My name is Katie Kempter, LPGA rookie, writing from the Land of Enchantment: New Mexico. When I sat down to write this, I wasn't sure what to really write about, it being the first and all, but then I thought, "why not give the readers an opportunity to get to know a little bit about me - where I came from, what I did in the off season, what I'm looking forward to, and my love of golf." Well, for starters, I recently graduated from the University of Denver in June of 2009 with a degree in English and just moved back to Albuquerque, NM, mid February.
Having been born and raised in Albuquerque, it's nice to be back home surrounded by all the "New Mexico" I missed while in Denver at school and on the road most of the past summer and fall! That "New Mexico" would be things like green and red chile, amazing sunsets, pink mountains (the Sandia Mountains which translate to "watermelon" from Spanish to English), warm days, sunny skies, and a town so supportive of sports (no matter the sport). It's hard to not jump on the UNM men's basketball bandwagon at the moment: Go Lobos! It's been great to be welcomed back with the wide open arms that Albuquerque and its people have embraced me with.
During the off season I went out to Hawaii for a little over a week and played in the Hawaii State Open, where it took me an extra two holes to grab the victory. So, I guess maybe the off season didn't start until December 21st! I had never been to Hawaii as a tourist and got to spend a few days being one, which was a lot of fun, especially having a best friend as a local! I went on an amazing hike and basically just hung out. A much-needed rest.
Come January, I was back and forth each week either in Denver, Albuquerque, or Phoenix. I have a hard time putting a club down for more than three days, so while in Abq or Phoenix I was golfing and in Denver I was itching for just enough warmth to hit some balls outside into the snowy range. I just can't be without golf - I love it too much! Once I moved back to Abq, I quickly left to go watch DU play in University of Arizona's home tournament down in Tucson. It was a great excuse to go out early and play all week prior to the tournament with my former teammate and best bud, Dawn Shockley. We were able to play out at Stone Canyon in Oro Valley, thanks to another former teammate's parents (even nicer that they put up with Dawn and I in the house for that long - thank you BC and Deb!) But Stone Canyon - what an amazing golf facility, head professional, staff, and welcoming membership.
The best thing about moving back home has been getting back into a routine and a schedule. I got to start some personal training recently and was introduced to two new fitness programs on top of basic strength training, Parisi and Kenesis. Parisi incorporates more "nontraditional" exercises and endurance training to benefit the athlete in all areas of performance. Man, is it a workout, but it's fun too because it offers a different approach to training. While Parisi focuses on speed and strength, Kenesis hits upon flexibility, range of motion, and strength through the work of cable resistance. Getting to experience and incorporate new moves has been fun and rewarding, even initially. I'm looking forward to getting deeper into it all!
As for the up and coming golf season about to start...I can't wait to get the season started come the middle, end of March. As slow as time seemed to have ticked by the last few months, it some how managed to go and slip by just as quickly. Funny, time is. Here I sit, three weeks to the eve of my first LPGA Tournament! Almost here! Beginning the season at a venue such as La Costa and having it backed and supported by Kia Motors and J Golf, is an impressive and great opportunity for the players, fans, and the Tour. I have no idea what to expect, because for me, I've never been in an atmosphere such as what will be presented in a few weeks, and I can't wait to immerse myself in it all! I went through Q-School with the philosophy of it "being an opportunity to embrace what was in front of me and enjoy it for everything it had to offer, because I love this game so much and to stress over it all would be silly. But, to embrace what you love and just move with it was what I wanted to do and did." I plan to do the same with not only this 2010 rookie season, but my entire career on the LPGA as well. For me, making it to this point is amazing and exciting, but the best part about it all is I get to play and compete against the best players in the world in a sport I not only love but cannot get enough of!
Well, until the next LPGA blog. You can always visit my website at kkempter.com which should be up and running by the mid March, follow me on Twitter at KKempter, and join my fan page (Katie Kempter) on Facebook.
Hit it and go find it!
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