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The Back 9 with Babcock


February 20, 2012

New spring, new team, new attitude. Unfortunately Sophie Weilguni transferred to the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. We will miss her.

Coach recruited freshman Daniela Murray from Brazil to join the team this spring. We are re-creating a team chemistry and bonding. I am thrilled with how we all get along on and off the course.

As a team we are working with two sports psychologists, Mitch Cohen and Dr. Lauren Tashman. Putting sports psychology into our practice schedule is allowing us to define our goals, work as a team to solve tasks and to build strong lines of communications.

Our first tournament, the Tusculum Invitational, was a great showing for the Lady Bucs on February 4th and 5th. We posted a third-place finish, shooting 34-over par 610. Although there is definitely room for improvement in each of our scores, we all understand what we need to work on and know that individually we can each contribute to get this team where we want it.

Our next event will be held on February 11th and 12th in Lakeland, Florida, hosted by Florida Southern, another great Sunshine Conference team. We are looking forward to it!

Also, please check our official Facebook fan page, “Barry University Women’s Golf Team” for team updates and photos. LIKE us to see updates on your Facebook Wall. The link is: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barry-University-Womens-Golf-Team/243839009026181.

From the fairway,

Taylor Babcock


October 14, 2011

Between golfing, traveling on the bus, catching up on homework and making up tests... blogging has really taken a back seat in the past couple weeks. As I was writing this segment, we were all on the bus to the St. Leo Invitational (our third tournament).

I do want to add how happy I am that I am with this great group of girls. We have three new freshmen who have added a lot to the team right away.I am so proud of how they handle everything. I had a slower transition freshmen year, so watching our freshman hit college and the course running is all the more impressive.  Between completing study hall hours (required by all freshmen for first semester), being on the road and playing golf successfully, they are always positive, always up for a good time, and really fit into this team.

I also want to say that as a team we have started a new sport psych program with Mitch Cohen who is on call at all hours of the day, because let’s be real, golfers need the most help…between talking to our golf ball (telling it where to go, and actually expecting it to listen), going up and down with our emotions between a bogey and a birdie, and really anything else that could happen we need someone to talk to, listen to us, and then give positive reinforcement. With Mitch we talk to him on the phone, as well as writing for him each week about a specific topic that he gives us. I am really happy that coach has integrated this into our golf program. I can see all of us really benefiting from it.

 Here’s a quick re-cap of what the team has accomplished with the past two tournaments....

Our first tournament, the Queens University Invitational, was a complete success! Lizzi, Anne, Francesca, Nancy (Lela), and I were able to pull-off a win at TPC Sawgrass. I was so proud of all of us. For our visit, we were able to stay at the resort, which was really amazing! Going into the second day of competition we knew that we needed to go lower than our first day of play. We were able to handle the pressure and did so! Quick shout-out to team-mate Nancy for awesome playing on a course with fast greens, water on EVERY hole, and for sticking to her routine by playing her game. She finished tied for second in her first ever college tournament. So proud of her!

(1st place win!!) 

Our second tournament ,which was at the PGA National Golf Course in Palm Beach Gardens, FL (hosted by Nova Southeastern University) was a challenge. During our practice round we had at least 50 MPH gusts. Weather sites were projecting heavy rain and the same amount of wind for the next couple days, but when we stepped out on the course the first and second day in the morning at 7AM we didn’t feel any wind. The weather was so nice! Overall, it was a great tournament because most of our teams that compete in our conference were there, so we were able to see where we stood. We placed seventh at the tournament, not the best, but we are going to improve. It’s still early in the season and we have until spring to keep working on our games before the conference tournament.

I do want to say the highlight of that tournament was that we were able to have dinner, after our first round, with the St. Leo University Women’s Golf team. Last year, after we played with them in a couple tournaments, we found out how much we enjoy their company. They are a relaxed group of girls with a great sense of humor. We went to Carraba’s Italian restaurant and had a great meal. I speak for everyone on our team when I say that we are always happy to golf or hangout with such a nice group of girls. 


In the Fairway,

Taylor B.


September 4, 2011

School is back in session! The Barry University women's golf team is back for the 2011-2012 season.

This year we have three new freshmen: Francesca Perini from Italy, Paola Grande from Florida, and Lela Vergara from Venezuela. We are excited to add them to the team.

This year, just like last year, we are going to be working individually and as a team with our mental coach, Mitch Cohen. We all met with him the other day and he had us do a "Communication Style" test. It was interesting to see everyone's communication style on paper. We them discussed our strengths and weaknesses associated with them. It was a very fun exercise!

