This weekend, Jerry Foltz and Karen Stupples should be roaming the course at Lake Merced Golf Club for the MEDIHEAL Championship, among hushed whispers and a delighted San Francisco crowd.
Instead, Foltz will try convincing Stupples not to build her fifth stone garden in the past two months under sunny skies back at their Florida home. “No more rock gardens, because I’m tired of shoveling rocks,” he said.
As hardworking members of the Golf Channel broadcast crew, the two are used to working on the road week in and out, following along the different LPGA Tour stops. This hiatus? Definitely something the partners aren’t used to.
“It feels like we’re retired and that’s not a nice feeling,” joked Foltz, still jovial in a time of quarantine. “You just wake up each day and you have things you want to do or you want to get done, and you realize if you don’t want to do it, you probably have two more months to do it…There’s some cool weirdness to it, that we’re living like normal people in the most abnormal time.”
It was the Thursday of The Players Championship when their work life was suddenly disrupted. Stupples, onsite for PGA Tour Live up in Ponte Verda Beach, had decided to drive cross-country to Phoenix, Arizona with Jerry, post-tournament, to work the Volvik Founders Cup. Both were nervous about traveling through the air and were happy to take on the road-trip challenge. Unfortunately, they never got the chance.
“I was talking to Jerry on the phone and he was like, ‘Do you want to come home now?’ and I said, ‘What do you mean do I want to come home right now?’ He said, ‘Because they just cancelled the Players,’” said Stupples, upon talking to Foltz after working the first round. “So, I drove home that Thursday, and then we figured out everything else had been cancelled, and here we are.”
As two people unaccustomed to being at home for more than a day and a half during the week, Foltz and Stupples had to find ways to fill their time, launching their own set of quarantine adventures. Foltz, an amateur chef, began cooking a variety of treats and foods, as Stupples took on outdoor projects with ease. Both started posting their exploits to social media, as golf fans followed along.
Way too busy (aka: too lazy) to bake or create today. But not too busy to stage a photo of the only thing I make that comes out perfectly every time. Deep fried wings and thighs. pic.twitter.com/rvL0m921I7— Jerry Foltz (@JerryFoltzGC) April 11, 2020
Called an audible tonight in the interest of our cholesterol levels. Sushi night at Camp Folupples. Tuna rolls, shrimp tempura rolls, and spicy tuna hand rolls. Craftsmanship needs a bit of refining, but flavor and is perfect. pic.twitter.com/ZbFjYE8lsh— Jerry Foltz (@JerryFoltzGC) April 1, 2020
“We were just trying to have fun and provide a little diversion for ourselves, but then there’s a small core of people that replied to most of them that we have and engage with. They make it fun for us more than hopefully we have for them,” said Foltz. “We’ve just had fun with it, but we know it’s a serious time, and we have the perfect place to provide a diversion for ourselves. So, we wanted to share that with people who might not be so lucky to be able to get outside and enjoy and do stuff.”
All the experts are saying that it's important to develop a routine during this extended time at home in order to maintain your sanity. Well, I'm not sure mine is what they have in mind. pic.twitter.com/XAKL6cU45F— Jerry Foltz (@JerryFoltzGC) April 2, 2020
Stupples said Jerry’s bread is her favorite thing to come out of quarantine, but she also discovered how much she en joys the simple things, like mowing her grass and making birthday cakes. The 2004 AIG Women’s British Open champion was home for the first time “in quite some time” for her son Logan’s birthday, and ended up baking him a cake. Usually she’d be either playing or working the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii but is grateful for this time now at home.
Logan is 13 today.. this is his cake (that I made) I did borrow @JerryFoltzGC kitchen and I also took beer space in the fridge.. candles and decoration to follow a little later.— Karen Stupples (@Kstupples) April 21, 2020
On a different note we now have gas for the Kegerator, all is good in our house. pic.twitter.com/g8Nr5qV7Dm
Looks a little better. pic.twitter.com/OEPiD6QQDA— Karen Stupples (@Kstupples) April 21, 2020
“The only other time I’ve had this amount of time off was when I was pregnant (with Logan). I had six months off, but it was very different because everything was still running normally, I was just pregnant and sitting at home,” said Stupples. “I actually really enjoyed that time, and it was a time when I really needed some time off away from golf. Obviously, I don’t need that now, but it’s still fun to catch up on things that we don’t normally get a chance to do at the house – catching up on all the little jobs around the house that we don’t do, because normally when we’re traveling, you squeeze five weeks’ worth of jobs into one day. Now, you have one day’s worth of jobs for five weeks.”
Instead of scouting golf courses, future projects include burying drainage pipes. They said they may one day build a small par-3 course around the pond on their property, but they try not to think too much ahead. “So many rock gardens have happened, so much lawn has been mowed, so much bread has been baked…our brains are fried from it all and we can’t remember anything anymore,” said Stupples.
Their positivity radiates over the phone. Foltz said they are excited for the new LPGA Tour schedule, with plans to road trip between every North American stop. In fact, they’ve already planned their stops while traveling between the CP Women’s Open and the Kia Classic. “It will be a new normal for us, but I think we’re extremely excited about it,” said Foltz.
Stupples and Foltz are thrilled to continue entertaining golf fans as they go live this Sunday, April 3 at 5 p.m. EST from their home on the LPGA Instagram account. It’s another way for them fill the void of working, though the two are counting down the days until the LPGA Tour kicks back into gear come the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational this July.
“I can’t wait to get going,” said Stupples.” It’s going to be cool to see how it all works out. I think everybody’s ready to get on with everything that’s normal in their lives.”