Chasing my dreams one shot at a time
Happy New Year!
Most of you probably know by now the story of my close call at Q-School in December. After 90 holes of golf, I fell just one shot shy of earning a full LPGA Tour card- for the second year in a row. Bret Lasky from LPGATour.com wrote a nice detailed look at the ups and downs of my week here: http://www.lpga.com/news/sheils-overcomes-heartbreak.
Everybody’s first question upon hearing Q-School results is, “So... what does that mean?” I am better prepared to answer that question now that I am no longer a bewildered rookie 😃. Below is a look at the 2018 LPGA schedule. By my best estimates, events highlighted in pink are weeks I will probably play. Events highlighted in blue mean I have a 50/50 chance of playing. All other events without color from the ANA Inspiration forward are possible for me to play if I work my way up the money list.
With Q-School behind me and a fresh year ahead, I have been thrilled to throw myself back into the process of getting better each day. This looks like meditation in the morning; strength/mobility/stability work in the gym; and hours of practice both on and off the course at Alta Mesa GC. I look back often on the notes I made at the end of last season as a guide to where I should sped my practice time. Semi-frequent lessons with swing coach Gabe Hjertstedt and putting coach Todd Kolb keep me moving in the right direction.
I got my first taste of 2018 competition on the Cactus Tour last week. My results (74-73-72, 9th/39) showed the rust that a relaxed December were bound to bring. However, as always, the tournament experience was a valuable teacher. I then flew down to Nassau, Bahamas to try my hand at Monday qualifying into the LPGA season opener. I shot a sharp, bogey-free five under but finished third on a day when only the top two players out of thirty earned a place in the event. Such is the nature of the beast.
I had an incredible time in the Bahamas thanks to the help of a few very kind people. After meeting briefly at the same qualifier in 2017, Paradise Island local Garth Groat didn’t hesitate this year to help find me private housing with another club member, Ray Brown. Ray welcomed my travel buddy Samantha Troyanovich and me into his condo for our stay on Paradise Island, greatly reducing the cost (and therefore stress!) of an otherwise pricey gamble in a Monday qualifier. Garth even stepped in to carry my bag for nine holes of my practice round when flight troubles delayed my scheduled caddie. The generosity of individuals like Garth and Ray never cease to amaze me as I travel the world.
I came across a quote that I have been pondering for the better part of this month. It reads,
“Today, give yourself the most simple and doable of tasks: Just don’t make stuff worse. Whatever happens, don’t add angry or negative emotions to the equation. Don’t react for the sake of reacting. Leave it as it is. Stop digging. Then plan your way out.”
You have probably heard me talk before about controlling my reactions to outcomes rather than letting the outcomes control me, but I really like the simplicity of the task given here. Just don’t make stuff worse. After hitting a bad shot- just don’t make it worse! After coming up a shot shy of a goal- just don’t make it worse! That isn’t so hard to do, right? 😃 The faster I accept the moment as is, the faster I can get on my way to something better. I will keep this in my back pocket as a long term goal for 2018.
The month of February has the LPGA overseas and the Symetra Tour with an empty schedule, so I will be gathering more tournament experience on the local Cactus Tour and enjoying time home in Arizona. You can keep up with my schedule on the “Follow” page of my website.
Much love to all!
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