Kelli Kuehne last played on the LPGA Tour in 2010. She returns this week in a new role as a Guest Analyst for Golf Channel. Kuehne talked to lpga.com about what she’s been up to since she stopped playing and how her experience as a player will help her in her new role. Be sure to tune in to watch her debut.
Q: You last played on Tour in 2010, what have you been up to since then?
A: I have been busy being a wife to my husband, Paul, and mommy to my stepdaughter, Morgan. I am loving every second of it. I have also been investing a lot of time and energy into my new company, PlayKleen. PlayKleen is a golf specific, microfiber, waffle patterned towel company that specializes in customization for tournaments, corporate events and outings. PlayKleen has kept me involved in the golf world, I just don't have to practice eight hours a day. I am now making phone calls and designing towels. And last but not least, I am have been helping organize and run Cristie Kerr's Birdies for Breast Cancer Charity Golf Event. This has also kept me active with all of my friends on Tour and has given me the opportunity to be a part of Cristie's amazing charity. I am in awe of what Crisite has been able to accomplish outside of her playing career. Her Birdies for Breast Cancer Charity efforts has helped build the Cristie Kerr Women's Health Center in Jersey City, NJ, which caters to care for anyone and everyone who is affected with breast cancer, regardless of their ability to pay for treatment. It is truly an amazing cause and I am proud to be a part of it with Cristie.
Q: Why did you decide to stop playing competitively?
A: I had surgery in late 2009 on my left wrist and elbow. Unfortunately, my arm never recovered and I was never able to get back to hitting balls and playing without pain, so I retired. My family life also took a front seat to my career, so it was time for me to park my sticks in the garage and enjoy "phase two" of my life, my family.
Q: What do you miss about being on Tour?
A: I miss my friends the most. I also miss the competition. Even though I retired, that doesn't mean I ever lost that competitive edge. I am not sure I ever will. I do miss playing everyday, but I am enjoying my body not hurting so much. I am now a casual golfer and am enjoying that when I do get the opportunity to play.
Q: At the Kingsmill Championship you will be involved in the telecast with Golf Channel. Can you tell us about your new role?
A: My role with Golf Channel and the telecast is to watch my friends play great golf and attempt to convey to the audience how amazing these ladies are at their craft. My role as a commentator is to put it all into perspective for everyone watching. The ladies on Tour are doing all of the work and I am being given the opportunity to talk about how great they are.
Q: Did you always have it in mind that you’d like to get into the television side of golf?
A: My major at the University of Texas was Radio and TV Broadcasting. I have always wanted to stay involved in the golf world after I retired from playing competitively. PlayKleen and commentating for Golf Channel have given me that opportunity.
Q: How will your experience as a player help you in this new role?
A: I think I have a perspective as a recently retired player that adds insight to my role as a commentator. I know the courses because I have played most of them. I also know many of the players and have played with them for lots of years in practice rounds and competition.
Topics: Kuehne, Kelli