Happy New Year to you all. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season spent with family and friends. I’m finally back after a much needed break from the everyday hustle and bustle of being a professional golfer. I decided this offseason it was important for me to get away from social media for a little while, and focus on myself and enjoying life. Not gonna lie, it’s been very nice. However, with the season upon us I wanted to reconnect with you all to update you on everything I’ve been up to and what lies ahead.
Once the 2016 season was over, my main focus was to find somewhere to live, in Orlando, and to get a job for the winter. It took me a few weeks to figure out both, but the living situation has worked out really well. The apartment is nice and very close to everything I need on a day to day basis. My roommate is lovely and we get along very well. The nice thing is she works through the night and sleeps during the day so we are on opposite schedules and we don’t see much of each other. So I pretty much have the place to myself. The job, however, was not as successful. Amazon were hiring seasonal workers for the Christmas period and in my mind this seemed like the perfect part-time job. Not so much. The hours were awkward and unpredictable, and they worked you pretty hard for the small amount of money you were earning. In one day alone, we scanned almost 400,000 packages! Crazy! I really enjoyed learning about the company and how it operates, but I’m glad it was just seasonal. Let’s just say it made me appreciate having golf as my job a little more than I already did.
I’ve actually been surprised at how difficult it was to find a part-time job for the short amount of time I needed. I thought Amazon would have been perfect but then I ended up working most of the time which left me with very little time to practice. So I decided that up until Christmas I would take a break from golf and just work as much as I could to earn some money.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to go on a family vacation to Vietnam. Wow what a country. I was a bit skeptical about going and that was purely due to ignorance. I knew very little about Vietnam and maybe was quick to judge. However, I was blown away with how beautiful it is there, and the people were some of the nicest in the world. So smiley and happy, which is always refreshing. The first part of the trip was a bit hectic as we stayed downtown in the city of Hanoi. The majority of locals drive motorbikes, and they don’t have any traffic laws there so it’s a bit like dodging bullets to get anywhere. A bit stressful, but certainly adds to the fun of it. The second part of the trip was much more laid back and relaxing. This was just what I needed as it gave me time to reflect on the season past and on the upcoming season.
It was so nice to be able to spend time with my family. They are my biggest supporters and it’s hard when I only get to see them once a year. But that’s all part of the sacrifice. We have a wonderful time in Vietnam and I left feeling refreshed and happy and ready to work hard for the 2017 season.
I feel really great about where I am at mentally and physically for this upcoming season. I made a lot of great progress in becoming more consistent last year, making 15/20 cuts. More than I’d ever made in a season. This year I want to be able to build on that and try to bring some of the ‘young Olivia’ back into play. The fiery, passionate player I’ve always been known for. This year I want to focus my attention on ‘feel’ and making things simple again. I think after finishing 11th in 2013, I was lost and felt like I needed to change everything because I didn’t finish inside the Top 10. When actually I should have kept everything the same, because not even a full shot separated me from 10th spot. So what I was already doing was working, but obviously hard to see that at the time.
A lot of the things I’ve worked on the last year with my coach, Alison, have made me physically and mentally stronger than ever. Now I want to incorporate the Olivia that won me 2 tournaments back into my game. I’m feeling excited and raring to go.
What I’ve seen of the schedule so far looks very promising. The first event in Winter Haven is only 35 minutes from my house in Orlando, which means expenses would be low. Always got to love that, especially at the beginning of the season. However, we then go out to the West Coast for 3 weeks, starting in Palm Springs California, then onto Phoenix, Arizona, then back to California, near Sacramento. Obviously, the expenses will be high for this part of the schedule, but I feel I can’t really afford to miss these events as it’ll set me back 3 events at the start of the season. With the economic climate the way it is at the moment, sponsorship is proving to be hard to find. I decided it would be a good idea to set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds so I can get my season off to a positive start and so I don’t have to worry about finances as much. GoFundMe is a website which allows people to setup a campaign in order to raise money. I thought this would be a great way for anyone, no matter where you are in the world, to hopefully contribute to my dream of chasing my LPGA card. I feel great about the 2017 season and I hope you do too. No donation is too small, so please help me in any way you can. Every little bit helps! Here is the link to my GoFundMe Page
I will be sure to keep you updated on my journey the next few weeks as I’m getting warmed up for the 2017 season. I’m excited about what lies ahead and have a feeling this year is going to be my best year yet.
Now time to head to the golf course and get practicing. Keep an eye out on social media pages for regular updates on my practice drills and swing videos!