Her timing was thrown off a little – with the coronavirus-driven shutdown, everyone’s was – but Brittany Lang’s goals coming back to the LPGA Tour as a new mom have remained clear.
“It’s lofty,” Lang told Michael Breed on his radio show A New Breed of Golf, which airs on PGA Radio on SiriusXM, “but I would like to get back out there, do well and have (my daughter, Shay) see that.”
Lang and her husband, Kevin Spann, had their first child back in January. The original plan was for the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open champion to spend a couple of months at home with Kevin and Shay, then rejoin the Tour in March at the Volvik Founders Cup. But, the postponement of sports, and almost everything else in life, gave Brittany and Kevin plenty of time to reflect on parenthood and the new priorities it presents.
“I kept worrying about getting back (on Tour) after having Shay, but obviously I’ve had so much time, which is great, to get my strength back, so much so that I’m getting tired of practicing and looking forward to getting back to competition,” Lang said. “But it’s been really nice to spend extra time with her and our family.
“Having a child is life changing. I love it. I feel like we’re in such a good routine now that it’s going to be difficult to start traveling but we’re ready to do that.”
Now, on Mother’s Day weekend, Lang has accepted that life will be different.
“It’s definitely an adjustment as we knew it was going to be,” she told Breed. “It’s the best thing in the world becoming a mom. We’re pretty lucky. Shay started sleeping through the night at about 10 weeks old. My husband helped with feeding. We were taking turns and had a nice routine.
“I’m about to start my 15th year on the LPGA Tour. I didn’t know how much longer I wanted to play after having a kid. I knew it was going to be a lot of work and they need a lot of attention. A part of me thought it was a little unfair to bring her along and travel. But I’ve had a lot of different thoughts. For starters, we have such a great daycare with the Smuckers (Child Development Center) and we have some great ladies who run that. It’s an awesome place for the kids to spend their time and allow the moms to go play and practice stress-free.
“I think it’s important for Shay to travel with me and see what I’ve been doing my whole life. Not that being a stay-at-home mom isn’t rewarding and difficult – I have a lot of newfound respect for stay-at-home moms – but I think it’s important for her to see what I’ve been doing so I want to keep playing and keep traveling with her.”
As for the fears of coming back after a pandemic, Lang said, “I’m not over the top on this. It’s an awful thing. It’s affected a lot of people. But if we can get back at it and get back to playing golf, back in a normal routine, if we can wash hands and keep a little distance, I’ll be okay.”
She does expect to be back with a game that could surprise a lot of people. “I was so big (in the final months of pregnancy) that all I could really do was chip and putt,” she said. “And after (giving birth) I wanted to let my body rest and heal so all I did was chip and putt. So, now I feel like my short game is on point because I’ve had a lot of reps. All that time I spent (chipping and putting) while I was pregnant, and after I had her, has really helped.
“I feel like my swing is coming back pretty easily. But my short game is going to be strong in 2020.”