Qualifying starts soon for our first tournament on September 26-27, which will be held at TPC Sawgrass.

I will post more in detail with photos and videos as the semester goes on...

In the fairway,
Taylor Babcock


2/9/11

Well we were able to leave Barry on Thursday morning to head on over to the Miami International Airport. The four internationals on the team were able to get through security without a problem. We ended up boarding onto a small plane that seemed to feel all the turbulence in the world at many points during the hour and a half flight. It was scary and I will admit I was frightened at several points, yet all in all we landed, safely, on the ground in Charleston, SC.

After the flight and picking our luggage we got into the van and headed to Texas Road House for an awesome meal. After eating what seemed to be a huge amount, we then proceeded to get into the van and head into town. We ended up going to a parking garage where we almost barley fit the height requirement…

One of coach's golfing friends met up with us at Starbucks and we talked with her and got to hear some fun stories of coach.

Around 6pm we went to the local Piggly Wiggly to get grocery items for the next couple of days. After that we finally got to the resort, got the keys to the house, unloaded the van, and went to sleep…well almost. Right before bed, Lizzi and I found a small dead lizard that we were too scared to pick up. Thankfully Isa picked it up and threw it away, but only after she chased us with it.

The next morning, Friday, we woke up for our practice round, cooked breakfast, and were on the tee by 11am. It was so cold that we could see our breath. Layers were not enough, and hand warmers only warmed us up for so long. It was freezing outside, but luckily not raining. Still, it was way too cold.


After the practice round we all came back to the house and did our own thing. Isa, being a second semester senior and having only an internship to worry about, was nice enough to make us a lovely peppered steak and rice dinner. It was fabulous! We all then sat down on the couch and played catch phrase.

Saturday morning got off to a weird start since it was foggy, raining, and slightly windy. I was on the third hole when the green started to flood, which was right when the clubhouse blew the air-horn to suspend play for about 45 minutes. After that stop the rain quit pouring down, and it turned out to be a cold, cloudy day. Altogether it was an okay day.

Lizzi had a terrific 73, one over par, on the par 72 Cougar Point golf course. Isa then posted a 76, I posted a 78, Louise 82, and Sophie an 83 which put us in fourth place for the first day.

Sunday was a perfect day with us starting to tee off at around 9am. It was a sunny crisp and clear day. I posted a 75, Lizzi 76, Isa 77,Louise 82, and Sophie 83. Combined, we ended up in fifth place. Lizzi got seventh overall and Isa and I got tied for fourteenth overall. We then got on a plane and got back to Miami around 10pm, but not before Lizzi's carryon bag got searched at the Charleston International Airport for about 5 minutes...then we were on our way.

The course demanded any player to specifically place the ball in the fairway and to not get side tracked by out of bounds in a tight fairway, water left or right, and green side bunkers. The pin placements were tricky, and challenging.


A tradition that we started on this trip, which is designed to motivate everyone on the team, is to have a bright green shirt that has an outline of a pig on the front and looks like it should be dress on anyone who wears it…well with this shirt comes the price for the player who shoots the highest score on either competition day. That player must wear it the whole night, no matter where we go. Unfortunately Sophie got it both nights, yet she took it in stride and is ready to pass that shirt along to another player.

Next week we head off to Hilton Head, SC to play in the Newberry Invitational at the Moss Creek Golf Club.

In the Fairway,
Taylor Babcock

01/22/11

Well, it's a new year with new goals. Last fall we had a rocky start, yet we persevered through and won our last tournament out of 17 teams! It was an awesome way to finish off the fall season.

We all started our second semester on January 12 and have been busy hitting the books, practicing, and now qualifying for our next tournament on February 4-6 called the Tusculum Kiawah Island Women's Golf Invitational which will be in Kiawah Island, South Carolina at Cougar Point Golf Club.

Along with practice we have also started our weight training program three times a week to help get our core stronger and to also increase our cardiovascular endurance because being out on a course for 4-5 hours for 18 holes can get exhausting in Florida with the humidity. With this training comes a strong finish through the last putt holed out.

Our biggest focus this semester is going to be on course management because that is how a player scores low. We are all setting our goals for this semester and are ready to start the spring season.

In the Fairway,
Taylor B.

10/19/10

The St. Leo Invitational was an amazing tournament. We started out with a great van ride up to Lake Jovita, Florida to play at the Lake Jovita Country Club, listening to music the whole way to pass the 6-hour car drive. For dinner we stopped at Olive Garden. After having ordered from the regular menu, I took the children's menu with the two crayons and proceeded to play MadLibs with the team.

