Touring With My Sidekick(s)

I can't necessarily tell you what's going to happen in the next few years, but one thing is for sure: I'm nearing the end of my professional playing days.

I hadn't even thought about it until my caddie brought it up one day while making the point that we had been together for about 10 years.

"What do you mean retiring? I haven't even thought about that," I said.

Now, I don’t want my sponsors to worry — I’m not done yet. But being a mother makes me think about the future.

I obviously have more than just Father Time knocking on my door. I have two little ones knocking as well — my three-year-old daughter, Emery, and another baby on the way.

I'm honest enough with my game to know playing with two babies would be very challenging. Sometimes, you have to take a step back when you realize the game is getting away from you. There comes a time when your bad days aren't good enough anymore to even make the cut out there.

Of course, there's a part of me that wishes I could do this forever. But the other part — the part that takes over when you become a mother — tells me that I'm ready to shut it down when the time is right.

Family always comes first.

But I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't going to miss it.


Golf While Pregnant

That's why I've continued playing, even while I'm pregnant. Stay active, stay busy, and make the time go by quicker, you know?

That's how I see it, anyway.

But I also see it as an opportunity to just enjoy the time I have left competing at this level. Fortunately for me, my pregnancies have been super easy. I'm never sick in the beginning and nothing hurts. So I can still do this.

I played up until nearly 32 weeks during this current pregnancy. So yes, I definitely know a thing or two about playing golf while pregnant.

It's obviously not easy. At the last major, the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, for example, it was an uphill battle from the start — I was sick with a head cold and nowhere near my best shape.

But then there are moments like the one I had a couple of weeks prior when I finished in the top ten at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey. That gave me confidence that I could still be in contention and compete at the highest level, despite being pregnant.

And when people ask why I keep playing, I always think about my daughter.

I wanted to show her what I've done over the years and have her along for the ride. I think back to when my husband and I didn't have a clue what the heck we were doing. It was just the two of us, and suddenly it became the three of us on an airplane with a car seat, stroller, pack ‘n play, and so much other stuff.

But I can already say, without hesitation, that it was all worth it.

I often dream about winning another golf tournament and having both of my girls with me to see it. It would just be so awesome having them share a moment like that with me.

But honestly, being a mom is still cooler than anything I could ever achieve on the golf course.

Golf is an added bonus.

Being a mom is forever.

It Takes a Village

Being a mom on the LPGA Tour would be impossible without the Smucker's Child Development Center.

If we didn't have something like that, I would certainly not be on the Tour anymore. I've been fortunate enough to have my parents travel with me as well, and they've been a huge help when it comes to watching Emery while I'm competing.

But there have been many times where she's stayed with the Child Development Center. Having that resource available has given me a peace of mind that's hard to put into words.

If she ever got sick or hurt, for example, they could come pull me off the golf course right at that moment. Knowing that is extremely comforting.

And the people at the daycare are everything. One of the ladies has been there for as long as I can remember. That's incredibly valuable. Obviously, it can be scary trusting someone enough to leave your child in their care.

Having that familiar face being out there with the kids for all of these years is super reassuring. It's great knowing I can go out and do my job, and my kiddo is in good hands.

Without a doubt, the Smucker's Child Development Center allowed me to extend my career by many years.

My Forever Dream

But even with my parents traveling and a great daycare option, I know I can't continue doing this forever. Then there's that obvious question: What's next?

Honestly, I don't know. I really don't know.

Everyone says I should consider doing television or just staying at home and being a mom. You know, being a mom is something I've dreamt about my whole life. So I'd be leaving one dream job for another. It's a win-win if you look at it that way.

My parents have also owned a daycare for 32 years. I could potentially take that over as well.

One thing is certain for now, though: once I have my girl, I plan to be back out on the course at some point. It'll certainly be a challenge traveling with two babies, but we're going to see how it goes.

Who knows? Maybe there's still enough magic left to squeeze in some more wins.

If not, I'll have my forever dream waiting for me at home.