay hydrated. For those of us here in the Rocky Mountain West, fluids are very important. In the winter, the humidity tends to drop, drying everything out including golfers. Don’t forgot the water bottle during the round, and use it. Remember, the cart girl is probably keeping warm in the clubhouse!

Playing golf when it’s cold can mean having the golf course to yourself. What’s not to like?