It’s been 14 years since the LPGA Tour hosted an event in the state of Georgia, as the Tour gets ready for play tomorrow at the Great Waters Course, and Riverdale, Ga. native Mariah Stackhouse is thrilled to be participating in this week’s Drive On Championship – Reynolds Lake Oconee. Stackhouse’s home course is the Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, but she still senses that hometown feel even from an hour and a half away from her residence.
“I think this is the first tournament I've played in Georgia since turning pro because we don't have a stop in Georgia anymore. So I'm really excited,” said Stackhouse. “Definitely has a home course feel. I'm definitely sad that we don't have any fans out, but I can still feel it here with some of the guys that work at the course. I can tell like a couple of them have come up and say, ‘Hey, Stackhouse, you're from Atlanta.’”
The 26-year-old said she’s enjoyed her mom’s home-cooking, including a variety of seafood delicacies, something she doesn’t get to enjoy every week since she’s usually out on Tour. But as she shifts her focus back to golf, Stackhouse mentioned she’s been working with her swing coach since the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, focusing on her impact and her takeaway, among other things like maintaining a proper swing path. She’s ready to put her practice to the test that will be this week, especially on some of the par-5s on Great Waters.
“I think the challenge this week is definitely going to be approach shots. A lot of the greens are really small, even a couple of the par-5s have some smaller greens than you would expect on a par-5,” said Stackhouse. “I think iron placement becomes really, really important. I don't think Jack set this up to get you into a lot of trouble off the tee, so it's about knowing where the pin is, where the okay miss is, but for a lot of them just making sure you're in the center of the green and on the proper plateau with the pin.”
Stackhouse tees off on No. 1 Thursday at 9:17 a.m. alongside fellow LPGA*USGA Girls Golf alums Jillian Hollis and Morgan Pressel.