After dinner coach was thinking about fun games we could play. She suddenly thought of CatchPhrase and insisted that we stop at target where she then purchased the game. Seeing as coach and I are the only two American's on the team, it seemed like a fun game to play with everyone to see how well we would communicate a phrase to then be guessed. We had a hilarious time watching and playing the game that night!

We played our practice round on Saturday and were feeling good about the course. It is a very demanding layout that needs your full attention on the front nine with ball placement. It was a long round and we were all tired. Lizzi and Anne cooked us our first homemade meal in a long time, which consisted of beef, amazing spaghetti, and a terrific salad prepared by Sophie. After eating that meal we then proceeded to play another couple rounds of CatchPhrase. That created more hilarity. Before Sophie could describe a word she would get excited and waste about 5 seconds off the clock. It was interesting to hear how we all would describe something with each of us coming from a different country.

On the first day of the tournament we all had a hard time with ball placement on the course, especially on the front nine. I shot an 80, Lizzi shot an 83, Louise shot an 83, Anne shot an 84, and Sophie shot an 88. Afterwards we all went to the range and practiced hard for over an hour. The first day placed us in fourth place with a 318.

On the last day as a team we played solid with me shooting an even-par 72, Lizzi with a 76, Sophie with a 77, Anne with a 79, and Louise with an 84. Taking the four highest scores we shot another team low of the season with a 304. This placed us in third overall.

Depending on how you look at it the funniest and saddest thing happened to me. After our round, four girls from the Florida Southern team and I were in a play-off for first place medalist. All five of us went to the 18th hole to start our five-way sudden death play-off. While three of the Florida Southern girls put their drive in the fairway on the par four, another girl and I pulled our drives to the left and were in the rough. Then, two Florida Southern girls hit onto the green for their second shot. I then hit my second shot into the wind about 125 yards and landed it just about pin high 10 feet from the pin. The last two girls hit their ball short of the green and ended up making an up-and-down for par. The two other girls on the green ended up with par while I sunk my birdie putt for what I though would be my first college title. Wrong. After we started walking away from the green, the St. Leo head coach then came up and apologized, to the five of us, for a scoring error that had happened which was that another girl was the real winner by three strokes and that the five of us were actually playing for second place. In the end, even though I won second place, it was still a hard feeling to swallow…though things were brighten a bit by having scored the low score of the tournament in that same day.

Next up Lizzi, Sophie, Louise, Anne, and I will be playing the 9th Flagler Women's Invitational on October 26 and 27, which will be our last tournament of the Fall 2010 season.

In the fairway,
Taylor Babcock

 

10/13/10

The travel time to the NSU Shark Invitational was only about an hour, which had us leave around 11am and tee us off for our practice round at 2pm. The practice round was a great way to look at the PGA National Palmer Course that we would be playing for two days after. While on our practice round at about the 10th hole Lizzi found herself face to face with an ibis. An ibis is a huge bird that looks like somewhat of a stork. As she was about to swing her club, the bird came running towards her…it must have somehow felt threatened by a club being swung up in the air. At that point Lizzi ran, which made for a hilarious scene. There were about 4 of the birds and after clapping and making loud noises they finally flew off about 30 yards away, just enough to still closely watch us. The rest of the practice round went smoothly and lasted over 5 hours altogether.

After coming back from dinner we all went into coaches room for just a brief meeting where we all gave each other compliments from the day. It's always nice to hear compliments from your teammates. We were all pumped for the first day of the tournament so after the meeting we went back to our rooms, did our homework for the days of school we would be missing, and then went to bed.

We started our day off around 6:15am by waking up and then going to breakfast because we had an 8:30am shotgun start. After eating breakfast we went to warm-up before our round. Everyone teed off at 8:30am starting the first round of the NSU Shark Invitational.

After the first day as a team we posted a 317 and were in seventh place. Isa lead the team with a 75, then came myself with a 78, next was Lizzi and Sophie with an 82, and then Louise finishing up with an 86…we use the top four scores to count as an overall team score.
For me, individually, I had way to many three putts the first day, because I just didn't have the touch of speed that I needed. So after my round I went to go work on putting for about a good 30 minutes, and then went to hit balls just to tweak my swing a little bit. Lizzi and Sophie also went to the range to workout their swings with both of our coaches.

