Wife Wednesday: Hello Denver!

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Hi all,

Last week was pretty exciting for us. Or maybe I mean this week, since the tournament finished on Monday? My body clock is so confused between the different tournament days and now the different time zone, but regardless, we are in Denver and thrilled to still be alive in the FedEx Cup playoffs! Chesson was outside of the number (he was 84th I think) going into last week and needed a really good week to advance. He played well and finally had a lot of the pieces of his game trending in the right direction. He finished T-9 which vaulted him up to 57th on the FedEx list and secured his invitation to Denver.

Monday (Labor Day) was quite a crazy day for me. I do all of our travel planning/ packing/ scheduling and usually have in finished well in advance. With the position we were in, we had no idea where we would be flying after the tournament. I had 2 flights set aside, one to Raleigh and one to Denver, that both left in the 7 o’clock hour. Boston airport was an hour away from the course, so we knew we had to race to get there either way. I had the car packed up and Hughes waiting on Chesson as he finished 18. He signed his card, did a few interviews, threw his golf bag in, and off we went to the airport. Thankfully it was a happy car ride with how he played and I booked our flight to Denver on the way. We made it there with time to spare and eased through security. Probably 15 guys in the field this week were on our flight. The big unknown was how Hughes was going to handle a 4 hour flight during his bedtime, but I’m happy to report that we were blown away by how well he did. He wanted to climb over the seats and play for the first 30 minutes, got restless and fussy as we tried to coax him to sleep the next 15 minutes, then slept the entire rest of the way. 3.5 hours!! It was amazing. He woke up once we landed and with delays in getting our luggage and the hour drive to Cherry Hills, he was up for 2 hours from 12:30-2:30am his time. He almost never made a peep though and went back to sleep when we finally got settled in at our hotel. To say we were proud parents is an understatement.

Yesterday, I wanted to reward him for his behavior–plus do something fun with him besides sit in our hotel room–so we found a little toddler gym here in Denver. They had a play area just for crawlers like Hughes and we basically had the whole place to ourselves. He had the best time and just grinned and laughed at me every 30 seconds or so. He played hard for the hour and a half that we were there and we barely made it out of the parking lot before he was sound asleep. They have a well-known Children’s Museum here as well as the big Denver Zoo, so we might try to plan some other outings later this week.

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We went with Chesson to the course yesterday morning to eat breakfast, check in, and get the lay of the land. This tournament is FIRST-CLASS. Everywhere we turn someone is trying to accommodate us… they even took Hughes’ stroller tray that had mashed banana all over it into the kitchen after breakfast and cleaned it for me. Say what?? Chesson loves the course and how great of shape it’s in and he’s excited to play his first tournament with no cut. After the past few months, that’s something to celebrate! I adore being in the mountains and hope I have time while I’m here to get out of the valley. I would spend a week here over a week at the beach any day.

Chesson would love to make it to Atlanta next week and it’s going to take a pretty special week here to do it. He needs to finish somewhere in the Top 5 or better to have a shot, so while it’s a bit of a long shot, he can do it! I’m just happy to see him encouraged about golf and playing well.

Thanks everyone for following along with us on this ride!

Blessings,
~Amanda~

Wife Wednesday: Endings

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Ah, the end.

The end of the season is upon us. As of right now, this will be Chesson’s last tournament of the year, but a good week on the course could get us into Colorado next week. Either way, it’s a win-win in my book. I’m excited for a reset. For no more golf for a little while. I’m excited for Friday nights to be fun instead of stressing over cuts. I’m excited for church at home and coffee at our favorite coffee shop and Hughes to not be stuck in hotel room closets. I’m excited to cook and shop for our new mattress. Some endings are hard, but not this one. This one will be sweet. And just about the time I start to miss airplanes and hotels and washing bottles in bathroom sinks, we’ll be packing up for Napa.

