Saturday, March 28, 2015

Making Golfing Goals - AA's Spring/Summer Plan

With all the time we spend on golf courses, we have neglected lessons and coaching for AA over the past year. 
It will soon be one year ago when her beloved Coach Doug passed. We still think of Coach Doug e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y! 
We have settled into a great group out of Orlando, but the long drive and setting up a regular schedule hadn't happened in 2014. So after the recent Jekyll Island tournament, we discussed the options available to AA and what would be best during this spring/summer leading up to the U.S. Kids Worlds. AA came up with her goal, "to shoot in the 30's". So there you have it! (she used to back as a 7 year old; but hasn't since moving to the 8 year old distances).
A draft schedule was given to Coach Jason (lesson on March 26th) and we will be discussing all options with him soon. We have a plan; we feel so much better - to help AA accomplish her goals. 
Alyzabeth’s Success Goal #1: Score in the 30’s by Pinehurst World’s. July 30th.

1.      Change shaft in Driver (March - April) - Daddy
2.      Practice like it is a tournament each time on a golf course; to better HER score.
3.      Longer Drives - Learn to drive using her hips and legs!
4.      Lessons - Daddy to schedule regular (weekly) golf lessons - Coach Jason and Coach Kathy.
5.      Practice what her Coaches show her in her lessons.
6.      Compete in Florida State with Caddy Maria (June)
7.      Compete in remaining three Orlando Local Tournaments with Caddy Maria (March-April);
8.      Compete in Georgia State Tournament (June)
9.      Compete in Alabama State Tournament (not scheduled)
10. Plan practice time in Pinehurst (July).

This was back in May 2014, as a 7 year old - score of 38.
A plan helps us stick to the schedule and is posted on our refrigerator, will remind us each day of what is important to AA (we also have other individual and family goals, this one is AA's "short-term" golfing goal).

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jekyll Island - Regional Golf Tournament - Round #2

Backing up to Saturday Morning (03/21/15) - Meeting new friends - Connection from Cape Girardeau. Ford's brother Bill and wife Joan came to watch AA play and they had friend connections with a Georgia family that was playing in the same age group as AA (8 year olds, Zoe Duval). 
Unfortunately, we did not get any photos of the group together, none of AA's Uncle Bill and Aunt Joan. 
At the driving range, meeting the Duval family:

 Zoe and AA:
 Back to Sunday morning (03/22/15) Round #2, putting practice:
Daddy was caddie for round #2, as Maria was still feeling under the weather with her bronchitis:
Back 9 - Hole #10 (playing with C. Qiu (VA) and G. Nip (PA):
Hole #18 - Finished! It was not AA's typical round, she was not hitting the ball well today and ended up with a 44. Even if she had finished with her best score of a 40, she would have only moved up one place, from 7th to 6th; still out of the awards. She had problems on both days with her new (shaft) driver, seemed to lose yardage; everyone told us it looked like it had too much flex in it.
Getting the scorecard ready for the scoring table:
Scoring table:
Waiting for the awards for the 9, 8 and 7 (and under) girls groups:
Across the lawn was our local friends: Chao's (Sammy (age 7) finished 3rd and Kaitlin (age 10) finished 4th), The Dovhey's (Bella (age 7) finished 2nd), Messana's, K. Nyman, and Coach Jason and Caddie Maria:
8 Year Old group:
7 and Under group:
Coach Jason and SC:
From Coach Jason (on Facebook): The one and only AA held her own over the weekend amongst a very competitive 8yr old division. I'm so proud of her for shooting her lowest round yet in this division at a regional. Her caddie Maria Castellucci was not able to be on the bag for her Sunday due to being very sick. Her daddy caddie stepped up & the pair finished strong. I'm looking forward to the fact that I will be spending more time with this precious little girl as we start on preparing for worlds. Every time I see her it puts a smile on my face, because for one she's so adorable & also I know she is going to give me her all. I teach her golf, but in the end she teaches & shows me why I love what I do.
From Caddie Maria (Weber): Maria Castellucci I love being her caddie. We have built a bond that I can't explain and never want to lose. I hated the fact that I couldn't be on her bag for Sunday's round but her Daddy did an awesome job.

One change this year was no Saturday evening kids buffet and play time all together at the beach Community center. Instead they had a family fun zone at the golf course on Friday afternoon with the bouncey houses, corn hole games and a few other kid friendly games. We did enjoy staying at the Jekyll Island Hotel and Club, very nice, historic, lots of bike paths and lawn to explore (we had a king basic with a roll-away bed). Next year, we are thinking of staying at home and driving back and forth. We talked about this after we arrived to the hotel, it seems like a big deal to attend this tournament, but really is a shorter drive than to most of the Orlando tournaments we go to.
Now to finish the three remaining Orlando local tournaments and then onto the "States"!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jekyll Island U.S. Kids Golf Regional - Practice Day and Day 1

Jekyll Island is the destination for the Southeastern U. S. Kids Golf Regional. The competition is stronger with kids coming in from most every where including Canada. We drove up Thursday afternoon hoping to get in a round but the wet weather discouraged us! Friday we had a tee time with Bryn S. so all went well with the practice round. Daddy Caddy was taking notes!