The interesting thing about this tournament was that we were at the same place as our men's golf team. They were playing a 36 hole round, as opposed to our 18 round, so after practicing both Lizzi and Isa went out to watch them for a while. During that time I went to the pool to cool off and to try and even out my golf tan. Unfortunately I had no such luck of making a tan on my pale skin. That night we went out to P.F. Changs for dinner and had a delicious meal followed by the Great Wall of Chocolate dessert cake.

That night we had another team meeting, but coach didn't have a lot to say to us because we all knew what we needed to improve on.

The next day as a team we shot an impressive 304. I shot a 73, Isa shot 75, Lizzi 75, Sophie 81, and Louise 83. What changed was our mentality and how we approached shots on the course. We all hit the ball solid; it was just a matter of course management. Coach said to us, "you could tell that all of you were confident, and presented yourself as a strong individual", which was true because not one of us lost focus on what our goal at hand was. Though we never know how everyone else is doing, we still pull through because we are playing not only individually, but also for each other…as a team.

A combined 317 and 304 put us up in fourth place, having moved us three spots from the first day. So far for the 2010 season this has been our best finish, yet then again it's only been our second tournament. We have a lot of potential as a team. Coming back we were all pleased with ourselves even though you have in the back of your mind what you could have done to lower your strokes.

I learned a valuable lesson on the second day. I was playing at two under headed into the 9th hole (it was actually 18, but was the 9th hole of the day). It was a par five so I set myself up with a nice drive from my 5-wood. but then hit my 5 Iron into a bunker on the right. I knew I could get out of the bunker so I hit my 7 iron and it hit the ridge in front of the green and came sliding back towards the hazard. Fortunately the rocks stopped it. What I learned however was that I wanted to avoid making a costly error. I had absolutely no shot from that lie and it was in the hazard. Normally I would see if I could play it out of the hazard, but there was no chance that I could potentially hit the ball. I learned that sometimes you get the worst luck, but it's what you do with that bad lie that makes the scorecard. I ended up with a one-stroke penalty from playing it out of the hazard, and then chipped and two putted leaving me with a 7 for that hole and putting me at even par going into the 10th hole. Sometimes with the worst lies, you have to avoid making another mistake, which I was able to pull off.

Overall we were pleased with how we came back the second day. Our next tournament is on October 17 and 18 for the St. Leo Invitational.

In the fairway,
Taylor Babcock

09/20/10

It was fabulous to be back traveling with the team since we all play individually during the summer. The things I love most about traveling with the team are all the jokes that are made on an hourly basis, singing to the radio, and learning new things about each other; seeing as we are all from a different region or country in the world, we definitely have a lot to learn about one another.

For being the first tournament of the season, we definitely have things that we all can improve on both mentally and physically performance-based. Though it was not the best performance on the scorecard, we tried our hardest with what we were dealt. It's easy to give up, yet none of us did no matter how hard the hole we played. Personally, after I made a mistake, such as a three-putt, I found myself getting mad for a few seconds and then mentally have to pick myself back up to forget and go onto the next hole…for any sport, golf especially, you have to make that commitment to yourself because if you don't it will end up hurting your score.

Though it was a disappointing finish for all of us, we are looking forward to working hard at practice this next week, and then qualifying for our next tournament which is at PGA National on October 17 and 18.

In the fairway,

Taylor Babcock

8/30/10

After playing all summer long we are all glad to be back together at Barry University. We just had our first team meeting of the 2010 season and we are all very excited for our fall season.

Our Barry team is happy to welcome our new Head Coach Gina Umeck who graduated from UCLA in 2004 when they won the NCAA Division I title. Coach Umeck also played on the Futures Tour. We are ready to start a new year with the new leadership of Coach Umeck and our new assistant coach, Shannon Sykora. Coach Sykora also plays professionally on the PGA Tour.

Though we lost two key seniors, we are excited with the possibilities of our two new freshmen: Luci Garcia of Miami, Fla., and Sophie Weilguni of Austria, plus the 5 returning players for our 2010-2011 season. The first event that we will play will be held at TPC Sawgrass on September 13-14. We will start qualifying for the event later this week.

Classes have also started, so we are now getting ready to juggle both academics and athletics. Last year our team had the second highest cumulative GPA of any Buccaneer team by posting an average of 3.645…volleyball was first with a 3.649...so close!

This fall we hope the sun will shine and that the thunder, lightning, rain, tropical storms, and hurricanes won't be an issue on the course...knowing South Florida this time of the year, how likely is that?

In the fairway,

Taylor B.

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