Speaking of endings, back to school season is here and I feel like everywhere I go people are talking about it– reminiscing of days gone by, dreading sending their 5 year old to kindergarten or their 18 year old to college, and reminding me to savor every minute. Even on Tour, once school starts, there are fewer wives and kids out on the road. It’s kind of sad. I have no idea what I will do or how I will feel once Hughes reaches school age, and thankfully I have several years to just enjoy him before we have to make any decisions. However, I have been blessed by reading two articles lately about sending your kids off the school that really made me think… and tear up… and ache for time to stand still sometimes. I wanted to pass them along to my mama readers. The first one is an easy read and the second goes a little deeper. I’ve included my favorite excerpts below with the link to the full article.

(Side note to any men who I haven’t already lost, I’m venturing into emotional territory with these tear jerkers. If you stop reading here, it won’t hurt my feelings.)

“Let me be the first one to tell you “Good job, Mama. You survived. You watched as your heart grew outside of your body, and then you prepared him to greet the world alone. He is ready, because when they placed him in your arms, you were.”
Full article: To My Fellow Moms, on the First Day of Kindergarten

“I’m not partial to how much you remember of calculus; but it’s dire that you know that the sum of how you see the ordinary is all that ever adds up to an extraordinary life. The lessons any kid remembers are the ones his parents lived.” 
Full article: How to Really Send the Kids Back to School & Out Into the World

So good. They make you think, right? They certainly help keeps things in perspective and remind us of what’s really important.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Blessings,
Amanda

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Wife Wednesday: Playoffs, Ragtime Rendezvous

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Hi all!

Hope all is going well. We are officially on our final stretch of the season–the Playoffs. Crazy to think that Chesson’s rookie season is just about over. Although I think of Hawaii as the beginning of the season, it technically started at the Fry’s last October, when I was very pregnant and homebound. So, there’s part of me that thinks this season has flown by and another part that can’t believe Hughes wasn’t even born at the beginning of the season. For us, it has been a season of high highs and low lows. I’m not sure if this life is like that for all pros out here, but it certainly has been for us so far. I’m going into the Playoffs hopeful for some good play, but also grateful that regardless of how it goes, the season will be over soon. Can you tell this mama is excited for some time away from golf?

Last night was the PGA Tour Wives Association’s big fundraiser of the year, themed a ‘Ragtime Rendezvous’. We dressed in 1920’s attire and participated in a murder mystery at a mansion, complete with an acting troupe, guest appearances by Mary Higgins Clark and Harlan Coben, and excellent food. It was so fun getting dressed up and having an adults night out, but most importantly, it raised a lot of money for Children’s Aid and Family Services, which provides medical care to abused/ special needs children in the local foster system, among several other things. I don’t read much in the way of fiction–and especially not murder mysteries (hello scaredy cat!)–but it was really cool to meet such esteemed writers.

The weather this week is perfect (so far) and we are close enough to see the New York skyline, yet far enough away that we don’t encounter the crazy traffic. Most of the people I’ve met who live here are commuters and take a 1.5 hour train ride into the city each day. I seriously can’t imagine that. I think it’s so typical up here that no one complains but it makes me beyond thankful that I don’t have to deal with that… then again I think if most of those people had seen me wrestling with/ feeding/ trying to calm our 9 month old on the flight yesterday, they probably would’ve thought, “I’m so thankful I don’t have to deal with that every week”. Haha. To each his own I guess.

We rented a house with some tour friends this week and are enjoying quality time together. Ridgewood is an old club with a beautiful Norman style clubhouse and Chesson says the course is in great shape. It is already a great week off the course; here’s hoping it’s a great week on the course as well.

Blessings,
Amanda

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Almost There

Hey Everyone,

The first round of the PGA Championship was today and it was an okay day. As you all know I have been playing very poorly lately and it has been a big challenge. We have been getting after it the last couple of weeks to get prepared for these next 6 tournaments. We had some great progress today but didn’t score well at all. I hit the ball phenomenally on the back nine (my front nine) and just got nothing out of it. I made no putts which was the problem. It was just the opposite on the front nine. I hit the ball poorly but was able to make some putts to keep my round together. After adding them all up we fired three over today which isn’t great. We are supposed to get some weather this evening which will make the course play softer. There were a lot of positives to take away from today. We are really close to getting things back going again, which has not been the case lately. I am excited about getting back out there tomorrow.

Sorry for the small post but I have an early tee time tomorrow and I am exhausted. There will be more to come.