After the practice round, a little fun in the bouncy house and slide was a good energy booster!
Saturday morning Round #1 arrived, and Caddie Maria. The day was beautiful, and AA posted her best score in a tournament as an 8 year old (40; 4 over par; she was one under the first four holes).
AA had a birdie on the first hole, then a few bogies, but an overall good round.
Final Hole #18 (played back nine of the Indian Mound course). Scoring table:
AA was in 6th place (of 12 girls) after round one. After a quick buffet lunch with the Sorge family, we headed off to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (we were going to have pizza with the Sorge's and Chao's but things got complicated; had dinner in the Pub Friday and Saturday evenings). 
We were glad that Coach/Caddy Kathy N. came along with Olivia Messana and her Mom to the turtle center.
Coach Kathy, AA and Olivia M.:
Some of the turtle tanks have a mirror above, so you can see the turtle:
Messana's and Coach Kathy (with her selfiewink, a remote for taking selfies):
AA loves her new hatchling/juvenile sea turtle - she named her, Georgia. You can read about our 2013 visit to this center here.
You can read all about our Jekyll Tournament 2014 experience here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Plus SHOPPING!

For Nana Joy's last day visiting with us (Tuesday), we took the whole day to shop; I needed few replacement shoes this year, especially for work (and a few work clothes would help). Ford and AA went golfing with  Bryn S. and her Mom CJ so were gone for most of the day.
I could have bought lots more! It was a successful day; having Joy with me was great, always would like to shop with someone to get their final approval! 
Three dresses (on left - yellow/black, solid white and a B&W); a white lace jacket/shrug, four tops, two pants, one white skort and four camisoles. Plus five pairs of shoes. What a great shopping day!

My first pair of "Clark's" - so comfortable:
Kelly P. and daughter Lily serving the corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day at the River House - Yummy!
Live music on the river (it was over 80 degrees today!):
Kelly P.'s youngest daughter, Ella:
We did a little dancing before heading home!
Last group photo with Nana Joy! She leaves in the morning.
It was a great visit with my MIL; come back soon!

Monday - Horse Ride - Diamond D Ranch

We always enjoy the one hour ranch trail ride at Diamond D Ranch, very tame, walking horses only. Nana Joy agreed to ride with AA; she asked if Nana would. It was a beautiful day, almost too sunny, must get back into thinking hats, sunscreen and water whenever we go out from now on. We went from COLD a couple of weeks ago to HOT (low humidity, thankfully!).
K'Leigh was our guide and our horses were Sparky (Nana), Captain (Alyson, my second time on this large, strong horse) and Hercules (AA). AA rode Sparky for her first lesson back in October.

Waiting for the other riders to mount their horses:
My view in the line, as K'Leigh says, just like Kindergarteners lining up for the lunch line! AA was first, we were second and third.
It was difficult taking photos behind me, either I can't twist very well or turning in a saddle is hard anyway! A few skewed photos of Joy:
Beautiful day! Need to schedule AA for her next lesson!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sunday Family Dinner (and Pool Time!)

We had a small family party to visit with Nana Joy, beautiful weather and the grands were able to jump in the pool; first time for AA using the Winterbourne pool. We were surprised that the pool temperature was 78 degrees; it is a smaller pool than the Club, narrower and shallower. Anyways, the girls were happy!

Family photo at the pool:
 Dylan can swim forever!
Dinner was Teriaki Chicken and BBQ Pork Sliders (curtesy of Kelly P.); plus Ford's cole slaw and my new carrot salad (Joy helped in the kitchen alot); dessert was strawberry shortcake.
The girls made a St. Patrick's Day treat: pretzels, chocolate disks (used only brown and white chocolate disks) with a green M&M on top. I found the idea at "lovefromtheoven" dot com. I didn't get a photo of our finished product so the second photo is from the source blog. I did make up treat bags; plus a few "kits" with the three raw materials for someone to make their own batch at home.
http://www.lovefromtheoven.com/2011/03/16/quick-and-easy-chocolate-pretzel-bites-for-st-patricks-day/
 Jump roping; Livi is a pro at it!
Above: I love geraniums; Dylan, inside after her swim, enjoying playing on the mini-iPad:
Tried to get some green color on the table:
Flowers from Carolyn:
I found a new carrot salad, reminiscent of my Mom's. This has a different twist with toasted pecans, cranberries and honey - all helped with the sweetness. Delicious and easy too!
Carrot-Cranberry Salad
Total Time: 20 min. Prep: 20 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy
Ingredients:
o   1/2 cup mayonnaise
o   1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
o   1 tablespoon honey
o   1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
o   Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
o   4 cups shredded carrots (about 8 medium)
o   1/4 cup dried cranberries
o   1/4 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
o   1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Directions: Whisk the mayonnaise, oil, honey and vinegar in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Toss the carrots, cranberries, pecans and celery seeds in a medium bowl. Add the mayonnaise-oil mixture and toss until well combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.