The opportunity to return to golf came from the LPGA Amateur Golf Association. I joined them in 2017 as Director of Golf and ran tournaments for their members. So, coming full circle, I worked at LPGA headquarters, running 26 tournaments for the LPGA’s 13,000 amateur members.
That’s where I met the team from Dormie Network – an LPGA partner. They were looking to hire a director for their Dormie Network Institute. We hit it off and I began teaching golf at one of their six clubs, Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. My Mom, a retired schoolteacher, always said I should teach. My longtime coach and golf mentor, Tom Patri, also told me I should teach golf. But I kept saying, “People can play, and people can teach.” Tom told me, “You can do both. You have an eye for it.”
I hate to admit it, but they were right. Dormie Network gave me the opportunity to find my passion and discover what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The ironic thing is that while I’ve been teaching, my own game has never been better. My swing has improved because I’m showing students the right things to do. And, I’m playing golf pressure-free and having fun.
I started to get that competitive fire back, so I entered the LPGA Professionals National Championship, held last June at Kingsmill Resort in Virginia. The top eight finishers would qualify for the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and I wanted to give it a try. It was my first competitive tournament in seven years. I haven’t been that nervous since I played my last US Women’s Open! I was happy with how I played that week, but I wasn’t making many putts the first two rounds. I did something I’ve never done before; I changed putters in the final round. I drained a 20-footer for birdie on the 17th hole and then made par on the final hole to earn one of the exemptions.
In February, I took a new job as an LPGA Professional at Philadelphia Cricket Club. The team and members are great. While building my business and new relationships at Cricket Club, I’ve also maintained my friends at Dormie Network. And, while it feels great to qualify for the KPMG Women’s PGA, my expectations have changed. It’s more about representing my club, my students, my family and myself to the best of my abilities. That takes hard work and preparation.
So, I circled the KPMG Women’s PGA dates on my calendar and began preparing. The event was the most important thing on my schedule.