Birdies,
Chesson

Wife Wednesday: Checking In

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Hi everyone!

Hope you are having wonderful summers! Time is flying by around here and my active, active baby boy keeps me busy all day long. I don’t think I was quite prepared for how quickly life would change once Hughes became mobile. In literally 1 week’s time, he went from sitting on the floor playing to crawling to pulling up on furniture to standing on his own… all while popping 2 front teeth. Which also means, in 1 week’s time, I went from being able to leave him on the floor playing while I did something in another room to having to watch him like a hawk. From the time he wakes up in the morning until the time he goes to bed, Hughes never.stops.moving and never.stops.putting.things.in.his.mouth. We both fall into bed at night and crash.

That being said, he is the joy of my life. He is SO much fun. He has more personality in that 17 pound body than most adults and he almost always has a smile on his face. He also has a little temper. He gets disciplined when he displays what we call a ‘bad attitude’ (also known as a temper tantrum), and he usually only acts out if he’s really tired and we’ve pushed him hard.

Not only can I hardly believe I have a 9 month old, it’s hard to believe that Chesson only has 2 events left before the playoffs. This season has absolutely flown by. I feel like we were just in Hawaii and here I am booking flights for the next season already.

It has honestly been a pretty high and low season for us. I’ve learned out here that when you’re a tournament winner and have a two-year exemption, you don’t complain. There are guys fighting to keep their card and it (rightly) annoys others when you complain about how you’re playing. That being said, Chesson has struggled quite a bit this season and it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. Golf is always a grind though, so we will stay patient until it comes around. I fight hard to keep Chesson upbeat and raise Hughes in a joyful and positive environment. The easy way out is to just get discouraged and negative, but it doesn’t help anyone. Golf is not our end all, be all.

It’s fun being at our 2nd major of the year, this time with Hughes in tow. There is a different environment at the majors, and Louisville is representing itself well with its turnout. There were probably 50,000 people at the course yesterday for the PRACTICE ROUNDS. It is insane, but fun to see such a supportive atmosphere.

Catch you all soon!

Blessings,
Amanda

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Starting To Come Around

Hey Guys,

We have had some great progress the last couple of days out on the links. I played yesterday at Bentwinds Country Club in Fuquay Varina with a good friend of mine who is a part of College Golf Fellowship. I have never played there so it was nice to go and play somewhere different. It was a great little course and if you are in the triangle area I would certainly encourage you to head out that way and play. It has a great layout and some beautiful holes around a big pond. I love courses where everything is right in front of you and doesn’t have any quirky holes, which is what this course does well. And lets not forget to talk about the weather yesterday. YES PLEASE!

I felt like yesterday was just the day I needed to get my mojo back. I shot 65 with and eagle, 7 birdies, and 2 bogeys. Whenever you make a ton of birdies in a round it really gets you energized and excited about playing again. One of the things that I have been working on is getting the club more on plane in my downswing. I have been fighting that all year. I can feel the club dropping under from the top of my swing and sometimes I can time it up and hit it where I want but for the most part I have been hitting a giant hook (a hook goes really hard from right-to-left for those who didn’t know). Let me be the first to tell you that you cannot be consistent on the PGA Tour with a giant hook. I have tried everything and had very little success, so yesterday I pressed my hands just a little bit more forward at setup. If you look at my swing over the years I have always had my hands in a very neutral position at setup. Meaning that they are directly in line with the ball or even slightly behind. Lately, I think they have been sneaking a little too far back. With having them in that position, it has been difficult to aim the club face at the target. The farther back your hands are at setup, the more left the face is aimed. When you have a club face that is aimed left at setup your natural tendency is to loop the club under plane from the top of you swing, which is the only way to square the club face up at the bottom. So, with pressing my hands just a little bit more forward at setup, the face is easier to aim at the target and in turn the club at the top wants to swing more down the line instead of under. It was so nice to start the ball where I wanted and actually have a few putts fall. Really, at the end of the day if you are not making putts you are not going to score anyway. It is easily the most important aspect of the game. It’s not even close people. That is why Matt Kuchar makes 50 billion dollars a year out on tour. The guy makes everything. I love playing with KUUUUUUUUUUCH!

Not sure where I am gonna go play today but I am excited and energized. LETS GET AFTER IT BABY! Oh, I will post before and after photos/videos of what I was describing above so you can have a better visual.

Birdies,

Chesson

Good To Get Back After It

Hey Everyone,

Hope that you guys had a great start to the week. Today was my first day back playing golf since the British Open. It felt good to get back at it and get outside and sweat a little bit. I thought that  Wakefield Plantation was open today but when I drove up there I realized that they were closed. So, I drove over to North Ridge Country Club where I thought that they opened at 12 to walk the course. It was about 11:30 so I was going to grab a quick bite to eat then hit the links. Turns out you are not allowed to walk the course until 1 during the summer so I ended up heading out to Raleigh Country Club to play a quick nine. After that I did stop back by NRCC for another nine before heading home to spend some time with Amanda and Hughes. NRCC is a great course to play to rebuild confidence because it is a little bit easier of a golf course and you can make a bunch of birdies. Birdies take care of everything!

A good thing to remember when getting back into the swing of things golf wise is not to expect too much immediately. I have figured that out over the years when heading back to work after some time off. You can hurt yourself mentally if you think you should be striping it right off the bat. In reality, you should just be trying to get your feet wet again. None of the ranges were open today so I didn’t hit any balls and just went straight to the tee. That isn’t always a bad thing either because you don’t sit on the range and tinker or think about your golf swing. You just get out there and play golf freed up with no expectations. Tomorrow is the day when we turn it up a little bit and get picky with how we are performing. It is a long week of preparation and I hope to get everything right were I need it before leaving for the PGA Championship on Sunday.

I’m realizing that Hughes is a ladies man. As I was getting ready to leave this morning, his little girl friend Tinley arrived for a play date and walk on the greenway. After that he swept her off her feet and took her to a very romantic spot called the public library. Well done sir. Apparently they have something up there called “Story Time. It is a total girl thing so Tinley had to love it. Apparently you sit in a circle and they read stories and sing songs to your baby. I don’t see myself taking him there when we have a little father/son time but I am glad that he got to go with mom. Hughes and Tinley are 3 weeks apart in age and it is really cool to see the different developments in each baby. Sweet Tinley is very polite and will sit quietly and play while Hughes is totally different. He is busy and into everything typically with a little drama attached to it. This carries over into the way he eats, so it’s probably a good thing Tinley hasn’t seen him at a meal yet.

Hughes at dinner tonight

Hughes at dinner tonight

Lisa from WRAL helps out with the blog and I gave her a call today to run some ideas by her. We are still brainstorming on how we are going to do it but we are definitely going to be giving away some really cool stuff throughout the remainder of the year. Make sure you keep up to date with the blog and subscribe if you would like to receive updates via email. Boom baby.

Birdies,

Chesson

Unfortunate Unsuccessful Fishing Trip

Hey Everyone,

I was hoping to be writing to you guys today having caught a giant trophy fish but unfortunately we were unsuccessful in our fishing endeavors this weekend. It was not for lack of effort though. We were up at 5:30 every morning and the boat left the dock at 6 every single day. We didn’t come back till dinner time either. There were just no tarpon to be found. We even diverted to a little drum fishing and didn’t catch any of those either. Even though we were defeated this time, we are going to reminisce about past fishing experience and press on with optimism. Here is a picture of last years trip to help us remember the good times. Haha.20130806-214354.jpg

We did have a great time however. The only rough weather day was Thursday but after that the water was calm and it was so pleasant to spend all day out on the water. It was never too hot and there was always a light wind. We did see a really cool water spout one afternoon in a thunderstorm in the distance as you can see below. Of course it was super easy to be comfortable out there when your friend has a 33′ Grady-White with twin Yamaha 350s on the back. UHHHH, YES PLEASE! Absolutely beautiful boat.image1

The man weekend was just what I needed to get everything recharged. I left feeling ready to get back to reality with being a husband, father, and golfer. I am excited about getting after it tomorrow and the rest of the week in preparation for the PGA Championship. Thanks for keeping up everyone!

Birdies,

Chesson